Jordan Pickford celebrates after the Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at King Power Stadium, Leicester, May 2023.

Ranking every 22-23 Premier League goalkeeper by how crazy they are

It’s often said that all goalkeepers are mad – something that the majority of the 2022-23 Premier League custodians have spent the last nine months proving beyond any reasonable doubt.

While you’d trust some shot-stoppers with catching the family cat from a tall tree, others are just as likely to fire the beloved moggie out of a canon while gurning towards an imaginary camera in the name of shithousery and banter.

We’ve ranked the goalkeeper with the most appearances for each Premier League club from the least crazy to the downright certifiable. The results are hair-raising…

20. Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace)

Johnstone is so normal that he’s probably able to walk down Croydon High Street without being recognised. Bring back Wayne Hennessey!

19. Gavin Bazunu (Southampton)

Playing behind a defence that’s barely old enough to vote, Bazunu has come to define the world ‘beleaguered’ after picking the ball out of his net with watch-setting regularity this year.

But, like much of the Southampton side, he’s been curiously faceless and that gives him a pass here.

18. Neto (Bournemouth)

One of the reasons Bournemouth are set to defy gravity and stay up, Neto’s one eyebrow-raising decision was swapping the Camp Nou for Dean Court last summer.

That’s the kind of life decision that normally gets friends and family asking if you’re okay, but it’s worked for Neto thus far. Fair play.

17. Nick Pope (Newcastle)

Pope has helped transformed Newcastle United, a club where defending is traditionally celebrated with the enthusiasm of a plate of Brussels sprouts, into the stingest backline in the entire Premier League.

He’s normal. Almost too normal, if anything.

Jules Kounde during the Premier League match between Valencia and Barcelona at Mestalla, Valencia, October 2022.

READ: The 10 best defences in Europe in 2022-23: Barcelona miles clear…

16. David Raya (Brentford)

Yes, Raya appears sensible at sensible old Brentford. But we’re fascinated to see the potential meltdown once ‘Big Six Twitter’ gets stuck into him next season.

Give him six months at Chelsea or Manchester United and Raya will be sat in his goalmouth with his underpants on his head and two pencils up his nose. Probably.

15. Jose Sa (Wolves)

Wolves swapped Rui Patricio for Sa in 2021 without anybody noticing; a serviceable Portuguese knocking around isn’t the kind of headline news that’ll get the world’s press pack camped outside Molineux.

And Sa’s performances have been Wolves to a tee; sometimes great, sometimes awful, but usually absolutely okay.

14. Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham)

West Ham have the best defence of all the Premier League bottom-dwellers, largely down to Fabianski’s tabby-like reflexes and unerring competence.

But he’s just celebrated his 38th birthday. Nobody would blame the Pole if he chose to retire and stuff his face with cabbage rolls, but he’s still plugging away in a relegation battle.

If that’s not madness, we’re not sure what is.

13. Danny Ward (Leicester)

After years as a patient Premier League understudy, Ward blew his big chance at Leicester in the spectacular manner of an investment banker spunking his bonus at a provincial casino.

We’ll stick our necks out and say he won’t feature when we next compile this ranking.

12. Bernd Leno (Fulham)

Solid and reliable for a Fulham side that’s exceeded all expectations this year, but how much ‘Arsenal DNA’ still lurks in Leno’s system? We can’t fully trust him just yet.

11. Alisson (Liverpool)

As if publically backing Bolsanaro suggested Alisson is a few screws short of a B&Q, any goalkeeper that scores spectacular injury-time winners cannot be described as normal.

While the Liverpool number one isn’t quite Chilavert or Higuita levels of ‘El Loco’, he’s still pleasingly South American.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game with team-mates during the Premier League match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich. Picture date: Sunday May 16, 2021.

READ: Six of Alisson’s most iconic and decisive moments at Liverpool

10. Ilan Meslier (Leeds)

The first primary schooler to stand between the sticks for a Premier League team, Mesiler was considered one the best young keepers around during Marcelo Bielsa’s reign.

But he’s now sunk to the level of the porous Leeds defence, offering all the resistance of a wet paper towel as the goals fly in. Heaven knows what Big Sam will make of him.

9. David de Gea (Manchester United)

Less comfortable with the ball at his feet than Edward Scissorhands cradling a puppy, De Gea has been responsible for the kind of goals that’d feature on Nick Hancock’s Footballing Gaffes in bygone days.

And he’s quietly weird off the pitch too. “It’s either dancing and Spanish stuff or it’s heavy metal, loud shouting and banging,” Ashley Young once said about De Gea’s music taste. “Just crazy, to be honest.

“Whenever he puts the heavy metal on [in the dressing room], a few people are looking around thinking, ‘Alright, we need to get out of here.’”

8. Robert Sanchez (Brighton)

Maybe it’s the lack of sunshine, seeing ice fall from the sky or the prospect of surfing in polluted seas, but Spanish goalkeepers often switch from suave stoppers into erratic endangerments in the Premier League.

Sanchez isn’t there yet; nobody at Brighton falls into that worrying category. But getting dropped for Jason Steele probably isn’t befitting of an actual international goalkeeper.

7. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)

We’re living for late-career Lloris; having twigged that Spurs are more likely to stop climate change than win a trophy, the Frenchman has committed himself to find new and inventive ways of chucking the ball into his own net.

And don’t think he’s sacrificing quantity for quality; five goals in 20 minutes flew past Lloris at Newcastle. He’s definitely getting loopier with age.

6. Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea)

Kepa once pied off his manager during a Wembley Cup final, but still looks like he’s about to cry whenever Chelsea concede a goal.

Basically, he’s a wannabe bad boy with all the menace of a fluffy duster. Which is both hilarious and absolutely crackers.

Kepa Arrizabalaga celebrates after the UEFA Champions League match between AC Milan and Chelsea at San Siro, Milan, October 2022.

READ: Ranking Chelsea’s 22 Premier League keepers from worst to best

5. Ederson (Manchester City)

While undeniably competent, the smiley face inked behind Ederson’s ear sometimes unleashes all manner of chaos.

Unquestionably the sign of a true maverick. No wonder Pep’s bald.

4. Dean Henderson (Nottingham Forest)

Can you picture Henderson without a cap? Whether saving a remarkable number of penalties for Forest, driving his kids to school or taking a shower, Henderson takes after an Edwardian gentleman by never daring to appear hatless.

It’s definitely the sign of a truly scrambled individual. What’s he hiding?

3. Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

English goalkeepers used to be sturdy, upright folk who would’ve greeted the announcement of imminent nuclear holocaust with a shrug and a chuckle.

Nowadays, goalies from these isles bomb about their area with the unlicensed energy of a small child after a multipack of Prime.

Ramsdale is a stand-out example of this nation-shaking trend; while excellent with both hands and feet, he’s liable to goad opposition fans in a manner that definitely won’t come back to bite him in the future.

2. Jordan Pickford (Everton)

Pickford is quite possibly the angriest man in England, bellowing with the heat of a thousand suns when called upon to do his actual job.

Remarkably, the Everton shot-stopper has mellowed since his early days at Goodison after consulting a sports psychologist to help channel his rage into control.

But, like suppressing a large tiger or impending sadness, there’s only Pickford can do to tame the beast. He’s tailor-made for Spurs next season.

1. Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)

If shagging his Golden Glove trophy wasn’t enough, cradling a doll sporting Mbappe’s face during the post-World Cup celebrations was the definition of unhinged.

A deserved winner. We can’t get enough of him.

By Michael Lee

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