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Nationwide Footie Facts Top 11 'keepers
Goalkeeper Club Saves Inside Box Outside Box Saves to shots ratio
Roy Carroll Wigan Athletic 66 40 26 85.71%
Darren Ward Notts County 116 67 49 80.56%
Billy Mercer Bristol City 57 30 27 79.17%
Paul Crichton Burnley 90 42 48 78.95%
Teuvo Moilenen Preston 67 36 31 77.91%
Tony Warner Millwall 95 54 41 76.00%
Gary Kelly Oldham 104 74 30 75.91%
Jon Hallworth Cardiff 102 56 46 73.38%
Martin Taylor Wycombe 84 52 32 73.04%
Gavin Ward Stoke City 83 51 32 72.81%
Patrick Kenny Bury 92 42 50 71.88%

Martin Taylor - picture with kind permission of Paul Dennis

OPTA stats OPTA Index for January NEW 


Since signing for Wycombe from Derby County in the summer of 1997, Martin Taylor has consistently shown himself to be a superb goalkeeper. Wycombe fans can be thankful for Taylor's ability, especially as the Chairboys have narrowly avoided relegation for the last two seasons, survival aided by the man between the sticks.

In his first full season at Adams Park he kept 17 clean sheets. Last season saw 12 shut-outs, while he has left the pitch a happy man on five occasions in 1999/2000. Opposing managers have often been left bemused as their side have fired shot after shot at the blond custodian, only to see him push every one away.

Taylor's contract expires at the end of the season, and while he is rumoured to be the highest paid player at the football club, the latest stats published by Opta Index reveal that he seems worth every penny.

Currently he is the eighth best glovesman in Division Two, having saved 73.04 per cent of the shots that have been fired at him. He is just ahead of Gavin Ward of Stoke City and Patrick Kenny at Bury, although behind such names as Darren Ward and Billy Mercer. 

The latter 'keeper almost signed for the Blues when Alan Smith was trying to replace Paul Hyde, and it seems that he would have been a good purchase. Bristol City's defence has tightened considerably since his move there from Chesterfield.

Mention must go to Roy Carroll at Wigan who has stopped an incredible 85.71 per cent of the shots fired at him. The average rate in the Premiership last season was 76 per cent. The former Hull shotstopper is almost 10 per cent better, a clear sign as to why Liverpool are rumoured to be interested in buying him.

Taylor has his critics at Wycombe but time and time again he has been there when it has mattered. The Wanderers defence looks far more confident when he is behind them. But the question remains: will he be there next season.

Duncan Alexander
11 Feb 2000

Statistics courtesy of Carling Opta

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