There’s no doubt Ederson Moraes has been a key part of Manchester City’s success in the last several years. He’s been praised several times by manager Pep Guardiola for being the perfect goalkeeper for City’s style of play. He may not be the best shot-stopper in the world but this distribution singles him out as one of the very best.
Yet, there’s always the possibility of pushing things to the limit by always taking risks that may sometimes cost the team dearly. Likewise there’s always room for improvement to get better at other aspects of the job.
There has been a lot of praise for Marcus Rashford who has been in red-hot form since returning from the World Cup. But watching David de Gea save shot after shot to keep Manchester United in the game so frequently before Rashford does the damage upfront shows just how important it is to have a goalkeeper who can keep the back door firmly shot at difficult times in a game.
It provides the foundation for a team to build upon in order to secure needed victories. Although Ederson is a goalkeeper in a totally different mold, he can also improve in other aspects that will make him even better. City will be the best for it as a team.
When a top goalkeeper’s percentage of shots saved is the second lowest in the league, then something is not right. Ederson has just 57.9 per cent save rate in the Premier League this season. The only keeper in the division with a worse record is Southampton’s Gavin Bazunu.
Quite frequently this season Ederson has conceded from the first shot on target against City. From 57 shots on target, the Brazilian has saved just 33, conceding 24 goals. This has also coincided with the team’s inconsistency in results.
Of course, Stefan Ortega may not excel in ball distribution as much as the Brazil international, but he has demonstrated good shot stopping ability with a few stunning saves in Cup games.
The manager may need to find a way to involve him even more, just as a way of keeping Ederson on his toes. City need to do everything possible to make the best of the remaining part of the season if the goal of retaining the title is to be achieved.
At this point all options should be on the table. Human beings by their very nature can get too comfortable when there is no immediate threat of being knocked off their perch. Having built a reputation for rotating his team to give his players opportunity to feature, there is one position that has been untouchable.
This may be a good time to also apply that to the goalkeepers. A couple of games for Ortega may benefit all parties involved.