“Mr. Clean Sheet” and a strong defence

Jiri Pavlenka on his most recent clean sheet, Werder’s compact defence and Zetterer’s return

Jiri Pavlenka has kept seven clean sheets this season, across all competitions (Photo: nordphoto).
First Team
Thursday, 18.02.2021 / 10:58

Not only did Jiri Pavlenka deliver an impressive performance in his most recent Bundesliga game against SC Freiburg, the goalkeeper also reached a new personal milestone. ‘Pavlas’ has now kept 30 clean sheets for Werder, including seven shutouts across all competitions this season. According to the Czech international, a lot of the credit is owed to his defence. “Of course it’s very good to see our defence working well. The situation is better than it was last season, we don’t have nearly as many injuries and are a lot more stable,” Pavlenka said.

With SV Werder’s newly-formed young squad still honing their combination play, it’s extremely important that Werder’s defence remains solid. “If we’re struggling to score goals, then it’s important that we be 100% solid at the back,” said Pavlenka.


Pavlenka: “That’s my job and my responsibility”

Week after week, the 28-year-old is a solid presence behind Werder’s backline. For Pavlenka, it’s to be expected: “I’m focused on defence, as it’s my job and responsibility to do that.” The goalkeeper also has another explanation ready as to why he managed another clean sheet against Freiburg. “We kept a clean sheet in our first game with Zetti back in the squad,” he said with a laugh. “He’s a great guy and a great goalkeeper. I’m happy that he’s back.” 

So far, Werder have been able to play with more freedom than they were able to last season, largely due to their improved defensive stability. “We have more points on the board and aren’t under as much pressure as we were last season,” said Pavlenka, whose focus has shifted to the upcoming away game at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. “The game against Hoffenheim is very important to us. They are our direct competitors.” Werder’s defence can expect a tough challenge this weekend, as they come up against Andrej Kramaric, Ihlas Bebou, Christoph Baumgartner and Co. However, with Jiri Pavlenka backing them up, the Green-Whites stand a good chance of taking something from the game.

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