Football scouting blog
In an era of center backs who are not the strongest defensively, defenders like Ryan Shawcross are becoming a rare breed. He is a defender whose strength lie in defending and not his distribution or attacking abilities which many top clubs no longer view as a priority. Also, he is often overlooked because of the role he played in Aaron Ramsey horrific injury which has left an unfair stigma being attached to him. It has lead to him never being given a chance to represent England despite consistent displays but he remains hopeful to one day be in the national team set-up, as he says;
“The England situation is something that’s been the same for years. All I can do is affect my performances, I can’t affect what the England manager decides. The only thing I can do is perform well and hopefully put my name up for selection.”
An incredibly intelligent defender who reads the game very well and also capable of tangling with the more aggressive and powerful strikers. He came from Manchester United’s reserve team and was highly thought of by Sir Alex Ferguson. And, rose from the Championship to the Premier League with Stoke in which he played a big part in. He came to Stoke City as a young, relatively inexperienced defender and has now become the captain and an indispensable player in the team. His defensive displays and leadership are one of the main reasons Stoke City have gone from a Championship side to a stable Premier League team.
Key defensive statistics
*(compared against Kompany, Smalling and Koscielny)
Ryan Shawcross has played 5 games all season and completed 90mins in four of those. He was sent off unfairly against Sunderland for two bookable offences and again his unfair reputation played a part in this. In those games, Stoke City did not concede a goal and this is easily the best defensive statistics in the league this season. Throughout his career, he has averaged an incredible 9.2 clearances per game which compared to Vincent Kompany’s average of (6.3) , Koscielny’s (6.5) and Smalling’s (6.1) its very impressive. And, in the past two seasons, he has been averaging 3.8 aerial duels per game which is also better than that of Chris Smalling (2.6). Koscielny (2.5) and Kompany (1.8). He is the kind of defender who eases the pressure not only on his keeper but the whole defence.
Areas needing of improvement.
Defensively, there is little he could improve. He could try to not lunge into tackles as often as he does but that is also an important part of his game so it is a matter of opinion. However, his passing is definitely a massive weakness, he averages 67% pass accuracy per game which in the modern game is not good enough.
As a player, Ryan Shawcross is a model professional who is rarely injured and is always consistently producing solid defensive displays. Its a mystery why the likes of Liverpool FC, Chelsea and Man City are quick to purchase less talented foreign center backs rather than getting Ryan Shawcross who would be a more reliable option.