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Gerken Vs Bialkowski
Written by GeorgeITFC24 on Monday, 25th May 2015 09:08

Looking back on the season our two goalkeepers shared the starting spot this campaign. Dean Gerken spent almost every match of the 2013/14 in the Town goal as the undisputed number one.

However, at the start of the season Bartosz Bialkowski was brought in to provide stiff competition for Gerken's spot.

But which keeper, assuming they are both here next season, should rightfully be starting in the Town goal in 2015/16? A few statistics are probably best to kick this off.

[b]Dean Gerken[/b]

League Appearances 16

Clean sheets 3

Goals conceded per match 1.19

Saves per match 3.04

Total Saves 46

[b]Bartosz Bialkowski[/b]

League Appearances 33

Clean Sheets 9

Goals conceded per match 1.22

Saves per match 2.25

Total Saves 74

These stats are very interesting. A lot of people believe Gerken isn't as good as Bialkowski but the stats show Gerken to have been the better keeper this season.

His saves per match total is near to almost one more than Bart and his saves total would have inevitably overtaken Bart's if he had played more games.

However, if you to do the quick mathematic calculation you can work out that Gerken had recorded one clean sheet every 5.3 games and Bart one clean sheet every 3.6 games, so at least one of these stats backs up the Pole.

[b]Gerken 1-0 Bart[/b]

Now when it comes down to commanding their box Gerken wins it for me. I don't get up to Portman Road a great deal, probably around five times a season, and whenever I'm there he is always shouting at his defenders.

This is in complete contrast to Bart who I have never heard organising players in and around the 18-yard box. It's great to hear a passionate goalkeeper shouting at the outfield players to do what is needed of them. Which is why Gerken again gets the vote ahead of Bart.

[b]Gerken 2-0 Bart[/b]

Mistakes will always be made by any player on the pitch and unfortunately goalkeeping errors tend to be the most costly. Bart mistakes happen, but not too often. He was dropped after a clanger in a 2-1 loss to Leeds but no other biggies come to mind.

Gerken on the other hand is often on the end of errors. He cost the team in the final minute in the 2-2 draw against top-of-the-league Forest and again in stoppage time in the 1-1 Blackburn match as he failed to cover much of his goal from a freekick.

A successful team needs a top keeper who rarely makes mistakes so a point is gained by Bart in this one.

[b]Gerken 2-1 Bart[/b]

Fans obviously enjoy seeing a keeper making a save, but it's even better when they hold onto the ball. Over the season in 16 matches Gerken managed 10 and in 33 Bart made a rather bad 9.

Saves have been pushed away by Bart all season and have sometimes been cleared by the defenders or punched out for a corner kick.

In every 4.6 saves made by Gerken he catches one and Bart catches one every 8.2 saves. Bart's record being almost twice as bad as Gerken's.

[b]Gerken 3-1 Bart[/b]

Confidence is key to a player being successful and that is what Bart lacks. Over the last few months he seems very nervous whenever he has to make a save. He started well in goal this season and made some good stops but recently things have gone a bit down hill for him.

For me Gerken has never seemed to lack confidence. When he makes a big mistake he rarely lets it bother him (but still goes on and makes more). Neither does he look nervous when a shot is coming towards him. This is based on my opinion, but another point has to go to Gerken.

[b]Gerken 4-1 Bart[/b]

Catches are a crucial part of being a goalkeeper. Not so much from catching the ball after a diving save, but just if the ball is coming towards you in the air they need to hang on to it.

Gerken regularly spills catches and this has cost the team. Mostly they bobble out his hands but he manages to recover, but sometimes he doesn't.

The 2-2 Nottingham game for instance when he came for the ball. The corner came in and he completely messed up his catch allowing Michail Antonio to score.

Bart's handling is very good and I'd put my money on him catching a ball over Gerken any day. He's very good with routine catches and is a reliable player in those sorts of situations.

[b]Final Score: Gerken 4-2 Bart[/b]

After those six points I'd like to see Gerken starting next season. On the other hand neither keeper in my opinion is top Championship quality so a new one would be ideal. A few possibilities could be:

Andy Lonergan (free agent) - Had his contact expire at Bolton and is a very good player at this level. He's also available on a free transfer which suits Mick. I'd have him any day.

Ben Amos (Man Utd) - Fourth choice behind De Gea, Valdes and Lindegaard. A player who would be a available cheaply and maybe even on a free. He had a loan spell in the Championship and was very impressive, sign him up!

Wes Foderingham (Swindon) - After Swindon lost heavily in the League One play-off final he would probably want a move up to the Championship. He isn't short of clubs who would have him so this one would mean to act fast.

So, that's what I think about the goalkeepers here. It would be great to see what you all think as well. Would you have Gerken or Bart in goal next season? Would you prefer a new keeper? Put in the comments what you think!

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

Mullet added 09:53 - May 25
Gerken makes more saves, because his positioning isn't as good and he makes simple mistakes when it comes to claiming the ball. He also played in August during our dismal run, factors like that affect something like saves per game massively.

Your assertion based on stats doesn't wash with me, given what's pretty obvious to see.

unbelievablue added 10:27 - May 25
"Now when it comes down to commanding their box Gerken wins it for me. I don't get up to Portman Road a great deal, probably around five times a season, and whenever I'm there he is always shouting at his defenders."

I'm sorry, but that is rubbish.

yorksblue added 10:43 - May 25
I've got my own stats -
Both can't get through a game without making cock ups.
Both can't communicate.
Both can't distribute.
Lose both
Do some decent scouting

DurhamTownFan added 11:33 - May 25
Like 'unbelievable', I can't believe you write that Gerken controls his box. did you watch our dismal defeat vs Norwich? A good keeper is happy to clean out defenders and attackers to catch the ball (and I write that as a CB in Sunday league-I'll take one if the keeper catches it)

I also think we might need a slightly better keeper if we are to go up. We certainly would have signed one if we had gone up this year, but it is time to have a look round this summer and lose Gerken. I don't think it is as important as other areas of the pitch, but there's clearly little to give you 100% confidence in either.

reusersfreekicks added 12:38 - May 25
Bart is better - this blog reads as pretty biased

prebsa added 13:07 - May 25
I personally think we need a better goalkeeper if we are going to get into the prem but if we don't get one then Bart is definitely the number one. I'm sorry but Gerken commanding his box?!?! That's just rubbish he does nothing of the sort and this is one-off the main reasons why he didn't get back in the team once he was fit. Gerken also makes more saves because he is so stuck to his line that he never gives himself the opportunity to come and collect an easy ball which Bart does.

Cakeman added 14:08 - May 25
Bart has the edge in every department for me.
I don't think we need to shop around for replacements. I am happy with both of them.

carsey added 15:43 - May 25
It's interesting to read how others see things. I've been to every home game and a few away and I don't personally think either of them are going to get us promoted. Both are too error prone and have a big mistake in them every game.
I believe during our best run in the first half of the season they were protected by the back 4 being on their best form.
Definitely need a top draw keeper next season and either Batt or Gerkin to be the backup

BossMan added 18:28 - May 25
Completely agree with Carsey. Mick's biggest tactical error of the season was sticking by Gerks too long. Bart is the better option but he isn't good enough to be no 1 pick in a promotion chasing side. I am at a loss to understand Mick's thinking in settling for these 2 in the first place but I assume they both get paid relatively low wages and hence allowing more money for other areas of the team. Either way it's our weakest area of the team and our chances of success go up a notch if we can bring in a keeper of better quality but don't hold your breath.

christiand added 20:30 - May 25
Bart for me. He reads the game better than gerken too. He comes off his line and collects those teasing through balls and deals more convincingly with crosses. I often question when people say he can't distribute, he kicks reasonably well with both feet! If you mean throwing it out, is that because he doesn't because not many make themselves available or that MM prefers him to target varney or murphy with long balls?

Pilgrimblue added 21:05 - May 25
There's not much between them but both are average. Good keeper is essential so hope MM will land one asap. Southend keeper is one for future

Gazelle added 08:16 - May 26
Neither is particularly brilliant. The great Brian Clough once said "When you're building a top side you start with the goalkeeper" And that''s why he signed Peter Shilton.

My_Left_Foot added 09:47 - May 26
You only went to Portman Rd five times this season - that says it all. Not the best basis for reviewing keepers - neither are basing it on stats.

Neither are great though, certainly not the strongest position in the team.


Ipswich24 added 10:09 - May 26
Walker at Colchester may be worth a punt

essextractorboy93 added 11:34 - May 26
Bialkowski is the better all round keeper. There isn't too much between them I agree but for me Bart edges it. Not many teams at this level have a back up keeper with the experience Gerken has at this level though. Its good we have finally got stability in goal and not relying on loan deals like Henderson. Stability in goal and the back 4 is so important

Nthsuffolkblue added 19:39 - May 26
From what I have seen, the defenders have more confidence with Bart behind them. Stats on their own will be distorted as Mullet pointed out. A nervous, hesitant defence will give a keeper more shots to stop.

Garv added 20:45 - May 26
Don't like using stats to compare two keepers. Do we know how well we defended in each of those games?

StowTractorBoy added 20:34 - May 27
In my opinion neither of them are good enough to help get us where we want to be. They both have their weaknesses but Gerken edges it for me but only just. I cringe every time a shot comes towards Bart probably because the first game I saw him in against Swansea under 21s he let a simple shot go under him. A new goalkeeper please MM but only if he is better than we already have.

rickw added 11:08 - Jun 1
I quite rate Bart - he did have a terrible 6 week spell around February, but after getting dropped and coming back in I thought he was back to his best.

Gerken is a very good backup for this level, but nowhere near as commanding as Bart. If we can get a better keeper than Bart then great, if not then I'm not overly worried.

ESSEX added 12:39 - Jun 2
Wes Fodringham been released by swindon, deffo worth a go on him, would walk into most championship sides. and Sam Walker is a town fan, might want to make the step up from league one to championship just like freddie did
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