Golden Boot Race: Graphical Analysis of Suarez, Defoe, RVP, Ba & Michu

Golden Boot Race: Graphical Analysis of Suarez, Defoe, RVP, Ba & Michu


With 149 games of this season having been played and 231 to go, the race for the golden boot is starting to take shape.  With this in mind I have taken a closer look at shooting stats for the current top 5 goalscorers so far this season in the English Premier League: Demba Ba,  Michu (full name Miguel Pérez Cuesta), Robin van Persie, Luis Suarez and Jermain Defoe. But who has really been in the best form? Demba Ba and Luis Suarez have both made the top 5 despite playing in teams currently placed in the bottom half, perhaps adding weight to their claim, whilst Michu has been the most deadly at scoring big chances.

The first 4 players are equal on 10 goals, and Jermain Defoe in 5th place with 9 goals, and so there would seem to be little to tell the players apart. To dig a little deeper into how we might compare their shooting efficiency I have presented some simple ratios and graphs below.

Graphs created below as at 05/12/12:

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  • All the players in the list average at least 1.00 big chance per 90mins
  • Demba Ba and RVP have scored a higher proportion of difficult goals, with 5 out of 10 goals for each of them not being classified by Opta as a big chance
  • Michu stands out as being the only player on the list considered by many to be more of a midfielder than a striker. In my humble opinion, he has a great case to be ranked #1 in this shortlist because of his excellent goals rate despite having on average only 2.79 shots per 90mins. He is currently scoring 56% of his shots on target which shows that if he hits the target, more often than not the ball hits the back of the net. This is backed up by an excellent 67% conversion rate of big chances
  • Suarez has a very high shooting rate per 90mins, averaging just under 6 shots per game, however he has played more minutes than the rest of the group and therefore has the lowest rate of goals per 90mins
  • Demba Ba has the highest rate of shots on target per 90mins and he has the lowest playing time, which both help him to the best goals rate per 90mins stat: 0.78 per game. However, his goals per shots on target rate is equal lowest with Suarez, indicating that although he hits the target he has found it more difficult to beat the keeper than his competitors
  • RVP has had the highest rate of big chances per 90mins at 1.67, which is no surprise as he currently spearheads the attack of the league leaders, but he also has the lowest conversion rate at 33%. No doubt he will be looking to improve that rate as the season develops
  • Defoe is rather trigger-happy (still, not quite to Suarez’s level!) but his shots on target per shot ratio is more healthy at 38% of shots. He also has the second highest big chance economy rate with currently 56% of big chances converted that have fallen his way

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All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.comSubscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.

Featured Image courtesy of the Daily Mail & Graphs all by Chris Lilley