It’s just the start of another interlull and I am already missing the action. Normally this would be the time for looking ahead at a mid week cup tie. Thoughts are focused on football, results and the implications of whatever happens on the pitch. But when you take away all the action, what can a football addict do except suffering from withdrawal symptoms.
I thought the best way for me to avoid the pain is to delve a little deeper into the numbers of the season so far. We have played enough games to get some trends. In this article I am comparing some statistics of the main strikers from the big teams. I have chosen Arshavin as our second striker while the other six choices are quite obvious.
The following table shows the comparison
M:Matches; Min:Minutes Played; G:Goals; A:Assists; S:Total Shots; SoT:Shots on Target; Min/G: Minutes per Goal; Min/A: Minutes per Assist; %SoT: SoT/S; S/G: Shots per goal; S/M: Shots per Match; Min/S: Minutes per Shot
Clearly, Torres, RvP and Drogba are way ahead of everyone else. Rooney has failed to make a single assist after moving into a central role. All three second strikers have lower number of goals and assists, which is understandable.
Fernando Torres is probably the most lethal striker in the world at the moment. He is scoring a goal every 81 minutes. In other words he is doing better than a goal a game if you consider 90 minutes for each game. He also has the best shots to goals ratio proving the quality of his finishing talent. But Liverpool are struggling at the moment, so I will not look at his performance in detail. I had to put his numbers in for the sake of perspective and respect.
Drogba has taken the most number of pops at goal with 73 shots. He has also worked the opposition goal keeper 32 times. The best playactor in football also has an impressive 44 per cent success in hitting the target. Berbatov and Anelka have a remarkable rate of hitting the target as well, with close to half their shots drawing a save.
Drogba and Rooney are averaging around 6 attempts per game. RvP is around 75 per cent of that mark. Arshavin, at 2.4, has the lowest shots per match ratio. Surprisingly, Berbatov and Anelka are only taking half the number of shots compared to their leading strikers.
Arshavin only takes a crack at goal every half an hour. That is over twice the rate of Drogba and Rooney. Van Persie takes a pop every 19 minutes.
Our strikers have lesser number of shots than their counterparts. I guess it is understandable as our players move around and change their positions quite often. But Van Persie and Arshavin have a lower success rate when it comes to hitting the target. They are closer to one in three. Perhaps, they could look at improving on their accuracy.
Goals & Assists
Drogba is scoring a goal every 116 minutes i.e. better than 3 goals every 4 games. Van Persie and Rooney are scoring closer to two goals every three matches. Arshavin and Berbatov are scoring every other game while Anelka is closer to one in three.
Our strikers have better shots per goal ratios when compared to their counterparts. RvP scores with just over 7 attempts. Drogba(8) and Rooney (9) are just behind. Arshavin has a fantastic ratio of scoring after 5.5 attempts. Anelka has the worst ratio suggesting that he might be taking more shots from distance.
These stats suggest that Arshavin should be encouraged to go for goal more often.
Apart from the Ivorian and the Dutchman, only the Frenchman has made some assists. The others have somewhat disappointing returns in this department. I am especially surprised that our Russian magician hasn’t picked up more.
We might score even more goals if our strikers can bring their shooting accuracy on par with their counterparts. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the best of Arshavin this season and he will deliver when the time is ripe.
Amongst the others, Berbatov looks like a colossal waste of money and Ancelotti hasn’t made the best use of Anelka’s talents. Torres stands between Liverpool and disaster. Drogba will always be a disgrace no matter what the stats say.