The goalkeeper is the most specialized, and in many respects, the most important position on a soccer pitch. While in a good team a goalkeeper may only see a few seconds of action and only have a couple of saves to make in each game, many managers still regard it as the most crucial position to get right. A top save is as good as a goal for any team, and having a reliable 'keeper between the sticks breathes confidence into a defense and throughout the team.
Given the the Premier League, since its inception in 1992, has been widely regarded as one of - if not the - strongest league in the world, it has been blessed with some truly top class goalkeepers. The likes of Peter Schmeichel, Petr Cech and Edwin van der Saar are just some of the world class goalkeepers that have graced England's top flight.
The Premier League is also known as being the more wide open league. Often times, defending gets sloppy and a heavier emphasis is placed on finding goals. This makes the job of a goalkeeper in the Premier League all the more crucial. It gives a significant edge to the club with the stronger keeper.
The combination of physicality and technical ability in the league means that Premier League goalkeepers must have a more solid all-round game than most. It is not enough to be a good shot-stopper, one must also be vocal, dominant in aerial situations and capable of accurate distribution of the ball. So lets look at some people who were none of those things. Here are the top 15 worst goalkeepers in Premier League history:
15 Vince Bartram
14 Peter Enckleman
13 Gabor Kiraly
12 Stephen Bywater
11 Zeljko Kalac
10 Mike Pollitt
9 Daniele Padelli
8 Stuart Taylor
7 Andy Marriott
6 Lionel Perez
5 Martin Fulop
4 Massimo Taibi
3 Tony Warner
Tony Warner played 200 games for Millwall between 1999 and 2004, where he looked solid enough between the sticks. His Premier League move came in 2007, when he joined Fulham. He played seven games in two years at Craven Cottage, and Fulham fans will feel that was seven games too many. Warner looked wobbly at best, and dropped two absolute howlers against Bolton and Middlesbrough respectively.
2 Andy Dibble
Welsh journeyman goalkeeper Andy Dibble played far more Premier League games than most on this list, despite the fact that he was just as useless as the others. Dibble spent nine years at Manchester City, where he played around 150 games, serving as backup to first choice 'keeper Tony Coton. Despite seeing limited game time, Dibble still managed to show just why he wasn't first choice at any of the decent clubs he ever played for, famously allowing Nottingham Forest's Gary Crosby to head the ball out of his hands and into the goal, in the Welshman's most forgettable performance.
1 Kostas Chalkias
He may have played 32 times for Greece, but most Portsmouth fans will wonder how Kostas Chalkias ever made a career as a professional footballer, never mind as a Premier League or international one. Chalkias joined Portsmouth in 2005, a year after he had won a European Championship as Greece's first choice goalkeeper, it seemed an excellent signing. He played only six games for Pompey before the club's staff decided that they'd seen enough.
In his debut against bitter rivals Southampton, Chalkias flapped at everything that came his way, as Portsmouth lost 2-1. In his next five games, Chalkias not only showed himself to be a terrible goalkeeper, but also barking mad. He conceded an own goal against Arsenal, and when his teammate did likewise, Chalkias hit him. He was dropped for Jamies Ashdown after his comical errors and displays of aggression, before moving to Spain and eventually returning to Greece.
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