Is our striking situation that bad?

Hopefully we'll see this a lot this year
After yet another transfer window without a clinical number nine, I thought it might be interesting to have a look at the goal to game ratios of our strikers compared to similar strikers in the Premier League.

Please bear in mind in this article I will only be looking at players who have played in the Premier League and will be counting only Premier League goals so as to make a fair comparison and I’m only going to compare our main two strikers who, in my opinion, are Leon Best and Demba Ba. My reasoning for this is because I feel they will be the main starters this year, either together or just one of them with a five man midfield behind.

Demba Ba – 7 in 14 – A goal every 2 games
Leon Best – 8 in 13 – A goal every 1.625 games

Not bad reading eh? I know they’ve not played tonnes of games in the league, but they’ve both played over 10 games, which means they haven’t had one lucky game which show a daft reading, like 0.5 games per goal. Also, these players have both played in average teams – Best in our side last year lacking creativity and Ba at relegated West Ham.

Firstly I thought I’d look at the £35 million superstar that is Andy Carroll – someone who we classed as a real number nine – and compare him to the “useless strikers” we have now.

Andy Carroll – 13 in 29 – A goal every 2.3 games

That’s a surprise isn’t it? Even though Carroll has played in better teams he has a worse goal per game ratio then both Leon Best and Demba Ba. Carroll has played more games which means it’s harder to maintain, but still he’s a £35 million player.

The next thing I thought I would look at is the teams around us that, in my opinion, we should be challenging with next season aiming for a top-10 spot. I’ve left out the likes of Aston Villa and the top six as I feel they will finish above us already.

Asamoah Gyan – 10 in 33 – A goal every 3.3 games
Stephane Sessengon – 3 in 15 – A goal every 5 games
Nicklas Bendtner – 22 in 98 – A goal every 4.5 games

Steven Fletcher – 19 in 65 – A goal every 3.42 games
Kevin Doyle – 33 in 128 – A goal every 3.87 games

Bobby Zamora – 27 in 121 – A goal every 4.48 games

Louis Saha – 80 in 240 – A goal every 4 games
Tim Cahill – 54 in 196 – A goal every 3.62 games

West Brom
Peter Odemwingie – 15 in 32 – A goal every 2.13 games

Kevin Davies – 62 in 288 – A goal every 4.64 games
Ivan Klasnic – 15 in 52 – A goal every 3.46 games

Peter Crouch – 67 in 268 – A goal every 4 games
Cameron Jerome – 21 in 99 – A goal every 4.7 games
Kenwyne Jones – 36 in 131 – A goal every 3.63 games

This makes me think. Why are we worrying? The figures above show that no team around us has a 1 in 2 goal scorer. Peter Odemwingie is the only player who has a goal ratio in between 2 and 3 games a goal, and the rest are all above 3 and some even above 4.

We have two players who, granted, haven’t played a lot in the Premier League, but they have got goal to game ratios of a goal every other game or under. And we’re moaning. I know a lot of people hate the lies, as do I, but really there is no need to slag off a strike force which seems pretty good compared to the rest of the league.

Those figures really make me wonder though. Would you pay £10 million plus for a Peter Crouch who only scores once every four games? Shocking business. Also, would you buy Cameron Jerome who’s ratio is nearly at a goal every five games?

Sunderland’s Asamoah Gyan is somebody who a lot of NUFC fans are jealous of and would have at Newcastle in a flash. They paid £12 million plus for Gyan and he only scores a goal every 3.3 games. That’s hardly great value is it?

The figures just go to show that there isn’t many 1 in 2 goal scorers around anymore, and if they are they’re at the top clubs. None of the clubs that we’re directly challenging with have cracking strikers. And we worry about relegation due to not having a striker? That’s something that should not be entering our heads.

Seen as using stats I’ve proved our strikers are not bad, people will now choose to say that stats aren’t everything. Is that true? Well how much did you know about Bryan Ruiz, he’d scored 39 in 61 for FC Twente or something or other, and not many had seen him play but he was being welcomed through the door.

I also saw some fans – not all on here – welcoming a move for Bobby Zamora? He only scores around a goal every five games also, so would he have been an improvement on Leon Best or Demba Ba? I’m not so sure.

Foreign players obviously don’t count in this as I can’t judge whether they’ll score in the Premier League, so the likes of Bryan Ruiz and the long named kid Everton have signed may improve their strike force, but their goal scoring records couldn’t be compared.

Another question which will be asked is does their build up play not count? Well, what I saw every one asking for on deadline day was a striker that can put the ball in the net, a bit of pace was asked for too, but ball in the net was the most important thing, and the above stats show that Leon and Demba can put the ball in the net, so shall we give these boys a chance? Or just write them off?

Come on lads, get behind Besty and Ba and make a real go of this season!

PS; This is for NUFC and other football fans viewing only, Mike Ashley can jog on if he thinks this is an excuse not to buy a striker in January, because we still want one!

125 thoughts on “Is our striking situation that bad?

  1. @Craig & Troy….Tiote & Krul may be sold I’m not making any predictions because unlike you I don’t have a direct line to Ashley central…..but I very much doubt this will happen…unless they are replaced, as all the rest who have left have been….Yes including the striker!


  2. To answer the thread title in short – yes!
    These statistics are flawed and not representative.
    As previously pointed out there are a lot of good strikers missing from this list, based on teams around us.
    Tim Cahill is not a striker, neither is Sessegnon.
    How many of these players were 100% fit when played, and how many of these games were off the bench?
    I applaud your efforts to put a positive spin on the situation but to put it quite simply we have had 8 months to find a replacement for AC (even AP admitted we needed to), and ultimately we have been let down again.

    I’m firmly on board the reality train, whoever is driving it these days.


  3. Well I for one am delighted with the transfer window. Think we done some good business , yes im a little dissapointed we didnt add to the squad or get rid some of the dead wood we still have ( Smith Perch etc etc ) but we have a good starting 11 and certain parts of the squad we have enogh cover. Is the squad complete? No. Was it going to be if we had sign a Ruiz and Ridgewell? No. Fair enough it would of been better but not complete. Fact is we are only starting to re build. And since relegation we have come a long way. I think people forget how bad we were only 2-3 years ago. We have a team that , on its day can compete with arsenal and beat teams in and around us , like Fulham and the unwashed. Yes we are going to lose games along the way but I think there is alot more positives around the club then negatives,


  4. Published on Friday 2 September 2011 09:44

    FORMER Toon star Joey Barton has predicted the next four players to leave St James’s Park.

    Barton joined Queens Park Rangers last week, and took to his Twitter site yesterday to say more will follow him out in the next 12 months.

    The midfielder wrote: “Cheik Tiote and Tim Krul will be sold as soon as there’s a significant bid or they ask for a new deal.

    “Jonas Gutierrez and Fabricio Coloccini will also be off by this time next year.

    “I feel sorry for the Geordie nation. Ashley and Llambias don’t deserve that club or its following.

    “I’m sure they think people are stupid.

    “Nice to see Ashley and Llambias come through with their promise to reinvest Andy Carroll money.

    “That’s a £59m net profit from transfers in the last five seasons. Ambition?”

    Mike Ashley allowed Barton to leave for free after he criticised the board on Twitter.


  5. Like everyone else, I was bitterly disappointed we didn’t bring in a striker. We certainly could have done with a quick striker who has a proven track record, I must say that I wasn’t overly impressed by the standards of strikers that were available though. I’ve calmed down now and we’ve got to make the best of what we have in the squad. Best and Ba have shown that they have what it takes and I’m hoping they can form a good partnership. It would be nice to see Sammy being given a few more chances as he’s shown that he’s a promising youngster. I’m more worried about the lack of cover at centre back. By the time the qpr match comes around, it will hopefully be arout 4 weeks before Williamson returns so the international break has been beneficial to us. Not sure what has happened to Kadar but we just might need him in these coming weeks. I know this is a rariety with the toon but hopefully we can steer clear of injuries. The quality is most definitely there but the quantity is lacking, On the whole I was pleased with the transfer dealings and still think that we have an underrated team. Here’s to a successful season. (hopefully!)


  6. The club bringing out a statement?

    I think Pardew must have refused to face the media and fans alone this time. Good on him I say its about time some1 else came out and tried to clear up the mess.

    Not being negative as personally i’m happy with the transfer window. Still think someone other than Pardew should come out and explain what happened to the promise of a new striker. Pardew must be pretty pissed of as well after he said thats what he needed!


  7. Hmmm the Pardew situation is a funny one, on the one hand I feel sorry for him because he is being lied to and mocked by the people above, but at the same time he isn’t doing himself any favours.

    I remember Toonsy saying yesterday that those that criticise Pardew are the same ones that backed Shearer, Hughton and Keegan in the same situation. I agreed with him that it was hypocrisy at first, but now i think about it…is it?

    Keegan left because as we all know he was lied to and undermined which was then proven by a Premier League tribunal.

    Shearer managed us for only six games and in that time he did not lie to the fans.

    In the time that Hughton managed us I don’t think he once made a promise that he didn’t keep.

    Pardew is currently showing his true colours as a puppet and if he had any sort of backbone he would resign like Keegan did.

    Now i’m not saying I want him to because that would really leave us in the $h1T, as who else would want to take the managerial position here?

    Keegan was right.

    But anyway the managerial situation isn’t going to change any time soon so I will continue to back Pardew and the team (not the board).


  8. Excellent article Jobey.

    I think we’ve got enough to tide us over until January, assess what’s available and how our existing squad has performed before buying.

    I for one am not expecting Best, Ba or the Ameobis to tear up any trees between now and then, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to expect us in the top half of the table come the new year. We still have Ben Arfa coming back in for us who can play as the second striker. So it’s not all doom and gloom, in fact, I think we’ve done well.


  9. Third time I’ve seen those comments from Barton. Why are people putting so much weight behind them? He’s bitter and twisted with the board, so he will say anything to Stoke the flames. Just like when he was leaving, he’s playing the fans to his own agenda.


  10. Thanks for an attempt of positive spin but it’s a bit garbage, if you offered our championship strikers to 90% of the premiership they wouldn’t take them, i have done to mates in NW (not city and utd fans)Best and Shola are injury prone, Loven is pants and Demba deserves a chance but so far not really impressed. While the likes of Best etc may do well against Fulham they will struggle against quality sides. With this forward line there is little chance of breaking into the top ten due to not scoring enough goals


  11. Think your being a bit harsh on pardew there dimpleboy. It wasn’t until he left that we got the whole story from Keegan. How do we know that pardew isn’t in the same situation?


  12. I think joey is a bit sore he has left newcastle dont you think?!!

    what a muppet what does he know of ambition he has joined QPR! Who have made some brillant buys oh hang on anton ferdinand sorry barton you are right we should be more ambitious. Twat


  13. Fair enough Micky and we do know thart Pardew IS in the same situation is Keegan. But what sets those two apart is that Keegan was a man of principles and was not going to let them walk all over him.

    To be honest with you I’d prefer him to stay as a puppet and give us a bit of stability, I still fully support him but for me if he did have a backbone he would walk out.


  14. Yeah, they have a goals to games ratio that is pretty good I’ll give you that as I worked the same thing out and posted similar on one of the chronicle boards.

    However what I also pointed out is the fact that those goals they’ve been scoring have come against the weaker premiership teams!

    We need a striker who is a threat and can score against any side not just those with the weaker slower defences.

    What I’ll say about Ba is that I don’t think we’ve seen him in a black and white shirt yet, he’s been fasting since the season started and there was no way that wouldnt impact on his performances. Now he’s stopped give him a few weeks to get his fitness levels up and watch what he does.

    However what Pardew should be worried about is after Christmas when the African Cup starts, then we’ll lose Ba and Shola and be left with Best and Lovenkrands the latter of whoom has never really performed outside the championship.


  15. Micky, thing is about Bartons comments, they may not be nice to read but you cant ignore them and to be fair to him, they are consistent with any others made by former employees of this board and i cant remember anyone making any positive ones or having anything good to say about Ashley and Llambias.


  16. While Ba and Best may have decent stats, Best scored three in one game against the Hammers, while Ba has not shown even a glimpse of being even a competent footballer let alone a decent goalscorer in his short time here. Time will tell and i’ve always been behind Best getting a chance to prove himself, but it’s a gamble to hope they come good and score the goals needed. Shola and McLoven are clearly off the pace, so we don’t have much choice. Fingers crossed for the two you’ve highlighted, but it’s more the depth of squad and constant lies to the fans I think is worrying people.


  17. I dont agree robert; carroll slated the club becaiuse he didnt want to tarnish his reputation. Enrique wanted champs footy and when looked like a mug because he didnt get it he blamed the club as an excuse.

    Barton just wanted more money and dont get me started on nolan.

    Barton and nolan had sour grapes because they were told they were not good enough to warrant long deals. Would you be happy if your employer didnt think you worth much would you speak favourably of him afterwards?


  18. @mikeashleyswallet

    Ive taken over driving the reality train following the sad death of Bobby Shinton but it’s currently being refurshished from the profits made last season.
    Extra carriages due to demand. 😉


  19. Pardew is going through the exact same trying circumstances that Keegan did…

    Keegan told us Milner would not be sold, got told us the 12mil would be used to buy new players.

    It never was, same as the Carroll situation… Almost identical but on a higher level.

    The only difference is that Pardew has the bottle to stick it out rather than walk… and thank goodness for that, because if he did walk… who in their right MIND would work under Mike Ashley.

    I have massive respect for Pardew for sticking it out.

    If he kept quiet and said nothing like Hughton, people would be slating him for being a puppet and not having the guts to speak up anyway. They’d also be saying he doesn’t communicate and is just another cockney scum.

    He can’t win really…

    I’ll back him to the hilt… the best we can do under Ashley…


  20. Got to admit I wasn’t keen on pardew coming here, but I am warming to him. I really feel sorry for the guy and, yes, he is in the same situation as Keegan.


  21. Liam, regardless of the rights and wrongs of what they said, my point is its all bitter towards them and has anyone had a good word to say about them?


  22. @JJ And I have massive respect for Keegan for telling the Cockney scum where to go.

    I will back Pardew just as much as you, I just think that if he did have any morals he too would tell Ashley where to go.

    As it is, I think Pardew is the best option we have at the moment so I hope he does stay.


  23. Aye, I did an article couple of months ago and its amazing how many teams didn’t have strikers that scored over 10 goals last season…whilst it is very disappointing not to have a top striker, i do have confidence in Best, Ba and Shola, as well as the likelihood our midfield will chip in with a lot more goals and creating many more chances.

    I think our problem last year was a lack of penetration to the defence, we’d lump it up to a striker who’d be the farthest forward and would still have to beat 2/3 defenders, and we’d expect them to score from every long ball. Now we’ve got proper wingers etc we can open teams up far easier imo.


  24. Neither Ba and Best, combined, have 20 caps for their countries – if the stats make them look this good then why not? In those 13 premiership games Best scored 5 against teams that went down in two games – and remember West Ham were terrible last year.


  25. By the way,

    Very nice article Jobey, and a reality check to all that read the stats.

    Still would have been unreal to snap up Ruiz though…


  26. @dimpleboy

    My sentiments exactly about Patsy Pardew which I’ve previously expressed and youve copied. 😉


  27. Pardew resign? Don’t be daft.

    Besty – I watched him at a few matches when he first arrived, and he was utter bobbins. Since then he’s just got better and better; can’t wait to see what he can do this season, especially wtih Benny behind him and/or Ba to his left.

    Now the window’s 24 hours behind, I think my annoyance has dissolved down to one thing: Why the daft promises? Why did they not just say, right from day one, that they’d go full-on for strikers who would raise the quality, but if they couldn’t get one without daft terms that would put us in the shite for years to come, they’d wait.

    Since they did so well in other areas – and since Best reminded us at Fulham of what he can do – they must have realised that they would probably hit their top-half target as things are, and decided to wait.

    Sensible. So JUST SAY SO!

    Daft, really – I can understand why people get so uptight over lies and so on. I don’t think it is deliberate lying, I think it’s just a lack of ability to be clear and open with us.

    I think we’re in great shape. Good season on the cards. Again.


  28. @dimpleboy

    I have massive respect for Keegan as a person who doesn’t take shit and what he’s done for the club. Always a legend.

    But when he walked out he condemned us to relegation as was just as much to blame as Ashley and the mob fans that year.

    Pardew isn’t dropping us in that shit, and whether or not he is doing it for his own our the teams benefit (probably a both), I am very grateful to him.


  29. Best total – 8 goals in 28 apps for NUFC, 7 of those scored in 3 games, means 1 goal in other 25 apps – I maybe wrong with that as got stats of Wiki but suddenly his scoring doesn’t seem as good to me! Anyway got to get behind him, don’t get me wrong I want him to do well, seems a good bloke for NUFC to have around


  30. Jobey, the player I really think we should have signed won’t appear in your stats cos he doesn’t play in the premiership. He plays for Chelsea reserves. Need any more clues – young, English, proven premiership goalscorer, sell on value in 2/3 years…

    Still don’t understand why we didn’t seem to even consider him.


  31. @JJ

    KK left after 3 games into the season. Yet he condemned us to relegation? Woo hoo hoo hoo.

    Only man did that. Ashley for messing around getting a replacement and selling off players in the January window.

    Keegan to blame my arse.


  32. @JJ

    Oh. Ive just noticed you blame the mob fans as well for relegation.! Woo hoo hoo hoo

    Do you go the games?


  33. The thing about Ashley is that he’s a bully. When he is successfully bullying someone he takes the piss. He couldn’t bully Keegan and he couldn’t bully Hughton and it will be noted they are no longer at the club. He can bully Pardew and is doing so. He is taking the piss. This is the real problem. Ashley now knows that he can take more and more liberties with Pardew because Pardew will roll over. Eventually Ashley will make it impossible for Pardew to do his job. As things are, he is hardly supporting his manager. Regardless of whether or not our strike force is as marvellous as is being claimed around here – strikers who have played comparatively few Premiership games, either through injury or through not being selected – it is completely obvious that Pardew wanted to sign a mobile striker, and such a player has not been signed. Ashley is getting in Pardew’s way.


  34. JJ – You praise Pardew for not being like Hughton. Fact is Pardew does not have to make false promises or bring false hope.

    “We will get a striker over the line, 100%, and that will be before the window shuts….It’s not complete yet but by the 31st August it will be.”

    You don’t seem to mind the unnecessary bull then JJ? Why does he need to say this and other shit? Why? He’s currently being charged by the FA for his stupid utterances. And don’t forget he was sacked from MOTD2 for something that jumped out of his gob before he put his brain in gear. he is supposed to be the mouthpiece of the club and representing NUFC to the world. Hughton had dignity. Remember that quality JJ?


  35. Troy

    How did Kevin Keegan walk three games into the second when he left after the January transfer window???

    Woo hoo hoo hoo…. get your facts right 😉


  36. i dont think its as bad as a lot think , we didnt get a number 9 and its a pity but we have Best, Ba, Shola and Sammy who can all get goals … and Ba and Best done it consistently when they played last season 🙂 and we lost Nolan but the early signs on Cabaye are good i think he will get goals too

    Some 1 mentioned last season we lacked creativity and i would def agree Barton was our main creative force … This season we have Cabaye, Marveux, Obertan and Ben Arfa back in 2 weeks and if we play Jonas on the right i feel he could be more creative 🙂 so i think we could put Harps up top an he would bag a few goals 🙂


  37. @ Manc … Ba and Best played 20min of football to gether … and what happened .. Obertan out to Ba … Ba in to Best .. Best in to the back of the net I.E they combined …. takes time to Gel .. Ba was unlucky not to open his account at Fulham with the Crossbar denying him… Best would have more caps but seens to get injured round International duty .. left the Ireland squad 3 times last season missing 6 games he will be in the next squad .. and personally I rather Ba didnt get in Senegal squad African cup of nations is in Jan dont wanna lose a striker for it especially if he is in scoring form


  38. @ Headless your name suits ye … We bid for Sturridge it was rejected , we asked if we could loan ,.. it was rejected , likewise boltons loan for him was rejected … a Statement from Chelsea said Newcastle tried a number of times to get the boy and the want to keep him end of … you only read the stories you want to read


  39. ‘Nicklas Bendtner – 22 in 98 – A goal every 4.5 games’

    That really is terrible, especially considering that he was in an Arsenal side.


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