The numbers behind the battle between Sheffield Wednesday goalkeepers Cameron Dawson and Keiren Westwood
The numbers behind the selection battle between Sheffield Wednesday goalkeepers Cameron Dawson and Keiren Westwood could barely be closer.
Saturday’s 5-0 defeat to Blackburn moved Dawson level with the Ireland keeper’s 14 starts in the league this campaign but unsubtly nudged his ‘goals conceded’ tally ahead of Westwood’s, having conceded 16 to the more senior man’s 15.
And they are just two of the statistics separating the fortunes of the two stoppers by a cigarette paper.
Dawson has made 32 saves to Westwood’s 31 and concedes a goal four minutes less often – every 79.3 minutes to Westwood’s 83.3. Dawson’s clean sheet count of five is one better than Westwood’s and he makes 2.3 saves per 90 minutes – just 0.1 save more impressive than Westwood.
Passing accuracy? The former Sunderland man is a percentile better than Dawson – 45% of his passes find a Wednesday man.
It’s a close proximity not displayed in Garry Monk’s thinking, however, with the Owls boss suggesting last week that, in the short term at least, Westwood is likely to stay in third position in the goalkeeping pecking order.
This season Wednesday have racked up 24 points with Dawson starting between the sticks, six more than Westwood, at an average of 1.64 points per game to 1.28.
In praising the efforts of current second choice Joe Wildsmith, who has made the bench for the last six matchdays, he made it clear Westwood has to do more to climb in his thinking.
Monk told The Star: “At this moment in time, of course there are decisions to be made as to who gets on the bench and starting elevens and so on.
“I'm the type that will try to reward what I see in front of me and what they're giving me in that period of time.
“It is about who deserves it. To put a player out of the squad, you have to have something concrete to tell them. You can't just drop a player out of the squad for no reason at all.
“Those who are in the squad have to fight back. Those who aren't starting fight back and those that are starting need to keep their place.”