After a man of the match display on Saturday in which Marc Albrighton picked up his 5th league goal of the season, I wanted to see if my inkling was correct that the 21-year-old is Villa’s must influential attacking player this season. To do that I collected the minutes played tallies of the 6 main contributors at the club in all competitions and divided this by the goals scored and assists combined. I stress that these stats are more comprehensive as they take account for minutes on the pitch accumulated as opposed to total appearance figures. Turns out I was right to think that the young winger has contributed to more goals per mins than any other player at the club and all in his first season! To get a better idea of just how well he’s done I compared his stats against the most influential players in the league so enjoy!
In 22 starts and 7 substitute appearances, Albrighton has accumulated 1955 minutes of football in all competitions, scoring 6 and assisting 10. This means that the rate in which he either scores or sets up a goal stands at 1 in just over 122 minutes of first team action, so a game and a third which is a fantastic record for his debut season.
It may surprise you that Villa’s second best in this regard isn’t Young, or Downing, but Emile Heskey. Gerard Houllier’s arrival coincided with a return to form for the big man who has seen his chances limited since the signing of Darren Bent. However, in 1148 minutes of football Heskey has scored 6, assisting twice, at a rate of 1 every 143 and a half minutes, or just over a game and a half, not bad at all considering he can’t finish.
Next up unsurprisingly is Young who has the highest combined tally of goals (8) and assists (9), but has played substantially more minutes than Albrighton, 2730 to be precise. This leaves Villa’s out-of-contract star with a, still impressive, rate of 1 goal/assist every 160 minutes.
The sides only other player to have a record of better than 1 in under 2 games is Darren Bent, though the majority of his goals came for Sunderland. In 2600 minutes of first team football Bent scores or assists every 162 and a half minutes. Leading league scorer Stewart Downing has played more minutes than any other outfield player (2927), scoring and assisting 7 goals apiece at a rate of 1 every 209 minutes. Unsurprisingly Gabby Agbonlahor has Villa’s worst total having only scored 4 and assisted 1 in 1653 minutes at a rate of 1 every 275 and a half minutes, just over 3 games.
Now to compare Albrighton’s total of a goal/assist every 122 minutes against the best from other teams in the league’s players’ in all competitions. I won’t bore you with the minutes played or goals and assists scored for opposing team players, but merely their records per minutes played.
The best that I could find was held by Rafa van der Vaart who scored all of Spurs’ goals in their two respective 2-1 wins over Villa. The Dutchman has a phenomenal record from midfield having scored or assisted goals every 92.85 minutes on average. Close behind are strikers Andy Carroll and Carlos Tevez who contribute every 93.17 and 93.35 minutes respectively.
Perhaps for fittingly in comparison to Marc, United winger Nani, who has scored 10 and assisted 17 (I know I said I wouldn’t mention it but that’s what you want from a winger, even if he is one of the most annoying players in the league!). This record gives him a contribution rate of 1 every 100.37 minutes, 20 or so less than Marc, but considering Albrighton is 21 that’s no mean feat! Interestingly the player who many are touting as the PFA Player of the Year, Arsenal’s Samir Nasri has contributed at a worse rate than Villa’s wing wizard (1 every 136.42 minutes)!
Just to finish off I wanted to see how the 21-year-old, and indeed the rest of the team’s records weighed up against our departed pair of James Milner and Gareth Barry in their respective best seasons at Villa Park. Last year Milner scored 12 and assisted 16 for Villa in all competitions, but played a crazy amount of football during Villa’s cup runs and league campaign meaning his rate is also worse than Albrighton’s current 122 minute average, at 1 every 149.36 minutes. Barry’s best season at the club saw him score 9 and assist 10 in 2007/08 at a rate of 1 in 2 games (179.47 minutes), though he wasn’t as attack minded as the aforementioned players to be fair.
I assure you that these stats are from a reputable source and my calculations are accurate so I hope you find them as interesting as I did researching them! UTV!
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