28 September 2009

Supporting Torres

It’s getting difficult to find new ways to praise Fernando Torres. See here and here, among other sycophancy. The goals per game, the hat-tricks, the fact he can score any kind of goal, that he’s only 25; I can go on and on. But there’s little else to be written on how potent he is. So I got to thinking about the “supporting cast.”

The first graphic shows who’s on the pitch when Torres scores. I only counted the front six; it’s safe to say Carra and Reina probably started alongside Torres even more than Gerrard, but that correlation’s even less significant. And I’m only listing players still with the team, although Alonso’d be the only other to crack the top eight, on the pitch for 30 of Torres’ 58 goals (30 out of 50 if we just count the ones when Alonso was with Liverpool).

The second simply shows who’s providing the assists. Once again, it’s little surprise to see Gerrard’s got the biggest number. But once again, Kuyt’s not far off.

The nine players with two assists are Alonso, Arbeloa, Crouch, Finnan, Insua, Kewell, Mascherano, Riera, and Riise. The seven with one are Babel, Carragher, Keane, Leto, Reina, Skrtel and Voronin.

Back with a preview of tomorrow’s Champions League game this afternoon.


Mike Georger said...

Great stuff, though I really want some lifesavers now. I remember the one Reina had, that was spectacular.

I've always gotten the feeling that assists are given out somewhat sparingly, as opposed to in hockey or basketball, and sometimes the creating player doesn't get enough credit. Sure I haven't paid attention to this until the advent of fantasy soccer, but still, there have been many goals that I thought Gerrard should have gotten credit for setting up.

nate said...

I am admittedly very generous with assists. But I'm also kind of making it up as I go along. If there's a rulebook for this (and there probably is), I haven't read it.

For example, Torres' first versus West Ham 10 days ago. Torres scored something like seven seconds after Insua's pass, and he had to dance around a defender and still beat the keeper at the near post. But Emmy gets the assist for the last pass.

The only goals I count as unassisted are obvious - like Johnson against Bolton a month ago (the only unassisted goal this season by my reckoning) or Torres' first in a hat-trick against Boro in 2008 (Arca giveaway).

vinnie said...

the rulebook exist (loosely?) in the form of paul tomkins's goal involvement:


i can't recall and can't be bothered to find out who made the shot that leads to johnson's goal but it was a very important contribution that leads to that goal

nate said...

I've seen Tomkins' assist classification. I adore his work - he's a far better writer and analyst than I am. But I want direct assists - who provided the pass to the guy who scored - not goal contributions.

It was a Gerrard corner (to no one in particular) which was headed out by a defender to Johnson for his equalizer against Bolton. Seeing as it was a disappointing corner, why should Gerrard get any credit?

Tomkins' 'goal involvement' is interesting and useful, but a bit different than what I want to keep track of.

vinnie said...

my bad, i thought you were talking about his acrobatic goal against stoke city where he pounced on the rebound from kuyt's header. too many goals for me to remember. anyway, i think this is way out of context for what you're searching for as i have misinterpreted it

btw, i don't think it's fair to compare yourself with tomkins as he's a full time football writer. you're doing great so keep it up ;)