Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast – Premier League goalkeepers

Clean sheets are crucial and there have been plenty of match-saving goalkeepers to have played in the Premier League – but who is the greatest?

That was the subject discussed by Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Ian Wright on the latest edition of the Match of The Day: Top 10 podcast and we want you to get involved by ranking your favourites from a shortlist drawn up by the Match of the Day commentary team.

To hear the MOTD team’s final selections – recorded during a debate held in Lineker’s kitchen, before the coronavirus outbreak in the UK – make sure you listen to the podcast on BBC Sounds.

And at the bottom of the page have a go at ranking the 10 players yourself.

  • Listen to the third episode of Match of the Day: Top 10
  • Watch Match of the Day: Top 10 – goalscorers

How to judge the Premier League’s greatest goalkeeper?

Goalkeepers in the past had to be good with only their hands, keeping the ball out of the net, but there is a growing emphasise on outfield skills too.

“The goalkeeping position has evolved massively,” says Lineker. “They have become more part of the football team because they have to play with their feet.”

Shearer said: “When we started out, the goalkeeper had to keep the ball out of the goal, that was his job. Now he has got to be able to play.”

Asked if he studied goalkeepers before going into games, Wright said: “Definitely. For example, I knew former Coventry goalkeeper Steve Ogrizovic always liked to pat the ball down and then catch it so any shot that went in he used to do that. Anything that was coming in, I would just go in for.”


Premier League appearances: 58

Clean sheets: 31

Lineker: “He has been unbelievably good for Liverpool, has made a massive difference to their team and transformed things for the team. He is a goalkeeper that exhumes calmness which is very important.”

Shearer: “Alisson and Virgil an Dijk have been the game changers for Liverpool. On the pitch, they are the ones that have made the difference.”

Petr Cech

Premier League appearances: 443

Clean sheets: 202

Lineker: “Cech kept clean sheets in nearly half of the Premier League games he played in. He won four Golden Gloves, four Premier League titles, the Champions League, five FA Cups, three League Cups, the Europa League and was the Czech footballer of the year nine times.

David de Gea

Premier League appearances: 304

Clean sheets: 108

Shearer: “When he first came to England he was open to a lot of criticism because he not that big, he had not bulked up and made too many mistakes. Then he went through that period where he was fantastic and made some incredible saves. At the moment, he is making too many mistakes and goalkeepers are often judged on how many mistakes they make.”

Wright: “The period that Manchester United have been through over the last three or four years, I do not know where they would be without him.”

Lineker: “Some of the saves he has made have been extraordinary.”


Premier League appearances: 99

Clean sheets: 45

Wright: “He has been amazing for Manchester City. Not only has he won trophies, he is one of the goalkeepers that has changed the position for the way keepers have to be now.”

Shearer: “Some of the passes this guy comes out with, he is better than some of the players I have played with.”

Wright: “When he was younger, Ederson played left-back, you could easily see him playing left centre-half now with the way he pings the ball about. He has great footballing ability.”

Shay Given

Premier League appearances: 451

Clean sheets: 113

Wright: “Given was a good shot-stopper and had athletic ability, but he was somebody I fancied it against.”

Shearer: “He wasn’t great at kicking, which is a huge part of the game now, but he worked hard and was a brilliant professional.”

David James

Premier League appearances: 572

Clean sheets: 169

Shearer: “He made hundreds of appearances and had great longevity. To be around for that amount of time, you have to be a good goalkeeper.”

Jens Lehmann

Premier League appearances: 148

Clean sheets: 54

Wright: “He was one of the leaders in the dressing room. He had a bit of something (an edge) about him but also a mistake in him, maybe someone you couldn’t trust one million percent.”

Peter Schmeichel

Premier League appearances: 310

Clean sheets: 128

Lineker: “He was the best goalkeeper I played against in my time, a phenomenal goalkeeper and made the ‘starfish’ save. What an unbelievable career.”

Wright: “I only scored against Schmeichel in friendlies. He was the only goalkeeper I thought about before I went into a game because he was so good. I genuinely hated him as a goalkeeper. I knew how good he was and how it was to score against him. Christopher Wreh scored against Schmeichel – people don’t even know who he is – and I didn’t manage to do it.”

David Seaman

Premier League appearances: 340

Clean sheets: 140

Lineker: “He is the most laid back goalkeeper I have met in my life. He made one of the best saves ever from me, I was three yards out and the ball came across and bang, hit it, but he just came across from nowhere and it was unbelievable. You would never congratulate the goalkeeper after, it was sickening but he deserved credit after that one, my god what a save.”

Wright: “From the time he came into the dressing room, Seaman was so calm and he made the rest feel that way. Him being in goal on a daily basis, telling me where to go, when a goalkeeper will close in with a bad touch, I know I would not have scored as many goals as I did without playing with a keeper of that calibre.”

Edwin van der Sar

Premier League appearances: 313

Clean sheets: 132

Lineker: “Van der Sar shows you the importance of a good goalkeeper in the modern game because Manchester United took a long time to replace Schmeichel.”

Shearer: “We keep going on about Alisson and Ederson and how they have changed goalkeeping, Van der Sar could play, no doubt. He could pass a ball.”

Wright: “1,311 minutes without conceding a goal, a world record.”

Best Premier League goalkeepers

Rank your favourite Premier League goalkeepers

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