This Premier League season has been one of the best for goalkeepers, and it’s been capped by the news that Tim Krul and Michel Vorm have made the Netherlands squad for Euro 2012 – much deserved.
In addition, John Ruddy coming in and ending the season in the England squad, Petr Cech looking back to his best, Joe Hart completing his metamorphosis into one of the world’s best – even David De Gea looks a valuable addition to the league after his early wobble – highlights the strength of goalkeepers in the top flight.
There are others who have performed well but the two Dutchmen have been up there with the standout keepers, helping both of their sides to overachieve.
Vorm, for a relatively short keeper, has looked pretty infallible all year and now looks an absolute steal by Brendan Rodgers at £1.5m.
While Krul has been an absolute powerhouse for Newcastle and you can only feel sorry for Steve Harper as once again he is relegated from being number one for the club he loves.
And with their compatriot Maarten Stekelenburg, is there a better international goalkeeping set than in the Netherlands squad?
Spain with Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina and Víctor Valdés are the only ones who could push them close.
They are certainly a better bet than Robert Green and 19-year-old Jack Butland anyway.
Just when it looks like England might, for once, out-do their European rivals – in being the team least prepared for an assault on Euro 2012 – along come the Germans and steal our thunder.
England’s stuttering 1-0 win over Norway was down-heartening but completely understandable given the short time the squad and manager Roy Hodgson have been acquainted.
But the 5-3 scoreline in Germany’s loss to Switzerland really showed up the Three Lions in how not to prepare for a major championship.
It would be premature to write off Germany as title contenders – there’s too much talent in the squad and they were without their Bayern Munich stars in Basel.
But shipping five must be a worry for manager Joachim Löw and worse still was the inability of their front-line strikers in finding the net.
The starting pair of Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose drew a blank and behind them the creative talents of Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil were replaced just after half-time for not doing their job.
At the 2010 World Cup, the Germans couldn’t stop finding the back of the net, scoring four goals against both England and Argentina.
Bayern star Thomas Muller was to the fore then and his return looks more important than ever.
The Germans will turn their form around in June, they always do, but the manner of this defeat shows any injuries to the first XI will scupper their title hopes.
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