|Gerken Vs Bialkowski|
Written by GeorgeITFC24 on Monday, 25th May 2015 09:08
Looking back on the season our two goalkeepers shared the starting spot this campaign. Dean Gerken spent almost every match of the 2013/14 in the Town goal as the undisputed number one.
However, at the start of the season Bartosz Bialkowski was brought in to provide stiff competition for Gerken's spot.
But which keeper, assuming they are both here next season, should rightfully be starting in the Town goal in 2015/16? A few statistics are probably best to kick this off.
League Appearances 16
Clean sheets 3
Goals conceded per match 1.19
Saves per match 3.04
Total Saves 46
League Appearances 33
Clean Sheets 9
Goals conceded per match 1.22
Saves per match 2.25
Total Saves 74
These stats are very interesting. A lot of people believe Gerken isn't as good as Bialkowski but the stats show Gerken to have been the better keeper this season.
His saves per match total is near to almost one more than Bart and his saves total would have inevitably overtaken Bart's if he had played more games.
However, if you to do the quick mathematic calculation you can work out that Gerken had recorded one clean sheet every 5.3 games and Bart one clean sheet every 3.6 games, so at least one of these stats backs up the Pole.
[b]Gerken 1-0 Bart[/b]
Now when it comes down to commanding their box Gerken wins it for me. I don't get up to Portman Road a great deal, probably around five times a season, and whenever I'm there he is always shouting at his defenders.
This is in complete contrast to Bart who I have never heard organising players in and around the 18-yard box. It's great to hear a passionate goalkeeper shouting at the outfield players to do what is needed of them. Which is why Gerken again gets the vote ahead of Bart.
[b]Gerken 2-0 Bart[/b]
Mistakes will always be made by any player on the pitch and unfortunately goalkeeping errors tend to be the most costly. Bart mistakes happen, but not too often. He was dropped after a clanger in a 2-1 loss to Leeds but no other biggies come to mind.
Gerken on the other hand is often on the end of errors. He cost the team in the final minute in the 2-2 draw against top-of-the-league Forest and again in stoppage time in the 1-1 Blackburn match as he failed to cover much of his goal from a freekick.
A successful team needs a top keeper who rarely makes mistakes so a point is gained by Bart in this one.
[b]Gerken 2-1 Bart[/b]
Fans obviously enjoy seeing a keeper making a save, but it's even better when they hold onto the ball. Over the season in 16 matches Gerken managed 10 and in 33 Bart made a rather bad 9.
Saves have been pushed away by Bart all season and have sometimes been cleared by the defenders or punched out for a corner kick.
In every 4.6 saves made by Gerken he catches one and Bart catches one every 8.2 saves. Bart's record being almost twice as bad as Gerken's.
[b]Gerken 3-1 Bart[/b]
Confidence is key to a player being successful and that is what Bart lacks. Over the last few months he seems very nervous whenever he has to make a save. He started well in goal this season and made some good stops but recently things have gone a bit down hill for him.
For me Gerken has never seemed to lack confidence. When he makes a big mistake he rarely lets it bother him (but still goes on and makes more). Neither does he look nervous when a shot is coming towards him. This is based on my opinion, but another point has to go to Gerken.
[b]Gerken 4-1 Bart[/b]
Catches are a crucial part of being a goalkeeper. Not so much from catching the ball after a diving save, but just if the ball is coming towards you in the air they need to hang on to it.
Gerken regularly spills catches and this has cost the team. Mostly they bobble out his hands but he manages to recover, but sometimes he doesn't.
The 2-2 Nottingham game for instance when he came for the ball. The corner came in and he completely messed up his catch allowing Michail Antonio to score.
Bart's handling is very good and I'd put my money on him catching a ball over Gerken any day. He's very good with routine catches and is a reliable player in those sorts of situations.
[b]Final Score: Gerken 4-2 Bart[/b]
After those six points I'd like to see Gerken starting next season. On the other hand neither keeper in my opinion is top Championship quality so a new one would be ideal. A few possibilities could be:
Andy Lonergan (free agent) - Had his contact expire at Bolton and is a very good player at this level. He's also available on a free transfer which suits Mick. I'd have him any day.
Ben Amos (Man Utd) - Fourth choice behind De Gea, Valdes and Lindegaard. A player who would be a available cheaply and maybe even on a free. He had a loan spell in the Championship and was very impressive, sign him up!
Wes Foderingham (Swindon) - After Swindon lost heavily in the League One play-off final he would probably want a move up to the Championship. He isn't short of clubs who would have him so this one would mean to act fast.
So, that's what I think about the goalkeepers here. It would be great to see what you all think as well. Would you have Gerken or Bart in goal next season? Would you prefer a new keeper? Put in the comments what you think!
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