Rodgers reveals why he dropped Ward and if Iversen now No.1

Daniel Iversen of Leicester City (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Daniel Iversen of Leicester City (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) /
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Leicester City
Danny Ward of Leicester City (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images) /

Well, according to FB Ref’s ratings, the goalie is within the 75th percentile for post-shot expected goals vs shots on target. This is a stat which indicates the general competence of the goalie on the basis of how much we expect the shot to be converted: he has 0.29. As a comparison, one of the ‘best’ in the league – Nick Pope – has 0.24, which is within the 10th percentile.

What this indicates is that he is saving the vast majority of those he is expected to as well as performing well against those shots that are expected to be converted. Usually, this is an indication of the sheer quantity of shots faced rather than the quality of the goalkeeping. It is equally worth noting that Ward does more of what we want a modern goalkeeper to do.

He is within the 83rd percentile for defensive actions outside the penalty area: these are the last man clearances as an attacking player barrels after a ball over the top of the defence. In essence, Ward is statistically undertaking a large number of defensive actions which ought to have been dealt with by shielding midfielders and competent defenders.

To be honest, the eye test and stats do tell us something crucially important: the Welshman is not a bad goalkeeper. Simply put, Ward cannot pull off the spectacular saves of the former Danish No. 1, but he can do the basics reliably well. Thus far this is not particularly negative.