Excessive quantities of top goalscorer chit chat…By
I recently pulled together some analysis of historic Premier League top goalscorer statistics when considering shorting Darren Bent’s forecast performance for the second half of this season.
This wasn’t meant as a particular slight on young Dazzler. I think he is a quality player who hasn’t been given the credit his performances deserve over the years. Pundits and commentators regularly seem to imply that Bent is an overachiever, or has in some way been fortunate to get to where he is in his career. I don’t understand this at all.
He took a lot of grief at Spurs, but his record was more than acceptable. It isn’t his fault Spurs chose to spend £16 million on him, at a time when they had an abundance of world class strikers but six centre backs made of glass.
I think he has found a home at Sunderland. They have a solid setup and I expect them to build a top half side under Bruce over the next few years, with Bent scoring his share of the goals.
The reason I was looking into shorting Bent’s performance was actually Sunderland’s fixture list. It makes terrible reading for the Black Cats if I am honest.
The downside of cracking first half wins at home to both Liverpool and Arsenal? You have to go there at the business end of the season. And if they needed anymore motivation, they feel that they owe you a beating.
Add to those away fixtures, trips to both Chelsea and Everton in the next two weeks. And later in the season a trip to Villa Park.
So, all in all, away trips to five of the eight strongest home sides in the League coming there way in the second half. Ouch.
To make matters worse, their final four fixtures are Burnley (h), Hull (a), Man United (h) and Wolves (a). Four light hearted, free scoring, dead rubbers to ease themselves into the summer holidays then…
In addition to this, they are in the midst of a run of 3 points from 21 and haven’t won since shocking Arsenal back in November.
As a result I started digging around for something else to chew on. Here are the fruits of my labour:
Premier League Top Goalscorer tables by season
|Player||Goals||% of team total|
|4 tied on 14||n/a||n/a|
|3 tied on 17||n/a||n/a|
1) Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo are/were all absolute monsters. A class above.
2) A player making the top 5 in the scoring charts scores, on average, around 30% of their teams goals. This seems reasonable. Intuitively, this is slightly higher for those topping the charts.
3) Andy Johnson was only 10 minutes from keeping Palace up almost single handedly in 2004-05.
4) James Beattie – I’d give you a biscuit. But to be honest, you look like you might have had one too many as it is.
5) Man United 2006-08. 231 goals. Cristiano Ronaldo? 66. 29%. One man team, eh?!
6) Darren Bent, although he does have one of the most impressive seasons on record in the Premier League era whilst at Charlton, is currently scoring at unsustainable clip for Sunderland and is due to see a bit of regression over the next few months.
Combining this with the bleak outlook for Sunderland as a whole, I expect Bentos to “tail off in the second half of the season”.
Well that is what Sky Sports will call it, and use it as an excuse why he shouldn’t go to the World Cup. However, he isn’t really tailing off. Simply coming back down to earth.
I expect Sunderland to score at an approximate rate of 1.2 goals a game over the second half, meaning that an injury free Darren Bent is looking at an 18-20 goal tally for the season. A very healthy return that he would have been delighted with at the start of the season.
I don’t plan to get into spread betting here on the blog. I don’t think it is appropriate and is certainly not something I would want to encourage anybody to get into lightly.
So is there any way to take advantage of all of this waffle and make some wonga? Sadly, probably not.
You could lay DB for top scorer on Betfair at 10/1, but that is hardly a light hearted tinkle.
A more palatable option, if you have a strong opinion either way, is to lump into either Wayne Rooney (2.44) or Jermaine Defoe (2.94) to be the top English scorer, taking advantage of the presence of Bent at (5.3), however, again, that is not something I plan on doing.
“What so all this Top Scorer waffle and no bet?!”, I hear you cry!
Not so fast.
Last night, Jermaine Beckford’s inevitable move away from Elland Road (probably to Newcastle) got me thinking again about possible opportunities in this market.
Beckford is currently second favourite in the League One market, behind the goalscoring machine that is Rickie Lambert.
The “Big 2″ are followed by Lee Barnard of Southend and Grant Holt of Norwich. Barnard would need a minor miracle to finish top scorer given that he has currently scored 15 (54%) of Southend’s measly 28 goal total. Holt is hindered by both the strengeth of the rest of the Norwich side around him and the fact that Wes Hoolahan is the first choice penalty taker.
As a consequence, I am going to take the 11/8 Ladcrookes have left hanging out there on Lambert before Beckford heads off for a few Newkie Brown’s – be those at the “sportsdirect.com@St James Stadium” or in a collection of bars around Leeds whilst he is sulking and “doing a Van Hooijdonk”.
This one comes with a bit of a health warning due to the possible injury risk, but after the significant amount of research and all this chit chat, it would be a bit rude not to back something!
BOTW: 5pts on Rickie Lambert to be League 1 top goalscorer @ 11/8