Monday, 16 September 2013

Do Arsenal Need a Better GK? Statistically Szczesny Performed Alright

The number one goalkeeper at Arsenal has been an issue ever since 2007, when whoever made fewer mistakes between Jens 857 minutes without conceding Lehmann and Manuel "If I didn't get injured I would still be starting for Arsenal" Almunia got to play.
Szczesny scored nicely!
Szczesny was under a lot of criticism last season after some poor performances. His rating on Fifa 14 is one less than it was on Fifa 13 (not a good thing for any player). He has played relatively well so far during this campaign.  I decided to cover last seasons statistics because there is information on 38 games, rather than the 4 of this season.

My original idea was to compare Szczesny and Lloris (who some believe we should have bought a year ago), but I decided to throw in the other three as well. Each team's defence will obviously affect their respective goalkeeper's statistics, and that's why I'll be comparing only the top 5 Premier League's teams' goalkeepers as the best teams should have similar quality in the backline. The information was gathered from and Most of the statistics will be presented in a percentage or per game because some players played fewer games than others. Wojciech Szczesny, David De Gea, Joe Hart, Petr Cech and Hugo Lloris will be compared.

First up is clean sheets:

6.67% ahead of our closest competitors in the league. Although not beating De Gea and Cech by much, Szczesny had the second highest percentage of clean sheets last season. One might argue that the clean sheets were due to Koscielny and Mertesacker playing well in the last 10 games; but as good as we were at the end of the season, we were also very shaky in the early stages. awards a player rating score based on overall performance per match, here are the goalkeeper's scores in descending order for the season: Cech (6.92), De Gea (6.87), Szczesny (6.82), Lloris (6.66), Hart (6.59). Szczesny finished in the middle of the pack, but a lot closer to second than 4th.

Next is penalty saves. An unfair statistic to judge keepers on because there are so few. Hart was top with 1 save from 2. Szczesny performed the second best: saving 1 from 3. No surprises that De Gea didn't have any penalties to save, Cech didn't save his one, nor did Lloris save either of his 2.

One of the most important statistics is how many shots a keeper faces compared to the number of goals he concedes. Szczesny's statistics aren't great here, but at least better than Lloris'.

Streaks ahead of Lloris, but not quite up to scratch with the other Champion's League competitors. For extra comparison: Mignolet's was 9.70, Reina was 8.65 and Begovic was 10.31.

I think Szczesny had a relatively good 2012/2013 season and I think if he doesn't make too many mistakes this season he could be on his way to being Arsenal's number 1 for a few years to come.

Do you think we should try to buy another keeper in January, stick with Szczesny, play Fabianksi or Viviano or try Gunnersaurus?


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