28 Oct 2016

Molby blasts: 'Phenomenal' €50m star is getting worse and he's a 'pale shadow' of himself. True?

Liverpool legend Jan Molby has criticised the middling form of one of Chelsea's star players.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo, Molby observed:

"At Atletico Madrid...Thibaut Courtois was regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world [but] now he looks a pale shadow of that".

Is Molby right that to suggest that Courtois - hailed last season as 'phenomenal' by Jose Mourinho - has regressed at Chelsea? Let's look at the Belgian's primary stats:

* Atletico: 125 goals conceded in in 154 games (One every 110 mins). 76 Clean sheets (49% of games/One every 182 mins).

* Chelsea: 82 goals conceded in 78 games (One every 85 mins). 26 clean sheets (33% of games/One every 269 mins).

At Chelsea, Courtois concedes goals more often, and keeps fewer clean sheets, so there is a clear regression here. How does Courtois stack up against the recently deposed Simon Mignolet. Stats from the last two seasons:

* Courtois: 72 goals conceded in 67 games (One every 82 mins). 21 clean sheets (31% of games/One every 285 mins).

* Mignolet: 112 goals conceded in 103 games (One every 84 mins). 38 clean sheets (37% of games/One every 248 mins)

Well, fancy that. There are obviously other factors to consider, but just based on a goalkeeper's primary role (to concede as few goals as possible and keep clean sheets) Mignolet is a more effective goalkeeper (over the last two seasons) than Courtois, who is ahead of him in the pecking order for the Belgian national team.

Despite his superior record, Mignolet is currently Liverpool's number two, yet Courtois remains Chelsea's number one. These stats are a warning for Courtois, though. If Mignolet can get relegated to bench duty, so can he.


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