The last real taboo in analysing footballers has again thrown up the result that Joe Hart was outperformed by near all of his goalkeeping counterparts last season. The England number one has been irreplaceable in the national side since the South Africa World Cup of 2010, but domestically he has been struggling.
Although the Manchester City stopper’s form has been noticed by the entire footballing world, the statistics can show just to how great an extent he is struggling. The statistical analysis entailed evaluating the figures for saves per goal conceded, success rate of distribution to
outfield players, and successful aerial claim percentage. These figures could commonly be seen to define the three fields in which a goalkeeper must be judged, and so the validity of the results cannot be questioned.
Furthermore, it should be noted that it was not merely one of the categories in which Hart underperformed, it was all. As one would expect, the likes of Pepe Reina excelled in terms of distribution, while Manchester United’s David de Gea shone in terms of shots saved per goal, and yet Hart faltered on all counts.
Surely this must be seen as considerable evidence that the England first choice keeper has not justified the choice of Mancini to keep Shay Given out of the Manchester City side, and perhaps even the decision of Roy Hodgson to keep Foster and Butland on the bench.
Readers may also find it interesting to note that West Ham’s Jussi Jaaskelainen came out on top of this specific study, achieving above average scores in all categories consistently. Meanwhile, Hart was amongst the worst achievers, with the likes of the Norwich reserve goalkeepers Mark Bunn and Lee Camp.
With these shocking results being reaped from the statistical study of goalkeepers, perhaps it is now the time for Premier League coaches and owners to take a more objective view of performance, as far as transfer policy and team selection is concerned.
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