Season Analysis: Edwin van der Sar
Clean Sheets: 12
Injury has been the theme running through Edwin Van der Sar’s season for Manchester United, as time spent on the sidelines has limited him to just 21 (29 in all competitions) appearances all year. That said, it has been a rather successful season for the Dutch ‘keeper keeping 12 clean sheets at an average of about 0.57 per game.
Study the averages below, ultimately suggesting that Van der Sar has been the best goalkeeper with a better clean sheet average than any other goalkeeper:
Van der Sar: 21 apps/12 cs = 0.57 (per game)
Petr Cech: 34 apps/17 cs = 0.5
Pepe Reina: 38 apps/17 cs = 0.44
Heurelho Gomes: 31 apps/12 cs = 0.38
Manuel Almunia: 29 apps /10 cs = 0.34
As you’d expect he has been observant and comfortable as usual, but, despite approaching 40, he still isn’t afraid to dive full length and go to desperate measures to prevent an opposition from beating him. It is remarkable that, considering his age, he is still as fit as ever and is still as good as he was in his Ajax days. I’d imagine that next year will probably be his last, but I’m more than confident he will continue his good form into the new season. Who knows? If he hadn’t missed those seventeen games of Premier League football, whether United would be league champions?
FACT: 81% is the highest saves-to-shots percentage of any goalkeeper this season. A feat managed by Van der Sar.