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.
*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)
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.
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.
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 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.