Yes, another Robbie Keane post. Well, we’ve got an international break dragging on and nothing else is happening, so I’ve looked into the statistics to see what we can learn about Keane’s form.
First, I’ll deal with the issue of him being substituted:
In the 14 games that Keane has featured in this season, he has started 13 of them.
Of those 13 starts, Keane has been substituted on 9 occasions.
He was twice substituted for Kranjcar because Harry played him in a silly position.
Crouch has been brought on for him 4 times, with Pavluyuchenko coming on twice and Defoe once.
In the 9 games in which Keane has been substituted, we have won 5, drawn 1 and lost 3 times.
Of those 5 wins, we were already winning 4 of them when Keane was substituted.
Being substituted so often does indicate that Keane isn’t playing well, but there’s also the issue that he’s been played out of position on occasion and that we’ve wanted to give other strikers some time on the pitch (certainly true in the case of Crouch, though less true for Pavlyuchenko).
The statistics show that we’ve actually only won once when Keane was brought off, in a game that we weren’t already winning (the 2-1 victory over West Ham).
Onto the goals:
Keane has played a total of 836 minutes this season, scoring 8 goals.
This averages at a goal every 104.5 minutes.
Despite being suspended recently, Defoe has played a total of 805 minutes, scoring 7. This averages as a goal every 115 minutes.
Crouch has played a total of 800 minutes scoring, 5. This averages as a goal every 160 minutes.
I’m not even going to bother working out Pavlyuchenko’s statistics.
So surprisingly Keane has proved our most deadly striker per time spent on the pitch this season, though of course the goals against Burnley have skewed things slightly. Defoe has scored in more games.
Lastly, I bring you our strike partnerships statistics:
The Keane/Defoe partnership has been on the pitch together for a total of 460 minutes, scoring 6, which averages a goal every 76.6 minutes.
Keane/Crouch have played a total of 283 minutes together, scoring 6 and averaging a goal every 47.1 minutes.
Defoe/Crouch have played a total of 180 minutes together, scoring 3 and averaging a goal every 60 minutes.
The holy trinity of Keane/Crouch/Defoe have played a total of 165 minutes together, scoring 3 and averaging a goal every 55 minutes.
The statistics show that Keane/Crouch is our most deadly combo, but all of their goals were scored against Preston and Burnley. I’m actually most encouraged by the Defoe/Crouch statistics, when you consider that the majority of time that they’ve spent together on the pitch have been snatched moments, after Keane has been substituted.
So what do the statistics tell us? Not a lot, apart from the fact that I’ve got far too much time on my hands. I suppose what it does show, is that Keane’s contribution, in terms of goals and results, has certainly not been any worse than our other strikers.
Yet it’s still hard not to come back to those 9 substitutions. Perhaps if Keane were to start some games on the bench, then he’d do more in the games that he did start.