The Top 10 Goal Scoring Seasons for Rangers in the past seven years

Kenny Miller, courtesy of Getty Images

written by – Rangers Report

Recently the Objective Football blog conducted a study to identify the best forwards in the English Premier League since 2010.  Various measures were published in the post – everything from goals per 90 minutes & assists per 90 minutes to shots & shot contributions per 90 minutes were considered.  If you’re curious – the results tabbed Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero, Gareth Bale, & Robin van Persie as the best forwards of the past five years in the EPL.

While the same amount of data isn’t available for Scottish football – I was inspired to determine which Rangers forwards had the best goal scoring seasons since 2008 (the first season in which accumulated minutes played were published).  Now, we’re not dealing with such legends as Ally McCoist & Mark Hateley but some interesting observations arose in this small snapshot of Rangers history.

The parameters were simple – the best goal scoring seasons would be based on goals per 90 minutes, not total goals.  In order to validate a performance over a good stretch of the season, I established 1,500 minutes as the minimum amount played to be considered.  This eliminated Steven Naismith’s scintillating start to the 2011-12 season in which he scored 1.17 goals per 90 minutes (which would have placed him second on this list).  However, Naismith’s season was cut short to injury.

The following includes every season since the 2008-09 season.

Player Season Goals Per 90 Games Total G Min
Kenny Miller 2010-11 1.24 17 (1) 21 1520
Andy Little 2012-13 0.91 26 (2) 22 2174
Kris Boyd 2009-10 0.90 28 (3) 23 2303
Kris Boyd 2008-09 0.85 33 (2) 27 2864
Nikica Jelevic 2010-11 0.80 20 (3) 16 1799
Nikica Jelevic 2011-12 0.71 21 (1) 15 1899
Kenny Miller 2009-10 0.66 29 (4) 18 2447
Sone Aluko 2011-12 0.65 19 (2) 12 1673
David Templeton 2012-13 0.65 24 (0) 14 1936
Lee McCulloch 2012-13 0.61 28 (0) 17 2517
  • Nobody came close to Kenny Miller in  2010-11.  He ended up being Rangers leading scorer that season, despite being sold in the January transfer window.  What’s more impressive is that Miller was 31 at the time, well past what most would consider the prime years for a striker.
  • This is a great example of why goals per 90 minutes can be a much more enlightening measure then total goals.  If you went by total goals, then Kris Boyd’s 2008-09 season was the best of the bunch.  However, what’s more impressive – 27 goals in 2,864 minutes or 21 in 1,520?
  • Yes, there should be an asterisk next to Andy Little’s 2012-13 performance given that he was playing in Division Three but it does make you wonder why he was never given an extended chance to feature up front for Rangers after that season.  Of course, injuries have derailed Little’s career of late & he has since moved to Preston North End, where it should be noted that he only scored 0.24 goals per 90 minutes last season.
  • What’s really noticeable about this list is the fact that no player features from the past two seasons – despite playing in the second & third tiers of Scottish football.  To be fair, Jon Daly & Lee McCulloch’s goal scoring tallies from League One were the next two on the list but it is a bit of a shock that the highly paid forwards at Ibrox failed to light up a bunch of part-timers like Andy Little did.
  • Some of the venom towards Kris Boyd in the comments section of a recent post about his declining production as he has gotten older was a bit of a shame & goes to show that it will take a long time for last year’s squad to win back the hearts of the supporters.  Boyd was never a complete forward in his time at Ibrox but in his heyday he did just enough to score with great regularity.
  • Nikica Jelevic was probably the last shrewd, big money signing that Rangers ever made.  Only 25 when he joined the club, his production quickly caught the eyes of the EPL.  Sadly, the profit Rangers could have made on his transfer was skewed by their financial woes & he probably did not fetch fair market value.
  • It’s a shame that Sone Aluko was part of Rangers for such a short period of time.  His form in 2011-12 was one of the few bright spots from that bleak season.

Maybe next summer, I will dig through the archives of match reports from the 1980s & ’90s to figure out how the greats stacked up with recent history.  Seems to me that McCoist’s production would dwarf the exploits of this recent batch of forwards.

You can follow Rangers Report on Twitter @TheGersReport

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