I thought it was about time to check in on the goalkeeper save percentages, which I calculate because I rarely see it mentioned when the performance of Premier League shot stoppers is being discussed.
To keep it to a reasonable length, the following chart only shows goalkeepers who have played at least 180 minutes. However, that is low enough to include Vito Mannone (270 minutes), who now appears to be favoured over Costel Pantilimon in the Sunderland goal. I removed penalties from the calculation of save percentages because spot kicks have a far higher conversion rate than shots on target from open play.
The chart helps shows why Petr Cech and Jack Butland, both ever present this season, are key pillars in the Arsenal and Stoke City defences respectively. Arsenal sit eighth in the league for shots on target conceded but they sit second for clean sheets and Cech’s 79 per cent save rate must take some of the credit. Even more impressively, with Butland’s 80 per cent save rate, Stoke sit joint third for clean sheets despite being the fourth worst team at conceding shots on target.
Alex Neil’s decision to make Declan Rudd his starting goalkeeper a month ago appears to be paying dividends. With his league-leading 81 per cent save rate, the Norwich City goalie has kept two clean sheets in his six starts, compared to John Ruddy’s one clean sheet in 14 matches. Priced at just 3.9m, Rudd could be a good budget Fantasy Premier League option if he can keep this up.
From the save percentages, it looks like there could be room for improvement in the goalkeeping department at Bournemouth, Southampton, Aston Villa and Liverpool.
With only three games under his belt this season – including one against Manchester City – I think the sample size is too small to pass judgement on Mannone’s performance so far.