I just thought I’d take a look at some of the numbers behind two 21 yo Strikers – David Ngog (2010) and Fernando Torres (2005).
Click here to download the game logs of both players during the season they turned 21 respectively.
In 2005 Torres turned 21. Already by this age he had two complete season of Spanish Primera Division football under his belt equalling a total of 66 games of which . The season before he had earned his first cap for Spain. During the 2004-2005 season Torres managed a total of 15 goals in 37 games (started all 37). What a great year to have made bets on him at www.gamebookers.com, some people made some money! All in all he managed a goal every 219 minutes of playing time. In that time he missed only one half of football for his club. A ratio goals scored versus minutes played reveals he averaged 0.41 goals per 90 min (a goals to effective games ratio!). Not bad for a 21 year old!
Five years Torres’ junior, David Ngog is currently playing at the age of 21. Prior to this season David has had three seasons of professional football under his belt. However, unlike his more illustrious team mate in that time he managed only 38 games, 14 of which were from the start. So far this season David Ngog has managed to score 6 goals 23 games (started 13). He has averaged a goal every 203 minutes played. His goals scored versus minutes played reveals he averaged 0.44 goals per 90 min.
mins per goal 202.83
Goals per 90 min 0.44
mins per goal 219.07
Goals per 90 min 0.41
Take a look at the complete breakdown of their games played that season (in the attached spread sheet).
In analysis there is no escaping the fact that Fernando Torres is by far the superior striker in this comparison. By the age of 21 he was already the best player at At. Madrid. He was an full international. In 2005 At. Madrid finished 11th mostly due to his exploits. He was a true world class talent back then and is today a World class striker bar none!
However, Ngog without the experience of having played first team football for long is still about on pace as far as the stats are concerned. These is no denying that the reason he does not have more experience is because he is not good enough (yet) to command a starting spot. Torres had to contend with the 31 year old Ballesta Salva (1 Spain Cap) and 29 year old Richard Nunez for his starting spot. Not to do wither of these gentlemen a disservice but neither are household names let alone possibly the greatest strikers in the world! During his PSG days Ngog competed with Pauleta (Portuguese striker) and Amara Diane (Ivory Cost Striker). Now he finds himself behind an even better striker in the form of the mature Torres. Not an enviable task for any striker!
Without the experience of games at the highest level Ngog has still managed to score 4 goals that have directly resulted in points for the club. His averages match those of one of the best strikers in the game at the same age during their respective careers.
Conclusions are not easy to draw from this data simply because there is not guaranteed correlation between two different players careers. I would venture to say that Ngog’s performances to date, judged in the light of his relative inexperience can be looked at as encouraging. This is not some kind of promise that he will succeed in his career but it certainly reveal that there is enough to work with. I doubt he will ever reach the heights of a Torres who like the Rooney’s and Fowlers and Owen’s is a football prodigy but I can see Ngog cutting a niche for himself within this game. Learning to harness the benefits of his physical attributes will be his route to success. That I am afraid will take time.
Will we have the patience to see if he bears fruit.?