Arsenal: Mark Schwarzer a Better Option? Stats Say No, But Reputation Matters

ColneyContributor IAugust 14, 2010

BOLTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 14:  Mark Schwarzer of Fulham looks on from the stands during the Barclays Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Fulham at Reebok Stadium on August 14, 2010 in Bolton, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Good afternoon fellow gooners, hope you are all enjoying your first slate of premier league games. Judging by Blackpool’s pasting of Wigan, we are in for an exciting ride this season. The daily mail is reporting that, Arsenal target Mark Schwarzer, has handed in a transfer request. It seems he is desperate to join us, whether or not Mark Hughes agrees to let him go is another matter. I’m sure you all remember the sideline handbags between Hughes and Wenger the last time Hughes was manager of Manchester City.  So it begs the question, is Mark Schwarzer better than our current group of goalkeepers or does the paucity of options make him the most viable candidate?

Below is a head-to-head of Schwarzer’s performances against our goalkeepers over the course of last season. It is important to note that Almunia played 34 total games and amassed a total of 85 saves (68 premier league, 17 champions league). Fabianksi appeared 11 times last season producing 39 total saves (32 league, carling cup & FA cup, 7 champions league). Compare that with Schwarzer’s 37 appearances and 130 saves, all in the premier league.


Manuel AlmuniaMark Schwarzer
Goals Conceded/Game0.98Goals Conceded/Game1.33
Shots on Target/Goals Conceded4.36Shots on Target/Goals Conceded3.8
Clean Sheets/Game0.16Clean Sheets/Game0.33



Lukasz FabianskiMark Schwarzer
Goals Conceded/Game1Goals Conceded/Game1.33
Shots on Target/Goals Conceded4.71Shots on Target/Goals Conceded3.8
Clean Sheets/Game0.16Clean Sheets/Game0.33


Overall the stats don’t say much about the abilities of both goalkeepers, in fact you could argue that Almunia is a slightly better player than Mark, or better yet they are both average goalkeepers. But the stats don’t tell the whole story since Almunia was more prone to mental lapses than Schwarzer was last season.

And you don’t see the likes of Blackburn sending defenders to crowd out Schwarzer, like they do to Fabianski because Mark doesn’t have the reputation of cowering when defenders surround him. He doesn’t drop routine corner kicks on players heads, he doesn’t pick up back passes, nor does he stumble and allow a tame shot to trickle in over his head. I am sure by now you get the point, it’s all about reputation and if that’s what it takes to stop neanderthal managers like Allardyce and Pulis sending thugs to harass our goalkeepers then by all means get him signed already.