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Helping Hands 2020/2021 12/05/2021

Posted by Matt Rowson in Thoughts about things.

The thing about assists is… there isn’t really an unique definition.  No “official list”, no panel of ex-players formalising decisions as there is with goalscorers.  So… my definition is on the generous side, hence the numbers of assists below are higher than you’ll find elsewhere.  I would include a critical pass even if it were deflected, a shot which is saved and the rebound converted.  I’d also include being fouled for a converted penalty (unless the penalty were converted by the same player – you can’t assist your own goal!).  This year I even got to decide whether to include being fouled for a converted free kick qualified;  since Ismaïla Sarr’s heroism in winning Masina’s free kick was so evident, that was a clear cut decision.  Other folks use meaner definitions.  They’re allowed to be wrong.

First off.  Like the goals, responsibility well-spread between all concerned.  Twenty goalscorers, but seventeen folk provided assists which is no less impressive.  Of particular interest is the folk at either end of the list.

Sarr, of course, is ridiculous.  A cheat code at this level, as has been discussed, but perhaps my favourite “assist” of this season above even the undefendable cross against Sheffield Wednesday and the countless committing of hapless defenders to win penalties was the one at Cardiff.  Last minute, everyone’s knackered, decent away point.  Sarr’s been kicked around, picks up the ball on the right flank and goes straight for the gap between two Cardiff defenders, crowbars it open and gets taken down on the way through.  As joyful a thing as what followed in stark contrast to his slightly stroppy arm flinging when things were difficult earlier in the campaign.

Earlier in the campaign.  A time when Kenzema’s nailed on once-per-game barrel into the box down the goalline yielded so many get-out-of-jail goals.  His last assist was that fabulous cross for Andre Gray on the final day, before that it was Boxing Day against Norwich reflecting that he flagged slightly towards the end of the season;  by then others were making hay.

Including Zinc.  There’s lots that needs sorting out here, but having arrived from Norway having already played a famously prolific March-November season to run up five assists in spasmodic involvement would have been great even if he hadn’t done an Almen Abdi tribute in the home game against Wycombe.

At the other extreme…  our two first-choice centre-backs didn’t get an assist between them, the three back-ups managed two between them and one of those when Ben Wilmot was pretending to be a full-back at Derby.  Assists not their job I suppose, which is perfectly fine if they’re sorting twenty-three clean sheets, negative shots on target and so on.  Adam Masina not getting an assist for the second season running is slightly more surprising;  he’s not the galloping threat that Kiko is on the opposite flank and missed the start of the season, but he’s got a long pass on him.

Yet more surprising is Will Hughes not being amongst the seventeen;  indeed, his only assist last season came in August 2019 at home to West Ham.  Withdrawn position or not, that’s a bit odd.  He’s clearly rubbish, that lad.  Statistics, eh?

Back soon with the End of Season Report.  Carry on…

Assists Apps Gls Assists vs
Sarr 13 40 13 BlR (H), Bou (H), Stk (H), PNE (H), PNE (H), Bre (H), QPR (H), BrC (H), BrC (H), BrC (H), Der (H), Car (A), ShW (H)
Sema 8 38+5 6 Mid (H), Lut (H), BlR (H), Stk (H), Cov (H), QPR (A), Nor (H), Swa (H)
João Pedro 7 32+8 9 Oxf (A – LC), PNE (H), Stk (A), BlR (A), BlR (A), Bir (H), Nor (A)
Femenía 7 36+1 0 BlR (H), Wyc (A), Rot (H), Hud (H), Wyc (H), Car (A), Rea (H)
Zinckernagel 5 10+11 1 Wyc (H), Rot (A), Rot (A), Mid (A), Rea (H)
Deeney 3 14+5 7 PNE (H), Rot (H), Stk (A)
Cleverley 3 32+2 4 Stk (H), BrC (H), BlR (A)
Gray 2 15+16 5 Swa (A), Rot (A)
Chalobah 2 34+6 3 Der (H), Rot (A)
Pussetto 1 1+1 0 Nwp (A – LC)
Perica 1 3+15 1 Bir (A)
Navarro 1 4+4 0 Swa (H)
Gosling 1 6+7 2 Bir (H)
Garner 1 13+8 0 Cov (H)
Wilmot 1 15+12 1 Der (A)
Ngakia 1 18+8 0 Bir (H)
Cathcart 1 20+5 1 PNE (H)
Crichlow 0 0+1 0
Peñaranda 0 0+1 1
Pochettino 0 0+1 0
Dawson 0 1 0
Dele-Bashiru 0 1+1 0
Agyakwa 0 2 0
Sinclair 0 2 0
Stevenson 0 2 0
Lazaar 0 2+3 0
Phillips 0 2+3 0
Murray 0 2+4 0
Hungbo 0 2+5 0
Sánchez 0 2+7 0
Success 0 3+7 1
Capoue 0 7+4 0
Quina 0 9+6 1
Kabasele 0 19+2 1
Masina 0 22+4 2
Hughes 0 22+9 2
Foster 0 23 0
Bachmann 0 26 0
Sierralta 0 27+2 1
Troost Ekong 0 32+1 1

Check out the 2019-20, 2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-172015-162014-152013-142012-132011-12, 2010-112009-102008-09 and 2007-08 equivalents by clicking on the links.


1. steven fewster - 12/05/2021

That one of Sarr’s assists was to Zinc when he was on for the hat trick is just one of the things that filled me with joy about this team as a whole this season!

Matt Rowson - 12/05/2021

absolutely. completely tremendous.

2. Roger Smith - 12/05/2021

Where’s Hungbo?

Matt Rowson - 12/05/2021

dammit. thx Roger, amended.

3. Fez - 14/05/2021

I voted for Kiko for PotS but, in the light of the evidence presented, Sarr is an even more worthy winner than I gave him credit for.

Perhaps it’s his somewhat sultry, laconic, (apparent*) attitude and his (apparent*) penchant to go AWOL in games… my glass is usually half empty, and I do not claim to be the most astute of armchair critics unless it’s refereeing or goalkeeping.

It is probably why I enjoy your, and IG’s, contributions so much because I just know that I will learn something or at least have something I’ve missed pointed out – which is basically the same thing.

* I’m one for the “tryers”, the effort makers, those that perhaps don’t have the skills set or the natural talent over those who have ability in abundance but not necessarily the 100% application: The Hessenthaler’s, the Les Taylor’s the Guedioura’s, the Allan Nielson’s of this world – as if any of those, for different reasons, aren’t anything but legends of the Club. It clouds my judgement sometimes.

Cheers, and enjoy the summer!

Matt Rowson - 14/05/2021

Cheers Fez. I voted for Kiko also…

4. simmos - 15/05/2021

The stat regarding Masina is definitely misleading. He did so much good work when fit to play and didn’t he put in the cross when Sarr was marginally offside while looking to score a hat trick against Reading?

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