Who were Rangers most effective goal scorers last season?

Ryan Hardie, courtesy of SNS

written by – Rangers Report

Quick, tell me who was Rangers leading goal scorer last season?  

Kenny Miller?  Nope.  Kris Boyd?  Stop it – that’s just cruel.

If you said Nicky Law – you’re right.  He was the only player to break double digits in goal scoring for Rangers last season.  For a midfielder, that’s more then respectable.  But was he Rangers most efficient goal scorer last season?  The advanced stats would say, no.

Back in 2013, Ben Puglsey of Statsbomb & Objective Footy explained why you should always evaluate players using per 90 metrics, rather than just the raw data. “It gives us context when evaluating players who play wildly different minutes over the course of a season.  Raw numbers can be misleading.  It really is vital to convert a player’s numbers into per 90 format if we want to understand how well a player performed given his minutes played.”

“Per 90 may take a little getting used to, and the numbers in the per 90 chart may look a little odd at first glance, but once one looks at player stats in per 90 format, it’s awfully difficult to go back to using a player’s raw stats for evaluation and comparison purposes.”

Nicky Law isn’t the best example in this case given that he is a midfielder – so let’s look at how Rangers top scoring forwards compared to Calum Gallagher, who spent most of his season on loan with Cowdenbeath.

Min G G per 90
Nicky Clark 1997 8 0.36
Kenny Miller 1875 7 0.36
Calum Gallagher 770 5 0.58

As you can see, Gallagher’s production was clearly better, especially given that he played in nearly a third of the minutes then Clark & Miller played.  Additionally, Gallagher managed to thrive playing for the worst team in the division.  To further the point, if you projected these numbers over a full season of 36 games (like Nicky Law played) Gallagher would have scored 20.88 goals, while Miller & Clark would project to score only 13 goals.  Yet, Gallagher was never given a chance to even step on the pitch for Rangers last season.

Calum Gallagher

How did the rest of Rangers attacking players perform?  The following chart displays goals scored per 90 minutes for all of Rangers attacking players from last season.  Again, Gallagher’s numbers are from his time with Cowdenbeath.

image (1)

A few observations:

  • The leading goalscorer in the Championship last season, Jason Cummings, scored 0.73 goals per 90 minutes.  While, Hearts’ loan star, Gernaro Zeefuik, scored a sensational 1.02 goals per 90.
  • Haris Vuckic’s 0.66 goals per 90 verifies the impact that he had on the team in the fifteen matches he featured.  That would have projected out 23.76 goals over a full season.
  • Ryan Hardie’s production is skewed by the fact that he only played in 201 minutes but he did score two goals in that limited time.  If anything his 0.90 goals per 90 should earn him the right to compete for playing time next seaosn.  Additionally, the aforementioned Gallagher should also be given a chance under Mark Warburton.
  • The fact that Jason Cummings’ production doubled that of Kenny Miller & Nicky Clark highlights the fact that Rangers forwards were simply not good enough last season.  Of course, a forward is only as good as the service that he gets & one of my goals next season is to track assists, shots off of crosses, & also to measure the quality of shots on target for all players in the Championship.
  • It is curious to see Nicky Law & David Templeton have nearly identical goal production per 90 minutes.  Part of that is skewed by the fact Law played 2,233 more minutes than Templeton but it should be duly noted when assessing Templeton’s prospects going forward.
  • If you needed further proof of how awful Kris Boyd was last season, well here you go.  He went from scoring 0.64 goals per 90 in 2013-14 with Kilmarnock (against better competition) to 0.16 this past season.

You can follow Rangers Report on Twitter @TheGersReport

4 thoughts on “Who were Rangers most effective goal scorers last season?

  1. These are truly compelling stats. Even Strength Hero, your posts are the most interesting I’ve read in a long time. Keep up the good (and interesting ) work! However, Clarke and Miller did do a lot of work apart from scoring…..


  2. Thanks! I don’t disagree that Clark & Miller do plenty off the ball (especially Miller) but I have little faith in Clark’s abilities. Miller can’t make it through an entire season at this point so it is time to give players like Hardie & Gallagher a chance.

    Next season I’ll provide a fuller picture for forwards – including assists & where they are taking the most shots.


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