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  • January 13, 2014

    Stat Attack - Elite Euro Goalscorers 2011-12

    By Ted Knutson
  • Part 1: Messi did not have the best goalscoring rate in two of the last four seasons.
    Part 2: Defining elite goalscoring, and the top scorers of 2009-10.
    Part 3: Bonus Points for wide players and midfielders plus younger players. Top scorers of 2010-11.

    Greetings. Welcome back to our continuing quest.

    To seek out… new information regarding the best scorers in Europe.

    To review… younger players that threw up flags years ago that they were going to be really quite good some day.

    To boldly go… where few boring statistical analysts have ever gone before…

    The NPG90 Zone…

    [Note: if you are hopping on board here, you should probably click on part 2 where I discuss the methodolgy more.]

    EPL 2011-12
    Dzeko was in the Bundesliga top tier in 09-10 and would have been again, if he’d stayed at Wolfsburg. A midseason swap to Manchester City saw his scoring rate drop precipitously, but the next year he actually lead the Premier league in rate, scoring 14 goals from 16.6 90s. Jermain Defoe was second in rate that year off a partial season, and then came Robin van Persie, Papiss Cisse (combined rate between Newcastle and Freiburg), Aguero, Balotelli, and Rooney.

    Grant Holt appears here, in perhaps his last super useful season, and you also see Yakubu, who was consistently good before moving to China in search of a big money contract.

    Of the younger players, I was not surprised to see Daniel Sturridge show up, but the appearance of Danny Welbeck at age 21 has certainly made me revaluate an opinion based on last year’s abysmal shooting at United.

    PlayerSeasonTeam90MinsGNPGG90NPG90
    Edin Dzeko2012Manchester City16.633314140.84170.8417
    Jermain Defoe2012Tottenham14.3110.76920.7692
    Robin van Persie2012Arsenal37.044430280.80980.7558
    Papiss Demba Cissé2012Newcastle United29.366722210.74910.7151
    Sergio Agüero2012Manchester City28.888923200.79620.6923
    Mario Balotelli2012Manchester City14.677813100.88570.6813
    Wayne Rooney2012Manchester United31.544427210.85590.6657
    Javier Hernández2012Manchester United16.41090.60980.5488
    Grant Holt2012Norwich24.944415130.60130.5212
    Yakubu2012Blackburn27.233317130.62420.4774
    Demba Ba2012Newcastle United30.322216140.52770.4617
    Clint Dempsey2012Fulham36.9222170.46040.4604
    Steven Fletcher2012Wolverhampton Wanderers26.1444120.4590.459
    Emmanuel Adebayor2012Tottenham31.555617140.53870.4437
    Daniel Sturridge2012Chelsea25.2110.43650.4365
    Ivan Klasnic2012Bolton16.6333870.4810.4208
    Danny Welbeck2012Manchester United22.422290.40140.4014

    La Liga 2011-12
    La Liga’s performers list is again incredibly deep this season, and boasted four of the top 5 rates in Europe, three of which came from Real Madrid. Llorente is here again, and Alexis Sanchez shows a boost after his move to Barcelona from Serie A. Soldado and Negredo are once again hanging around, banging in goals at a very useful, though not quite great rate.

    Note Falcao’s placement and that of Diego Costa (who at that time was spending a half season on loan at Rayo after recovering from ACL surgery). This is exactly why Atletico knew they could cash in on Falcao and lose precisely nothing (and actually gain a lot) by putting Costa in his place.

    Also note eventual discount movers Kone and Michu are here, and Sociedad have 22 year old Carlos Vela and 24 year old Agirretxe both on the list. Their improvement plus the addition of Antoine Griezmann would see Sociedad sneak into the 4th Champions League spot a season later.

    It’s also kind of funny to see Xavi and Cesc both on this list at identical scoring rates.

    PlayerSeasonTeam90MinsGNPGG90NPG90
    Gonzalo Higuaín2012Real Madrid19.044422221.15521.1552
    Lionel Messi2012Barcelona36.311150401.3771.1016
    Cristiano Ronaldo2012Real Madrid37.266746341.23430.9123
    Karim Benzema2012Real Madrid25.011121210.83960.8396
    Fernando Llorente2012Athletic Bilbao24.9889170.68030.6803
    Alexis Sánchez2012Barcelona18.6333120.6440.644
    Roberto Soldado2012Valencia27.222217160.62450.5878
    Falcao2012Atletico Madrid32.666724190.73470.5816
    Diego Costa2012Rayo Vallecano14.65561080.68230.5459
    Raúl Tamudo2012Rayo Vallecano17.988990.50030.5003
    Álvaro Negredo2012Sevilla25.988914130.53870.5002
    Aritz Aduriz2012Valencia14.266770.49070.4907
    Rubén Castro2012Real Betis32.8667160.48680.4868
    Arouna Koné2012Levante31.7333150.47270.4727
    Ibrahima Baldé2012Osasuna15.133370.46260.4626
    Carlos Vela2012Real Sociedad27.6111120.43460.4346
    Jorge Molina2012Real Betis14.122260.42490.4249
    Francesc Fábregas2012Barcelona21.588990.41690.4169
    Xavi2012Barcelona24.0556100.41570.4157
    Salomón Rondón2012Malaga26.5556110.41420.4142
    Michu2012Rayo Vallecano36.4889150.41110.4111
    Imanol Agirretxe2012Real Sociedad24.5444100.40740.4074
    Manu del Moral2012Sevilla24.7111100.40470.4047

    Bundesliga 2011-12
    Gomez Button? Still here. So are Lewandowski, Reus, Pizarro, and Stefan Kiessling. I had to look up Patrick Helmes on Wikipedia. Looks like he’s a guy with a great career rate, but has blown ACLs a couple of time and bounced around German divisions. Harnik had great rates in 10-11 and 11-12 for Stuttgart but has fallen off a bit since. This is a bit odd, since he’s only 26, but I don’t follow Bundesliga closely enough to know more.

    Ibisevic has quietly been a very steady performer year in and year out in Germany, plus you have Ribery here (wide forward bonus) and Kagawa appearing again before moving to Manchester United to somehow sit on their bench and make Klopp cry.

    PlayerSeasonTeam90MinsGNPGG90NPG90
    Mario Gomez2012Bayern Munich27.544426220.94390.7987
    Patrick Helmes2012Wolfsburg14.444412110.83080.7615
    Klaas-Jan Huntelaar2012Schalke 0431.144429230.93110.7385
    Robert Lewandowski2012Borussia Dortmund32220.68750.6875
    Marco Reus2012Borussia M.Gladbach30.8556180.58340.5834
    Vedad Ibisevic2012Hoffenheim22.3889130.58060.5806
    Claudio Pizarro2012Werder Bremen28.011118160.64260.5712
    Martin Harnik2012VfB Stuttgart30.9111170.550.55
    Stefan Kießling2012Bayer Leverkusen29.1222160.54940.5494
    Lukas Podolski2012FC Cologne28.118150.64060.5338
    Daniel Didavi2012Nurnberg17.290.52330.5233
    Shinji Kagawa2012Borussia Dortmund26.8556130.48410.4841
    Raúl2012Schalke 0431.0778150.48270.4827
    Franck Ribéry2012Bayern Munich26.4889120.4530.453
    Shinji Okazaki2012VfB Stuttgart17.411170.4020.402

    Serie A 2011-12
    This year, Italy’s best goalscorer was… Fabrizio Miccoli?

    Who was 32 at the time?

    Actually, Miccoli’s production for Palermo in his thirties was astounding.  Starting in 09-10, he had a 19G/8A, 9G/2A (only 17 starts), 16/12 (24 starts!), and 8G/8A seasons. Some of those goals are penalty inflated but still… super productivity that late in a career, and being creative as well – that’s almost unheard of. Why did he only seem to turn in those performances that late in his career? Was that the first time he played as a primary striker or something? I am so confused!

    Pablo Osvaldo shows up again this season, making me wonder even more about why he looks useless in Southampton. As do Fabio Borini (and he’s really young there) and Bojan, making me think they might just need the right situation to regain their potential. And Mattia Destro is only 20 when he is posting those numbers for Sienna, meaning not only does he have one of the best names in football, he also has a goalscoring rate that extrapolates  to being a probable world beater when adjusted for age. Interesting stuff.

    PlayerSeasonTeam90MinsGNPGG90NPG90
    Miroslav Klose2012Lazio25.3667120.47310.4731
    Fabrizio Miccoli2012Palermo21.722216140.73660.6445
    Edinson Cavani2012Napoli32.377823200.71040.6177
    Zlatan Ibrahimovic2012AC Milan31.222228180.89680.5765
    Diego Milito2012Inter28.124160.85410.5694
    Antonio Di Natale2012Udinese33.944423190.67760.5597
    Rodrigo Palacio2012Genoa30.677819160.61930.5216
    Mattia Destro2012Siena24.3667120.49250.4925
    Fabio Borini2012Roma18.711190.4810.481
    Pablo Osvaldo2012Roma23.2222110.47370.4737
    Alessandro Matri2012Juventus21.3667100.4680.468
    Bojan2012Roma15.570.45160.4516
    Germán Denis2012Atalanta32.033316130.49950.4058

    French 2011-12
    Giroud’s rate this season is quite good, and it’s what caused Wenger to buy him as Arsenal’s forward of the future. The problem is that his conversion rate there is only 13%, which as we have found out in future years, is pretty much his baseline conversion overall. This is unfortunately below the league average in the Premier League, meaning despite having a lot of useful talents, Giroud is frustratingly inefficient in front of goal.

    This whole series is meant to be a data dump on NPG90, but obviously you never want to evaluate forwards or their production in a total vacuum.

    What’s curious is that Aubameyang, who appears here for the first time at age 22, had a similar conversion rate to Giroud that year. It got a touch better a year later (13.9%), and is now closer to 21% at Dortmund. There’s a big question of whether or not that is sustainable, but it seems to indicate better surrounding  talent = better chance locations = better conversion rate. Maybe. More research is required.

    PlayerSeasonTeam90MinsGNPGG90NPG90
    Olivier Giroud2012Montpellier35.555621190.59060.5344
    Bafétimbi Gomis2012Lyon27.3222140.51240.5124
    Modibo Maiga2012Sochaux17.911190.50250.5025
    Cheick Diabaté2012Bordeaux14.3444870.55770.488
    Lisandro López2012Lyon24.844416120.6440.483
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang2012Saint Etienne35.0556160.45640.4564
    Yoan Gouffran2012Bordeaux28.522214130.49080.4558
    Javier Pastore2012Paris Saint Germain29.3556130.44280.4428
    Jires Kembo-Ekoko2012Rennes20.97781090.47670.429
    Brice Jovial2012Dijon21.066790.42720.4272
    Souleymane Camara2012Montpellier21.444490.41970.4197
    Cédric Barbosa2012Evian Thonon Gaillard20.144480.39710.3971
    Kevin Gameiro2012Paris Saint Germain25.322211100.43440.3949
    Article by Ted Knutson