Which Rangers players have been fouled the most?

Martyn Waghorn
Martyn Waghorn

written by – Rangers Report

Throughout the season we have been charting the statistics for Rangers & the rest of the Scottish Championship.  Everything from shots to assists to Expected Goals to Scoring Chance Shot Percentage has been catalogued for each team in the Championship.

The number of times being fouled isn’t necessarily an advanced statistic, nor is it a great indicator of performance levels….but it’s still interesting nonetheless.

Below you will find the number of times each Rangers player has been fouled so far this season (league matches only).

Which Rangers players get fouled the most-

There aren’t too many surprises at the top of the table.  Jason Holt & Andy Halliday have been fouled much more than any other player & given their roles in the heart of the midfield that would be suspected.  Then you have three defenders in the next tier – James Tavernier, Lee Wallace & Rob Kiernan.  Wallace & Tavernier are critical components of Rangers attack out on the wings & tend to be a real handful for defenders.

Then the surprises begin – who would have known that the likes of Gedion Zelalem, Dean Shiels, & even Nathan Oduwa have been fouled more than Martyn Waghorn & Barrie McKay?  Billy King has been fouled nearly as many times as Kenny Miller?  Miller has featured for Rangers in nearly 1,100 more minutes then King.

Like any statistical presentation for football, it is key to break the numbers down to a snapshot of how the data breaks down to a per 90 minutes average.

Times fouled per 90 minutes

  • Billy King has only featured in 145 minutes so far so these numbers are very much skewed.  But, so far, King is getting hacked nearly every time he touches the ball.
  • Dean Shiels has been championed for his direct play so far this season & this validates what the eyeball test has shown us.
  • Gedion Zelalem has been critiqued for not being direct enough, but his quickness has proven to be challenging for opponents.
  • Nicky Clark is the forward that gets fouled the most?  I guess defenders just bounced off the Hulk-like figure that is Martyn Waghorn.
  • Given how much of the ball Barrie McKay sees, it is a real surprise to see his numbers so low here.  If it’s simply defenders backing off the threat of pace that McKay has, then why was a player like Oduwa fouled at such a higher rate?  Very curious results.

Lastly, I have kept track of where these fouls take place – however, the Opta scorers assigned to stadiums throughout the Scottish Championship really struggle to correctly identify which half of the pitch a foul takes place.  Often, they misidentify the attacking half or defensive half by looking at the play through the lens of the team they support.  For example, in Rangers last match, Dean Shiels fouled St. Mirren’s Stephen Mallan from behind.  The foul occurred just outside the penalty area & set up a shot on goal from the free kick.  The Opta scorer assigned to Ibrox reported the tackle as a foul on Mallan in the defensive half.  Yes, Rangers were in their defensive half but it was misreported from the point of view of who actually got fouled – which was Mallan…who was in his attacking half.   This happens repeatedly in nearly every match at this level- so the data on players getting fouled in either half has way too vast a margin of error to present here.

You can follow Rangers Report on Twitter @TheGersReport

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