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Goalkeeper of the month: The nominees

Scientific research says “a goal-mouth blunder from a forward remains in an average fan’s memory for as long as he scores the next time, while a mistake from a goalkeeper lives in the memory for eternity”. Then again, football is no science.

They say Goalkeepers are a different breed. They also said “Strikers win you matches, defenders win you championships”. Where is the love for the goalies man? Don’t worry, we have got them covered. They are analogous to a drummer in a band,  the backbone on whom the whole team relies, thus allowing others to play with a sense of freedom. But they are the last people to catch any fanfare.

The men between the sticks are a vital cog in the large wheel of an organised team. Below, Sportskeeda picks out the most inspiring men between the goals from the first rounds of European competitions as well as in their domestic leagues in the month of October. These keepers came up trumps and answered the team’s call whenever they were needed, better than any other last month.

Vote for your Striker of the monthMidfielder of the month and Defender of the Month. Polls close on 4th Nov 2012

JOE HART (Manchester City) 

The best English keeper since the days of David Seaman certainly did overwhelm us with his performances last month. One of the biggest “duds of the season” after the completion of the first footballing season was the appalling state of the City defense which looked so assuring last season.

The month of October saw Hart back to his glorious form of last season with one of the most impressive displays put on by a goalkeeper in the last decade that I’ve witnessed, against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. The young keeper continues to impress with his athleticism and reflex saves, making him one of the best bets on one-on one situations. An average of 4 saves per game and two solid clean sheets against Swansea and Sunderland sees the Citizens back to third place in the Premier League while not much of City’s struggle in Europe can be attached to the English No. 1.

ADRIÁN (Real Betis)

Betis’ rise into the European places has coincided with the introduction of a certain Adrián San Miguel del Castillo in their goal. Adrián started the season as the third-choice goalkeeper in the Betis squad, destined to be a backup to skipper Casto and Fabricio, or so it seemed. The boyhood Betis fan has certainly paid his dues, playing in the Betis B for a dozen years and suffering a disastrous ACL tear last season.

His opportunity finally came this season against Malaga where he went in to replace the red-carded Casto. The coach showed confidence in him, starting him for the next match against Sociedad and the rest is, as they say, history. The team from Seville didn’t concede a single goal in the month of October whilst Adrián put on one formidable performance after another.

STATS: 3 Starts, 3 Clean sheets.

RENÉ ADDLER (Hamburger SV)

Pundits have been calling for Adler’s return to the German fold for some time now and with the form he has shown this season, it won’t be long till that happens.

The only reason this man is not starting in the German line-up is because of a certain Manuel Neuer. Adler bosses one of the most stingiest defenses outside the top 2. With each passing week, he is knocking on the door to be the German No.1. He might not be able to speak out about his wishes, so he is just letting his gloves do the talking.  Adler is certainly in the form of his life, saving 79 per cent of shots in his direction and 2 clean sheets in 3 games in the month of October.

WILFREDO CABALLERO (Malaga)

The sheikhs at Malaga may have outspent the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid in recent years but one of their most instrumental signings was that of the now 31-year-old keeper Willy Caballero for a meager fee of €900,000 from Elche last season. The Argentine’s presence in the Malaga team is worth its value in gold and is the bedrock upon which the stubborn Malaga defense is based.

Earlier in the season, the Argentine broke the club record by going 480 minutes without conceding a goal. His efforts never subsided in October as he went on to record vital clean sheets against Anderlecht and Milan in the Champions League as Malaga remain in pole position in their group. Caballero ends up with an average of 3 saves/match along with 3 clean sheets in 5 games for his efforts and a mention as a nominee for Goalkeeper of the month.

ASMIR BEGOVI? (Stoke City)

Two clean sheets in three games in the Premier League is no mean feat for any goalkeeper and that’s exactly what Begovi? was able to bag in the month of October. The Bosnian however had two very different outings in the shutouts of Liverpool and Sunderland. Sunderland failing to produce any attempts on goal meant Begovi? was a mere spectator, while against Liverpool he had to pull his socks up and produce a MAN OF THE MATCH performance.

3 clean sheets in the last 4 games and 2 of them this month should have meant Stoke rising into the upper echelons of the Premier League, but lack of fire power on their end means the Potters have to remain satisfied with 13th spot in the table. But Begovi? certainly makes the cut in our standings.

JEAN-FRANÇOIS GILLET (Torino)

While the other club from Turin have been nothing but mediocre, the 33-year-old Belgian stopper has been brilliant. A solitary clean sheet does not do his performances on the field any justice as he tries to guide the club to a respectable position in the table.

Amongst the many fine performances his best came against Palermo as he was largely responsible for Torino coming away from the Renzo Barbera with a solitary point. Always careful and safe as a house, his often-at-fault defenders leave much for him to do on most of the goals.

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