Head-To-Head stats: Doyle (Wolves) vs Nugent (Burnley)

It is high time to present a new head-to-head statistics for two of the absolute key players – the two strikers – in the match between Burnley and Wolves – a sixpointer in the true meaning of the word.

Ahead of the meeting with Burnley at home I compared Jarvis and Eagles before (HERE) and after (HERE) the game. Those articles could also be of interest to read ahead of this game

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 balanced 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 in the league when it came to headers that first year. In total he scored 13 goals. 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 for the Premier League to Burnley.

Kevin Doyle came to Wolves from Reading last 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 24 matches so far for Wolves (with 2029 minutes of playing time).

David Nugent, 24, from Huyron, Merseyside started his footballing career at the Liverpool Academy as a goalkeeper. At 15 he was thrown out and left the gloves in the locker and went back to play at his local club as a forward. After a few months he was contacted by the Academy of Bury and the succesful Centre of Excellence wanted to take him in as a striker.

As a professional for Bury in League Two he struggled at the beginning to take a place on the pitch, but in the first half of the 2004-5 season he had a good spell and scored 12 goals and many clubs from higher divisions became interested in the young man.

For £100.000 he joined Preston in the Championships in January of 2005. He did get playing time right from the beginning and also scored nine goals in the second half of the season. In the following two seasons he was very succesful and scored ten and fifteen goals.

They became interested on the National level and he made his debut in the U21 against Wales in February 2005. In total he was cupped 14 times and scored four goals as a youth player. In March 2007 he was called up to represent the full England team in a qualifying match against Andorra, in which he scored a goal in the 93rd minute.

In July 2007 Nugent signed for Portsmouth for £6 million. Sunderland were also interested, but his favorite club Everton were only willing to pay £4 millions. There were rumours there and then that he would leave Portsmouth in the same window financing other deals, but he stayed in the club.

But Nugent had no luck in Portsmouth. The following two seasons he only played 34 games – many of them as a substitute – and scored only three goals. His first league goal for the club came after 18 months. In September of 2009 Nugent went to Burnley on a six-month-long loan deal with a view to a permanent move. He scored a brace against Sunderland on his home debut. On the 30th of January he had to go back to Portsmouth, but a deal was made to keep him on loan at Burnley for the season.

Nugent has been the subject of the tabloids a couple of times during his career. Once for messaging a picture in the nude to a girlfriend that got public and gave him the nickname Nude gent and last summer when he was in a fight with a fellow footballer at Portsmouth.

David Nugent has played 25 matches for Burnley so far in the league this season (with 1236 minutes of playing time)

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

Season 2009-10 Doyle Nugent
Fouls won and / conceded / % won 54 /35 / 61% 16 /15 /52%
Tackles won and / lost / % won 24 /7 / 77% 6 / 3/ 67%
Accurate passes % / Attacks created 68% / 22 70% / 15
Goals / Assists / Shots on goal 6/ 1 / 18 6 / 2 / 14

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

Fouls: Doyle is involved in situations when a foul is issued more often than Nugent. Doyle wins far more fouls in percentages and in numbers. Doyle gets himself and the team much more advantages in form of free kicks than Nugent.

Tackles: Kevin Doyle wins a lot of tackles. And he gets into much more tackle situations than Nugent. But the recent stats reveals that Doyle is not tackling as often now as at the beginning of the season. Doyle is better at winning tackles than Nugent.

Passes and Attacks: Keeping the ball in the team is very closely connected to the final outcome of the game. Doyle and Nugent does not excel in this area. Nugent is a little better, but not as good as the best strikers in the best teams. Usually players from the big teams are very good at hitting accurate passes. But there are signs from the last matches that Doyle is getting better at this.

In creating attacks Doyle has a higher figure than Nugent, but you got to remember that Doyle has spent more minutes on the pitch. They are about equals in this area.

Goals, Assists and Shots on goal: This is of course the most important of the categories for strikers. This is their main job. Both players has scored six goals so far. But Nugent has done it with less time available. But, as I’ve said before, a strikers goal tally is of course dependent on other players delivery, apart from their own skills. Nugent has also made one more assist than Doyle.

Looking at shots on goal Nugent has 14 and Doyle 18. But as Nugent has less time on the pitch he is slightly more frequent at hitting goal and also at shooting. As I’ve said before; our strikers should shoot more. They did last season and it resulted in a lot of goals.

If we look at the last match for the two strikers Doyle was much more active in play against United than Nugent was against Stoke. Doyle found the target for 23 of his 24 passes while Nugent found his man with 11 of 15 passes. Doyle had three scoring attempts compared to Nugent only one. But the Nugent attempt was at goal and resulted in a goal.

Conclusions: Kevin Doyle is an Irish International of high class but like David Nugent he is not – at least not yet – among the best strikers of the Premier League. Maybe partly because they don’t have the back-up of the players in the very best teams. But their shots on goal against scoring ratio is not far from the best players in the league.

When it comes to fouls and tackles Doyle is the better of the two. Doyle is very good at this compared to most strikers in the PL. It seems that Nugent is more of a player that does not engage in play as much as Doyle. He is more of an out-and-out striker, while Doyle helps out more on the midfield.

Passing the ball is the skill that uses to place the Wolves players far behind most of the other teams players. But Burnley and Nugent struggle with this as well. Nugent is not so much better than Doyle at this and Doyle has improved lately.

When it comes to creating attacks they are about the same.But Doyle has improved in this area as well.

When it comes to getting results in form of goals and shots on goal we can conclude that Nugent fires more shots and as a result he gets more at goal and scores more goals.That is something for Doyle and McCarthy to think about and change. Their efficiency and the precision between the players are about the same. If Doyle gets more chances to shoot and gets more shots he will score and he could count to more goals than Nugent when the season draws to a close. The stats points to that.

The conclusion must be – based on these statistics alone – that David Nugent is the slightly better player. Doyle is the better tackler and walks away with more free kicks than Nugent to his advantage. They are about equals when it comes to accuracy of passes and at creating chances but you can not back out from the fact that Nugent has scored the same amount of goals in less time.

This may come as surprise to the Wolves supporters after the hype about Doyle and the clubs that are rumoured to be interested in signing him. But I’m sure that David Nugent is as interesting as Doyle for the Premier League clubs come summer. Perhaps something for Moxey and McCarthy to think about.

But – on the other hand – if Kevin Doyle scores more goals than David Nugent tomorrow the stats will change and I will with delight tell ya all – based on statistical facts – that Kevin Doyle is the better striker of the two. 😆




~ by paddytheflea on March 12, 2010.

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