First up is a simple look at the top 25 centre-forwards in the Championship last term. Sorted by the amount of goals scored, the table below includes minutes, goals/non-penalty goals, assists and key pass data. This has then been adjusted “per 90” – a concept I first saw, read about and understood from the brilliant http://www.statsbomb.com. The adjusted figures show Assists per 90, Non-penalty goals per 90, Scoring Contribution per 90 (Ap90 + NPGp90 = SCp90) and I’ve also included Key Pass per 90 – which I think is passes leading to a goalscoring opportunity. The players are filtered so only though who have played 800 minutes or more are included. Else there were a lot of skewed results.
So lets see what we’ve got.
|1||Ross McCormack||Centre Forward||Leeds United||27||4125||99||10||28||26||0.218||0.567||0.785||2.160|
|2||Jordan Rhodes||Centre Forward||Blackburn Rovers||24||4010||52||5||25||21||0.112||0.471||0.584||1.167|
|3||Troy Deeney||Centre Forward||Watford FC||25||3960||36||5||24||18||0.114||0.409||0.523||0.818|
|4||Lewis Grabban||Centre Forward||AFC Bournemouth||26||3767||41||6||22||15||0.143||0.358||0.502||0.980|
|5||Danny Ings||Centre Forward||Burnley FC||22||3527||50||7||21||20||0.179||0.510||0.689||1.276|
|6||Chris Martin||Centre Forward||Derby County||25||3775||58||10||20||16||0.238||0.381||0.620||1.383|
|7||David Nugent||Centre Forward||Leicester City||29||3579||57||12||20||11||0.302||0.277||0.578||1.433|
|8||Sam Vokes||Centre Forward||Burnley FC||24||3365||40||5||20||16||0.134||0.428||0.562||1.070|
|9||Charlie Austin||Centre Forward||Queens Park Rangers||24||2491||21||3||17||13||0.108||0.470||0.578||0.759|
|10||Jamie Vardy||Centre Forward||Leicester City||27||2897||44||10||16||16||0.311||0.497||0.808||1.367|
|11||Chris O’Grady||Centre Forward||Barnsley FC||28||3378||51||4||15||11||0.107||0.293||0.400||1.359|
|12||Adam Le Fondre||Centre Forward||Reading FC||27||2269||21||3||15||12||0.119||0.476||0.595||0.833|
|13||Yann Kermorgant||Centre Forward||Charlton/Bournemouth||32||2627||54||1||14||13||0.034||0.445||0.480||1.850|
|14||Leonardo Ulloa||Centre Forward||Brighton & Hove Albion||27||2663||35||4||14||14||0.135||0.473||0.608||1.183|
|15||David McGoldrick||Centre Forward||Ipswich Town||26||2666||27||4||14||12||0.135||0.405||0.540||0.911|
|16||Rudy Gestede||Centre Forward||Blackburn Rovers||25||1709||28||3||13||13||0.158||0.685||0.843||1.475|
|17||Daryl Murphy||Centre Forward||Ipswich Town||31||3702||44||6||13||13||0.146||0.316||0.462||1.070|
|18||Pavel Pogrebnyak||Centre Forward||Reading FC||30||3102||34||5||13||10||0.145||0.290||0.435||0.986|
|19||Federico Macheda||Centre Forward||Doncaster/Birmingham||22||2200||12||3||13||13||0.123||0.532||0.655||0.491|
|20||Matt Smith||Centre Forward||Leeds United||25||2112||25||6||12||12||0.256||0.511||0.767||1.065|
|21||James Vaughan||Centre Forward||Huddersfield Town||25||1807||13||2||10||8||0.100||0.398||0.498||0.647|
|22||Ishmael Miller||Centre Forward||Yeovil/Notts Forest||27||1561||18||0||10||9||0.000||0.519||0.519||1.038|
|23||Chris Brown||Centre Forward||Doncaster Rovers||29||3398||26||1||9||6||0.026||0.159||0.185||0.689|
|24||Lee Novak||Centre Forward||Birmingham City||25||2793||21||0||9||9||0.000||0.290||0.290||0.677|
|25||Chris Maguire||Centre Forward||Sheffield Wednesday||25||2047||58||6||8||5||0.264||0.220||0.484||2.550|
Immediately, Deeney, Grabban and Nugent’s goals have decreased due to the amount of penalties they slotted home last term. I guess the fact they won so many could be an indicator of the amount of play in the final third, the attacking prowess etc etc. Either way, Nugent’s been bagging goals in the Championship for years, and even has nicked a goal for England (evident goal snatch) and is the arch nemesis of any and all Ipswich Town fans – a club he loves scoring against. His goals were vital to firing Leicester back to the top flight.
The top goalscorer, was Ross McCormack of Leeds who has since been subject of a big money move to Fulham (£11m) and had a disappointing opening game vs. Ipswich Town – suffering the anonymity of being hauled off at half-time and Magath lashing out at his lack of fitness.
McCormack is a great player, in my opinion, and deserved to be the Player of the Season ahead of Danny Ings. Ings had a great season, but McCormark single handedly lead a fragile leads team, working hard and scoring goals. 26 non-penalty goals and 10 assists show this – only Nugent finished ahead of him on 12 assists. At 27, McCormack is in his peak age for a striker and for me, can be the leader in a youthful and promising Fulham side. I like the mix of youth and experience and believe Magath can send them up if not this season, then definitely next. Once he’s at peak fitness and the team are more familiar with one and other I’m sure there will be no trouble.
Jordan Rhodes was the holder of the highest transfer fee paid in the Championship when he moved to Blackburn from Huddersfield – and has continued to be the goalscorer that many Ipswich Town fans will forever rue as the one who got away. 21 non-penalty goals and 5 assists means that he is behind McCormack in terms of non-penalty goals. I think the Key Pass stat is an interesting one as well, it gives an idea of what kind of striker a player is. So from McCormack, he made 2.16 Key Passes per 90, which can be interpreted that RM is a player who brings others into play. Rhodes’ is around 1.17 Key Passes, and might relate to Bowyer’s system of two strikers, one playing the other in and JR’s trait of being a good finisher.
Lewis Grabban moved from Bournemouth to Norwich in the close season, after being close to signing for Cardiff and scored 7 from the penalty spot. SImilar to Rhodes, his KP p90 of 0.98 might indicate he’s more of a finisher than a striker who brings others into play. This would become more clear with data to do with positioning, touches and heatmaps. Grabban was also 26, and is moving into the ‘peak years’ of a centre-forward, so this may be good business for our Canary friends.
Quick notable mention for my personal favourite, Rudy Gestede. Actually came out on top for Scoring Contribution per 90 in the division, and at 25 can develop a deadly partnership with Rhodes, especially with assist king Conway and the brilliant Cairney behind him. 13G, 3A in 27 appearances including 21 starts. Sure, he only played 10 games for the full 90 (McCormack was a monster who missed 15 minutes of the regular season by my count)
Other mentions for Charlie Austin who makes it into the top 10 in a season hampered by injury. Chris O’Grady and Adam Le Fondre have changed their shirt colours in the close season, as has Leo Ulloa for £5.5m (A tad expensive in my eyes, but Brighton can replace him with a fit Craig Mackail-Smith) McGoldrick and Murphy had solid seasons as the first choice strike pairing for Mick McCarthy and the former wonderkid Federico Macheda who has joined OGS’s revolution at Cardiff had a quietly effective season at Doncaster then Birmingham.
I’m sure there are some other points to dicuss, and by all means tweet me any ideas, pointers or questions on Twitter @Scribblr_42!
Will post a similar table for League 1 later on.