There have been some interesting statistics on Twitter of late about “Goals Involved” in. This is when you combine the goals and assists of a player and create a percentage over the team’s total goals. It’s an interesting statistic that can show a variety of attributes for teams and players.
Firstly it can show how depended upon a player is by his team. The higher the goal involvement percentage the more the team has relied on the said player. It can also show form for a player – if a player is involved in so many goals and assists it is not his fault that the rest of the team is not providing or scoring as well as he is. As far as that player is concerned they are doing their job to the best of their ability.
The players chosen in this analysis are those that have scored ten or more goals so far in the Premier League (note only Premier League goals and assists have been counted) – also players that were transferred in the January window have not been included either as they have scored for two Premier League clubs.
Goals and Assists Comparison
The radar chart below can help you identify which players are just scoring goals or scoring and assisting. For example a player like Michu has scored a lot of goals in his first season but has not provided as much whereas Juan Mata is combining both jobs with his goals (10) and assists (9) lines very close to each other. Rooney and Walcott could also be placed into this category just not as creative as the Spanish star.
From a goalscoring point of view it’s Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez that are ahead of the pack with van Persie (6) doubling Suarez’s (3) assist total. We’re usually not a great fan of the assist statistic because it’s a two-way relationship that depends upon the finisher to put the ball in the back of the net. However for this analysis we’re looking at total goal involvement and it’s a must for this subject!
A player that is impressing is Benteke of Aston Villa. He has scored ten and assisted four goals – it will be difficult for Villa to keep a hold of him this summer if his form continues.
Percentage of goals involved in for their respective teams
It’s Christian Benteke that is involved in the most goals for his side. Benteke has been involved in a mammoth 60.87% of Aston Villa’s Premier League goals this season. This is good for the player but a negative for the side as they are heavily reliant on one player. If Benteke was to get injured (and we do not wish this upon any player) or sent off and face a ban it would be safe to say that Aston Villa’s goals would dry up.
Luis Suarez is next in line with 45.45% goal involvement – whatever good there has been for Liverpool this season – the overall majority has come from the (yes Steven Gerrard has been involved in 15 goals too but didn’t make the top scorers list). However Liverpool have done some excellent business in the January transfer window and Daniel Sturridge looks a good buy for them. Since his arrival the goals have been shared among the Liverpool midfield and attack so Suarez’ dependency (whilst he’s still vital) has dropped a little in the last few weeks which should allow him to excel further.
Michu and Rickie Lambert are another two players over 40% bracket for goal involvement. Both players have been in fine form and again are a major resource for their sides goals. Lambert is especially unlucky for not being called into the England squad after an excellent season in the Premier League so far.
Robin van Persie is bang on 40% for goal involvement at Manchester United – would the “Champions Elect” still be top without him? Eighteen goals and six assists would probably point to a negative however Wayne Rooney hasn’t been fit this season but has contributed to 28.33% of Manchester United’s goals.
Many would like to combine these percentages and say that the two players had contributed to 68.33% of Manchester United’s goals but this would be incorrect as there will be some double counting with regards to both players assisting each other which has happened this season (unfortunately we don’t have those numbers to hand!).
Man City, Spurs and Chelsea seem to be doing a decent enough job of sharing the goals whilst Walcott is Arsenal’s only player in the list and is their star player this term with the side dependant on him performing. Fellaini is doing the same for Everton with over 30% goal involvement and Steven Fletcher, of Sunderland, who is just under the 40% mark.
The Raw Numbers
For those of you that wish to see the numbers we’ve used for the graphs above they are in the table below. You can sort this table by clicking on the columns.
Whilst the goal involvement statistics have been used to indicate the importance of a player to their side it can also have a negative aspect where teams can rely upon these players too much. Any kind of absence from the first eleven will inevitably affect their teams.
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All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe 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.