Mar 232012

“Who needs Batman, when you have Robin”? This is a common question Arsenal fans ask the opposition supporters with a smirk on their faces every time Robin Van Persie scores a goal. The following article isn’t about Van Persie and his status as a ‘must have’ player in every Fantasy Football team. Instead, it attempts to explore a premier league club’s reliance on its top goal scorer? This can be achieved by comparing the ‘goals scored by the top goal scorer’ to the ‘total goals scored by the club’.

The table below reflects the percentage of goals scored by the top goal scorer of every premier league club in descending order i.e. highest to lowest.


  • On average, a club’s top goal scorer scores approximately 26% of the goals.
  • There are 11 premier league clubs, including Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool, whose average is below this figure. This is because the goals scored by these clubs have been spread well between strikers and midfielders and in some cases defenders.
  • Van Persie has been responsible for scoring approximately 45% of Arsenal’s goals this season. This is the highest figure for any club, which highlights Arsenal’s increasing reliance on the Dutch striker.
  • Everton and Wigan have the worst goal scoring record in the league i.e. less than 1 goal per game. This is reflected by the fact that their top goal scorers have netted less than 5 times this season.
  • Chelsea, Sunderland, Wigan, Everton and Fulham are the only clubs whose top goal scorers are midfielders.
  • There are 9 premier league clubs whose top goal scorer has found the back of the net less than 10 times. From these clubs, Liverpool, Sunderland and Everton are in the top half of the table. Whereas, Bolton and Wigan are in the relegation zone. The remaining quartet of Aston Villa, West Brom, QPR and Stoke City are in the bottom half of the table.

Upon analyzing the top 5 goal scorers in terms of percentage of goals scored, it is quite evident that Van Persie has a commanding lead over the others. The Arsenal striker has had a phenomenal season, scoring 26 goals in 29 matches and is the favorite to win the Premier League Golden Boot award. However, what’s surprising is that Van Persie has scored almost half of Arsenal’s total goals this season. In other words, Arsenal rely heavily on RVP’s goal scoring ability, and he hasn’t disappointed so far.

Newcastle’s Demba Ba follows close behind in 2nd place. Ba’s first full season in the premier league has been hugely successful. He has netted 16/41 goals for Newcastle and is the 4th highest goal scorer in the league. Newcastle’s dependence on Ba is highlighted by the fact that he has scored approximately 39% of their goals. Having said that, the signing of compatriot Cisse, who has netted 3 goals in 5 matches, may reduce the goal scoring burden on Ba’s shoulders.

In 3rd place is Yakubu with a percentage of goals scored figure of 33.33%. After three disappointing seasons by Fantasy Football standards, ‘The Yak’ seems to have found a new home at Ewood Park. He has been Blackburn’s most influential player this season with 14 goals and is on course to break his personal best of 15 goals in the 2006/2007 season for Middlesbrough.

Steven Fletcher may have scored fewer goals than Yakubu, but he has an identical percentage of goals scored figure of 33.33%. The Wolves front man has been responsible for scoring 1/3rd of the goals for his club. However, he will need to improve this figure to lift Wolves out of the relegation zone.

Fulham’s Clint Dempsey occupies the 5th place on the list with a percentage of goals scored figure of 32.43%.  Dempsey has been an extremely important component of Martin Jol’s side and has excelled in midfield, on the flanks and even up front. Moreover, he is the highest goal scoring midfielder in the league with 12 goals.

Wayne Rooney finds himself in 8th place, while scoring 20/73 or approximately 27% of Manchester United’s goals this season. This can be explained by the fact that United play a 4-4-2 formation which requires Rooney to be partnered with another striker. Secondly, Rooney has had to play out of position in central midfield or in the hole and this has affected his goal scoring returns.

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero is in 14th place with a percentage of goals scored figure of 23.94%. Aguero has had a fine debut season in which he has netted 17/71 goals scored by City. The proportion of his goals is relatively lower than the players discussed earlier because the other Manchester City strikers, namely Dzeko and Balotelli have scored 24 goals between them. Similarly, the total goals scored by the midfield quartet of Silva, Nasri, Johnson and Yaya Toure is the same as Aguero. In other words, Manchester City have not relied heavily on Aguero because their midfielders and strikers have chipped in with goals regularly. The same can be said of Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool.

I would like to conclude by saying that in order to be successful in the long run, a club can’t rely solely on one player to score a majority of the goals. That’s why a well balanced side is one in which the goal scoring burden is shared appropriately between strikers and midfielders.


This article was written by Archivist

  21 Responses to “Reliance On Top Goal Scorers”

  1. Awesome! I have to say I really like stats, and this article is a superb statistical analysis. Brilliant – well done Archivist.

    What comes through loud and clear is that if RVP gets injured Arsenal are in big big trouble! As too are a fair few fantasy managers!!

    • Great article Archivist!

      RVP is the man for me this weekend. It’s a real toss up though with Rooney.
      This article gives me a statistical arguement for that decsion now though, so RVP is Skipper and Rooney is the Vice.

      FFC- sorry mate only read that email today. I sent you a reply. Apologies!

  2. I’m in statistical heaven! Brilliant Archivist!!

  3. It also suggests that if you are looking to decide whether to captain RVP or Rooney, then RVP is the better choice (assuming they have fixtures of equivalent difficulty). Not only does RVP score more total points per minute played but most of Arsenal’s scoring goes through him whereas Man Utd spread their scoring around a number of players.

    • You are absolutely right Ned. As last week’s article pointed out, Van Persie is more consistent than Rooney in terms of goals scored. Moreover, he hasn’t gone more than 2 games without finding the back of the net.

      Although, Arsenal will have 2 days to prepare for their match against Villa, my money is firmly on RVP to score at least one goal if not more.

  4. FFC and all
    Could you take a look at my team please. No free transfer 2.7M in the bank.All tips regarding transfers/line-up would be appreciated.
    Mignolet /reserve Bogdan

    Vermaelen / Evans / Caulker/2nd sub Cahill /3rd sub S Kelly

    McClean / Bale / Valencia / Silva / Sigurdsson

    RVP / Roony /1st sub Pogrebnyak

    Your thoughts and deliberations will be keenly awaited.

    • That all looks pretty sensible. To me, it looks like your only debate would be 3-5-2 and bench Pog, or 3-4-3 and bench McClean. Given Pog is at United I think you have made a good call, but don’t be suprised if he does score. I was at Fulham last week, and although he didn’t score, he looked a big, powerful and very skillful player. One to watch for those that don’t have him.

      Good luck

      • FFC log in issues have been sorted, It looks like i might be tossing a coin on the other issue of 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 I totaly agree with your statments about Pog been more than capable of scoreing anywhere he plays. But with Sess back will this raise McCleans game who is overdue a goal/assist or two MMMMmmmmmm.

  5. mignolet home to QPR or ruddy home to wolves ??

  6. This would be really useful as a ‘rolling’ stat, weekly throughout the season; say over the last 6 games?

  7. WOW ! Shocked ! Muscled out a good team yesterday – and today I can’t choose it – only because Valencia’s price has gone up by 0.2 and Siggy’s price by 0.1 !
    Now back to the drawing board once again ! with less than 30 mins to go…..Awesome :(

  8. RVP = 2pts. What a cpt :-) Come on Rooney!

  9. Aguerro’s on holiday?