Andy Johnson has been ruled out of Fulham’s home game against Liverpool tomorrow afternoon.
It was initially thought that the striker might have an outside chance of making his comeback from a groin injury against Rafa Benitez’s side but he is not available for selection and Fulham are expected to have a clearer idea of how long he will remain sidelined on Monday.
Johnson’s name is another one to add to a lengthy injury list for Roy Hodgson, certainly execeeding anything the Fulham manager had to deal with last season. The game also comes too soon for captain Danny Murphy, who picked up a knee injury against Hull, and Dickson Etuhu, who is also suffering from a knee problem. Simon Davies has stepped up his recovery from a foot injury but won’t be able to feature against Liverpool. The Mail reckons all three could be in contention to face Roma next Thursday though.
I like how you always point out interesting statistics from the Guardian site previews and other sites, Dan. I thought I would alert you to some other interesting ones, related to CC Newsround’s shots on target work.
I’m not going to to go into the distance of shots from goals but just looking at shots and shots on target. My thesis is that goals dictate whether we think attacking players are on form or not, but in reality attacking players can be playing well even when they are not scoring.
Take Bobby Zamora. In 35 games last year in the premier league he had 84 shots and 23 shots on goal (lead Fulham in both categories). That’s a rate of 2.4 shots a game and .65 per game on target. This year Bobby has 19 shots and 7 shots on target in 7 games. That’s an INCREASED rate of 2.7 shots per game and most importantly, Bobby’s getting a shot on target in each game. So, it is fair to say that Bobby is really playing better because he’s getting into good positions, AND getting shots on target; howler aside.
Look at Clint, too. Last year had 82/22 shots/shots on target in 35 games respectively. This year has 35 shots and 8 on target in 9 games. Obviously this year, he’s taking a lot more speculative shots that are off target. However, he still has a higher rate of shots on target per game (.62 v. .88). But more interestingly, if we were to continue this rate, he would be getting to 140 shots in the season! That’s nearly double the total of last year! He’s got 3.8 shots per game this season v. 2.34 last season. That’s a pretty big difference.
In essence what’s encouraging about this year, I think, is that we are shooting more, and more accurately. If you look at the Villa game, or the Arsenal game, or even West Ham, a few inches and both Clint and Bobby would have a few more goals. With a little luck, we’ll be seeing a lot more goals going in for Fulham in the near future, because, I’d say, we’re doing even better on an attacking level than last year.
Thanks for listening to the ramble.
Thanks for that very interesting and informative analysis, L. I might incorporate that into a pre-match post tomorrow should I get the time.