At one time last season David Ngog was Liverpool’s top scorer. That time lasted for several months, despite barely starting a game. There will be those that will use the argument that more than half of this goals came in Europe but to me, that is neither here nor there because at a time when Liverpool were having a rough spell, Ngog stepped up when the like of Torres, Gerrard and even Dirk Kuyt weren’t delivering the goods.
Without his goals, we would never have made the latter stages of the Europa League, that much is a fact.
During those months the young Frenchman went unchallenged at the top of the Red’s scoring charts. And during this time, there wasn’t a murmur of discontent in his direction. Sadly, that’s as good as it got and that’s about as positive as a lot of fan’s feelings toward him have ever been. But why? He was never bought to be a Torres or a Drogba and he certainly cost nowhere near as much as either of them. He cost us around £1.5 million in 2008 and has played the same role for the past 3 years: bench warmer. Unlike a lot of players though, he’s played that role without complaint, he appears happy to learn from those more experienced around him and to play wherever it’s required of him, yet he still can’t please some fans.
For the fee we paid for him, I believe we’ve got more than enough back. Particularly, if he does end up being sold at any kind of a profit. He has managed 8 goals in each of his last two seasons and when, in the past season, the Reds scored 70 goals overall, in all competitions, Ngog contributed 12.5% of these. That’s 1/8 of our entire haul for last season. For somebody who has made twice as many substitute appearances in his Liverpool career than starts, that is a pretty impressive contribution as far as I’m concerned. As always though, there is a section of fans that expect every single one of our players to be world class and score 20+ goals a season regardless of their own situation.
If we look at it from another angle, we have here a young French striker who, at the age of 22 has scored 19 goals in his Liverpool career; it’s not hugely impressive, sure but weren’t we just prepared to pay over £10 million for a young English striker who’d scored about 3 goals in his entire career? And Ngog has played less than 100 games for Liverpool so that’s about 1 in 4, which is not bad at all.