• Friday, 6 January 2012

    We all love a goalscoring goalie

    When Tim Howard's massive, wind-assisted, hoof upfield sailed over Adam Bogdan's head, it reminded us all of how great it is to see goalkeepers score. It's a collectors item to rank alongside outfield players going in goal, dogs on the pitch and people scoring penalties past Michel Vorm.
    The revisionist version of post-1992 history tells you that Howard was the fourth English Premier League goalkeeper to score as though that was somehow significant. Jorge Campos, the Mexican keeper of the 1990s, often played up front to some degree of success, as did York City and Northern Ireland legend Alan Fettis, but Stuart Pearce's deployment of David James as an auxiliary striker was rather less successful. Peter Schmeichel was a serial beneficiary of going up for late corners and the phenomenon of the ball seeming to be attracted to the multi-coloured big unit who is up there to make a nuisance of himself. Paul Robinson managed two types - the massive hoof and ridiculous bounce combo and a header from a corner, but what a header. Near post, craned his neck to turn it in. Vincent Enyeama takes a mean penalty and with 100 yards to run back into position if you miss, you'd better make sure.
    Here though are our top five goalscoring custodians:

    5. Dimitar Ivankov
    A penalty merchant from Bulgaria, Ivankov bagged 25 in a ten-season spell with home-town Levski Sofia before moving to Turkey. With Kayserispor, he won a Turkish Cup medal in 2008 and the run through the competition included scoring two and saving eight penalties. A better 12-yard expert in world football is hard to find.

    4. Hans-Jorg Butt
    Butt makes a decent case for it though. He holds the record (at time of writing) for most penalties by anyone - not just goalkeepers - in any European professional league, a stat helped by his longevity as he's in his 18th season of professional football. He has more goals than any other keeper in the Champions League as well - a modest three - but he's more aware than anyone of what can happen to penalty-taking goalkeepers:

    3. Jose Luis Chilavert
    The flamboyant Paraguayan keeper holds a number of distinctions. More international goals than any other keeper is impressive enough - more international goals than Emile Heskey is perhaps significant too - and included four in Paraguay's run to qualifying for the 2002 World Cup but his hat-trick for Vélez Sarsfield is a mark that will take some beating. 57 goals in all competitions and a red card for punching Faustino Asprilla: quite a legacy.

    2. Rogério Ceni
    Sheer weight of numbers do it for Rogério, the only keeper to pass the 100 goals mark. A one-club man, he's spent the entirety of his 22-year (and counting) career with São Paulo where he's bagged 55 free-kicks and 46 penalties out of 103 (at time of writing) goals. He's made 17 appearances for Brazil, but sadly never managed to find the back of the net.

    1. Jimmy Glass
    Glass only scored one goal in his career, but what a significant one it was for a number of clubs. It was 1999, last day of the season in England's fourth division and Glass was playing for Carlisle at home to Plymouth. He'd only joined on an emergency loan a couple of weeks previously and this was his third and last game for the club. Carlisle were in a fight to stave off relegation to non-league football - the second relegation place being between them and Scarborough.
    Scarborough had drawn their game and with Carlisle losing, the Cumbrians were heading down. At Seamer Road, Scarborough fans were celebrating on the pitch, but the game at Brunton Park dragged on. Deep in stoppage time, long after the classified results had been read, Scott Dobie's shot wasn't held and Glass pounced, prodding it high into the net. Now the Carlisle fans celebrated and the mood changed at Scarborough. The result was significant to both sides. Scarborough were out of business a few seasons later while Carlisle are established in the third tier. It also cheered up York City fans who, earlier in the day, were relegated to the fourth division after a gubbing at Maine Road. For it's significance alone, Jimmy Glass is our top boy.

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