Premier League Round 13

4 Dec

Okay, let’s get things up and running. This round up might be a little longer than usual as I’ve got to catch up on 13 games:

At the moment, as it’s the early stages of the season, I’ve only included players with 5 goals or more, excluding O. Goal, who’s toe to toe with RVP with an impressive 13 goals. Liverpool are the biggest beneficiaries of O. Goal’s scoring touch with 3 (ave 6.67).

As the season progresses, i’ll update accordingly – more likely going to 10+ goals by Christmas.

So what does this table tell us so far? Well aside from van Persie leading the goalscoring charts, he’s also leading the way in the goals against the top 6 after scoring one at Old Trafford in a game he’d probably rather forget, and the rather more memorable hat trick against Chelsea who were then in 3rd. He’s in the form of his life and not only is he doing it in the big games, he’s generally doing it in all games – his split being pretty well rounded with 4 also scored against the bottom 6, and 5 against the mid table clubs.

Robin van Persie is the standout player in the Premier League this season – despite the mullet.

Aguero (1 goal) and Dzeko (4 goals) can count themselves a little unlucky with their average opponent per goal rating. Both players scored against Spurs when they were bottom of the league. If they were scored now then Dzeko would have an average of 6.5 which is incredible given than he’s scored 10 goals. However, one of the reasons that I’m looking at the opposition ranking at the start of the round of fixtures is because it gives a snapshot of that moment in time. No one can argue that Spurs have since strengthened considerably since then – Parker and Adebayor joined (they’re unbeaten since), and Modric seems to have got his game head back on after batting his eyelashes in Chelsea’s direction. Chances are that the score would be very different now if that game was played at White Hart Lane today.

Another man who can feel a bit hard done by with his rating is Wayne Rooney. He started this season like it was Euro 2004, though has since been on World Cup 2006/2010 form in terms of scoring (unfair? Maybe, but it’s true). In his blistering start, he scored a hat trick against Arsenal who were then ranked 14th. Like their North London rivals, Arsenal had a pretty miserable start to the season and have since recovered well. Mertesacker, Arteta, Andre Santos et al have now all settled in and helped turn things around – as well as the returning Vermaelen. It’s very debatable that Man Utd would score 8 against them now. Rooney also scored against Spurs who were then 16th. If we applied their current positions to Rooney’s stats, then he’d have a much more impressive average opponent ranked 7.55 per goal.

I’ve been asked about how to deal with these anomalies but I think that they paint the picture at the time of play. As mentioned above, Spurs and Arsenal are now much better teams than they were at the start of the season. I’ll be doing a retrospective look back at the end of the season based on the final positions – so fear not fans of the Manchester Clubs.

So who are the big game players so far? Apart from RvP, the player with the goals against the highest ranked opposition after round 13 is Mental Super Mario. He’s got an average of 6.50 which is the highest of those players with 5 goals or more. This is mainly due to the double against Man Utd on their own turf, and also a goal in round 12 versus high flying Newcastle.

Flat Track Bully? Well at the moment the stats point to Frank Lampard who has an average opponent per goal (i’ll probably need an abbreviation for this soon) of 15.83. Lampard has been under a bit of pressure this season, with some suggesting that his age is starting to show. He hit back with a hat trick against Bolton – unfortunately for his average, Bolton were ranked 20th at the time, after a shockingly bad start to the season. He also scored against then 18th place Blackburn, and his goal against Arsenal was when they were in 7th – so he didn’t get the goal in the top 6 bracket (the Yak and Bent are the only other players in the above list without a goal vs top 6 opposition).

However, one other point of note on the above is that Lampard and van der Vaart are the only midfielders in the list. So although Lampard could be tagged a bully (probably ganging up on the weedy kids with John Terry), it should be pointed out that he’s the joint highest scoring midfielder – so fair play. You can argue that van der Vaart should be down as a forward but I consider him a very far advanced attacking midfielder, or for fans of the old Championship Manager series – AM RLC. When he plays instead of Defoe, it’s generally in a 5 man midfield.

Honourable mentions to Adebayor and Javier “The Little Vegetable” Hernandez who have averages in the 8s and specialise in the big games, with no goals vs bottom 6 oppositions.

So that’s the first attempt of the bread and butter top scorer blog – i’ll be looking to update with round 14 once the fixtures have been completed.

Any feedback is welcome. I’ll probably piss about with the format between now and then as I’m new to this, so patience please!

Cheers,

Liam

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