This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Gareth Southgate announced the England squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, and it included both Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford.
However, power rankings provided by Sky Sports seem to suggest that they were fortunate to sneak in.
The Sky Sports power rankings are based around 35 different statistics, with each position varying in points for certain achievements – for example, a striker receives less for a goal than a defender. The rankings are then presented in a leaderboard based on the number of points a player has earned.
This time around, centre-back Michael Keane has missed out to uncapped players such as Fikayo Tomori, Matthew Lowton and Dan Burn, whilst Southgate’s regular no.1 Jordan Pickford has not made the cut over uncapped keepers Dean Henderson, Aaron Ramsdale, and Three Lions regular Nick Pope.
So far this season, Keane and Pickford have played every minute of Premier League action, which has seen them concede 12 goals in six games – only Newcastle, Watford, Norwich City, and Chelsea have let in more. In the rankings, each goal conceded is worth -600 points, so it is easy to see where England’s no.1 and the defender have gone wrong this season.
Goalkeepers are awarded 350 power ranking points per save they make. Pickford has averaged just 2.4 saves per game compared to Pope’s 3.3, Ramsdale’s 3.7, and Henderson’s 3, which has subsequently helped push the Everton keeper out of the 23-man ranking.
Furthermore, keepers are awarded 100 points per catch they make and 30 per aerial battle they win. Both Pope and Henderson boast 0.7 aerial battles claimed per game, whilst Pickford averages just 0.1 per match. The Everton man is also at the bottom of the list for clearances made with averaging 0.3 each fixture – a successful clearance is worth 50 points.
As for Keane, he already sits below the majority of defenders in the power ranking based on the fact he has conceded 12 goals, which total a score of -7200 for that alone. Elsewhere, Keane has averaged just one tackle per game compared to Tomori’s three per match and James Tarkowski’s 2.1 each fixture – every tackle is worth 75 points.
Also, the likes of Tomori, Aaron Cresswell and Trent Alexander-Arnold have all scored in recent weeks, which awards them each 1900 points plus another 1300 for their strikes coming outside of the penalty box.
The Everton centre-back has also fallen behind on interceptions as of late, with Tomori averaging three per game, compared to Keane’s 1.4, whilst the former Burnley defender has lost all three league games since the last international break, which adds on another -900.