Artur Boruc: The best goalkeeper in the Premier League?

by Barrie

Boruc SouthamptonGoalkeeper statistics collected by Opta Sports for the first half of the 2013-14 Premier League season heavily suggest that Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc is the best in the league right now.

The Saints shot stopper conceded just eight goals in his 13 Premier League appearances this season before injury his hand during their 3-1 loss at Chelsea at the start of December. Boruc is still on the recovery list and Southampton have been shipping goals since.

Southampton fans will be eagerly anticipating the return of Artur Boruc when you see the stats:

Save percentage

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Artur Boruc and Sunderland’s Vito Mannone (10 appearances) lead the league when it comes to shot stopping. The pair keep out on average, four of every five shots on target they face.

This is quite a difference from when Boruc inititally debuted in goal for Southampton last season and had conceded more goals than he had made saves in his first few games. The Polish goalkeeper had found his fitness and his form to start this season; conceding only three goals in his first nine games of the season.

Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczęsny is third on the list with a save percentage of 77%, followed by Everton’s Tim Howard with 75%. The league average is 69% of shots on target have been saved by goalkeepers in the first half of the 2013-14 Premier League season.

Minutes per goal conceded

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Being a part of the Southampton defence that made a very strong start to the season, both defensively and points picked up, Artur Boruc is far ahead of everybody when it comes to minutes per goals conceded on average.

The Southampton first choice shot stopper averages 142 minutes between conceding goals this season. Everton’s Tim Howard is second on the list with an average of 97 minutes between goals allowed – that’s 45 minutes more; the equivalent of one half of football.

At the bottom of the table is Boruc’s replacement, Paulo Gazziniga. In six appearances, the former Gillingham goalkeeper has shipped 10 goals; allowing one goal every 48 minutes. Only Sunderland’s Keiren Westwood (39 minutes), Fulham’s Maarten Stekelenburg (39 minutes) and Fulham’s David Stockdale (46 minutes) prop up Gazzaniga, amongst goalkeepers who have made at least three appearances this season.

Kelvin Davis made his first appearance of the season at the weekend, conceding twice in defeat to Everton.

Saves per goal conceded

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Artur Boruc hasn’t had it easy keeping clean sheets – the Polish goalkeeper has been tested on numerous occasions this season, making 32 saves from the 40 shots on target he has faced this season.

In keeping these out, Boruc is actually top of the table when it comes to saves made per goal conceded, averaging four saves for every five shots faced, ever so slightly more than Vito Mannone who averages 3.9 saves per goal allowed.

Wojciech Szczęsny and Tim Howard have stronger defences in front of them, statistically – but they fare well in this table with 3.3 and 3.0 saves between goals allowed respectively.

At the other end of the table, team mate Paulo Gazzaniga props it up with an average of 0.6 saves per goal conceded this season.

Set pieces

When it comes to set pieces, Artur Borcus has conceded just two from dead balls (excluding penalties). Both of these were from corners.  No one is yet to beat the Saint from a direct or indirect set piece as we head into 2014.

The full data can be seen here.

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