Head-To-Head Stats: Doyle (Wolves) vs Torres (Liverpool FC)

To me and most fans of Wolverhampton Wanderers a match against Liverpool at Anfield on Boxing Day is something very special. In boyhood I admired the fantastic players of Liverpool. Especially their striker and wingers.

But there is still firepower and players to admire in Liverpool and it is a treat as a Wolves supporter to be able to watch when Wolves measure their strength against one of the best teams in the world.

We have already compared two central defenders (HERE) and two midfielders (HERE) and it is time to take on two strikers.

I use this statistical method because I believe  it can reveal something about the strengths and weaknesses of the players and of their teams. And we will perhaps learn something new that we didn’t know before and can dig a little deeper and perhaps be a little more objective than the common pundit. Let’s first go to the presentation of the strikers.

Kevin Doyle, 26, from Wexford, Ireland. He started as a professional for S:t Patrick, but soon moved on to Cork City where he started out as a right winger but soon moved on to play as a striker. He scored 25 goals for Cork in two seasons and Reading became interested in the young striker. He was signed for them when they played in the Championships in 2005 for £78.000. Everybody thought that he would only be a back-up to Kitson, but when he became injured Doyle took his chances and scored some vital goals to help Reading move up to the Premier League.He was also named Reading Player Of The Year.

In the Premier League Doyle became a threat in the air for other teams. He was the best striker when it came to headers that first year, In total he scored 13 goals in total. The next year he didn’t do that well. He only scored six and Reading was relegated. He stayed in Reading trying to get them to bounce back. He scored 18 goals last season, but Reading lost in the play-offs to the Premier League to Burnley.

Kevin Doyle came to Wolves from Reading this summer in a record deal for the club of £6,5 million. He is an Irish international who plays together with Robbie Keane (a former Wolves player) as striker for the Republic of Ireland. He was injured in the beginning of the current season and has played 14 matches so far for Wolves.

Fernando Torres, 25, from Spain. Torres started to play football in a minor team already at the age of five. He came to the very good Youth Academy of Atletico Madrid – the team that he was a supporter of – at age thirteen. When he was fifteen the Youth Team he then played in won an international Cup and Torres was voted the best player of his age in Europe.  He was honourably named as ‘The Kid’ and everybody knew that he had a great future ahead.

He made his debut with the Atletico senior team when he was seventeen. In his first season he netted only six times, but in the season 2002-3 it went better and he scored 12 goals in 29 appearances.  The season after that he fulfilled everybody’s expectations and scored 19 goals in 35 appearances and was the third best goalscorer in La Liga. In qualifying for the 2006 World Cup Torres became the best goalscorer in the team with seven goals in eleven games. The big clubs in Europe – including Chelsea and Liverpool had no set their eyes on him and as he became the Spain topscorer at the World Cup Finals it became clear that Atletico couldn’t hold on to him much longer.

In July 2007 he signed for Liverpool in a deal that was estimated to be around £20 million. He scored his first goal in his first league game at Anfield against Chelsea. After a hat-trick against ‘Boro in Februari of 2008 he was named as Player Of The Month. He continued to score for Liverpool in that first season and his goal tally was to be 29 in all matches. He continued to score goals for Liverpool last season Despite having a couple of hamstring injuries and an ankle injury as well he managed to score his 50th goal for the club in only two seasons in the last match.

Fernando Torres has started this season very well, but he has a lingering injury to his abdomen. But that has not stopped him from scoring in this season so far. He has played 13 matches for Liverpool to date.

Let’s now move on to the statistics and compare the strikers results so far this season.

Season 2009-10 Doyle Torres
Fouls won and / conceded / % won 30 /18 / 63% 32 /21 /60%
Tackles won and / lost / % won 19/5 /79% 6/1 /86%
Accurate passes % / Attacks created 68% / 9 68% / 11
Goals / Assists / Shots on goal 5/ 1 / 13 11 / 1 / 21

Paddytheflea will now try to put some interpretation to these figures and find a reasonable analysis to the differences between the two strikers statistics

Fouls: Doyle and Torres are involved in situations when a foul is issued in about the same in frequency. Doyle wins more fouls in percentages, but not in numbers. I would say that this is as close to a tie you will get.

Tackles: Kevin Doyle wins a lot of tackles. And he gets into a lot more tackle situations than Torres. But Torres manages to win 86 percent of them. But Doyle is not far from him. And in the last four games Doyle has won three and lost none. That shows that Doyle now is finding his way through the defences without the need to tackle, like Torres does.

Passes and Attacks: Keeping the ball in the team is very closely connected to the final outcome of the game. And the big teams are very good at passing the ball so that it comes to a team mate. But Doyle and Torres does not excel in this area. Usually players from the big teams are very good at hitting accurate passes. Doyle is slightly better than four games ago.

In creating attacks Doyle almost measures up to Torres eleven with his nine. And recently he has created five attacks in four matches, so Doyle is improving in this area as well.

Goals, Assists and Shots on goal: This is  of course the most important of the categories for strikers. This is their main job. And as we already know Torres excels in scoring goals. With eleven in thirteen matches he is among the best in Premier League. Doyle does about half as well. But a strikers goal tally is of course also dependent on other players delivery, apart from his own skills.

It would not be wrong to say that it is probable that Torres gets more balls to work on from his team mates and therefore more chances to score.

His number of shots on goal are almost double that of Doyle and this supports that interpretation. But I’ve said before that our strikers should shoot more. They did last season and it resulted in a lot of goals. Torres looks to be a selfish scorer as he – like Doyle – only has one assist.

If we look at the amount of goals to the shots on goal Doyle gets an ‘efficiency percentage’ of 38% and Torres gets 52%. That is a big difference. When we look at the ‘precision percentage’ shots vs shots on goal Doyle has 57% and Torres 58%. It looks like the way to go for Doyle to get more goals would be to be more efficient and perhaps to place the ball better when shooting.

Conclusions: Kevin Doyle is an Irish International of high class but he is here compared to a Spanish International who is one of the best strikers in the world. He can of course not compete with him, but he does nothing wrong when it comes to fouls and tackles, where they are fairly equal.

It was a surprise to me that Torres is not as good a passer of the ball as his top scoring friends from other clubs. At this area as well is Doyle his equal and he is not far from Torres when it comes to creating attacks. Especially since he has improved in this the last games.

But it is of course when it comes to getting results in form of goals and shots on goal where Torres is much better than Doyle. Whether it is because of that Torres is a more skilled player or that he has a better ‘work environment’ in form of team mates who can provide him with the right balls remains at least partly unknown.

You could do the thought experiment of trying to figure out how many goals Torres would have scored in Wolves and how many Doyle would have scored if he was the striker in Liverpool. I think the environment does play in, but Torres has shown during his career that he is a very good goalscorer even in Atletico Madrid during a time when they were not top of the league. And our stats shows that Torres is more efficient in front of goal than Doyle.

The conclusion must be – based on these statistics and earlier performances – that Torres is the better player. But not by much. The stats shows that Doyle has the potential to come close to him. And  how they will perform on the day – that is today – nobody knows.




~ by paddytheflea on December 26, 2009.

5 Responses to “Head-To-Head Stats: Doyle (Wolves) vs Torres (Liverpool FC)”

  1. haha what complete bullshit you have no fucking clue do you. torres is the best stiker in the world doyle is a nobody. also agger is one of the best defenders in the league, dont copare him to your shity championship players and even lucas is better than your captain. says it all really. 4 nil to us today. COME ON YOU REDS.

  2. Ive been reading your entertaining comparisons for a couple of days now. and its one thing to support your team and its totally another to draw up deluded conclusions from a limited number of stats (you have not used career stats but limited seasons only)
    i respect your blind devotion to your club but in the words of john mcenroe “you caaaaaaaaant be serious”

  3. Doyle has the potential to get close to him? Your absolutely clueless. A better player but not by much? A greater load of nonsense I’ve never read. There was some credance to the previous two comparisons, but you got both dramatically wrong. This comparison reveals you are more than likely somewhere between 11 and 15 years old.

    If I was you I’d forget about these kind of comparisons.

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