Rodgers Requires Reina

I have written on here previously regarding how, in save percentage terms, Brad Jones should possibly be Liverpool’s goalkeeper ahead of Pepe Reina (whose form has declined year-on-year at Anfield).

In the Premier League this season, Jones has saved 69% of the shots he has faced whilst Reina has struggled and only saved half of the attempts on target that have come his way.

But the modern game, and especially Brendan Rodgers’ penchant for a passing, possession based football, requires a keeper to offer more than simply stopping shots.

With regards to passing, the Spaniard is streets ahead of his Australian colleague.

This season in the league:

Passing accuracy – Reina 73%, Jones 58%. The back up goalie has the lowest figure in the Liverpool squad.

Passes forward – Reina 67%, Jones 82%. The highest figure in the Reds’ squad belongs to Jones, and this is indicative of the fact that he prefers to go long with his passing rather than play sideways balls to his defence.

Long balls – Reina has attempted 83 (48% of his total) at 48% accuracy, whilst Jones 46 (69% of his total) at 43% accuracy. This suggests that Reina knows when to go long, whilst Jones uses a ‘hit-and-hope’ approach a little too regularly.

When you look at the stats, it seems obvious why Roy Hodgson bought Jones to Anfield in the summer of 2010; a decent shot stopper who is not afraid to clear the ball into the opponent’s half is manna from heaven for the current England manager.

As Rodgers is currently struggling to implement his system whilst also getting results, it seems clear that Reina’s ability to play out from the back will give the gaffer a better chance to do both, and hopefully Pepe’s time out of the team has enabled him to get his head straight and get back to his best.

The sooner the better, as far as Rodgers is concerned.

Stats taken from EPLIndex.Please check out my other articles, and follow me on Twitter or via Facebook. Thanks.

10 thoughts on “Rodgers Requires Reina

  1. Sorry but this is the first article of yours I don’t agree with:

    A GK or CB’s main role is to stop goals being conceded. Anything else is secondary, if defensive capabilities are close when comparing players then obviously other things come into it.

    Also we need to factor that Jones probably doesn’t feel secure in his position as first choice (if he is first choice that is) so a natural response to this is to eliminate any errors that may lead to goals. By kicking it longer a misplaced pass won’t lead to a goal being conceded, linked to this could also be trust issues, he’s never really played first XI games with these players and will need time to get to trust them.

    At the moment Pepe simply isn’t good enough – Of course if he returned to past form then he would be a massive asset, helping impose the Rogers style as you suggest, as well as the goals conceded column.

    Maybe if the post was titled “Rodgers Requires (the old) Reina” …?

    • No need to apologise – all feedback is gratefully received!

      “By kicking it longer a misplaced pass won’t lead to a goal being conceded”

      Perhaps not immediately, but as Jones is only accurate 43% of the time, this means that over half the time he is gifting possession to the opposition. Whilst Reina is little better in terms of accuracy in fairness, at least he is not as reliant on a long ball.

      I agree though that Jones won’t be helped by being second-choice, and I certainly hope Rodgers gets the old Reina back!

      Thanks for reading.

  2. I wonder if the change of management, a loss of form and the pressure of being such a great keeper, and LFC’s No.1 by some distance, have all contributed to Pepe’s current situation.

    Jones in an able keeper but has been away from Liverpool and been dealing with his son’s illness and then death. Not ideal for a professional sportsman to push one of the best keeper’s in the world for a starting berth.

    But come 2012, the plus sides are that Jones has kept goal very well in Reina’s absence and it has given him confidence. Reina has now got proven competition, which in turn will push him to perform, yet allow him not to feel the burden of responsibility because with Jones the position is actually in safe hands.

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