Southampton are having an absolute nightmare with shots on target (SoT) in the box at both ends of the field. They’re the worst team in the Premier League at saving those they face and the worst team in the Premier League at scoring the ones they have themselves.
Today, I’m concentrating on the defensive side. This is how those central SoTs in the box look for keeper Fraser Forster:
It looks poor, non? If I throw all those SoTs through my xG simulator, it tells me that there’s only around a 5% chance that it looks this bad. The model suggests conceding 8-11 goals would be an average performance from the set of SoTs Forster has faced:
Right, before you look at the footage I want you to spend a minute or two watching this youtube reel of Manuel Neuer. Pay particular attention to his, erm, footage. Neuer doesn’t do the big bunny hop just before the shot thing a lot of keepers do which leads to mistimed dives. Lots of tiny movements and continuous adjustments means Neuer’s rarely still in the build up to the shot:
Now take a look at the SoTs Forster has faced from those central positions this season. I’d like to have done a voiceover for this vid but I’ve not had time. So…pay attention to how early Forster sets himself, how dynamic his foot movements are, how proactive he is, how good his anticipation is and how late his dives are:
Now watch that Neuer video again.
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