Chelsea Squad Assessment – Goalkeeper

Posted: July 25, 2011 by derekorourke in Chelsea, English Premier League, Goalkeeper, Transfers, Youth

Over the next week I will be assessing each position on the pitch, aiming to give us some perspective as to how our squad looks and what we really need to add or get rid off.

Naturally, we start with the goalkeeper.

Chelsea have traditionally been very strong in this position throughout the years with such greats as Peter Bonetti, Eddie Niedzwiecki, Carlo Cudicini and now Petr Cech. Chelsea currently have six goalkeepers on their books who can be seen as either first team squad members or potential first team squad members; all of which I will review here.

Petr Cech:

Starting with the main man, Petr is one of the leading goalkeepers in world football. Signed in 2004 for £7m he has gone on to break just about every Chelsea and Premier League record since. After a near faultless first few years, Petr suffered a career and indeed life threatening skull injury in 2006 which has been well documented. His form suffered after this injury but he has gradually regained his best form and is once again amongst the world’s elite keepers. He was Chelsea’s player of the year last season after putting in a number of top class performances. He is a big presence in goal, a strong voice, a leader and most of all a technically gifted goalkeeper. There aren’t many better, if any at all. Truly world class, and at 29 years of age, has at least another 6/7 years at the top.

Rating: 9/10

Henrique Hilario:

Ok, he may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I beg to differ. Hilario hasn’t really done much wrong when trusted to mind the Blues’ net. Besides one memorable blooper against Man City a couple of years back, he has been safe enough. He kept a clean sheet at the Nou Camp and to my recollection has had a number of good games in the Chelsea colours. His pre-season has started excellently with a penalty save against Portsmouth and three stunning saves against Thailand All-Stars. Certainly not a world beater but I am happy enough with him as Petr’s back up.

Rating: 6.5/10

Ross Turnbull

Here’s where it gets depressing. The lad is just not up to it. He looks like a scared rabbit being hunted by a pack of ravenous foxes when he puts the gloves on. I have seen him on numerous occasions for both the first team and the reserves and not once has he gone through a game without making a complete mess of something. He doesn’t exactly fill the defence with confidence either, forcing them to drop deeper which alters the entire team’s approach. Not good enough even to be our third choice, sell!

Rating: 3/10

Matej Delac:

The young Croatian has a bright future ahead of him. At 20 years old, there are very high hopes for him in his homeland. He has the ability but it’s a bit early to say how he’ll develop. The recent signing of Courtois may suggest the Chelsea coaching staff don’t share my optimism but only time will tell. He has a disastrous loan at Vitesse last season, warming the bench all year long and not making a single appearance. He will never have a better mentor than Cech and let’s hope he pushes on over the next few years.

Rating 5/10

Jamal Blackman:

Jamal is a very tall and athletic keeper who has just completed his first year with the academy. The 6foot5 stopper is currently on tour in Asia with the first team and even played for almost twenty minutes against the Thailand All Stars. He impressed me last season when promoted to the reserves but is still a long way off a first team spot. Might not be a Chelsea future star but certainly will make a career for himself in the game.

Rating: 3.5/10

Thibaut Courtois:

Chelsea’s newest signing is fresh off the back of winning the Belgian league and the Belgian player of the year. He is a very tall and hugely agile keeper who is touted to be an absolute star in a couple of years. He will spend next season on loan in La Liga with Atletico Madrid, a huge step up for him. It will be interesting to see how he fares. Certainly one for the future and will have Petr cech looking over his shoulder within two or three years. If reports and ‘experts’ are to be believed, we have a gem on our hands. Belgian Football expert John Chapman (@BelgoFoot) even went so far as to say that he is the signing of the century so far. Lets hope he’s not far off the mark.

Rating: 7/10

All in all we are in good shape in the position. Along with having one of the world’s best goalkeepers, we have depth and we have a bright future. All ratings I have given are indicative of their current ability and may increase over time.

Overall Rating of Goalkeeper Position: 7.5/10


Keep an eye out for the upcoming Chelsea Squad Assessment Defender edition.

Agree/disagree? Leave a comment and vote in the poll below.


Article by Derek O’Rourke

Follow me on Twitter @fattyfoulke

  1. I think the values are ok and if these guys are nurtured well,we have problem at the keeper position but a health compitition for number 1

  2. Venkat M S S (Chelseamail_MSS) says:

    Its tough now! We need overseas quota to buy new players! If we sell Hilario, we will get one slot but who will be the back up for Cech? Turnbull? No thanks 🙂 Courtious? He’s being loaned out! So leaves us with Delac and Blackman! You wouldn’t take that risk! Its a catch 22 situation!

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