Is Petr Cech the greatest goalkeeper of the Premier League era?

The Czech Republic international will set a new record with his next clean sheet in the English top flight, but is he the best man of the last 20 years to play between the sticks?


With his next clean sheet, Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech will become the first goalkeeper in Premier League history to record 138 matches without conceding at a single club, an astounding feat.

The Czech Republic international has undoubtedly been one of the top keepers in the division since his arrival at Stamford Bridge in 2004. In his first season alone he kept a staggering 25 clean sheets as the Blues went on to pick up the Premier league title.

But following a fractured skull in October 2006, Cech’s form understandably took a dip as he returned from injury. The 30-year-old faced some difficult times, but has arguably returned to the heights he reached before his injury in terms of performance levels.

But is he the best keeper of the Premier League era? There are certainly some outstanding candidates.

David Seaman joined Arsenal in 1990, and his arrival coincided with one of the most successful periods in the club’s history. The mustachioed man from Rotherham won three league titles, four FA Cups, a League Cup and a Cup Winners’ Cup with the Gunners, as well as picking up 75 England caps over the course of his career.

Peter Schmeichel of Manchester United was perhaps one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, but how does he measure up to Cech? ‘The Great Dane’ arrived at Old Trafford in a deal that Sir Alex Ferugson called “the bargain of the century”, and was one of the most revered keepers in the world, going on to pick up five league titles, three FA Cups, one Super Cup and the Champions League in his last game for the club.

More recent candidates include Liverpool’s Pepe Reina. The Spain international joined the Reds at the beginning of the 2005-06 season, and was widely credited with being the outstanding keeper in the top flight as he picked up the award for most clean sheets in all of his first three seasons witht the club. However, his form has also dipped recently – but does he compare favourably with Cech?

Another man often mentioned among the best in recent years is Edwin van der Sar. The Dutch keeper spent four years at Fulham before making the switch to Manchester United, finally restoring some order to Sir Alex Ferguson’s side following the departure of Schmeichel six years previously. The 42-year-old won four Premier League titles, two league cups one Club World Cup and made the winning contribution in their 2008 Champions League final against Chelsea, tipping Nicolas Anelka’s penalty around the post. But was he the best?


So who do you think is the best goalkeeper of the Premier League era? Is Petr Cech the man with the golden gloves? Or is someone else deserving of that accolade? Let us know your opinion by leaving your suggestions in a comment below, or getting in touch via Facebook and Twitter.

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