My experiment continues to see what success, if any, can be had by selecting a player who has had good underlying stats in a small number of recent games, but has failed to produce returns. Each week, I score the player from the previous week on whether they found their objective (goal, assist, clean sheet etc.) or whether they were missing again.
The pick last week was Vincent Janssen, the new Tottenham Hotspur striker. It quickly went sideways when the game began with Janssen on the bench, but an injury to Kyle Walker prompted Mauricio Pochettino to reshuffle his team 28 minutes in and bring on the 22-year-old Dutchman. Sadly, he didn’t get a sniff of goal and is easily classed as missing.
This week we will see if Philippe Coutinho can do any better. The Liverpool midfielder netted twice in Gameweek 1, but has failed to find the net since then despite unleashing 12 shots. All but one of his eight efforts in Gameweek 2 came from outside the box, but last week three of his four attempts were inside the penalty area and two tested the keeper. His task this week is to score.
I’ve also decided this experiment needs a control group to compare the results of Everything but the Goal with a player who also had good underlying statistics, but did deliver returns. For Gameweek 2, I would have picked Salomón Rondón for his six shots, including five in the area and two on target, against Crystal Palace. In Gameweek 3 the pick would have been Sergio Agüero for four shots, all in the area, including two that beat the keeper and one that was saved. Both those players failed to find the net the following week.
This week the control player will be Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, who scored against Burnley from one of his four shots on target. Three of his seven attempts were in the area. This week, I’m looking to the Belgian to score again.
Season EBTG score: Found 0 – 2 Missing.
Season control score: Found 0 – 2 Missing.