Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny among the worst in the Premier League, while Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois can claim to be the best

ANALYSIS: Tim Howard, Vito Mannone and Asmir Begovic statistically the worst stoppers in the Premier League this season

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The Independent Football

Tim Howard has been statistically the worst goalkeeper in the Premier League this season.

The Everton stopper has saved 30 of the 53 shots opposition players have had on target against the Toffees this season, 56.6 per cent, a rate worse than every goalkeeper in the division bar Asmir Begovic. Crucially, Howard has also made an error leading to a goal this season, one more than the usually reliable Bosnian.

Howard, who was anointed the secretary of defence for his heroics during the World Cup, has been uncharacteristically poor for Roberto Martinez’s team, who are struggling in 12 in the Premier League after almost reaching the Champions League last season.

In the whole of 2014, only Sunderland keeper Vito Mannone has made more individual errors than Howard – five to four – though three of those have come this season; however, Mannone’s shots to saves ratio is 11.5 per cent better than the American’s.  

Tim Howard has saved only 56.6% of the shots he's faced

Simon Mignolet and David De Gea will go head-to-head at Old Trafford this weekend, but while the Belgian has been roundly criticised this season and the Manchester United man has been praised, their stats are actually pretty similar. De Gea slightly shades Mignolet with a 69.6 per cent shots-to-saves ration, compared to Mignolet’s 69 per cent, while neither have made a direct error leading to a goal.

The pair have both played every minute of every Premier League game, 1,350, with Mignolet conceding two more in that time.

At the top of the pile, unsurprisingly, sit the two goalkeepers at the top of the table. Thibaut Courtois, who is missing this weekend because of a muscular injury, has conceded just 13 goals and saved 73.3 per cent of his shots, while Hart has conceded 12, saving 76.1 per cent of his shots, the highest mark in the division. Again, crucially, Courtois is yet to make a mistake while Hart has made one.

Vito Mannone has made three errors - more than any other keeper

Fortunately for Chelsea, Jose Mourinho can call on Petr Cech, who was named in the PFA Team of the Year last season, to replace the injured Courtois.

Fraser Forster has only conceded 12 goals, one for every 112.5 minutes he plays, but looking at the statistics that may be down to a solid defence playing in front of him. England’s No 2 has made a direct error leading to a goal and saved 69.2 per cent of the shots he’s faced, a mark that places him below seven other goalkeepers and level with a further two.

Arsenal are another side who may have a stoic defence to thank more than the performances of their goalkeeper. Wojciech Szczesny has conceded only 14 goals, the fourth best in the league, But saved only 65.7 per cent of the 38 shots he’s faced and made an error.

The figure is only better than Newcastle’s Tim Krul, Julian Speroni of Crystal Palace, Hull’s Alan McGregor and the aforementioned Begovic and Howard.

Lukasz Fabianski has saved 74.1% of the shots he's faced and has made no mistakes

Meanwhile, former Arsenal No 2 Lukasz Fabianski has excelled at Swansea City, making no errors and saving 74.1 per cent of the shots he's faced, behind only Joe Hart.

Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Rob Green has been by far the busiest goalkeeper in the division, saving 54 shots, more than anyone else in the Premier League.