The statistics suggest losing Nicky Law wouldn’t be the end of the world for Rangers

Nicky Law, courtesy of PA

Half way through the week & Rangers already thin midfield depth is expected to take another hit as Nicky Law’s name has been linked to a move down south.  The team confirmed Arnold Peralta’s departure on Wednesday, word is he will return to old club in Honduras – CDS Vida.  Peralta hasn’t played much this season, but he did provide hypothetical depth.

Obviously, Law’s potential departure – Leeds United, Rotherham, Huddersfield & Sheffield Wednesday have been linked to the man formerly known as the ‘Bald Iniesta” – would further deteriorate the team’s depth.

However, while he is the team’s leading scorer  – with seven league goals – the statistics would suggest that Law’s loss would not be all that devastating – especially if the team can secure a reasonable fee for him.

While looking at the goals scored per 90 minutes, Law’s production is admirable considering he is a midfielder.

Calum Gallagher* 0.58
Nicky Clark 0.51
Jon Daly 0.44
Nicky Law 0.34
David Templeton 0.34
Kenny Miller 0.31
Kris Boyd 0.15
Fraser Aird 0.1
Ian Black 0.07

*Gallagher’s stats are from his time with Cowdenbeath – given he played the same competition as Rangers his numbers deserve inclusion.

For some context, Hibs’ Jason Cummings, who leads the league in goals, has scores 0.70 per 90.  So, Law’s 0.34 is a very respectable number.  He’s been more productive than the high-priced partnership of Miller & Boyd, that’s for sure.

But that David Templeton number sticks out.

In nearly 1,100 less minutes, he has been just as productive of a goal scorer then Law.  Of course, Templeton, & his counterpart Dean Shiels, have an incredible knack of scoring the third goal in a 3-0 victory.  (Shiels’ per 90 is 0.67 in 270 minutes)

David Templeton, courtesy of SNS

Judging a forward on goals scored per 90 is extremely valid – a midfielder a little less so.  You may contend that examining assists per 90 minutes may give you more insight on the effectiveness of a midfield player.

Kris Boyd 0.36
Kenny Miller 0.31
Jon Daly 0.29
Calum Gallagher 0.23
Fraser Aird 0.19
Ian Black 0.15
Nicky Clark 0.13
David Templeton 0.11
Nicky Law 0.1

That’s not a misprint.  Nicky Law only contributes 0.1 assists per 90 minutes – once every nine matches Law has set-up a goal.  The table also highlights what most observers have claimed for the past couple of seasons – the Rangers midfield play has been atrocious.  Hibs’ midfielder Scott Allan has tallied 0.50 assists per 90 minutes.   Sam Nicolson from Hearts has 0.23.  Law & Ian Black have 0.25 combined.

It seems the best way to use these statistics while evaluating attacking players would be to combine the goals & assists per 90 minutes.  Basically, how often is the player having a direct impact on a goal being scored.

Calum Gallagher 0.81
Jon Daly 0.73
Nicky Clark 0.64
Kenny Miller 0.62
Kris Boyd 0.52
David Templeton 0.45
Nicky Law 0.44
Fraser Aird 0.29
Ian Black 0.22

Nicky Law’s production is respectable, however his loss would not be as dire as you would think given he is the leading goal scorer on the team.  The data proves what the ‘eyeball-test’ has been saying all season long – yes, he has scored timely goals – but he really has done little else.  As frustrating as David Templeton is, the numbers suggest he could replace Law’s production.

Scott Allan, courtesy of SNS

Scott Allan was mentioned earlier, given that he would have signed with Rangers in the summer if any kind of offer was made to him.  There is little debate on that.  Ally McCoist passed on Allan – he also passed on Charlie Telfer, who now is beginning to stake a claim to more playing time for Dundee United.  The numbers provide a glimpse to why.  Albeit, in limited minutes Telfer has scored 0.52 goals per 90 minutes & chipped in 0.26 assists per 90.  That’s a total of 0.78 – if he maintained that pace over 20 matches he would have a hand in 15 goals (Law’s production would be 8.8).

Of course, part of Rangers problem is that they do not have a long list of candidates to replace Law if he leaves.  But the statistics seem to conclude that they could survive without his production.  The most telling aspects of the data comes down to poor player evaluation on the part of Rangers management.   Scott Allan, Charlie Telfer, & Calum Gallagher are producing elsewhere.  Allan & Telfer never got a chance to prove it for Rangers, while Gallagher is back with the club – but can’t even sniff a spot on the bench.  Also, the statistics prove that Nicky Clark has done more with his limited minutes than  the likes of Kenny Miller & Kris Boyd, but may also be on his way out.  

It really is a sad state of affairs – in so many ways.

17 thoughts on “The statistics suggest losing Nicky Law wouldn’t be the end of the world for Rangers

  1. You have obviously spent a lot of time gathering the statistic to confirm your belief Nicky Law is not a good player.
    Can you try this one.

    Take out Nicky Laws return for previous games this season and put in Templetons including his ability to score the third goal in a three nil win and re define our league position. Would we be 2nd or 3rd 4th or 5th.

    Nicky Law plays in the middle of the park, how do you think his obvious replacement , Ian Black, will do to the end of the season.

    There is a reason teams look at Law and McLeod. It’s because the others are not as good as them.

    Rangers this season have proven they can waste youth players and sign established players and make them worse.

    I can draw a conclusion from your stats.

    Law goes, we don’t go up.


  2. I’m gonna go with Law is useless, he’s been downright lazy at times and hasn’t pulled his weight so I don’t mind taking a fee for him.

    But not to be replaced by black or Templeton, none of these are Rangers standard in a million years,
    I personally would stick Clark and Gallagher up front instead of the non existant and Miller & Boyd.

    Youth should of been the setup from day 1 and we are no better than we was in division 3, personally I think we’re a worse team now than previous years,

    We need to bring our youth line up I now, and to people who think” oh but we’re gambling promotion on youth”

    Well personally I don’t think our team now has the bottle to win the playoffs, no chance!!! so its a gamble with these oldies

    Side note; Bring in Ashley NOW, I in no way trust king, murray an co, ones a tax evader, 1 was chairman of the oldco and one is a very successful businessman!!! wake up gets!!!


  3. Nicky Law on his day is a good player but he hardly kicks a ball for us these days and has never shown the form during his trialist period with the club. Law needs to learn to be more creative and pass forward more and he seems to stall anywhere near an oppositions penalty box. I know he has a good habit of curling a goal in now and again but he need a massive kick up the arse. another thing is since MacLeod’s exit which I feel was a disgrace Law is our only real viable creative midfielder. Black, Hutton etc aren’t going to do much in a creative sense. as much as im not a big fan of Law it would make sense to keep him for now.


  4. If Nicky Law is our best player then we will stay in the championship until next season at least, We have no natural born winners and no way of bringing in talent,

    Even if by some miracle we do go up I cant see the benifit, as most probably with this team we have we will be battling from relegation,

    Give Ashley the Deeds now, bring in talent and give ourselves a sporting chance!!


  5. Wallace started off in midfield for Hearts and looked like a young Dave McKay or John Grieg , He’s wasted at full back and Stevie Smith could slot in there . Also Zaluska ( cant remember spelling of his name , he’s been out so long ) also did a great job for Hearts in a midfield role and deserves a chance , Jig would also be better in the holding role than at the back , where he’s a liability . Law and Black both have good skills but are the most inconsistant players in the team and not Rangers class . It worries me that we haven’t had a defender on the coaching staff since Walter retired and is this why the back line is so pathetic ? Sabastian Faure has always had a lot of critics but for me that guy looks like he could be a good player with the right coaching and someone working on his confidence and showing faith in him . Jock Wallace would have made him star like he did with John McLelland .


  6. A lot of strange comments triggered by this article .Nicky Law is no great player but in the context of our team he is needed .Take his goals away and where would we be .We do not have a replacement midfielder who gets forward to score.He has scored more goals than all our strikers .By the way Gallagher has been injured since returning from Cowdenbeath , so can`t play at the moment.
    I see a couple of bloggers calling for Ashley to take control and one saying that King /Murray was chairman of oldco ?? , so I can only assume the site has been infiltrated again , so boring .
    Kiddo ,,, we have moaned all season about playing players out of position and you are now suggesting playing Wallace and Zaliukas in midfield where they have never played before .As for Faure ,,,,he is awful and no-one could make him in to a star , a diet coach might make him the right weight for a player ,but he would still be crap .


  7. Fair enough. I don’t think Law is a world beater but I do think like many players at Ibrox, he has suffered from not being played the right way.

    Watch out for him leaving and improving. Anyway, who is the replacement.
    As for anybody supporting Ashley. No point arguing with them as we can guess what they are.
    Fingers crossed for the EGM.


  8. William , Sandy Jardine never played at right back until Willie Waddell moved him there . Wallace and Zaliukas have previously played in midfield for Hearts and lets face it we’re going to need real dig in there to avoid a massacre against Celtic . When the money isn’t there to buy players you have to make the best of what youve got . I remember the days when people shiriked big Colin Jackson and he went on to be a great Ranger and played for Scotland .I dont think you’ve an eye for a player ( did you play the game ) if you think Faures a prick . Used properly and with coaching staff who believe in him and can boost his confidence , that lads a player !


  9. Believe what you want, I’ve seen story after story of “Rangers people” and realistically they wasn’t there we we needed them, and considering the state we are in I have no problem having a Business man run our club as opposed to so called “rangers people”


  10. Jako,
    Zaliukas never played midfield for Hearts and is at best an average defender who is barely good enough to play there even in this Rangers team .I like big Lee but he is no Sandy Jardine so why convert an excellent left back into a mediocre midfield player .As for Faure , I never used the word that you used ,but he is an extremely limited , over weight , error prone defender who is lucky to have ever gotten to play for Glasgow Rangers.I have been watching Rangers for 50 years and I can spot a guy who has had 2 seasons to show any semblance of talent , and never done so.I am not alone in thinking this guy is not good enough.Our standards have dropped by necessity but this guy still cannot cut it,I also remember big Bomber who did take a while to mature but he always had the basics of a decent defender and could win a ball in the air , no comparison with Faure who is hopeless in the air and on the ground.


  11. Going to Ibrox for 50 years does not mean you know the game, just how to travel. I can still remember sitting in Ibrox hearing people moan about Ray Wilkins, he is crap in the first ten minutes of every game. He always hits the ball to long or too high the Walters, he was testing the full back, cane he head a ball, what is his first touch like, Walters watched this and he then knew how to play against him. The same was done on the other side of the field. No player becomes a bad player overnight, but the standard of coaching supplied by the three stoogies can & has broken players, what we have on the park is proof of that.


    1. Watching Rangers for 50 years does entitle me to an informed opinion .Even if you sat beside me you would never have heard me slag off either Wilkins or Walters .We are not talking about guys of this standard , I wish we were .We are talking about Sebastien Faure who didn`t become a bad player overnight…. he was always a bad player and decent coaches would not have signed him and would dump him as soon as they took charge.To talk about Wilkins, Walters and Bomber Jackson in the same sentence as this turkey is sacrilege , these guys were Rangers Greats .


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