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Helping Hands 2008/09 01/06/2009

Posted by Matt Rowson in Thoughts about things.


As last year, I’ve ploughed through the match reports (and what little I remember) to summarise goals created, “assists” in common parlance, during the season just gone.  There’s obviously a degree of subjectivity here, and differing possible definitions of what constitutes an “assist”… the Official Site’s assists table awards far fewer assists in total, and appears to disagree with me on the sources of our first two League Cup goals in particular.

But here’s the roster as I tallied it, for what it’s worth.  Note that a few goals haven’t had assists allocated to them, these are listed at the foot and the picture might change a little with the extra information.

You’ll draw your own conclusions, particularly in comparing to last year’s table;  a few things jump out to me.

Jobi McAnuff, first of all.  He managed one assist in 2007/08.  Admittedly he’s taken over much of the responsibility for corners from Jordan Stewart this time around, but I’ve counted a cross flicked-on to feed the goalscorer as an assist for the “flicker-on” only, else McAnuff’s tally would have been still higher.

Interesting also that what was by popular concensus our most successful central midfield pairing of the season yielded one assist between them – that by Jack Cork against Southampton;  he’d played for the Saints in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.

Lee Williamson had a bit of an up and down season, falling out of favour having been amongst our most trustable individuals under Boothroyd.  That said, his last assist came in that same win at Southampton, a good five months before he moved on loan to Preston.

The other point worthy of note is the length of this list.  Lee Hodson set a record in coming on against Derby County, becoming the 39th player employed in first team action this season and breaking the record set in the 2006/07 Premiership season.

  Assists Apps Gls Assists vs
Smith 12 48+1 17 PlA h, ShU a, CaC h, WW h, WW h, SwC a (LC), QPR h, ToH h, BrC h, SwC h, ChA a, DC h
McAnuff 10 39+6 3 IpT h, Bar a, BrC h, CrP h (FAC), CrP h (FAC), Bpl a, Bpl a, ChA a, CaC a, CoC a
Rasiak 7 14+11 10 Bpl h, CrP h (FAC), WW a, CrP h, NoF h, CoC a, DC h
Priskin 5 38+5 14 PNE h, DoR h, CoC h, DoR a, Sot h
Hoskins 4 21+18 6 Rdg h, SwC a, Bur h, Bar a
L.Williamson 4 30+8 3 IpT h, WHU h, Bur h, Sot a
Harley 4 37+6 1 Sot a, Bpl h, QPR h, Bur h
Ward 2 9 1 Bur a, Sot a
Cowie 2 10+1 3 CrP h, ShW h
Eustace 2 14+3 2 Bpl h, BiC a
Doyley 2 40+3 0 NoF h, Che h
Mariappa 2 45+2 1 ScU h, DoR a
Gibson 1 0+1 0 BrR h
Henderson 1 0+6 0 Dar h
Bridcutt 1 5+4 0 NoC h
Poom 1 7 0 ChA h
O’Toole 1 15+13 8 Rdg h
Cork 1 20+1 1 Sot h
Bromby 1 24+4 0 NoF a
Bennett 0 0+1 0  
Hodson 0 0+1 0  
Kiernan 0 0+1 0  
Stepanov 0 0+1 0  
Sodje 0 1 0  
Robinson 0 1+3 0  
Young 0 1+3 0  
Bangura 0 1+4 0  
Parkes 0 2 0  
Cauna 0 2+3 1  
Francis 0 2+4 1  
Rose 0 3+4 0  
Ainsworth 0 4+6 0  
Hoyte 0 9+1 0  
Lee 0 10+1 0  
Sadler 0 17 0  
M.Williamson 0 17 1  
Jenkins 0 36+1 1  
Demerit 0 37+1 1  
Loach 0 37+1 0  

Unaccounted for:

Hoskins’ goal vs Cardiff (H)
Smith vs Bristol City (A)
Jenkins vs Birmingham (A)
Smith vs Norwich (H)
Priskin’s second vs Burnley (H)
Beevers’ own goal vs Sheffield Wednesday (H)


1. NickB - 05/06/2009

Hadn’t realised quite how productive Rasiak has been in terms of both goals and assists. If sub appearances average around 25 mins, he’s produced one or other in every full game; some ratio.

Smith’s stats are similarly impressive, Hoskins’ disappointing and Priskin’s improved without being as eye catching as his backers would have us believe (although his all round play has also improved).

My eternal bete noir, JM, has improved on assists for sure (hard not to from a miserable 1 last time), but his goals record is truly terrible. He’d be top of any missed sitters chart.

Great point about the lack of assists from central midfield, 2 goals and 1 assist in 60 games is pretty unimpressive, yet both had good seasons. Be interesting to see similar stats for other clubs; my gutfeel is that very few goals are the result of defence splitting passes from midfield these days.

2. JohnF - 09/06/2009

It is always interesting to look at these statistics but we also need to be careful not to rely too much on them in terms of judging the contribution of players. Attacking movements are more than just the delivery of the final pass and the action of scoring. Players off the ball also have an impact in pulling defenders out of position and although most goals come from 3 passes or less the action of players in ensuring that the ball goes to one of their own team is also important and I think that Priskin and Cork make quite a big contribution here. Smith had an outstanding season and even these figures do not entirely do his contribution to attacking play justice. It is notable that Smithy is one of the top midfielders on the Actim index.

It is a pity that it looks as though Rasiak will not be coming to Watford as he has made a great contribution. Interesting because Southampton fans were less impressed and his nickname was Laziak. Different team, style and coach/manager perhaps?

Thanks for doing this Matt. A time of sober analysis passes the time in the footie drought and perhaps helps us to appreciate the achievements of the team as a whole as well as the impact of individuals.

3. NickB - 09/06/2009

I’m feeling a bit lonely

Where is everyone?

4. Old Git - 10/06/2009

Interesting reading Matt, thanks for comiling it. It helps get through those dull and unexciting weeks in the close season when there’s nothing much to talk about, because nothing much ever happens.

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