By Walter Broeckx
How can we pass the time in those boring weeks that Arsenal doesn’t play ?
Why don’t we try to compare the different players a bit and see how they have done in the last season. I will try to work my way through the various positions on the field and see how players have performed during last season. I suggest we will start with the goalkeepers.
I would have liked to do it with the 3 keepers that have played but for some unknown reason the detailed stats of Martinez are not at our disposal. Maybe a sign of him leaving the club this summer? Macey is in the list but not Martinez.
Anyway let me start with him and say that he got 5 starts and came on once. So in total playing in 6 matches and in those 6 matches he kept 2 clean sheets. Or if you like it more in percentages a clean sheet ratio of 33.33%. I would have loved to give you more but alas I didn’t find it so I will leave him out and concentrate on the 2 major goalkeepers of last season: Szczesny and Oooooospina.
|Wojciech Szczesny||Compared to||David Ospina|
|71.4||Mins per goal conceded||147.3|
|17.64 %||Clean sheets %||44.44%|
|2.7||Saves per 90 mins||2.6|
So when we look at the numbers from just the PL games we see that both keepers played almost the same number of games. So we have some nice material to compare both of them. The missing 3 matches were played by Martinez by the way.
Ospina played one more match than Szczesny did. But in minutes there is more than 90 minutes difference as Szczesny had to come off injured against United and Martinez took his place. When they played they started the match during this season.
But now the important stats: Goals conceded. And then we see that Ospina despite having played only 1 match more he conceded only 11 goals and Szczesny conceded 21 goals. If we compare both of them on a minute per minute basis we see that Szczesny almost always conceded a goal (one every 71,4 minutes) and that to beat Ospina it took more than 1 match most of the time.
But Szcesny had 3 clean sheets but Ospina had 8 clean sheets in the PL. If we show this in percentages we see that Szczesny had a 17,64% of a clean sheet in his matches and Ospina a rather impressive 44,44% of clean sheets!
If and this is of course a tricky way of doing it we could have had either keeper in goal for the full 38 matches this could (could I say) have resulted in Szczesny having 6 or 7 clean sheets and Ospina in 16 or 17 clean sheets over a whole season.
That number of Ospina looks amazingly good to me. Very impressive! But of course not written in stone.
In the time they played they had around the same numbers of saves. Just a difference of 2 saves and as the average was for both keepers saving 2-3 shots per match this is completely in line with Ospina having played one more match. But the shots saved ratio is again very much in favour of Ospina.
If I look at the statistics I must say that up to now Ospina has been better and even dare I say much better than Szczesny last season.
And if we continue with the number of catches both made we see that again Ospina has made more catches than Szczesny. And when it comes to punches we see again that Ospina has made more punches than Szczesny. So it looks that even on crosses Ospina has been a more influential player than Szczesny.
One other good thing is that neither keeper has conceded a penalty in the PL. Always good this as it means that they usually kept a cool head when needed.
So could we come to the final conclusion that Ospina despite being smaller than Szczesny has done much better on all statistical facts that usually are used to define keepers? I would say : yes.
Does this mean that Szczesny has been rubbish last season? I say: NO!
Because we have to keep in mind that when Szczesny played in the early parts of the season till the first of January we were suffering a lot of injuries. Also defensive injuries with the likes of Koscielny being not always available. So we have to keep in mind that it might have been different if Szczesny would have had a more stable set of defenders in front of him.
We might have ended up with the reversal numbers if Ospina had played in the opening months of the season. Because I do remember that in most games Szczesny played rather well and even picked up a few points for us in some matches at times.
So the stats of Ospina look much better and even impressive. But surely this will not lead me to saying that Szczesny is rubbish. Having a complete back 4 in front of you can be of the highest importance for a keeper to perform. Ospina had that, Szczesny not.
My personal impression is that Ospina really is a good keeper despite some doubting his height. He is 13 cm shorter than Szczesny but he sure has other qualities like being a bit more calm and relaxed in some situations. His height might cost him when it comes to crosses but he usually (apart from the last goal we conceded) knows when to come and when to stay on his line with crosses. Look at his stats of catches and punches.
Both are also rather young with Ospina being 27 and Szczesny 25. So both still have around 10 years in front of them and maybe even more. So I am looking forward to next season with a fierce battle between the two of them. My prediction is that Szczesny will start the season (because of Ospina playing in that bloody stupid tournament in South America) and then he will know that he has to be on his toes to keep his place.
Unless some other keeper comes in of course…..then the battle might be completely different again.