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Ederson: Why the Brazilian is struggling - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

Ederson: Why is the Brazilian struggling at Manchester City? – scout report

Manchester City have had the best defensive records over the past few seasons. But how much is this down to their Brazilian goalkeeper, Ederson? Since his move from Benfica, he has taken the Premier League by storm with his excellent sweeping and pinpoint passing. However, in recent times, his goalkeeping ability has been questioned. He’s one of the highest valued goalkeepers in world football, but how much of this is because of his passing and the fact that he plays for one of the best defences in the league?

This tactical analysis will look at his stats and performances and whether he is relying on his defence. We’ll look at his weaknesses and what he needs to improve on if he is to stay in the Manchester City first-team. We will compare him to other goalkeepers in the league and then look at his shot-stopping, sweeping and passing to give an overall picture of his game.

Where does Ederson rank as a goalkeeper?

Ederson often gets more praise for his passing and positioning with the ball than his goalkeeping abilities, something that should be of concern. After the problems that Pep Guardiola faced to find a goalkeeper who could pass, this doesn’t seem too surprising, however. But how does his shot-stopping abilities compare to the rest of the league?

Ederson: Why the Brazilian is struggling - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

The graph above looks at the number of goals saved above/below expected, against the difficulty of shots that they face. As we can see, Ederson faces the joint second most difficult shots, with 0.37. As a result of this, he concedes 0.08 more goals than he should per 90. These stats don’t read well for Ederson, but there may be a reason why.

The Brazilian has the most clean sheets this season with four, showing that the defence in front of him is extremely impressive. He has only faced 13 shots on target, conceding six goals in the process. But why is this? Every goal that Ederson has conceded this season has basically been unsavable, as we can see from the above graph. Take Aston Villa’s goal as an example.

Ederson: Why the Brazilian is struggling - scout report - tactical analysis tactics Ederson: Why the Brazilian is struggling - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

As we can see, Leon Bailey gets the ball near the penalty spot and smashes the ball into the top corner, giving Ederson no chance of saving it. Overall, he’s conceded two set-pieces, one free-kick, and some extremely close shots. Therefore, his stats are very misleading. The limited amount of shots means that his stats will be skewed this early on in the season. But, perhaps Ederson’s strongest shot-stopping asset is his 1v1 ability.

Ederson: Why the Brazilian is struggling - scout report - tactical analysis tactics Ederson: Why the Brazilian is struggling - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

The above example is against Tottenham Hotspur, and more specifically, Harry Kane. Ederson had to make an effective decision to stop one of the best strikers in the league. Instead of committing fully, Ederson realises that his two centre-backs are putting pressure on Kane, meaning that his shot won’t be perfect. He waits until the last moment to engage Kane and spreads himself effectively, leaving the striker with nowhere to put the ball.

Ederson has suffered from facing shots with high xG values this season and it shows in his stats. However, last season, he prevented 2.56 goals and has a 71.11% save percentage, showing that he is still reliable between the sticks.

Positioning: strength or hindrance?

Guardiola is one of the best tacticians football has seen, and at Manchester City, Ederson is a big part of their tactics. His advanced positioning almost makes him an outfield player at times, slotting in between his two centre-backs, like the example below against Liverpool.

Ederson: Why the Brazilian is struggling - scout report - tactical analysis tactics Ederson: Why the Brazilian is struggling - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

We can see here how Ederson playing in the defensive line itself allows the centre-backs to push wider, occupying the space that would normally be between them and the full-backs. In turn, this allows the full-backs to push on and act nearly as wingers. In the pictures above, we can see how advanced João Cancelo is at left-back, but Kyle Walker is so far upfield that we are unable to see him in the first picture. Ederson then has the ability to pick Walker out with an inch-perfect pass to start a dangerous attack.

However, Ederson’s eagerness to leave his box when his team isn’t in possession can sometimes lead to problems.

Ederson: Why the Brazilian is struggling - scout report - tactical analysis tactics Ederson: Why the Brazilian is struggling - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

In the above game against Newcastle, Ederson makes the wrong decision to come for the ball. With the ball being so far away from the goal, and defenders recovering, even if the Newcastle player meets the ball cleanly, there would not be a guaranteed goal. However, Ederson decides to rush out of his goal to clear the danger, but the opposition beat him to the ball and take it around him. If the touch has been better then he would have had an open goal to shoot into. Luckily the touch was bad and Cancelo was covering to block both a shot and cross.

The best passer in the league?

Ederson is the most known goalkeeper in the world in terms of his passing. He’s able to make simple passes and risky passes to pick out his attackers in dangerous situations. His ability to kick the ball long often catches defences off guard.

Ederson: Why the Brazilian is struggling - scout report - tactical analysis tactics Ederson: Why the Brazilian is struggling - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

The above pass against Tottenham resulted in an assist for Ederson. He sees İlkay Gündoğan making a run in behind and the Tottenham defence quite high. He hits a long pass downfield and finds the German who scores. This is an extreme example that resulted in a goal but his long passes to wingers and full-backs help the team advance up the pitch quickly.

But what do his statistics show?

Ederson: Why the Brazilian is struggling - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

The above graph looks at passes per 90, accurate passes percentage and average pass length. Ederson ranks as one of the best, positioned near fellow Brazilian, Alisson. He makes 22.76 passes per 90, completing 91.91% of them, the second-best accuracy in the league. His average pass length is 25.26 metres. Ederson’s passing is some of the best in the world, and he’s vital to Manchester City’s tactics.

Conclusion

This scout report has outlined why Ederson’s statistics are so bad this season. Playing behind a more solid defence means that he won’t face as many shots as other goalkeepers would. However, he’s faced some of the toughest shots in the league this season.

His 1v1 decision-making and good reactions mean that these stats are not an accurate depiction of his performances this season. This analysis has shown that his positioning and passing make him the perfect goalkeeper for Manchester City. The way he advances his team up the pitch is vital. Ederson is one of the best passing goalkeepers in the world, and although he isn’t the best shot-stopper, his strong defence means that this doesn’t affect his performances too much. Still, at 29, he has plenty of years of success ahead of him.