Age Curve: Premier League Goalkeepers

Last week I wrote about the Top 100 Goalscorers In Premier League History. It was a fun exercise and, crucially, it didn’t swallow my time or destroy my life like the sourcing/analyzing/publishing of some other stats can. So, as one does, I thought I’d repeat the goalscorer investigation, but examine goalkeepers instead.

I recorded four separate numbers:

  • Games
  • Goals Against
  • Shots on target against
  • Save% (100-goals against/shots on target against)

I recorded these stats for every player who played as a goalkeeper between the seasons 2010/11 and 2013/14 (no accurate data before 2010). I also recorded each players age.

2903 games played by goalkeepers.

13209 shots on target against.

4013 goals against

75 players.

Games

age GK games

Only 75 goalkeepers played in the league between 2010/11 and 2013/14 and that number is is pretty insufficient really. There’s a slight curve here if you were to normalize the four skyscraper seasons, but there’s just a lot of noise here due to the small n of players.

Young ‘keepers just didn’t play in the PL in the 4 seasons I looked at. We also see a drop off after age 31.

Goals Against

age GK goals against

A similar trend: the young guys and the old guys didn’t concede that many goals because, simply, they didn’t play too much.

Shots On Target Against

age GK shots against

Same trend again: young guys don’t play, old guys play less.

What we really need to look at now is Save%. 

Save% (goals against/shots on target against) is a pretty noisy statistic, it isn’t particularly repeatable year on year, it is a very team dependent stat but I what I want to know is if there’s any actual talent wrapped inside that noise.

If there is talent in save% then it may be fair to say that there’s a peak talent level for goalkeepers. All footballers, whatever the position, will have development years as youngsters, peak years where their experience and physical condition coincide, and post peak years where the reflexes decline. Agreed?

Save%

age GK save%

If there is a peak for goalkeepers, and there surely must be, then Save% isn’t capturing it. Maybe it’s the small n, maybe it’s that goalkeepers don’t matter too much, maybe it’s too team dependent, maybe it’s too luck driven, but whatever it is save% for each age bucket barely changes from development player to “peak” age to post peak age.

From ages 20 to 31 save% is virtually flat, with never more than a 2-3% change either way.

So if save% doesn’t capture goalkeeping talent, and the age curve of that talent, then what will? I’d try to somehow increase the n of this study first of all. But what else could we use to try to identify an age curve? Shot location? Reflex time? Save% when the goalkeeper is shifting?Save% vs expected save%? I’m at a bit of a loss.

The Best (and worst)

Player Goals SoT A Save%
Tremmel 23 133 82.7
Vorm 119 527 77.4
Adrian 27 113 76.1
Mannone 48 200 76.0
Howard 134 558 76.0
McCarthy 23 93 75.3
Gomes 39 154 74.7
Cech 132 518 74.5
De Gea 98 383 74.4
Joe Hart 126 482 73.9
Begovic 144 533 73.0
Julio Cesar 37 134 72.4
Schwarzer 134 482 72.2
Van Der Sar 32 114 71.9
Jaaskelainen 163 577 71.8
Foster 188 661 71.6
Mignolet 172 600 71.3
Szczesny 133 443 70.0
Stockdale 62 206 69.9
Green 92 298 69.1
McGregor 31 100 69.0
Reina 113 363 68.9
Ruddy 146 463 68.5
Marshall 74 232 68.1
Hennessey 100 313 68.1
Friedal 118 367 67.8
Boruc 54 165 67.3
Lloris 79 233 66.1
Bogdan 47 137 65.7
Myhill 45 131 65.6
Al-Habsi 168 489 65.6
Krul 177 512 65.4
Harper 49 140 65.0
Federici 40 114 64.9
Stecklenberg 43 122 64.8
Guzan 134 378 64.6
Kenny 59 166 64.5
Sorensen 47 132 64.4
Hahnemann 25 70 64.3
Bunn 33 92 64.1
Gazzinga 27 70 61.4
WestWood 33 84 60.7
Carson 58 147 60.5
Davis 25 55 54.5

If anyone spots any errors, let me know.

13/14 Numbers: Quality Of Opposition

Numbers taken at the time of fixture.

  Accumulated Opp Points Opp TSR Opp SoTR Opp PDO Opp Goal%
Arsenal 54.7 49.8 48.8 100.7 52.5
Aston Villa 53.1 50.6 49.5 99.8 50.0
Cardiff 51.9 50.8 51.1 98.6 49.9
Chelsea 52.9 50.2 50.0 99.8 50.4
Palace 51.1 50.0 49.1 99.4 48.6
Everton 51.4 50.2 48.8 99.4 49.1
Fulham 48.3 50.5 48.0 98.1 46.5
Hull 51.3 50.4 49.3 100.8 49.7
Liverpool 50.7 49.3 49.4 99.4 48.6
Man City 51.3 49.8 48.9 98.7 48.9
Man United 53.2 50.0 49.6 98.8 50.5
Newcastle 53.1 50.2 50.4 100.0 50.1
Norwich 50.2 49.7 49.0 100.1 48.9
Southampton 51.3 50.4 50.5 99.6 49.0
Stoke 51.4 49.8 51.1 98.3 49.6
Sunderland 52.2 49.5 50.7 98.1 49.7
Swansea 50.7 50.0 48.1 99.9 48.3
Tottenham 49.7 49.8 49.0 100.4 48.6
West Brom 49.0 50.4 49.3 99.1 47.0
West Ham 50.3 48.7 49.2 99.1 48.2

13/14 Numbers: Shots & SoT Per Minute Of Zone Time

  Shots For per minute Shots Against per min SoT For per min SoT Against per min
Arsenal 0.532 0.513 0.216 0.181
Aston Villa 0.485 0.518 0.152 0.177
Cardiff 0.465 0.661 0.140 0.221
Chelsea 0.649 0.464 0.215 0.145
Palace 0.441 0.511 0.159 0.167
Everton 0.538 0.525 0.192 0.164
Fulham 0.492 0.621 0.169 0.232
Hull 0.480 0.564 0.148 0.168
Liverpool 0.689 0.485 0.274 0.155
Man City 0.620 0.456 0.226 0.152
Man United 0.517 0.526 0.181 0.171
Newcastle 0.624 0.527 0.198 0.185
Norwich 0.480 0.582 0.151 0.194
Southampton 0.554 0.395 0.187 0.144
Stoke 0.505 0.536 0.166 0.175
Sunderland 0.548 0.616 0.156 0.207
Swansea 0.575 0.510 0.190 0.168
Tottenham 0.579 0.493 0.189 0.184
West Brom 0.486 0.537 0.147 0.186
West Ham 0.433 0.664 0.126 0.203

13/14 Numbers: Shots F/A Per Final Third Pass

FOR Pass per Shot Shots Per Pass Shots p100 Passes AGAINST Pass per Shot Shots Per Pass Shots p100 Passes
Newcastle 9.29 0.108 10.77 Tottenham 16.48 0.061 6.07
Aston Villa 10.09 0.099 9.91 Southampton 16.32 0.061 6.13
Tottenham 10.78 0.093 9.27 Palace 15.31 0.065 6.53
Chelsea 12.11 0.083 8.26 Swansea 14.90 0.067 6.71
Norwich 12.50 0.080 8.00 Man City 14.82 0.067 6.75
Liverpool 13.02 0.077 7.68 Stoke 14.51 0.069 6.89
Sunderland 13.07 0.077 7.65 Arsenal 14.20 0.070 7.04
Swansea 13.25 0.075 7.55 Aston Villa 14.13 0.071 7.08
Man City 13.65 0.073 7.33 West Brom 14.09 0.071 7.10
West Brom 13.84 0.072 7.23 Man United 13.84 0.072 7.23
West Ham 14.12 0.071 7.08 Hull 13.69 0.073 7.30
Stoke 14.17 0.071 7.06 Chelsea 13.47 0.074 7.42
Palace 14.35 0.070 6.97 West Ham 13.23 0.076 7.56
Hull 14.65 0.068 6.83 Norwich 13.07 0.077 7.65
Man United 15.19 0.066 6.58 Everton 12.99 0.077 7.70
Southampton 15.28 0.065 6.54 Newcastle 12.75 0.078 7.85
Arsenal 15.57 0.064 6.42 Sunderland 12.56 0.080 7.96
Everton 15.58 0.064 6.42 Liverpool 12.55 0.080 7.97
Fulham 15.85 0.063 6.31 Fulham 10.52 0.095 9.51
Cardiff 16.42 0.061 6.09 Cardiff 10.20 0.098 9.81

13/14 Numbers: Possession, Final Third, Corner Possession, Time

  Possession F Third Corner Ratio TSW TSD TSL
Arsenal 58.4 61.0 56.2 36.2 37.7 16.2
Aston Villa 44.5 44.1 44.7 14.6 48.9 26.5
Cardiff 46.0 41.2 43.0 10.0 45.5 34.5
Chelsea 56.1 58.8 59.1 33.3 47.9 9.0
Palace 38.9 39.3 40.5 18.0 43.9 28.1
Everton 56.6 55.1 57.2 25.0 49.3 15.7
Fulham 45.1 41.3 42.0 14.5 45.6 29.9
Hull 46.4 44.1 43.4 19.7 40.9 29.3
Liverpool 57.5 54.3 54.2 47.8 30.3 12.0
Man City 59.3 62.2 64.1 50.1 33.1 7.2
Man United 56.7 56.1 56.1 29.2 36.9 23.9
Newcastle 50.7 48.5 47.7 23.4 41.4 25.2
Norwich 47.2 46.2 47.1 12.0 43.9 34.1
Southampton 60.2 56.6 54.3 26.5 42.1 21.4
Stoke 48.9 43.9 42.4 18.7 49.5 21.8
Sunderland 47.4 42.9 46.7 20.2 34.2 35.7
Swansea 59.6 50.1 54.4 20.2 42.9 26.9
Tottenham 56.4 56.6 54.5 24.2 41.3 24.5
West Brom 47.3 49.9 49.7 16.2 39.2 34.5
West Ham 51.8 44.7 42.6 19.8 46.8 23.4

13/14 Numbers: Shots On Target

SoT For% = SoT for/shots for

SoT Against % = 100-SoT against/shots against

SoT Rating = SoT For% + SoT Against %

 

  SoT f SoT Against SoT P/M SoTR SoT For% SoT Prev% SoT Rating
Arsenal 213 160 53 57.1 40.6 64.7 105.3
Aston Villa 136 169 -33 44.6 31.3 65.9 97.1
Cardiff 126 232 -106 35.2 30.1 66.5 96.5
Chelsea 229 123 106 65.1 33.1 68.9 102.0
Palace 144 172 -28 45.6 34.8 67.4 102.1
Everton 197 154 43 56.1 35.2 68.8 104.0
Fulham 148 244 -96 37.8 34.3 62.7 97.0
Hull 132 163 -31 44.7 30.8 70.2 101.0
Liverpool 258 153 105 62.8 39.8 68.0 107.7
Man City 239 121 118 66.4 35.4 66.6 101.9
Man United 183 147 36 55.5 35.0 67.5 102.5
Newcastle 184 169 15 52.1 31.7 64.9 96.7
Norwich 146 195 -49 42.8 31.5 66.7 98.2
Southampton 179 132 47 57.6 33.8 63.4 97.2
Stoke 141 179 -38 44.1 32.9 67.3 100.1
Sunderland 138 214 -76 39.2 28.0 66.3 94.3
Swansea 163 158 5 50.8 33.0 67.2 100.1
Tottenham 192 157 35 55.0 32.7 62.7 95.4
West Brom 147 172 -25 46.1 30.2 65.3 95.5
West Ham 122 207 -85 37.1 29.0 69.4 98.4

13/14 Numbers: Goals

Goals

SP= Set Piece

OP= Open Play 

  GF GA G% SP Gls F SP Gls A SP Diff OP Gls F OP Gls A OP Diff
Arsenal 68 41 0.624 8 7 1 60 34 26
Aston Villa 39 61 0.390 7 6 1 32 55 -23
Cardiff 32 74 0.302 13 11 2 19 63 -44
Chelsea 71 27 0.724 13 8 5 58 19 39
Palace 33 48 0.407 7 7   26 41 -15
Everton 61 39 0.610 10 9 1 51 30 21
Fulham 40 85 0.320 12 22 -10 28 63 -35
Hull 38 53 0.418 10 13 -3 28 40 -12
Liverpool 101 50 0.669 25 10 15 76 40 36
Man City 102 37 0.734 20 8 12 82 29 53
Man United 64 43 0.598 10 12 -2 54 31 23
Newcastle 43 59 0.422 7 13 -6 36 46 -10
Norwich 28 62 0.311 4 9 -5 24 53 -29
Southampton 54 46 0.540 10 6 4 44 40 4
Stoke 45 52 0.464 7 12 -5 38 40 -2
Sunderland 41 60 0.406 12 15 -3 29 45 -16
Swansea 54 54 0.500 10 8 2 44 46 -2
Tottenham 55 51 0.519 9 6 3 46 45 1
West Brom 43 59 0.422 6 12 -6 37 47 -10
West Ham 40 51 0.440 10 14 -4 30 37 -7

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