LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Robin van Persie of Arsenal goes past goalkeeper Petr Cech to score Arsenal's fourth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on October 29, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
In the previous top 15 Strikers piece I listed the strikers in several categories including assists, scoring %, shots and many more. Today I want concentrate on one particular aspect of a strikers' performance; the scoring of goals.
Now, all goals are not equal as touched on in this piece. I want to break down each strikers goal scoring record into goals scored at certain game states. Think of a goal scored when a team is one goal up, or two goals down, or a tied game
I have spoken about the most valuable game states to score at and these are 0 ( tied game) -1 (a goal behind) and +1 (a goal ahead).
Join me after the jump to see which striker scored the most at the crucial -1, 0, +1 game state and which striker was padding his stats and scoring goals when the game was already won.
Any guesses for which striker scored the most goals when the game was tied?
Why look at goals scored at certain game states?
Well, as mentioned I want to see which striker was the best at scoring important goals for his team and thus helping his team gain points. Or which players were scoring when the game was already won and thus we can say he was stat padding on a Messi like level, which is something I cannot mention in Barcelona for fear of upsetting the disciples of His Holiness The Football Jesus!
In short, some goals are more important than others in terms of gaining points for the given players team.
0 to put the team into the lead, it is listed as 0 as the game was tied at the point the goal was scored.
-1 to put the team back into a drawing position and thus giving the team a chance at gaining a point and a much improved chance of gaining three points.
+1 a goal at this game state has a very high chance of ensuring the team 3 points
Other game states
+2, +3, +4 , +5,
Goals scored at these plus game states are obviously less important than for the game states listed firstly. The game is almost definitely won by the time a goal is scored at any of these plus game states.
-2, -3, -4, -5, -6
Naturally a goal scored at any of these minus game states is relatively harmless as the game is already lost and the chance to gain any points would be much reduced. Unless your team is Man Utd and you claw back a -3 game state scenario away to Chelsea to gain a point the previous sentence is almost always true.
For the exact win percentage chance of a goal scored at any of the above game states please read here.
Top 15 EPL strikers
|Mins per goal|
These are the raw numbers as we have discussed before. This our base point.
Goals Scored At The Crucial Minus/Even/Plus Game States
|Goals at -1 /0/+1 (home/away)||% of goals in crucial game state|
Van Persie had scored the most goals at the crucial set of game states. he scored 14 at home and 8 away when talking about -1 ,0 ,+1 game states. Arsenal won the most games when falling a goal behind in 2011/12 and set a record in EPL history in the process. His number is simply outstanding.
Rooney registered 10 goals at home and 5 away but had the lowest % of crucial goals in the table of top 15 EPL strikers, but why?
There is the factor of playing in a good team, who regularly outscores the opposition by healthy margin, but that stat only goes so far. Rooney, when looking at the above table, can be to an extent, accused of stat padding and scoring once the opposition was already beaten. Rooney's numbers would have looked a whole lot worse too if not for the 10 crucial -1/0/+1 goals he scored in Man Utd's last 12 games.
That is an incredible end of season run which kept United in the title hunt, but that leaves him scoring only 5 crucial goals in Man utd's first 26 games.
Grant Holt had a sensational goal scoring record for Norwich, scoring 100% of all his goals at the crucial game states when the game was on the line and points were there to be won.
I highlighted Newcastle's strikers also as I wanted to show how crucial there two in form forwards were during the 2011/12 EPL campaign. They both scored consistently when the points were up for grabs.
Full Game States (home)
These are the lists of goals scored at home in all game states.
Again, a -1 goal is a goal scored when losing by a goal, a +1 is a goal scored hwen already leading by a goal. and 0 is a tied game.
Van Persie is green (good) highlighted once again for his stellar +1 and 0 goal scoring record.
Clint Dempsey scored an excellent 6 goals at a tied game state during his home games.
Grant Holt scored a league leading 4 goals at a -1 game state, these can be called game tying goals for the more North Americanized of us. Whether his goals led to Norwich protecting that point is another question.
Full Game States (away)
The away table.
Rooney scored the joint most 0 game state goals, goals that put his team into the lead. Rooney also scored the most away goals of any striker in the 2011/12 EPL, then again only five of his ten goals were classed (by me) as truly important goals, although a very strong argument can be made for the goals scored at -3 and -2 away at Chelsea which resulted in a crucial away point for United.
Demba Ba has the most +1 goals away from home, Grant Holt and Fletcher have the joint most -1 goals away from home (game tying). This may be a result of their respective clubs being fairly poor teams in comparison to the teams some of the other top 15 strikers represent.
Edin Dzeko scored a good number of away goals in comparison to Balotelli, especially. Although Edin scored 5 crucial goals away from home he also scored the most unimportant goals in away from home amongst all the above strikers. Stat padding or just the Spurs and Man Utd away game effect?
The method I have used here is just a quick way of breaking down who scored the most and what was the game state at the time of the goal being scored. When the points are on the line big players make big plays as Sonics says, and by this measure RVP and Aguero are kings of the hill, with an honorable mention to the excellent Grant Holt.
Goals are goals no matter how or when they are scored. I was attempting to show that some goals mean more than others within the context of a game.
Some goals are more equal than others.