Which striker has scored the most goals in the Premier League this year? A quick Google search tells us that Wayne Rooney is the forward with the magic boots so far this season with 26 goals, Didier Drogba is close on his heels with 25 and Darren Bent (!) is third with 22. An exciting race to be sure, especially with 5 games still remaining for each to add to their tally.
But who is the deadliest striker? Who is a goal scoring machine and how do we determine it?
Gross goal count is a somewhat useful measure, but a poor striker could theoretically be top of the goal table if he got substantially more time in the first team than a quality player (for whatever reason). Instead we should look for the player who makes the most of his time on the pitch and bangs in goals at the highest rate, rather than just than just scoring the most goals. Looking at a player’s goal per minute of playing time ratio is probably a better measure of the goal scoring instinct. I will also look at assists per minute.
So who should be making keepers quake on their touchlines?
1. Didier Drogba – Chelsea
In 2,321 minutes of playing time Drogba has scored 25 goals and made 10 assists. Goal/Min: 0.010771, Assist/Min: 0.0043085.
2. Fernando Torres – Liverpool
In 1,705 minutes of playing time Torres has scored 18 goals and made 3 assists Goal/Min: 0.010577, Assist/Min: 0.0017595
3. Wayne Rooney – Manchester United
In 2,472 minutes of playing time Rooney has scored 26 goals and made 5 assist. Goal/Min: 0.010518, Assist/Min: 0.0020227
the rest of the list is filled with familiar names,
4. Carlos Tevez – 2,401 mins, 20 goals, 7 assists
5. Jermain Defoe – 2,146 mins, 17 goals, 4 assists
6. Robin Van Persie – 958 mins, 7 goals, 7 assists
7. Darren Bent – 3,206 mins, 22 goals, 4 assists
8. Dimitar Berbatov – 1,766 mins, 12 goals, 5 assists
9. Louis Saha – 2,017 mins, 13 goals, 1 assists
10. Ivan Klasnic – 935 mins, 6 goals, 1 assist
1. Players with less than 450 minutes (5 matches worth, whether full game or substituted) of playing time have been kept out of the sample as data becomes very flukey below this threshold. Just like everything else, player performance can only be judged over a long period of time. So the ‘low denominator’ players have been omitted…much to the dismay of Federico Macheda (1 goal, 26 mins of time!) and James Vaughan (1 goal, 63 mins of time!) who would otherwise be top of this list.
2. Data is current as of 4/10/10
More fun with this data set next time.