Premier League GK's Half Time Report - Part 1
With the late start of the Premier League season we are only just getting to the half-way mark in this strange old campaign, where we have been deprived of attending football matches, but for the first time have been able to watch the majority of PL matches on TV.
This increased accessibility has initiated a new penchant of spending our Friday-Monday and several midweeks watching the less desirable Premier League games. Burnley v Palace never seemed so appealing.
As most teams have now surpassed their 19th fixture and in our heightened position to analyse the twenty teams of the top division, we are grading every team’s first choice goalkeeper on their performance so far. This week we look at Arsenal to Chelsea in alphabetical order.
Arsenal - Bernd Leno; B-
Bernd Leno has played every one of Arsenal’s Premier League fixtures this season, where the Gunners have started to pick up after a horrid spell at the end of 2020. In this spell however, goals were Mikel Arteta’s main problem and Leno has still managed to keep a respectable seven clean sheets and has conceded just once in the last five as Arsenal have catapulted up the table in recent weeks.
Aston Villa - Emiliano Martinez; A
Aston Villa’s remarkable campaign is largely owed to a much-improved rear guard, with Emiliano Martinez playing an integral role in Dean Smith’s men’s European challenge. Martinez came to the fore from relative obscurity in Arsenal’s reserves to playing in the club’s FA Cup Final win and showing magnificent form in the league for the Gunners. Needless to say, he has started where he left off last season and has been spectacular since signing for Villa in the summer.
Brighton - Robert Sanchez; C+
It is a bit early to judge Robert Sanchez having only played the last nine league games for Brighton, but so far so good for the Spaniard, so much so that former number one Mat Ryan has left to join Arsenal on loan. Struggling Brighton have won just one of the nine Sanchez has played; however, he has conceded just eight times during this period. We are excited to see if the former Rochdale loanee can continue in this vein.
Burnley - Nick Pope; B
Another very solid campaign for Nick Pope, who will be hoping this one ends with a more regular spot in the England side ahead of the Euros. Burnley have picked up after a terrible start, but unsurprisingly it was goals that were hard to come by rather than solidity and Pope again has been ever reliable in the Turf Moor net.
Chelsea - Edouard Mendy; C
A strong start to his Chelsea career had many thinking that Edouard Mendy was the solution to the Blue’s well-publicised goalkeeping issues after moving from Rennes in October. However, after a string of strong performances following his £22 million switch, he like his team has suffered a dip in form. A few costly errors against Leeds and Everton, as well as Chelsea’s poor defensive record has reignited the conversation around goalkeeping targets for the summer window. However, a clean sheet last Wednesday against Wolves and a new manager in the dugout could prompt the Senegalese international’s second wind.