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Hladky: top of the table 13:43 - Sep 20 with 484 viewsVegtablue

This is a celebration post, rather than a #1 argument. My confidence in Hladky is through the roof presently but I acknowledge the sample size remains small. In fact, I've been so blown away that I wanted to delve into the data. Fbref is a great website for this and below are a few stats, including comparisons, to give the fan club confidence they can trust their eyes.

Quick word on expected goals first: I don't believe it is perfect, but recruitment and management do utilize this data at the highest level. It identifies outliers who are either a) luckier than their peers, or b) outperforming their peers (and of course those who are underperforming or less lucky); players and teams that are worth reviewing with your own eyes. Now, stats.

1) Post-shot expected goals = the number of goals a goalkeeper is expected to have conceded, based on how likely the goalkeeper was to save the shot. Ipswich's = 10.5, while we have in fact conceded 7. We are +3.5 so far in post-shot expected goals against, which translates to half a goal every game being saved above expectation. The next closest to us so far are Huddersfield: +2.3. 12th = -0.2 Bristol City, 24th = -4.3 Southampton. This stat speaks for itself and he's at the top.

2) OPA = defensive actions outside the penalty area by the goalkeeper. Simply put, how many occasions the goalkeeper has swept up situations outside his own box. Ipswich's = 24. The next closest to us are Blackburn, who are on 21. 12th = 9 Plymouth, 24th = 2 Sunderland. Unlike in expected goals where Hladky is comfortably in front, per 90 minutes Ipswich are 2nd in this area (behind Blackburn who have played a game less). This stat requires a little nuance: evidently Sunderland do not use a 'sweeper keeper' and tactics will inform the positions of some teams. What we can say is, of the teams who ask this of their goalkeepers, Hladky is currently performing at or near the top. There isn't available data on goalkeeper mistakes from these situations but I cannot remember Hladky making one (despite his high number of involvements).

3) Launched Cmp = successful passes by the goalkeeper that were over 40 yards in distance. Ipswich are 14th for number of launched balls by the goalkeeper so far, having kicked 'long' 80 times. Ipswich's completion rate (success rate) is 36.3%, 4th best in the division. 1st = 43.5% Sheffield Wednesday, 12th = 29.0% Coventry, 24th = 17.8% Plymouth. Again, a little nuance needed. The tactical choice to kick long all the time should negatively affect a goalkeepers' stats, after all, as will some goalkeepers feel that a higher number of their 'launched passes' should more accurately be described as desperate clearances. We are 15th for goalkeeper average pass distance, in addition to being 14th for quantity of launched balls: I do not believe McKenna's tactics or opposition pressure give Hladky a substantial advantage or disadvantage compared to average here. He's performing near the top with his feet as well. Data is not available for short or medium pass completion rate.


4) Cross Stp% = the percentage of crosses into the penalty area which were successfully stopped by the goalkeeper. 1st = 10.0% Rotherham, 11th = 6.9% Ipswich, 24th = 3.1% Leicester. A lot of caveats to consider here, from tactics to performance of other players. There is no available data on goalkeeper mistakes from attempting to stop crosses. I've included this for completeness, really, but will say it supports what I've seen: Hladky hasn't played superman or hidden from swung-in balls.

Well done that man! In case anyone is interested, available goalkeeper stats for League One are much less detailed.
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