08 June 2009

How Good is Torres?

I like to toss out phrases like “best striker in the world” when discussing Torres, and with good reason. 33 goals in his first season in English football, deceptively strong while still lightning quick, and he can score goals of any variety. He’s faster to 50 than Rush, Fowler, Owen, and Aldridge.

He’s tallied 50 goals in 84 appearances in his first two seasons – an average of .6 goals per game or a goal every 1.68 games. So I figured I’d compare that return to some other recent renowned strikers. I wanted to pick strikers who made big money (relatively speaking in a couple of cases) moves at a similar stage in their careers; Owen is the only one on this list who came up with the same club.

Van Nistelrooy (United 2001-03)
80 goals in 101 games
.79 goals/game; a goal every 1.26 games.
Eto’o (Barca 2004-06)
63 goals in 93 games
.68 goals/game; a goal every 1.48 games
Shevchenko (Milan 1999-2001)
63 goals in 94 games
.67 goals/game; a goal every 1.49 games
Henry (Arsenal 1999-2001)
48 goals in 101 games
.48 goals/game; a goal every 2.1 games
Owen (Liverpool 1997-99; played two games in ’96-97)
46 goals in 84 games
.55 goals/game; a goal every 1.83 games
Villa (Valencia 2005-07)
44 goals in 86 games
.51 goals/game; a goal every 1.95 games
Adebayor (Arsenal 2006-08)
42 goals in 92 games
.46 goals/game; a goal every 2.19 games
Rooney (United 2004-06)
36 goals in 91 games
.40 goals/game; a goal every 2.53 games
Tevez (United 2007-09)
34 goals in 99 games
.34 goals/game; a goal every 2.91 games
Drogba (Chelsea 2004-06)
32 goals in 81 games
.40 goals/game; a goal every 2.53 games

Only van Nistelrooy, Eto’o, and Shevchenko have better goal returns in their first two seasons. 19 of van Nistelrooy’s 80 goals came from the spot, and while I don’t think either Eto’o or Sheva were main penalty takers (Ronaldinho was certainly the main man for Barca), I’m pretty sure their tallies include some spot kicks as well. None of Torres’ 50 have been from the spot. Not to mention the second-season injuries that have held Torres back.

And he’s still fourth best on this list, with only van Nistelrooy registering better totals in the Premiership. I cannot emphasize how different I think this results would be had Torres played the same number of games as in his first season. He’d have given Eto’o and Sheva a run for their money.

As I like to remind, I am admittedly biased. But I would not trade him for any player in the world. He’s the complete striker – two-footed, an excellent header, strong, tall, and blazing fast. He has an incomparable partnership with Gerrard. And just like Gerrard, his talents are crucial to the way Liverpool plays.

Long may it continue.


Paul Heron said...

NO striker in Liverpools history has EVER come close to being as good as Torres, period (I'm including my childhood hero Rush, the supposed God of Fowler, and the highly over-rated Owen in all that).

Every time he gets the ball I feel like something is going to happen, he can create something from nothing.

irfaanfr said...

Torres is magic!!Btw Nice post mate

Mike Georger said...

I mean he's okay, but he's no Milan Baros or Craig Bellamy, that's for damn certain.

Nate check out Tomkins latest article, it's a breakdown similar to your left flank post, typically solid stuff from him.

Anonymous said...

just wanted to say that i love the random quotes generated on the right side of this site. this one always hits close to home, "Family, music and football. That's it really. – John Peel" classic... oh, and obligatory "torres is god". peace