Top Ten (Statistically Speaking) Goalkeepers
10) David De Gea (Man Utd)
Performance Score: 99
David De Gea has only played three PL games so far this season, starting with the disappointing 1-0 loss to Everton on the opening day. Despite that rather low-key start to his league campaign, De Gea is averaging four saves every match (much higher than average for top four clubs), suggesting the United backline may be struggling without their regular rearguard line-up.
With Sir Alex Ferguson adopting a rotating goalkeeper policy, it would appear that every game is vital for both De Gea and club rival Anders Linderaard to prove themselves. Our data would suggest that De Gea comes out on top - so far at least.
9) Simon Mignolet (Sunderland)
Performance Score: 102
Simon Mignolet has been a busy boy this season. With 21 saves already chalked up, Mignolet is a dream for any of the 'upper mid-table' clubs looking for a solid if unspectacular stopper. His distribution does leave something to be desired but we doubt that will be bothering Martin O'Neill too much right now...
8) Joe Hart (Manchester City)
Performance Score: 107
It's in European competition that Hart has been at his best so far this season but in the league, England's Number One has had a mixed start to the campaign with only one clean sheet. In fact, Hart has only made seven saves all season in the league and three of those were against Sunderland.
What does keep him in the top ten however is his fantastic 71% pass completion rate, which is crucial to Roberto Mancini's style of play. Joe Hart is much more than a keeper and historic data would suggest that as the season levels itself out, he will appear higher up this list.
7) Jussi Jääskeläinen (West Ham)
Performance Score: 119
It feels like Jussi has been around forever but it certainly seems to be a truism that goalkeepers peak later in life.
Despite looking like the baby from Ghostbusters II, Jaaskelainen comes out on top this season when we look at saves (granted he has plenty of work to complete behind a leaky West Ham defence but to achieve TWENTY SEVEN saves in seven games is simply mind boggling...)
Jaaskelainen would be much higher on this list but for much lower-than-average pass completion rate. However, we do feel he could still make a great contribution at a club with a more cultured back-line (January transfer target for Liverpool perhaps...?).
6) Ali Al-Habsi (Wigan)
Performance Score: 127
Last season was seminal for Al-Habsi as he cemented his place as one of the most underrated goalkeepers in the Premier League and helped Wigan achieve their annual escapology trick.
Even though his defence are leaking quicker than the Titanic, Al-Habsi's performances have done him great credit. With 16 saves and five completed punches, Al-Habsi also has the highest pass completion rate of any keeper on this list with 73%. He is also a paid-up member of the 'no-drop club', having never failed to claim a cross so far this season.
5) Mark Schwarzer (Fulham)
Performance Score: 128
Mark 'Stalwart' Schwarzer has been there, bought the t-shirt, the cap and the limited edition denim jacket. However, even he may be surprised by the start he has made this season for Fulham.
His team may have conceded 11 goals but with an incredible TWENTY saves so far and great passing stats, Mark Schwarzer has frustrated, amongst others, both Manchester teams for long periods this season.
4) Vito Mannone (Arsenal)
Performance Score: 134
The Arsenal goalkeeping saga continues but this young Italian is making a serious case for his permanent inclusion.
Mannone has one man of the match award under his belt and with exceptional accuracy of distribution, he looks good value to keep his place. He would be higher in the list but for a defensive error which led directly to a goal.
Only Arsene will know if David Seaman's heir has finally revealed himself but it's looking good so far this season and with an aging Gianluigi Buffon looking stoically towards the sunset at international level, it may be that the future is bright for this 24-year-old.
3) Petr Cech (Chelsea)
Performance Score: 161
Petr Cech had a varied few seasons after his now-infamous head injury but in recent times he has been back to his brilliant best. Having conceded just four goals in seven games but made ten saves, Cech can be relied on to be one of the driving forces in Chelsea's drive for the title.
On a reflective note, Cech's ranking would be even higher were it not for goals conceded against Norwich, Wigan, Reading and Arsenal. We would also expect Cech's pass completion rate (58%) to be higher considering he has quite a short distribution range Vs the rest of the top ten goalkeepers.
2) Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
Performance Score: 175
Surprise number #1.
Despite only playing five games, Brad Guzan has performed extremely well when called upon. Guzan has not only made 12 saves but also has above average pass completion and length of pass stats.
Villa don't have a great defence by any standards but Guzan has helped keep out a few cricket scores (notably in the losses to Southampton and Spurs which threatened to get out of hand). With Shay Given and Andy Marshall also at the club it would appear that, at least in goal, Villa are in good shape.
1) Asmir Begovic (Stoke City)
Performance Score: 253
Surprise number #2.
Asmir Begovic has had a storming season so far. While Stoke may not have the most popular playing style, Begovic has provided a steady rock to fuel a solid start for Tony Pulis men, further evidence of which was observed at Anfield at the weekend while keeping out Suarez, Gerrard and company.
Bosnian international Begovic has won one man of the match award and on three occasions has been the highest-rated player for Stoke. His pass completion isn't that high, which makes his achievement even more remarkable (although playing out from the back isn't exactly Stoke's game). Begovic is also yet to drop or fumble a cross coming into his box.