Brad Jones has an unenviable position these days. It’s doubtful one fan of his club believes he is good enough to play for them, and inaccurate stats and general abuse towards him flood the Twittersphere. Here are some of the least offensive tweets:
But how bad is he? I thought I’d use a simple expected goals system to try to figure this out.
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.
Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones has not had it easy since he moved to Liverpool in 2010 for a fee of £2.3m. He has only made nine appearances for the club in just over two seasons, he made his debut in a disastrous cup defeat to League Two Northampton Town, and off the pitch he suffered the tragedy of losing his son Luka to leukemia last year.
Yet as Pepe Reina picked up an injury during the last round of international fixtures, Jones has been thrust into the spotlight at Anfield, and to be fair to the former Middlesbrough man he hasn’t disappointed as he has picked up two clean sheets out of two. But does he deserve to displace his Spanish colleague, and actually be Liverpool’s number one, rather than the substitute goalie who happens to wear that particular numbered shirt?