Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Scoring Stats - Dependable European forwards

A scoring stat is defined as any goal or assist and through this combination we have so far investigated how reliant certain clubs across Europe are on star individuals. So which players actually contributed the most to the success of their teams in season 2010-2011?

Unsurprisingly, the most dominant forces by way of contributing to their teams forces came from Germany or Italy. In fact, there is a definite "continental" flavour to the players who contribute most to their teams: of the nineteen players who contributed to over 40% of their teams scores with a goal or assist, only one came from England - Manchester City's Carlos Tevez. This could be a function of his manager's heritage and tactics or simply more evidence to suggest his vital nature to the Citizens' attack. Of those nineteen individuals, there were six forwards from Serie A, seven from La Liga and five who played in the Bundesrepublik.

Bologna's captain Marco Di Vaio was statistically the player most involved in his team's goals throughout Europe, while relegated Frankfurt were perhaps too reliant on the goals of Theofanis Gekas. The full table can be found at Balanced Sports' Scoring Stats page. All nineteen players who contributed to over forty percent of their team's goals can be found in the table below:

League Team Player % Contribution
Serie A Bologna Marco Di Vaio 0.600
Bundesliga Frankfurt Theofanis Gekas 0.581
Serie A Napoli Edinson Cavani 0.542
Serie A Udinese Antonio Di Natale 0.538
Bundesliga Freiburg Papiss Demba Cisse 0.537
La Liga Barcelona Lionel Messi 0.516
La Liga Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo 0.490
Serie A Inter Milan Samuel Eto'o 0.435
EPL Manchester City Carlos Tevez 0.433
La Liga Villarreal Giuseppe Rossi 0.426
Bundesliga Koln Milivoje Novakovic 0.426
Bundesliga Schalke 04 Raul 0.421
Serie A Chievo Verona Sergio Pellissier 0.421
La Liga Mallorca Pierre Webo 0.415
Serie A Brescia Andrea Caracciolo 0.412
Bundesliga Hannover Didier Ya Konan 0.408
Serie A Real Sociedad Xabi Prieto 0.408
Serie A Sevilla Alvarao Negredo 0.403
Serie A Real Zaragoza Gabi 0.400
Average Wigan Charles N'Zogbia 0.350

While very few of these numbers have changed significantly since first sight, the greatest surprise is seeing FC Cologne forward Novakovic so high in the rankings. The Slovenian scored twenty goals in a contract drive which saw him named the league's third highest scorer.

Koln's forward press

In April when we first evaluated how important individuals were to their clubs by this admittedly simple measure, there was another representative from the Cathedral city who made the top fifteen most important, forward Lukas Podolski. That Novakovic unseated him first as Koln's statistically most important forward isn't necessarily suprising - Podolski contributed to 43.4% of his club's scoring only six weeks prior to these readings, while Novakovic was involved in in 42.6% at the end of the season. This could be due to one of three reasons - a slow (read: injured) start to the season by Novakovic, a remarkable finish by the same player, or a spectacular drop-off from Podolski.

What it can't be is one providing assists for the other to finish - they totalled seven assists between them. What it does starkly indicate is how little scoring the Billy Goats received from their midfield - Podolski and Novakovic managed between themselves to contribute to 78.7% of all FC Koln's goals.

Which leads us to ask - as we did in April - what the breakdown is between scores and assists across Europe. The following table lays out the differences between the leagues over the period of six weeks. As you can see, forwards playing in Germany and Italy took on increased passing responsibilities while team leaders in La Liga started to look more for the goal than the assist.

League Goals Assists Percentage Goals
EPL - April 174 105 62.37
EPL - Season end 216 123 63.72
La Liga - April 210 89 70.23
La Liga - Season end 290 99 74.55
Serie A - April 204 86 70.34
Serie A - Season end 234 109 68.22
Bundesliga - April 193 63 75.39
Bundesliga - Season end 221 92 70.61

In Part three of our investigation into Scoring Stats, we'll look at which players are the most effective in Europe - who provides the largest boost to their club not over the course of a season, but per game. In the meantime, for all the raw data, visit Balanced Sports Scoring Stats page.

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