13 November 2012

League Goals via Top Scorer [Infographic]

That Liverpool have become heavily reliant on Luis Suarez is no secret, the only Liverpool player to have scored more than once in the league, and now joint-top scorer in the Premiership with eight goals through 11 games.

It turns out that Liverpool aren't the most reliant on a single player, at least.

Sunderland are, by far, the worst offenders. Fletcher has 71% of Sunderland's seven goals; Adam Johnson has one, while they scored an own goal against Newcastle three weeks ago. Newcastle are slightly more dependent on Demba Ba than Liverpool are on Suarez; he's got 58% of Newcastle's goals, Suarez has 57% of Liverpool's. These are the only three clubs with one player responsible for more than 50% of their strikes.

I doubt it's coincidence that the top half of this chart is populated by teams in the bottom half of the table. West Ham's reliance on Nolan is the anomaly, but eight other players have at least one strike for Sam Allardyce's over-performing side. No, Andy Carroll is not one of them; Noble has two, while Diame, Jarvis, Maiga, Reid, Taylor, Tomkins, and Vaz Te all have one.

It's obviously still quite early in the season, but spreading the wealth seems crucial to a club's league place. No side in the current top nine has fewer than seven goal-scorers. From sides placed 10th through 20th, only Southampton (10) and Reading (9) have more than seven goal-scorers. Reading may not have a consistent scorer – Pogrebnyak, Hunt, and Robson-Kanu lead the way with two each – but both clubs' problems mainly lie at the other end of the pitch.

The clubs with the most goal-scorers are United (13) and Chelsea (11), currently 1st and 3rd in the table. Comparatively, second-place City have "just" nine, but Dzeko, Tevez, Aguero, and Yaya Toure all have at least two strikes.

The worst offenders for spreading the wealth? The top four clubs in this chart. Sunderland have just two scorers, Newcastle and Stoke have four, and Liverpool have five: Gerrard, Şahin, Skrtel, and Sterling with one apiece (and two own goals) to go with Suarez's eight. Bottom of the table QPR is the only other side with just five scorers.

So, is it January yet?


suley said...

love your work keep it up mate

Jared Wheatley said...

Nice work, I was just wondering about this. I would also be interested in seeing what the points received for those goals are (i.e. how points would liverpool have without Suarez goals versus RVP points for ManU?)

Stephen said...

We need a true center forward (Huntelaar) and a Cazorla-like CAM that can (a) fit Rodgers style (b) work well w Allen to link defense w attack and (c) be a goal-scoring threat himself. If we make these purchases in Jan window and if Lucas & Borini return from injury, I like our chances of contending for 4th. We would have a starting XI that can compete with anyone: Johnson/Agger/Skrtel/Enrique; Lucas/Allen/CAM; Suarez/Borini/Huntelaar. With Gerrard & Sahin, there is some experienced depth in midfield. These purchases allow the "kids" Suso, Sterling, Assaidi, Shelvey, Wisdom to be impact subs and Europa starters.

Tara said...

hey nate,
i love your infographics and was wondering where you get some of them from? i'm actually looking for a circular graph (like a wheel with different sub-sections: eg. number of home and away goals by top scorers in top four clubs). i can find a few but images ut nothing that allows me to have sections of the wheel that are scaled based on the numbers i have. any ideas on what i could do?
great work, by the way =)

nate said...


Forgot to respond to this. OptaJoe actually ran the numbers for this, at for Suarez and RVP, prior to last week's fixtures.

LFC without Suarez
United without RVP


Depends on what you're using to make the graphics. I don't know where you could "find" them online, which is why I started making my own.

I predominantly use Adobe Illustrator, sometimes InDesign and Photoshop. There's a tool in Illustrator that lets you make pie charts by inputing data (or bar charts or line charts, but those are uglier than doing it by hand), but you can also do it by hand (using math and figuring out the percentages via area, etc), which is how I used to do it a year or so ago before figuring out that there's a pie chart tool. But math is hard.