In the second year of Roman Bürki’s tenure in Dortmund, the Swiss International reaffirmed his place as the club’s top keeper for the foreseeable future. His performances were good enough that, if it weren’t for Diego Benaglio, he would probably be the top Swiss keeper in the world.
He was by no means a star who single-handedly carried the club, but he was competent enough to give Dortmund a chance to win every night, which is all you can ask of your keeper.
The Good: Relative Consistency
Bürki didn’t have many stand out performances, despite acquiring nine clean sheets. All in all he isn’t a very flashy keeper, and mostly relies on positioning rather than his athleticism. While he might have never been a true stand out, he was almost always at least average. Other than the 4-1 loss against Bayern, I can’t think of any truly sub-par performances.
I compiled the save percentages of the 14 keepers who have faced the most shots in the Bundesliga, and of them, Roman Bürki was third in save percentage, behind Timo Horn and Oliver Baumann (he was also behind Diego Benaglio and Manuel Neuer, who faced much less shots). If I was a true statistician with no life, I would weigh his goals against average with the club’s expected goals against average. Luckily, Alex Rathke has already done that:
(Note: these stats are a bit out of date, updated around the end of March)
As you can see, Roman Bürki concedes almost the exact amount of goals as are expected of him. This puts him above fellow Swiss Keeper Yann Sommer (looking at you, Petković), and well above Roman Weidenfeller (sorry TBG). By the way, what a monster Timo Horn is!
Enough math, here are some highlights:
One more thing I’d like to mention is the bus bombing. From the reports, it seems that Bürki was especially traumatized by what happened. He was sitting right next to Bartra when he hurt his arm. Despite the incredible emotional shock that he was under, he performed incredibly well down the stretch of the season, making some key saves during the DFB Semifinal and in the Bundesliga.
The Bad: Lack of Stand-Out Performances
The flip side of his consistency was his lack of truly spectacular performances. As I said before, he “only” had 9 clean sheets. To be fair, the defense wasn’t always great this season (understatement of the year?), but it still would have been nice if there were a few matches where he could have kept the club on its shoulders.
The one example I can think of is actually the 5-1 win against Wolfsburg. If you’ll remember, it was 2-1 at the end of the first half, and Bürki had to make several very tough saves before BVB broke the game open.
The Future: Nommer Eis
Roman Bürki is our number one, and will be next season, unless he retires to pursue a career in cheesemaking, or if Watzke decides to randomly toss €50 million at Köln for Timo Horn. There’s no way in a million years that’s going to happen, so I’m not sure why I even brought it up (the latter, not the former.)
One last thought: his instagram is really worth a follow. Check it out.