Ranking every Premier League goalkeeper by how crazy they are

According to the old cliché, you have to be mad to be a goalkeeper. But how do the PL’s current crop fare in that regard?

From René Higuita to Jens Lehmann, goalkeepers have frequently proven their ability to surprise, confound and generally get a bit weird.

And while we like to think of England as a sober place of moderation and queuing, the Premier League is no exception to rule. We’ve got plenty of oddball shotstoppers, and we’d be much worse off without them.

So who amongst the current lot is most likely to attempt a Cruyff turn, abuse his centre-backs or just plain eat his gloves or something?

20. Ben Foster, Watford

The maddest thing Ben Foster has done this season is put Bernd Leno in his Fantasy League team.

Utterly sane.

19. Vicente Guaita, Crystal Palace

Being inoffensive is Vicente Guaita’s modus operandi. And when you’re replacing Wayne Hennessey, that’s a good thing.

18. Alex McCarthy, Southampton

“Everyone needed a kick up the arse,” McCarthy said in December, thus fulfilling Southampton’s madness quota for the season.

17. Neil Etheridge, Cardiff

If madness means saving penalties, becoming your country’s first Premier League footballer and generally being the bedrock of your otherwise quite bad football team, then lock Neil Etheridge up in a padded room and throw away the key.

He’s otherwise on the level.

16. Jonas Lössl, Huddersfield

Four places madder than Ben Foster, but only because he has an umlaut in his name. And that says a lot about Ben Foster.

15. Mathew Ryan, Brighton

Yeah, Mat Ryan’s a bit mad.

He explicitly denied being a “mind reader” after saving some penalties at the Asian Cup, but there’s no smoke without fire.

14. Tom Heaton, Burnley

Tom Heaton seems like a normal guy. But then again, Burnley is a weird club and Sean Dyche a spectacularly weird manager.

In fact, after regaining his place in the first team earlier this year, Heaton did go a bit funny.

“My wife said I was singing and dancing washing the dishes on the Friday night and that it was great to have the real me back,” he told the Mail.

That’s the real Tom Heaton then.

13. Hugo Lloris, Tottenham

Would have been the nailed-on number 20 before the World Cup, so props to Hugo for climbing.

It’s just a case of somebody ‘having it all’ and not knowing what to do with themselves, isn’t it? One minute you’re shimmying past Mario Mandzukic in the final; next you’re putting Kieran Trippier’s toenail clippings in Eric Dier’s lunch.

Barmy and getting worse.

12. David de Gea, Manchester United

One of the quietly weird ones.

On the keeper’s music taste, Ashley Young says: “It’s either dancing and Spanish stuff or it’s heavy metal, loud shouting and banging. 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.'”

11. Martin Dubravka, Newcastle

Hangs out with Jonjo Shelvey.

10. Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester

According to Jamie Vardy, Leicester’s keeper owns more pairs of boots than any outfield player, which is bloody suspicious.

9. Rui Patricio, Wolves

This is more a case of ‘I’m mad me!’ attention seeking, but Rui Patricio does, at the end of the day, wear #11 on his shirt.


8. Sergio Rico, Fulham

An unknown quantity.

7. Bernd Leno, Arsenal

If you asked Bernd Leno to hold your pint he’d try and punch it clear.

Do not trust him.

6. Lukasz Fabianski, West Ham

You can show me all the statistics you want. You can say he’s one of the most dependable keepers around, having excelled at a series of defensively frail clubs, and that he has the fourth best save percentage in the league.

Say whatever you damn well want, but Fabianski played for Arsenal and is therefore, like Leno, not to be trusted.

5. Ederson Moraes, Man City

Ederson looks about 14 and has a smiley face tattooed behind his ear. Very ‘goalkeeper’.

4. Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea

In truth, who saw any of this coming?

I thought Kepa was a quiet and conscientious young man, but he is in fact a disciple of Hugo Lloris, actively trying to shrug off a reputation for meekness in the most upsetting way possible.

3. Alisson Becker, Liverpool

Definitely better than Loris Karius but probably madder too.

2. Artur Boruc, Bournemouth

Eddie Howe dropped Asmir Begovic just so I could make this list, because Artur Boruc is daft as a brush and we all love him for it.

A reminder that his belly button is a monkey’s arsehole.

1. Jordan Pickford, Everton

Where do you even start?

Never mind goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, England’s number one, might be the maddest person in the country.

He spends the whole game telling everyone to fuck off. His kicks are out of this world. He did that thing with Divock Origi.

Pickford is the obvious winner.

By Benedict O’Neill

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