Written by Stephen Hopper
This article is purely about the EFl’s top shot stoppers in my opinion. Social Media post’s grabbed my interest with this question so here are my views on the best 5 in the Division feel free to agree or disagree it will be interesting to hear your views. A lot of the time we focus on Keeper howlers, so why not discuss who are the top 5 and why they deserve to be there.
David Stockdale (Brighton): Stockdale so far this season has made 23 appearances, keeping 13 clean sheets and has established himself as Brighton’s number 1. A right footed Keeper who stands at 1.90m. Stockdale moved to Brighton from Fulham in July 2014 after struggling to establish himself at the London club and was subsequently sent back to parent club Hull City. Stockdale is a powerful shot stopper and played an important part in Brighton’s push for promotion this campaign. The keeper has a phenomenal kick on him and can create opening’s from it for his Brighton team mates and is a very important player in Chris Hughton’s side.
Kieren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday): Westwood has kept 9 clean sheets in 23 appearances, and after having some injury concerns in recent years has established himself as The Owls number one. Westwood is a left footed keeper who stands at 1.88m and has been very impressive since his free transfer move from Sunderland back in July 2014. So what makes Westwood make my list, for me Westwood is very agile and commands his area and his back four immensley. Sunderland in my opinion made a big mistake in allowing him to leave on a free transfer, which is obviously a great bit of business for Sheffield Wednesday and which has proved to be a great move for the player himself and at the tender age of 32 he is undoubtedly one of the top stoppers in the division.
Scott Carson (Derby County): Carson has made 25 appearances and kept 14 clean sheets for County. Carson is a much travelled goalkeeper and has also played abroad. I have enjoyed watching Carson play throughout the years but believe some of his best has been at Derby, where he has established himself as the number one granted as fellow goalkeeper Lee Grant was sent out on loan to Stoke City where he has made the switch permanent. Carson has the experience for life in the Championship and this will prove an influencing factor in Derby’s push for promotion. Carson is athletic and is not afraid to put his body on the line in order to preserve his goal and has some great experience in front of him in the shape of Richard Keogh.
Karl Darlow (Newcastle United): Darlow who has made 16 appearances keeping 6 clean sheets conceding 13 goals. Darlow signed from Nottingham Forest and was then sent back on loan to the club and then returned to parent club Newcastle. What puts Darlow in my top 5? Well, Darlow has really developed at Newcastle and has a big presence between the sticks for Newcastle, he commands his penalty area and has a decent distribution, most recently in a game against former club Nottingham Forest Darlow made two penalty saves and has outed fellow Utd keepers Matz Sels and due to injury came in to replace Rob Elliot and has made the position his own. Manager Rafa Benitez started the season with Matz Sels but his lack of confidence and his ability to panic when crosses came in Darlow found himself back in contention. Darlow stands at 1.85m and is a right footed keeper. Darlow is young and his progression at United will surely earn him a full England call up one day.
Ali Al-Habsi (Reading): Al-Habsi has made 24 appearances keeping 8 clean sheets for Reading and stands at 1.94m and is a right footed keeper. AL-Habsi has been around for a while and has previously played for Wigan Athletic, Brighton and Bolton. At the age of 35 years old he has just signed a contract extension with current club Reading where he has turned in some excellent performances for the Royals. Clearly manager Jaap Stam rates him highly and has bread confidence in to Reading’ defence, for his age he can still deliver top quality performances and can move around jut as good as younger keepers in the division. Al-Habsi will always give you 100% every game he plays and as time has proven has won many points whichever club he has played at.
Who is the best goalkeeper in the Championship? Let us know in the comments below!
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