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Helping Hands 2012/2013 30/05/2013

Posted by Matt Rowson in Thoughts about things.

Wembley Shmembley.  Who needs to be scuffing their shoes disconsolately in the dirt when there’s serious stats to be had…

I’ll skip the preamble about not-reading-too-much-into and far-from-the-whole-picture and quite-what-constitutes-an-assist, although that all still holds – you can access that via links to previous summer’s versions of this article which follow below.

No great surprise to see “The Professor” at the top of the table… the Hornets’ Player of the Season was, until very late on, the leading provider of assists in the division according to one media source.  Thirteen assists in addition to his twelve goals is a pretty comprehensive haul by any standards – only Don Cowie’s 14 two years ago outstrips it in recent years.  Perhaps as remarkable is that by the start of December Abdi and Troy Deeney – admittedly after an enforced early absence – only had a couple of assists between them, whilst last year’s top provider Mark Yeates teed up all eight of his assists by that point.  He only started three games in 2013.

Elsewhere, and for different reasons, the double-figure hauls of both Fernando Forestieri and Marco Cassetti are worth a mention.  Nobody doubts Forestieri’s ability, but earlier in the season folk were questioning the end product… no basis for that in these figures, even if they are slightly cushioned by the “hat-trick” against Blackburn Rovers – Nando probably has the best assists-to-time-on-pitch ratio, although I’m buggered if I’m going to sit down and work that out.  Meanwhile, one suspects that it’ll be a long while before a defender troubles the top end of this table again.  Cassetti may have been exposed against a tricksy winger but he has been majestic with the ball at his feet, never more memorably than in languidly setting up Matej Vydra’s opener against Leicester.

At the other end of the table, Nathaniel Chalobah’s relatively modest contribution is a bit of a surprise, even from his deeper midfield position – and his one assist an innocuous lay-off to Ikechi Anya at St.Andrews.  Lloyd Doyley, meanwhile, has gotten over his two-assist aberration of two years ago with his second successive zero.  And as long as he’s depriving opposition chances as effectively as he did at Wembley, few will be complaining.


Assists Apps Gls Assists vs
Abdi 13 40+3 12 HuT (A), HuC (H), NoF (H), NoF (H), BHA (A) , NoF (A), IpT (A), DeC (H), DeC (H), ShW (H) , HuC (A), PeU (A) , LeC (A)
Forestieri 10 20+12 8 HuT (A), ChA (A) , LeC (H), WoW (H), Bar (H) , ChA (H), ChA (H), BlR (H), BlR (H), BlR (H)
Deeney 10 36+7 20 ShW (A), Bar (H), BHA (A), Mb (A), HuT (H), NoF (A), IpT (A), ShW (H), Bpl (H), LeC (H-PO)
Cassetti 10 40+2 0 BrC (H), CaC (A) , LeU (A), Bar (H) , HuT (H) , HuT (H) , BoW (H), CrP (H), ShW (H), LeC (H – PO)
Yeates 8 19+11 4 BiC (H), BoW (A), HuT (A) , LeU (A), WoW (H), Bpl (A), ShW (A), ShW (A)
Vydra 7 32+15 22 WyW (A), CrP (A), BiC (H), Bpl (A), HuT (H), NoF (A), BoW (H)
Anya 6 22+7 4 DeC (A), LeU (A) , BiC (A), BiC (A), Bur (H), LeU (H)
Pudil 4 38+2 1 BrC (H), PeU (H), LeC (H) , ShW (A)
Murray 2 8+8 1 CrP (A), LeU (A)
Geijo 2 8+12 2 LeU (A), ChA (H)
Battocchio 2 16+9 2 BiC (A), Bur (H)
Hogg 2 35+8 0 BHA (A), LeC (H – PO)
Dickinson 1 4+2 0 CrP (H)
Hall 1 19+3 1 Bur (H)
Ekstrand 1 33+3 1 LeC (A)
Chalobah 1 38+4 5 BiC (A)
Bonham 0 0+1 0
Buaben 0 0+1 0
Fanchone 0 1 0
Jenkins 0 1 0
Mujangi Bia 0 1+4 0
Thompson 0 1+4 0
Beleck 0 1+5 0
Forsyth 0 2+2 0
Hodson 0 2+2 0
Smith 0 2+5 0
Garner 0 3 0
Eustace 0 4+3 0
Iwelumo 0 4+4 1
Taylor 0 5 1
Briggs 0 6+3 1
Neuton 0 7+2 0
Bond 0 9+1 0
Hoban 0 19 2
Nosworthy 0 20+1 0
Doyley 0 33+6 1
Almunia 0 43 0

Check out the 2011-12, 2010-112009-102008-09 and 2007-08 equivalents for details of what “qualifies” as an assist by my reckoning.

The annual “School Report” feature follows shortly…


1. Arjun Kotecha (@Lloydinio97) - 30/05/2013

This is brilliant, completely different to the football league stats though.

Matt Rowson - 30/05/2013

haven’t seen them… but an assist is open to interpretation isn’t it? For example, when a cross is flicked on and then converted (only once this season I think) I would give an assist to both crosser and flicker-on. I would also give an assist to someone whose shot was blocked and the rebound turned in, and to someone fouled for a penalty. There’s no absolute definition… all I can promise is that I went through reports and video clips of each goal to assemble the above, so there are differences of interpretation but no “errors” on my part.

2. Kris - 30/05/2013

Thank God you were quick to post this. I am struggling to get over/get a handle on Monday and the subsequent consequences but this has yanked me out of my apathy. I can’t wait for what the summer brings and I am sure it will be interesting none the less. Also I feel certain we will have a club to cheer next season which is a plus.

I always look forward to the helping hands report as I feel football is a little shortsighted when it comes to those statistics. Look at ice hockey – not only do they focus on assists thy also look at how the team does when a player is on the pitch in the +/- stats (goals scored/conceded for each player). while not as useful in football I feel just scoring is weighted rather heavily in football (yes I know – it is rather important but still 😉 )…

Anyways – having longed for a creative central midfielder for years Abdi has been a revelation. His set pieces are lethal, his general play great and these stats only go to prove his importance. Also while Cowie had 14 assists he only scored 4 to Abdis 12. My greatest worry for this offseason is that we’ll lose him.

3. Smudger Jnr - 30/05/2013

I see you didn’t count Jack Bonham’s assist for Leeds 😉

Matt Rowson - 30/05/2013

now now… 🙂

4. Harefield Hornet - 30/05/2013

Matt – a debate has started on the last post about the myth surrounding the size of the Wembley pitch – as a stat man can you confirm!

Matt Rowson - 30/05/2013

I found (and was misled by) one source suggesting it was huge. Old Wembley certainly was. But current pitch – viz Wiki I think – is comparable size to VR.

Harefield Hornet - 30/05/2013

thanks – both are 115 x 75 yards apparently identical – Have a great summer!

Ian Grant - 30/05/2013

We’ve been sold a pup, methinks. Surely this remarkable discovery renders Monday’s result null and void?

5. JP - 30/05/2013

What constitutes an assist is clearly open to interpretation, but surely you have to give Almunia something for the third goal against Leicester. Plus how many players did you count for “that” goal against Huddersfield?
Great work as ever Matt, never cease to marvel at the speed both you and ig get things out.

Matt Rowson - 30/05/2013

🙂 Assists can be judged on aesthetics up to a point, on which basis both Almunia (and Anya, Forestieri) vs Leicester and half the team vs Huddersfield would be credited. Unfortunately, my wife has to draw the line somewhere…

6. SimonL - 31/05/2013

Fascinating data. Without wanting to conjour up what-if wistfulness from Monday, if you just purely statistically compare Forestieri to Geijo on both assist/game played and goals/game played, you wonder what might have been had the half-time replacement for Vydra been Forestieri instead of Geijo.

Thinking more positively, a key challenge for the team rebuilding for next year is how to best utilise Fernando. I thought the brief time against Leicester in the second leg when we had him playing with Deeney & Vydra we looked a real handful.

7. Dave Jackson - 31/05/2013

Don’t bother, Simon. I’ve been banging on about that all season and I’m confident their occasional time on the pitch together would back it up. Clearly the gaffer has considered this and just doesn’t agree.
Thanks again to MR and IG for another season of excellent reporting and insights.
I’m off to the cricket to take my mind off the football (hopefully!)

8. stu partridge - 31/05/2013

Matt, allow me to add further colour to your interesting stats.

I enclose minutes played for our 4 main attacking players and their relevant goal/assist to minutes played ratio.

Player MinsPlayed Goals Assists Mins/Goal Mins/Assist

Vydra 2785 22 07 126 398

Deeney 2920 20 10 146 292

FF 1675 08 10 209 168

Abdi 3330 12 13 278 256

Unsurprisingly Vydra tops the mins played per goal chart.
The job remits of Deeney and FF are wider reaching than Vydras, and obviously Abdi as the lone midfielder props up the bottom.

Again the assists chart reads as expected with Vydra , the out and out goal scorer, coming last and FF coming top in his second/support striker role.

So nothing that we didnt expect there.

However, for the sake of this argument, let us presuppose that a goal creating assist is equal in value to an actual goal.
( a very debatable presupposition i know but interesting nonetheless…as sometimes the assist is harder to create than the goal is to score and other times vice versa).
By aggregating the two values of Mins/Goals and Mins/Assists, this would allow us to create a chart that describes the minutes played per action that led to a goal.
In other words a very rough picture of the most effective attacking player in our team ( at least in terms of goal creation).

mins/goal action

FF 93

Vydra 96

Deeney 97

Abdi 133

And the winner is…………Whoah Forestieri, Whoah Forestieri.

Very close to call, but impressive goal action figures from all players, which leads me to the final conclusion that we must have scored a lot of goals this season 😉

stu partridge - 31/05/2013

apologs, the charts didnt format across so they are difficult to read. you’ll just have to take my word for it !

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