So we’ve got to Christmas which is usually used as the half way point by many pundits. We’re going to be looking at strikers today and what better than to look at the top four strikers in the Premier League at the moment. The majority of players are those that you’d expect to be there but Demba Ba crashes in to this party with his excellent goal scoring this season.
We’re going to be comparing Robin Van Persie, Demba Ba, Sergio Aguero and Wayne Rooney. It’s interesting that neither of last years joint top scorers are anywhere near the top of the list. In fact Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov have fallen out of favour at their respective clubs. Berbatov only scored his first Premier League goal this season last weekend after notching so many last season.
Let’s take a look at their Passing Statistics:
The most accurate passer of the ball is Sergio Aguero, with an 86% pass accuracy, however he has only played a total of 399 open play passes which is half of what Wayne Rooney has accomplished for Manchester United (Rooney has played 807 passes with 82% accurate).
The fact that Rooney has kept a high accuracy with the amount of passes attempted you’d have to say that he’s been pretty impressive. Some will say that his time spent in midfield has helped this number increase even though Wayne Rooney does have the tendency to drop back and get involved in the build up more as opposed to always playing off the defenders shoulder. Almost half of Rooney’s passes are forward (49%) which is the highest out of the players compared. You can see how the others faired in the table above with Aguero playing the most with his back to goal it seems (33% forwards). It’s also interesting to note that Rooney is also passing backwards the least showing his attacking instincts and that his mentality is to keep on the front foot at all times.
All of the players have a tendency to play to the right a lot more than the left. Especially Robin Van Persie who’s played the ball to the right side with 27% of his passes (Walcott anyone?).
Van Persi and Demba Ba are behind in the overall passing accuracy stakes with 77% and 72% respectively.
Let’s keep goal scoring till last so that I can keep your attention on Christmas Day! So we’ll move onto Creativity next. The table below shows how creative the players are and what type of chances/assists they are creating.
Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney are the most creative here with Robin Van Persie, impressively I might add, creating a chance every 37 minutes. Wow, just wow, this player has been on fire in 2011 and this season he’s become almost unplayable at times. He now sits level with Theiry Henry for the record goals scored in a calender year in the Premier League. I have a feeling he may just break that record next week.
Surprisingly Sergio Aguero comes in second for minutes per chance created. Sergio is creating a chance every 47 minutes and you’d not immediately strike Sergio Aguero as a creator however he’s done very impressively here. Wayne Rooney deserves a special mention as he’s got the second highest chances created but was just pipped by Aguero to the minutes per chance created statistic. Rooney averages a chance every 50 minutes which is still very good for a striker. Unfortunately for Newcastle supporters, Demba Ba lags behind here with only seven chances created, and he averages one per 169 minutes.
Looking at the assists it’s Robin Van Persie ahead with 5, with three coming from set players and then Sergio aguero with four, Rooney with 2 and Demba with the solitary assist. Really impressive numbers from Van Persie here.
Chances converted to goals?
Sergio Aguero tops the list here with almost 17% of his created chances being converted into goals whilst almost 13% of Robin Van Persie’s created chances have been converted. Both players very impressive.
Now for the Main Event… what you all want to see is their goal scoring statistics and ratios well here they are:
The table speaks for itself really. Robin Van Persie is the top goalscorer for the season so far and has 16 goals. However it is Sergio Aguero that averages a goal every 87 minutes. This is the best statistic out of the top four strikers listed. Robin Van Persie averages a goal per game with a goal every 90 minutes whilst Demba Ba is in close proximity with a goal every 91 minutes. All very close to each other and all very, very impressive.
Sergio Aguero also steals the thunder for minutes per shot. He is firing at goal every 21 minutes whilst his rivals Van Persie and Rooney are looking at a shot at goal every 24 minutes and Demba Ba isn’t far behind on 28. The minutes per shot on target sees Wayne Rooney equal top spot with Sergio both averaging a shot on target every 40 minutes. Robin Van Persie is right on their coattail with 41 minutes whilst Demba Ba is on 47 minutes (still impressive whilst playing at Newcastle).
Shot accuracy goes to Wayne Rooney and Demba Ba. Both are on 60% although going to two decimal places will see Wayne edge this by 0.1%. We’ve rounded the figures up though so both sit at 60% which is phenomenal feat as it is a very high accuracy rate.
What’s interesting is the chance conversion and as you can see above Demba Ba takes this one with a 31% conversion rate of his shots. This is higher than his rivals with Van Persie on 26%, Aguero on 25% and Rooney on 23%. So this is hands down a Demba Ba victory for chance conversion!
Dependency of Player
We thought we’d draw up a quick bar chart for you to see how much each side is depending on the players listed in this comparison:
As you can see above (Goals in blue are goals by the player, red is for Goals by rest of the team), Demba Ba is the most relied upon player out of the four compared here. If anything would happen to Ba Newcastle, they would lose a player that has scored more than 56% of their goals. It would really cripple them.
Arsenal’s dependency of Robin Van Persie is not far behind with the Gunners relying on RVP to score 48% of their goals. That’s also an astonishing amount and a worry as Robin hasn’t had a very good record of injuries over the last few years. If he stays fit then Arsenal will push the top 3 very close this year.
The two teams that don’t seem to be as dependant on their players as Arsenal & Newcastle are Manchester City and Manchester United. City especially are depending on Aguero the least with Sergio only scoring 24.53% of all goals for city. Wayne Rooney is not far behind with Rooney scoring almost 31% of United’s goals so they are slightly dependant but not as much as Arsenal and Newcastle United.
So as you can see there are some wonderful statistics there. Which two would like in my side? At the moment I’d definitely go for an in-form Robin Van Persie and a brilliant Sergio Aguero – both bringing bags of goals and creativity too!
From everyone here at EPLIndex – we wish you a very, Merry Christmas!
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