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The stats that say Arsenal’s keeper kerfuffle isn’t necessary

| 19.06.2015

It seems Arsenal are so desperate to land Chelsea stopper Petr Cech that they’ll let current Emirates number one David Ospina leave London for Fenerbahce when his replacement arrives.

The Telegraph claims ‘the stats prove’ Cech would give Arsenal a ‘vast upgrade… otherwise why would Wenger be pursuing him when he has…established players already competing’.

However, the ‘stats’ they peddle are a nonsense, with Cech and Ospina’s 2014/15 Premier League records pitted against each other, despite the former starting just six times in the top flight last term, and only once against a team that finished in the top half of the table.


Is Chelsea’s Petr Cech the keeper he once was?

Ospina, on the other hand, started all 18 of Arsenal’s fixtures in the division after seeing off  Wojciech Szczesny for the number one jersey in early January, taking in trips to then-champions Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham, as well as hosting Chelsea and Liverpool.

Even when based on this faulty metric, the Telegraph admits ‘Ospina was not far behind Cech, but Szczesny pales in comparison’, a useless observation considering even the Poland stopper’s Mum would struggle to make a case for his inclusion ahead of the other two.

The paper also has a go at Ospina’s record of catching crosses, before conceding that ‘both of Arsenal’s current options come for crosses more readily than Cech’.

Telegraph HQ may have been better off heading to Squawka.com, where Cech’s record during his last full season as Stamford Bridge number one (2013/14) can be contrasted with his soon-to-be predecessor’s half season between the sticks at Arsenal.

Ospina made more saves per game and saves per goal than Cech, and had a higher clean-sheet ratio, while the pair’s claim success, distribution success and distribution distance numbers were close enough to be negligible.

Both of their sides finished third in the table at the end of the seasons in question.

To cap it all, the Colombian is more than seven years younger than Cech, and presumably carries less psychological baggage than the skull-cap wearing  former Rennes stopper.

Cech is quite a lot taller, at 6ft5 compared to 6ft, but the stats suggest that’s not really an issue (unless you read the Telegraph).

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Iain Houten

Iain has been contributing pieces to various websites on an array of subjects, including sports, politics and art, for over four years. Despite blue being his favourite colour, the teams he supports all wear red.