There are some goalkeepers out there who simply should have stuck to tiddlywinks or snakes and ladders.
These terrible specimens fall firmly into that category, with the deposed Chelsea goalkeeper KepaArrizabalaga being the latest addition to the litany of ‘bad’ goalkeepers – but how does he compare to the rest?
Canada can claim to be a nation of goalkeepers, but when ice is swapped for grass, that is highly open to contention. The records set by former Ipswich custodian Forrest in 1995 certainly didn’t help his nation’s reputation in the Premier League.
He conceded nine unanswered goals at Old Trafford and five goals to one individual player, namely Andy Cole. Both were Premier League-era firsts at the time.
While basement-bound Ipswich had long since written off the 1994/95 season as a lost cause, there can be no excuses for a performance like this. If nothing else, Forrest can thank his lucky stars that he was not faced with Eric Cantona…
Not even describable as a poor man’s JussiJaaskelainen, Enckelman’s legacy is overseeing an eight-place drop in the league, during his only season as Aston Villa’s first-choice goalkeeper under Graham Taylor in 2002/03.
Of all fixtures, the flailing Finnish failure chose the first ‘Second City derby’ of the Premier League to commit his most notorious error, allowing a Birmingham throw-in to evade him and bounce into the goal:
Back in the mid-2010s, as Liverpool reeled from a failed title charge in the dog days of Brendan Rodgers’ stewardship, there were few more entertaining phenomena than a football phone-in after yet another Mignolet blunder.
Quite simply, there are too many to list, but he has been rightly denounced by the Anfield idol Bruce Grobbelaar.
Infamously, Mignolet was part of a team that lost 6-1 to Stoke in Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool swansong, cementing their worst league result – and joint-worst margin of defeat – in the Premier League era.
Though somewhat irrelevant, Green deserves a place for his 2010 World Cup blunder against the United States alone. While Green is by no means the worst in this list, there is the inescapable fact that he has been part of a side relegated from the Premier League on four occasions.
Admittedly, Green has increasingly fallen into the ‘backup’ category over more recent years, but would a man of his experience not have the ability to inspire and educate his team’s number one goalkeeper?
It is a question doomed to go unanswered, as he looks back on a mediocre club-level career and a worse international one.
A lot of Manchester United fans think David De Gea is the devil himself, and while the Spaniard’s errors have contributed to United’s Premier League prices for a title win lengthening by the year, he is prime Peter Schmeichel compared to this charade of a goalkeeper.
With Schmeichel himself departing Old Trafford in 1999, and Mark Bosnich and Raimond van der Gouw unavailable ahead of an early season clash, £4.5m acquisition Massimo Taibi was drafted into the starting XI. His opening assignment was the small affair of a match with Liverpool in front of the seething Kop End.
Not daunted, Taibi quite literally rose to the occasion, only to flap at a cross and gift a goal to Sami Hypia. United’s eventual 3-2 victory at Anfield glossed over that mistake, but there was no hiding place at Old Trafford a fortnight later, when this happened:
Solely at fault for dropping two points, of what should have been a routine three against Southampton, Taibi never played for the club again.
Almost from the outset, Derby County’s rabble of 2007/08 looked woefully outclassed, and Bywater occupied the sticks for 18 of Derby’s league matches.
He was one of several clear villains, in a nightmare season that saw the Rams finish on a Premier League low of one win and 11 points, which looks in little danger of ever being beaten.
Amongst his classic performances were heavy defeats – 4-0 at Tottenham, 6-0 at Liverpool and 5-0 at Arsenal – inside the first seven weeks of the season alone.
Later on, he would concede five at home to former club West Ham, but he would soon by replaced by Roy Carroll after Billy Davies’ sacking. For Bywater, it was a sharp fall from his implausible claims to be on the England fringes.
Back at the start of 1999/2000, after keeping a clean sheet in Everton’s last away win over Liverpool to date, Gerrard wrote himself into Goodison Park folklore. Within less than two years, he had reversed that with aplomb, after a dismal, error-strewn 2000/01 season in which Everton finished 16th.
A notable lowlight was a 5-0 defeat at relegation-bound Manchester City in December 2000, which sparked a drab run of one point from 18. But for West Ham striker Paolo Di Canio’ssurreal act of mercy a week later, it would have been zero.
But for a late revival from Coventry in the spring of 1997, Perez may well have stayed up with Sunderland, and gone on to enjoy a rich spell in goal with the Wearsiders. Unfortunately, he made a number of glaring errors when he replaced first-choice keeper Tony Coton, losing 3-0 to Southampton on his debut in October 1996.
His legacy is conceding one of the best Premier League goals ever, with Eric Cantona’s sublime chip off the woodwork from 18 yards, in a 5-0 whitewash at Old Trafford in December 1996. Sublime though it was, Perez was foolish in the extreme to think he could close down ‘The King’ and prevent him from enacting some deadly magic:
Digby is one of the lesser sinners on here, with any suitability to the top flight made redundant by a woeful defence.
Yet, it was with him in the sticks that the telling damage to Swindon’s solitary season in the Premier League was done, with defeat after defeat in the first half of 1993/94. Ultimately, Swindon went on to concede exactly 100 goals across 42 games.
The writing was on the wall as early as August, with the Robins’ grand homecoming memorably being ruined by a very average Liverpool side, then managed by the doomed Graeme Souness.
With Digby in goal, Swindon lost 5-0, and the theme for the season was set, with John Gorman’s men losing by the same scoreline in their season finale (vs Leeds) to reach their shameful century.
Pound for pound, Kepa is not the worst all-rounder on here, but his attitude stinks and he thoroughly deserves to be in a list of this ilk.
Many are surprised that he lasted another five minutes in the Chelsea dressing room, after his refusal to yield in a substitution with Willy Caballero in the 2019 Carabao Cup final.
Under a manager like Brian Clough or Sir Alex Ferguson, there is mass belief that he would have been terminated immediately.
For too long Kepa has looked like a lost boy who wants out, and simply put, he is the biggest waste of money bar none amongst this list of losers. Chelsea paid a gold-plated Rolls Royce price for a yellow Reliant Regal, and while Kepa may well thrive in a more forgiving league, there is nothing that can be forgiven here.
It should also be noted that he lamented the worst save percentage in Premier League history by the end of last season. Make of that what you will…
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