Here we like to give everyone credit. Goalkeepers do not usually get the plaudits they deserve but today, we seem to be going down the route of the stopper appreciation day.
The Golden Glove award was handed out with the conclusion of the season but with some confusion of how it actually works. Surely it just goes to the man between the sticks who kept the most clean sheets? This isn’t the case, with it actually going to the person who has the best minutes per goal average across the whole season. So, the more minutes you play, the better chance you have of winning the award.
Anyway, down to business. It was Jamshedpur’s Subrata Paul who won the award this year, with a great average of conceding only every 102.47 minutes. The Indian stopper was a pivotal part of the side and his average is quite far ahead of second-placed Gurpreet Singh Sandhu of Bengaluru.
The Perfect Last Line of Defence
Looking deeper into Paul’s stats this season and it was an impressive stint to say the least. Of keepers who played over 10 games in the league, he had the fewest goals conceded, joint with Paul Rachubka, both only conceding 15. However, Subrata did play six more games than the Blasters keeper.
Although it was a disappointing season for Jamshedpur, who eventually finished fifth, missing out on a top-four spot by four points, they had a mean defensive record. Only conceding 18 goals throughout the campaign gave them the second best record in the whole league, with only eventual runners-up Bengaluru having a better record defensively.
Looking up at the Contenders
As mentioned, the award is won on the goals conceded and minute average. There are many ways that the award could be won though. If we look at saves made alone, Subrata would only come in at fifth on the list. Amrinder Singh tops that list with 55 saves made throughout the season. That’s 11 more than Paul, many would argue that is because Singh has a leakier defence in front of him at Mumbai but if we take a look at second to fourth in the saves made column, they come from teams who occupied the play-offs.
Karanjit Singh of Chennaiyin, Gurpreet Sandhu of Bengaluru and Vishal Kaith of Pune all made more saves in their seasons but don’t get any mention because their averages ended up being lower.
Subrata Brings Home Gold
Although the award could be clearer, the winner was Subrata Paul. The standard of keeping has certainly risen this season and the proof is in the numbers. Paul may not have made the most saves but he did keep the same amount of clean sheets as the stoppers above him.
It may need to be simplified, a bit like the Golden Boot, but no one can dispute that Subrata Paul will always be challenging for this award until the day he retires.