Poachers – the best finishers in the EPL


Goal scoring is a skill. Players who can create something from nothing, providing a timely tally for their side, are frequently the difference between one and three points. Players like Robin van Persie — 92 chances created in 2011-12 season — can provide a spark with the ball at their feet and a lethal final touch. However, there is another class of striker that always seem to appear at the right place, at the right time: poachers.

Know right at the top – there’s nothing keenly scientific done here. We’ve simply looked at goals scored on clear-cut chances against the total number of clear-cut chances the forward had and in relation to the total goals they scored each season.

Dirk Kuyt: Kuyt posted a remarkable 65% clear-cut chance conversion rate. The Dutch attacker scored 13 goals in the 2010-11 season with Liverpool and 11 of those game from clear-cut chances.

Kevin Nolan: One of the reasons that midfielders failed to make this list is the lack of total goals scored and Nolan’s 2010-11 season is proof positive. He hit 12 goals in this campaign with seven of those coming in the first nine game-weeks and with five over two matches. After his hat-trick, Nolan hit only one goal in his next eight EPL fixtures.

Peter Odemwingie: Odemwingie’s 2010-11 season was remarkable in several ways. First, the Baggie’s striker scored 15 goals on 83 shots for a side that scored 56 goals.  His tally trailed on Tevez and Berbatov (20), van Persie (18) and Darren Bent (17).

Darren Bent: The only thing keeping Darren Bent from being higher up this list was his profligate finishing on gilt-edged opportunities.

Yakubu: One season does not a poacher make. But it would have been wrong to leave off the inspiration for this post. The Blackburn Rovers striker made the most of his open looks at goal, scoring on 15 of 28 clear-cut chances (54%).

Berbatov: There is something about the sublime skill possessed by the Bulgarian striker that belies the effort he puts into the game. In his last full season for Manchester United, Berbatov scored 13 of 27 clear-cut chances and tallied 20 total goals — sharing the Golden Boot with Carlos Tevez that year.

Adebayor: Adebayor is an offensive juggernaut.  The reality is, he does not belong on this list but if he is going to be on the list, he must be near the top. In the 2011-12 season, Adebayor scored 17 Premier League goals for Tottenham Hotspur. All 17 came from a clear-cut chance.

Steven Fletcher: Steven Fletcher is not an offensive juggernaut – he is a man-shaped machine that was designed for the sole purpose of scoring goals.

Read the rest of the report to see the stats behind these players being chosen.

Poor Form

The natural question that arises from doing this research is: who was the worst at finishing clear-cut chances? Unfortunately for Liverpool supporters, that was Luis Suarez. Also in the running for the worst finisher was Jermain Defoe during his 2010-11 season. Defoe scored 4 goals on 42 shots — 23 on target for 55% shooting accuracy — but went zero for 10 on clear-cut chances. ZERO for 10

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One Comment on “Poachers – the best finishers in the EPL”

  1. AS October 2, 2012 at 12:07 am #

    The YAK!!!!

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