Hugo Lloris ‘is Bearings

It’s all about goalkeepers in the press this week innit? Well just Joe Hart really, and we already jumped on that bandwagon last time out. So who’s getting it in the neck this time? Old Hugo Lloris down at White Hart Lane, that’s who.

Ok, so it’s not really topical this one – we’re just using last seasons numbers to show what our keeping model can do to highlight positional problems and offer a solution. Differentgame’s friend, fellow keeping stats enthusiast @colinttrainor, used his model this week to rank last season’s goalkeeping performances over at Statsbomb. Colin’s model ranked Lloris fairly poorly but our model ranks him as having a real stinker last season:

Keepers Ranked 2013To quickly explain, SOT stands for shots on target and the final column there normalises each keeper’s opportunity to prevent goals. For example, Jussi Jaaskelainen having to make 200+ saves gives him more opportunity to prevent goals, so we’ve done it per 100 saves made to give the final rank.

It’s the middle lot in that graphic where rankings get a bit different (top and bottom looks very similar) and Lloris was seen as quite an important signing for Spurs. An interesting subject we hope you’ll agree so we took a closer look at his save %s:

Lloris HoleWe can see that just right of the central middle zone, Lloris had a save % of 25 when the average was 76%. This looks like a pretty big hole in his game. He actually conceded 3 goals from 4 shots here. The numbers aren’t huge but there’s still something that may be gleaned. The 3 goals were against Liverpool when he came rushing out of his area to stop Downing and missed completely. The other two were slaloming efforts from Kevin Mirallas and Ramires:

On the face of it these look like two very well taken goals, and they are. It would be churlish to suggest otherwise. But as a keeper, and an analyst you’d be looking at ways to stop such goals. Using the excellent StatsZone App we can look at the two goal in a bit of detail. The red x on the graphics shows Lloris’s positioning:

LlorisPositionThe positions look ok there, nicely in line with the ball which were simply struck too fiercely for Lloris. However, there may be more too it. The area where Lloris conceded these goals from is actually the back half of that 25% save rectangle. We looked at the keepers with 100% save records from this area. Out of 26 attempts at them from this same zone, only 4 times were they as far forward as Lloris tried to make these saves here. 2 of those were from point blank range right on top of the shot. The red x’s here show where the other 22 were stopped by the keeper:

100%ersIn his  big post about keepers during the summer, Colin Trainor suggested there might be general trend of keepers over compensating on their near post. We were hugely skeptical at the time but looking at this, he may well have been right. Lloris is giving himself no time whatsoever to react to any shot hit remotely well and not straight at him.

As a small double check, we looked at Wigan’s Ali Al-Habsi as his numbers were poor from this area too. He let in 2 of 5 shots from here. The two he let in he was set up in the same position as Lloris. And the 3 he saved? Yup back in the positions the 100% keepers favoured.

As a small triple check, we looked what Lloris had been like this season from the same zone. He’s faced a couple of shots from there and saved them. Guess where he was positioned?

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9 Responses to Hugo Lloris ‘is Bearings

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  2. DaveSpurs says:

    While I applaud your research, it seems to me that you have missed the importance of defensive pressure here. Particularly on the Ramires goal, Lloris is as advanced as he is because he is perhaps anticipating Ramires taking another touch before shooting, one that would have allowed Lloris to spring off his line and close down the angle.

    Without the supporting video evidence, it is impossible for me to ascertain whether the different positioning of other goalkeepers when facing shots from this zone is in fact due to different states of defensive pressure instead of inherently better positioning. You would expect a goalkeeper to be closer to his line if a shot came from this zone against an already set defence, for instance.

    I understand that this is a limitation of the statistics that are widely available, but, particularly considering the low sample size, I think you have taken too large a leap in reaching your conclusion.

  3. jair1970 says:

    Lloris is a tricky case because his value isn’t seen in ‘traditional’ goalkeeping.

    I can barely remember a world-class save he’s made since he’s been at Spurs and there have been a few tame-ish efforts at stopping shots; so not good. What I specifically recall, in abundance, is the amount of times he’s successfully prevented an attacking situation transpiring by charging off his line and sweeping up. I don’t know how you can derive this from the available stats but his failure rate at this aspect must be absolutely miniscule; he’s really that good at it.

    Given Tottenham’s good defensive record this season & effective repression of opponents shooting, Lloris definitely has an impact on the numbers. Opposing teams have few good chances; he may be weaker at repelling them, but they are rarer because of him.

    Ironically, Lloris replaced the anti-Lloris in Friedel, a keeper so firmly stuck to his line he was considered to have roots. In turn steady Friedel replaced the anti-Friedel, Gomes, a keeper capable of marvellously extravagant ‘worldie’ saves yet so prone to basic fundamental error that faith was lost.

    I genuinely think that Lloris is a player who’s value is currently difficult to ascertain through the current statistical collecting methods used. This is especially true of the underdeveloped goalkeeping category.

  4. MCofA says:

    This is super cool stuff, thanks. It seems to me that logging actions based on the locations of all 22 players on the pitch in the next evolutionary step in football stats, and this look at Lloris’ location on those unsaved shots is a great step in that direction.

    Where do you get the detailed shot location breakdown? I’m building a database from freely available sources and I can break down locations in the box to six different buckets. This is way better than that!

    Also, while I realize this isn’t really the point of the post, I do want to echo a little bit of jair’s comment above. The xGA model showed Lloris having a stinker last year *at preventing goals from shots on target*. As a sweeper keeper, Lloris is instrumental in preventing shots on target in the first place. Spurs allowed 2.0 shots on target from inside the box per 90 min with Lloris as keeper, and 3.1 SiBoT / 90 with Friedel between the sticks. Friedel saved roughly the same percentage of shots. The difference between the two keepers came elsewhere than Sv%.

  5. 1 I’m not sure what you mean with spring off his line. He’s already 5 yards off his line and set for the shot before Ramires even receives the ball?

    2 A next step for me is to watch footage to ascertain whether this is true and indeed good practice

    3 I agree with low samples but we play wih what we have

  6. I have discussed some of this on twtitter today with the commenter below

    Friedel interests me..i havent yet got a full season of his shot stopping data..

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  8. Pingback: The Keepers’ Comfort Zone | differentgame

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