Stats Analysis: Strikers & Precision in shots at goal

As everybody who follows Paddytheflea regularly knows I am a sucker for stats. I believe stats can say something about the game of football more objective than the statements of pundits and fans opinions. Partly because stats are free from sentiments and partly because stats are systematic in their nature and looks over long periods of time.

But stats can of course not say everything about a player, team or a game. There is no way you can put all the data necessary into stats to get the whole picture, so to say. But if you are aware of the limitations and analyze the data with care it can be a valuable tool to know the game, the teams and the players better.

There are many sources for stats on the net when it comes to the Premier League. And every source has a lot of outlets. One such outlet is on the Wolves Official site (and at any football teams official site). Today I have used that to get to know more about precision in shooting among the top strikers of the Premier League and the Championships.

Already last season I peeked into this and found out that there were two top strikers that stood out in the Championships when it came to precision in shooting. They were our own Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Jason Scotland from Swansea. They have both a hard time adjusting to the Prem this season but last season they were fabulous and it is no coincidence that they both play in the Premiership this season.

To make it into my made up category of “precision shooters” you have to hit the goal close to or more than double the times of missing it. Let’s look at it then.

Sylvan launched 61 shots on goal last season and he missed 28. If we make that into percentages he hits the target on 61/89 = 69 %. Easy peasy. Not bad. 69 percent of his shots did go on goal last season. Scotlands figures was very similar; 62/90 = 69 %. (It gets the same if we round it to the nearest whole percentage).

If we look on the Championships this year so far (there might be some strikers worth of signing there) we find four players that sticks out from the rest among the top scorers;

  • Nick Maynard, Bristol City, 49/71= 69 % precision

  • Leon Best, Coventry City, 40/60= 67 %     ” “

  • Matty Fryatt, Leicester City, 37/56= 66 %  ” “

  • Kevin Nolan, Newcastle, 35/53= 66 %       ”  “
  • *
  • *
  • *

You have to hit goal to score therefore this precision measure of course says something essential about the quality of a goalscorer. But not everything, you mind.

Edit: I couldn’t help myself but to continue and research into what a percentage of the shots on goal these players actually put in the net. Here are the percentages:

  • Nicky Maynard – 27 %
  • Leon Best – 29 %
  • Matty Fryatt – 34 %
  • Kevin Nolan – 40 %

That’s a big defference between Maynard and Nolan. We can conclude that Kevin Nolan is the “Best Buy” amongst the strikers of the Championships (but he is in reality a midfielder!) according to these stats.

Let’s have a look at the top scorers of the Premier League so far this season then. Who makes it into my category of precision shooters?

  • Hugo Rodallega, Wigan, 51/75= 68 %  precision

  • Gabriel Agbonlahor, Aston Villa, 33/45= 73 %  ” “

  • Nicolas Anelka, Chelsea, 34/46= 74 %  ” “

Edit: I will do the same about the Premiership strikers. Who has the best scoring percentage on his shots on goal?

  • Hugo Rodallega – 18 %
  • Nicolas Anelka – 24 %
  • Gabriel Agbonlahor – 35 %

A big difference between the strikers here as well. And we can conclude that Gabriel Agbonlahor is the “Best Buy” amongst the strikers in the Premier League according to these statistics.

Very impressive stats on Anelka and Agbonlahor indeed. If I were their manager I would do everything to get them to launch more shots at goal.

Hope you enjoyed the little excursion into the world of football stats. Why don’t you make a little tour of your own?



~ by paddytheflea on January 27, 2010.

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