Head-To-Head-Stats: Fletcher (former Burnley, now Wolves) vs Doyle (Wolves)

Well. What is this? Has the flea gone over the edge? No way!

As you all probably know by now Steven Fletcher has signed for Wolves. We got him for the same price as Doyle, £6.5 million, Jez Moxey revealed. So I thought it would be an interesting labour to look at and compare the stats from last season for these two strikers – now both in Wolves.

Does Steven Fletcher match up to Doylers records? Or is he even better when looking at the stats available to me? Kindly note that the stats does not say everything about the players. I use this statistical method sometimes, because I believe it can reveal something about the strengths and weaknesses of the players. And they can give us better and more objective measures than just subjective pundits thoughts. So – as a flea – I like to stick to it. 😆

Steven Fletcher, 23, was born in Shrewsbury, but having a mother from Scotland he started his youth career in Hibernian as a thirteen-year-old.

After four seasons as a youth player he became a regular senior player in the 2004-5 season and scored five goals for the Scots. The next season he doubled that goal-tally. The season after that he scored two goals in the League Cup finals against Kilmarnock.

In the season 2007-8 he became Hibs main striker and big clubs like Real Madrid and  after the season Manchester City among others became interested in the talented young footballer. In January next season Celtic made a bid, but Hibs rejected it against Fletcher’s will.

But in June Burnley made an approach and signed the striker for £3 million. His first Premier League goal came against Birmingham City (I like that!) 😆 He has made seven appearances for the Scotland senior team and scored once.

Steven Fletcher made 35 appearances for Burnley in the 2009-10 season (2873 minutes of play).


Kevin Doyle, 26, is 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 last season but made 34 appearances  for Wolves (with 2897 minutes of playing time).

Let’s now move on to the statistics and compare the strikers results last season then.

Season 2009-10 Doyle Fletcher
Fouls won and / conceded / % won 80 /48 / 63% 58 /48 /55%
Tackles won and / lost / % won 35 /9 / 80% 28 / 6 / 82%
Accurate passes % / Attacks created 68% / 29 71% / 29
Goals / Assists / Shots on goal 9/ 1 / 24 8 / 5 / 23

Paddytheflea will now interpret these figures.

Fouls: Doyle is involved in situations when a foul is issued more often than Fletcher. Doyle wins more fouls in percentages and in numbers. Doyle gets himself and the team much more advantages in form of free kicks than Fletcher and they conceives exactly the same amount of frees. Doyle wins this category.

Tackles: Kevin Doyle wins a lot of tackles. Eighty per cent is a very good figure. But Fletcher is even slightly better. But Doyle bettered himself with two percentages in the last ten games. It’s very eaven, but on the season as a whole Fletcher wins this category.

Passes: Keeping the ball in the team is very closely connected to the final outcome of the game. Doyle and Fletcher does not excel in this area. Fletcher is a little better, but not as good as the best strikers in the best teams. Fletcher wins this category.

Attacks: At creating attacks they are exactly each others equals.

Goals: This is of course the most important of the categories for a striker. This is their main job. Doyle scored nine and Fletcher eight in the Premier League.   Doyle wins this category.

Shots on goal: Looking at shots on goal they are so close to each other that I’m tempted to declare it a tie, but Doyle’s got 24 on goal from 60 shots and Fletcher used 68 shots to get 23 on goal, so Doyle has got better precision in his shooting and wins this category.

Assists: When it comes to assists Fletcher is by far the better player. Five assists are impressing – or is it that Doyle has a weak spot at assisting to goals? Fletcher wins this category.

Conclusions: My first impression must be that Kevin Doyle and Steven Fletcher have very similar stats in most areas. Not only their goal-tally is almost the same. They are about equally good at tackles, passes, shots on goal and attacks created as well.

In two areas the two now team-mates do differ, though. Steven Fletcher is better at assisting to goals and Kevin Doyle wins many more fouls for his team.

The final conclusion must be – based on these statistics alone – that it is impossible to say who is the better player. They have played almost exactly the same amount of minutes last season and their stats are very similar indeed.

And it is impossible to say if Fletcher has more assists because of his slightly better passing or because his team mates in Burnley perhaps were better to make results of the crucial last pass than Doylers comrades in Wolves.

These stats say that Wolves has signed a player at least equally as good as Doyle. So maybe it was O.K. to pay the same fee for Fletcher?! And thinking about what an impression Doyler has made among the fans and to the football world last season. With the two of them in the same team next season – hopefully playing as a pair … the  future is good, the future is black and old gold! I for one am looking forward to the next season 😆


UP THE WOLVES!

Paddytheflea

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~ by paddytheflea on June 3, 2010.

9 Responses to “Head-To-Head-Stats: Fletcher (former Burnley, now Wolves) vs Doyle (Wolves)”

  1. I’m excited to see these guys play together!
    I really can’t wait to see how they produce.

  2. This was a very interesting analysis Paddy. Luckily they are not twins, as the stats might suggest if no information about them were available. I think Fletcher with his power and aerial ability certainly will add something different, somthing we’ve missed in the box. But the stats is astonishing similar I admit. Now we got two very mobile strikers. Can’t wait to see how they perform together. I predict we’ll create much more chances, and that they will tear the oppositions defence apart. Wolves will be the next season surprise and finish on the upper half of the table. :=)

  3. I think the reason Doyler didn`t make many assists is that there wasnt anybody to assist he played the lone front man for most of the season, but that said I think they will be great pairing!!

  4. Good analysis Paddy. One thing needs mentioning though to explain Doyle’s lack of assists. For about half the season, Doyle played as a lone front man so he would not actually be doing much assisting. No disrespect to the other players but Doyle was always way ahead of the midfield in attacking positions, although this was due to him creating the attacks himself most of the time.
    Fletcher in comparison played as a 2 up front striker and so would provide more assists for his partner/team mates than Doyle. Well that’s my conclusion anyway, do you agree?

    We Are Wolves.

    • Sounds as a good reason for the difference in the stats, Bully Fan. I hope that both of them gets more of both goals and assists next season.

      • Absolutely, I think I speak on behalf of all Wolves fans when I say amen to that. It would be lovely if some of those goals and assists are included in wins against the Baggies.

        Up The Wolves.

  5. Where does this partnership leave SEB, other than possible injuries?

    • A good question. But it’s good to have many options. And McCarthy is a fair manager and will play the best forwards. SEB gets his chance. But I believe that Fletcher – being the same type of hard working striker as Doyle – will make it very hard for SEB convincing MM to pick him. The only thing that could convince MM to choose SEB over Fletcher and Doyle are goals.

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