I had a message from a reader the other day looking for some details of assists this season. Thanks to our great friends at iCoach4Sport I am able to bring you the assist table for our league campaign, and it makes interesting reading.
We scored 83 league goals last season, of those Matt Rhead scored 15, but how many did he make? Directly, Matt Rhead had the most amount of assists with 14, meaning he had a direct hand in 29 of our 83 league goals. It does make you wonder how he didn’t pick up one of those Player of the Season awards doesn’t it?
I had question marks over whether Rheady would follow us up into the Football League, but whether or not he is mobile seems irrelevant. When a player has a direct hand in 34% of your goals, then in truth he isn’t going to be easy to replace. These stats don’t take into account the ‘pass before the pass’ though, if we stripped it back three steps, what price on Rheady being involved in over half of our goals?
Second in the assist table, and perhaps no surprise here, is Nathan Arnold. He trailed Rheady by three goals in the league scorer charts, and he trail him by just two assists as well. I don’t think there is too much of a surprise there either, after all Nathan Arnold is one of the more experienced members of the squad, a ‘proper footballer’ as my Dad calls them. When you’re whipping crosses in from the wings with the regularity he is, you’re going to be getting a few assists. Perhaps the main surprise is that in third place we don’t see another winger, nor do we see one of Matt Rhead’s strike partners.
The player with the third most amount of league assists is Sam Habergham, and when you consider that he takes the corners I guess it comes as no surprise. It does go to show though that our main route to goal wasn’t always set plays, not directly anyhow. I was perhaps more surprised that Nathan had 12 assists when primarily his will come from some form of open play, whilst Sam came in with 11 which would (in the main) be set plays.
After that the numbers drop significantly, but like with the goals there is a good spread across a range of players. Rather surprisingly in fourth place is Terry Hawkridge, a man whom we may miss a little more than some believe. He weighed in with six assists from 24 league starts, and in joint fifth position is another man we might just miss, Lee Angol. He grabbed four assists from his 11 league starts. Four assists and five goals from eleven games is a fair return, especially when you consider Theo Robinson got one league goal and two assists from 12 starts.
It was mentioned that perhaps there should be a ‘Assist of the Season’ award given out. That would almost certainly go to Adam Marriott for his sumptuous pass against Ipswich, but these stats are league only. If I was giving out the award, I think I’d plump for Rheady’s backheel against FGR at their place which led to our equaliser. For a so-called big lump, Matt Rhead has a superb touch, and as these stats show he is more than integral to almost everything we do. Where would we be without him and Nathan Arnold this season?
Below is a table showing league starts, assists, goals and a few other ‘interesting’ stats. I put marks around interesting because I’m not always sure the stuff I find fascinating is the stuff you find fascinating.
Remember the lower the number here, the better. For instance Harry Anderson would score a goal (on average) every 2.33 starts, or every 4.67 appearances.
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