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Beckford is better than Bent

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Okay, the title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, and evaluatng a footballer has much more to do with subjective judgement than plucking specific stats out of the air...... but I live in the South and I'm fed up with southeners telling me that Beckford hasn't found his goal scoring boots at Everton yet.... Really? That is not what the stats say....

Looking at Premier League performances only, here is how it looks:

8 players who've scored most Premier League goals this season:

  • Berbatov, 1778 mins, 19 goals, 94mins per goal.
  • Tevez, 1958 mins, 18 goals, 109mins per goal.
  • Carroll, 1625 mins, 11 goals, 148 mins per goal.
  • Bent, 2104 mins, 10 goals, 210 mins per goal.
  • Drogba, 2033 mins, 10 goals, 203 mins per goal.
  • Odemwingie, 1734 mins, 9 goals, 193 mins per goal,
  • Torres, 1955 mins, 9 goals, 217 mins per goal.
  • Elmander, 2172 mins, 9 goals, 241 mins per goal.
  • ...... And Beckford? 607mins, 4 goals, 152 mins per goal,
Which is better than all of the above except Carroll, Tevez and Berbatov!

How about the other Everton players? He tops that heap:

  • Cahill, 1702mins, 9 goals, 189 mins per goal.
  • Saha, 1018 mins, 6 goals, 170 mins per goal.
Of course, I am not saying he IS a better player than all these players or that he is even a better goal scorer..... All I am saying, is that it is a bit early to be writing him off as a goal scorer. His stats are pretty good for a top-flight new boy!


Tom Brown, London     Posted 07/02/2011 at 13:41:19

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Rob Murphy
1   Posted 07/02/2011 at 14:39:09

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Lotta time on your hands Tom!!
Ben Jones
2   Posted 07/02/2011 at 14:39:02

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Fair enough, but I don't read into the stats too much.

I think Moyes is using him perfectly, use him in the last 20 mins when the defenders are tired because the boy is quick! We can also see he has good finishing ability evident from his goal against Blackpool.

He'll play more games next season and then we'll see how he plays. Big season for him, but at the moment, he's a handy back up to Saha to have.
Julian Wait
3   Posted 07/02/2011 at 14:38:31

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As a forward, he's hungry, he moves a lot and his movement is improving in quality in every game (watch him on Saha's 4th / Everton's 5th goal as he checks his run for the rebound) and he seems to be finding his shot. ;-)

He needs to keep developing his defending from the front, his first touch, and some decision-making.

Overall, pleasantly surprised so far; he needs more game time.
David Price
4   Posted 07/02/2011 at 14:49:43

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I was Chuffed with Beckford's goal, fair play to the lad, he has a go and not afraid to miss. He could have played it safe and gone for a first touch to steady himself but took a chance and lashed it home. That seems to be his strength that we need to play to as well, back to goal, holding play he has a lot to learn but facing goal with the ball in front of him, he is a definite threat.
Alex Kociuba
5   Posted 07/02/2011 at 14:48:00

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"His stats are pretty good for a top-flight new boy!"

No, they are *your* stats. And I agree, they are pretty good. But what I see with my eyeballs is a Championship footballer.
Tony McNulty
6   Posted 07/02/2011 at 15:10:55

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I have always thought that he was another Moyes "steal" (like Coleman).

Better than Darren Bent? Not really ? he doesn't look to have the all-round game at the moment. However, he is a striker and a finisher with a strong nose for goal.

Alex, I think it is a bit churlish to repeat the "Championship" accusation. I think he is already better than that. After all, he has scored against some pretty good opposition (Manure, for instance). And would you want to see him coming on and running at you with 20 minutes left? I actually think Moyesie is rather late with his substitutions, but that is another topic.
Gavin Roberts
7   Posted 07/02/2011 at 15:34:06

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98% of statistics are fabricated.
Eric Myles
8   Posted 07/02/2011 at 15:39:25

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Tony #7, I thought he meant Marcus Bent!
Chris Wright
9   Posted 07/02/2011 at 15:47:58

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Eric #9 ? I thought exactly the same, although in pre-season I may have even called him a poor man's Marcus Bent which was very harsh from me. To be honest, I think he has actually kicked on a bit over the last month or so, and is starting to look an ok/decent Premier League player. He's still got things to develop but at least is looking like he is improving and has the right attitude.
Tony Waring
10   Posted 07/02/2011 at 16:02:53

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Well said, and well done on the research. I think he's come on a lot since the start of the season and considering he's not had that many starts. The other point to bear in mind is that a striker is only as good as the service he gets. Very few strikers pick up the ball 50 yards out and bamboozle half a dozen defenders before slotting the ball home. Finally every goal he has scored has been pretty spectacular ? no tap-ins.
Howard Don
11   Posted 07/02/2011 at 16:03:49

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I like the lad. Whether he'll finally make it as a PL striker remains to be seen, but he's definitely got the knack of getting in goal scoring positions and gives 100%. He's becoming a useful impact substitute and cost nothing.
Andrew Lawrenson
12   Posted 07/02/2011 at 16:13:38

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Lets stick with the kid... he took the goal well; if that was Judas Rooney who scored like that, it would be raved about for days.
John McLoughlin
13   Posted 07/02/2011 at 16:25:24

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He cost us nothing, as a sub he's more than useful. He will miss chances as his technique isn't great and he's offside a lot of the time. But he can score goals and coming off the bench that's a pretty usefull thing to have.
Jay Harris
14   Posted 07/02/2011 at 16:28:00

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Tom, statistics can be made to prove anything and it's too early to say yet.

The other factor is the quality of team and style of play.

I'm surprised Blackpool haven't got the leading scorer so far this season!!!

However, IMO he looks a much better prospect than Vaughan or Anichebe so far.
Brian Waring
15   Posted 07/02/2011 at 16:46:26

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Tom, could you do a stat for his ratio of goals to chances?
Tony McNulty
16   Posted 07/02/2011 at 16:59:33

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Eric and Chris (8 and 9) ? now that would have been insulting, not churlish.

It has to be Darren ? Marcus Bent hasn't scored in the Premier League this season.
Jimmy Hacking
17   Posted 07/02/2011 at 17:37:39

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I've been mildly impressed with Beckford so far. I have said on here several times on here that he is a Championship player; now I concede I am wrong, he looks half-decent.

He was never going to be the player to fire us into 4th place though, let's face it. 10 goals a season at best.
Mike Green
18   Posted 07/02/2011 at 17:04:38

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Good point, Brian, but then we'd have to get a stat for how often he got himself into goalscoring positions compared to his peers too.

I think he's an instinctive striker at having the knack of being in the right place at the right time and is at his best when not having to think too much about his shot ? Saturday's a pretty good illustration of this.

He's finding his feet at the highest level and I think we should be glad to have him ? the more we can express that to him, the better he'll get too, I reckon.
Nick Entwistle
19   Posted 07/02/2011 at 17:56:09

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I was speaking with a reporter who knows him a little (same as the Sir Cahill post one) who says as he's come from Wealdstone FC every time he steps up a level he thinks he's going to be found out. I think the appreciation from Goodison for his efforts this season before the goals came would have done him a lot of good.
Nick Dommett
20   Posted 07/02/2011 at 17:57:46

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He seems best when he does things instinctively ? when he has to think (or control the ball ? first touch is a bit shocking) it all goes a bit pear-shaped. However, that can be rectified to a certain degree in training so hopefully next year he will have that much more composure and general all-round play.

Anyway, I definitely think he is an improvement on Vaughan.
Tony Cheek
21   Posted 07/02/2011 at 18:13:01

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Jimmy#17...10 goals a season? He would already have 10 if DM had some balls and given him more chances!
Gavin Ramejkis
22   Posted 07/02/2011 at 18:48:52

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'Premier striker' is a bit of a misnomer: technically, any striker that plays in the Premier League is a Premier striker, some are utter garbage. For the price we paid ? sweet FA, we are getting a very reasonable return, he also looks bloody good alongside Saha but I said when he first came that he isn't a lone striker and needs a holding striker to play off.
Kevin Hudson
23   Posted 07/02/2011 at 19:03:02

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Certain ToffeeWebbers were laying the boot in before he'd even kicked a ball, but I like his attitude and believe his instincts are good.

I also think he's a confidence player. Show him a little love, and a strike partner, he may well blossom.
Trevor Lynes
24   Posted 07/02/2011 at 19:22:47

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Marcus Bent was a totally different type of player; he was a one-up-front man who could hold the ball up and bring other players into the game. He was not a goalscorer and was more like an Anichebe, Ameola or Heskey...

Beckford is a goalscorer to be compared with Cottee, Phillips, Defoe and Owen, none of which have the natural strength to be lone frontmen, always needing a foil to take the weight off them. Beckford would need to play with another striker (Saha) or Yakubu as he needs support.

The comparisons are not correct... most strikers are 'provided' with ammunition and are only as good as the schemers in the team. They also miss far more chances than they take unless they are top class.

Howard Don
25   Posted 07/02/2011 at 19:29:19

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Brian (15) that statistic would be pretty meaningless. You have to get into scoring positions to miss chances, and some of our strike force this year have completely failed to do either. Beckford for all the flaws in his game certainly gets into scoring positions.
Brian Waring
26   Posted 07/02/2011 at 19:48:00

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Howard, Mike, what I said wasn't having a dig at the lad. I've actually been one of those saying he should be starting a lot more games, because a good run in the side, then I can see him banging them in.
Joe McMahon
27   Posted 07/02/2011 at 20:00:21

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I've always had faith in him and never criticised him. Let's face it, he hasn't had many minutes on the pitch or indeed started many games. His goal against Liverpool was under pressure, he had to think about how to take it and where to put it. Anichebe has had several years and it's taken Saha a year to find his scoring boots again. He has pace and an eye for goal, but and this is a but with Moyes tactics, he is defo for playing with another striker (probably like all the rest).
Andy Crooks
28   Posted 07/02/2011 at 20:45:24

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I thought from the start of the season that Beckford was a bloody good signing. His goal on Saturday was as fine a finish as I've ever seen. If Torres had done that on Sunday we would have heard that he was money well spent.
Jonathan Tasker
29   Posted 07/02/2011 at 21:10:21

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I had actually got the same stats ? he is doing just fine and am delighted for him.
David Hallwood
30   Posted 07/02/2011 at 22:13:39

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I think his movement is excellent, first touch & finishing... err... decidedly so so. But have a look at his movement for Saha's 4th goal, the Blackpool defence were all over the place because of it, and if Saha would've squared it, Beckford would've had an easy tap in.
Dick Fearon
31   Posted 07/02/2011 at 22:03:06

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Nick #20, and others are right about him being more an instinctive than deep thinking striker.

Gavin #22, I also believe he plays best with a holding partner.

# Many others, Confidence plus a touch of arrogance are essential ingredients for a striker.

Tom Bowers
32   Posted 07/02/2011 at 23:25:17

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The lad is a natural goalscorer who needs a little more improvement to his game to truly belong in the Prem.
However, he will always be a threat coming off the bench as fresh legs alongside Saha or Cahill. Saha's power was amazing when he scored that last goal on Saturday. He just accelerated through the rain sodden pitch to score and so late in the game when you thought he may be a little tired. Becks doesn't have that power but can still be an asset.
Karl Masters
33   Posted 07/02/2011 at 23:35:41

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Is he better than Darren Bent?

How about asking Steve Bruce's daughter?

I think he's finding his feet now. 4 League goals and 2 Cup goals with 3 of those in the last month.
Richard Pike
34   Posted 07/02/2011 at 23:26:24

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Let's not forget too, that he's made a big ol' leap up from League 1 to Premier League and bypassed the Championship altogether. Even if he had the self-confidence of Nicklas Bendtner, that's got to be a daunting prospect.

I see reasons for encouragement; as others have said, he's doing the hard bit. His instincts are good and he keeps getting into scoring positions, and doesn't hide when he misses. It's a matter of composure, and that's easier to gain than the instincts. And while he might not be scoring many at the moment, they have a tendency to be important ones when he does.

Better than Bent? No. Not yet. Ask again in a year.
Mark Wayman
35   Posted 08/02/2011 at 00:03:40

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Andy Cole, Ruud Van Nisterooy nd Micheal Owen always missed a lot of chances. Such were the amount of chances they had ? either through their own play or what was created for them this was often overlooked.

Considering he is 26 and has leaped up two divisions I think he has done pretty well. He may never be a great player but he will always score goals.

In fact, considering the lack of time on the pitch, he is on a bit of a role lately, unlucky against Chelsea and looked to be forming a good partnership with Saha during the Spurs game.
Russell Buckley
36   Posted 08/02/2011 at 02:38:21

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Considering the amount of game time he gets and the fact that this is his 1st EPL season I'm happy enough with him. Of course we would have all loveda big name striker to come in last summer but for a free he is doing the job.

Still remember watching him train in Australia. He looked by far the sharpest player on the field.
Thomas Williams
37   Posted 08/02/2011 at 02:49:32

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I can't think of many strikers who would have scored the way he did on Saturday.

Anyone who has played footy knows, the hardest is the ball droping over your shoulder... that finish was top class, as said earlier if other certain strikers had scored that you would never hear the last of it.

My only concern with him, is his touch with back to goal; you could argue he should be facing goal, except all our strikers are required to play with backs to goal, it seems, hence why some have failed. A midfielder with a quick eye for a forward pass would benefit Beckford immensely; not sure we have that player at the moment tbh.

Les Martin
38   Posted 08/02/2011 at 05:22:54

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Spot on Andy Crooks, post 28. There is no doubt that Beckford is a class finisher, that finish against Blackpool was world class, definitely in for Goal of the Month. Let's not forget that instant volley against Chelsea that Czech managed to palm over the bar.

This lad will have us drooling and, considering the lack of time he has had on the pitch, he is making great progress. At the end of the season, it will be remarkable what his transfer value would be, because he is a rarity: speed and finishing, a defender's nightmare.

Liu Weixian
39   Posted 08/02/2011 at 06:22:51

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Beckford is definitely a good buy. His movement is fluid and he has the confidence every striker needs. If he improves his decision making and composure, he will be an excellent player.
Tony J Williams
40   Posted 08/02/2011 at 11:17:42

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Liquid football.....foot like a tractor...twaaaaaatttt!!
Daniel Johnson
41   Posted 08/02/2011 at 12:10:21

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Beckford has energy and confidence hes not scared to have a shot, sometimes it's Row Z, sometimes it's in the top corner.

He's also fit as a butcher's dog.

He's a bit arrogant which is a good thing his finish against Blackpool smacked of confidence/arrogance. Someone who wasn't confident/unsure wouldn't have hit that first time.

Speaking of the finish vs Blackpool, it was a cracker ? if Torres had done that against the Shite on Sunday, Hansen would have wanked over it for 30 mins with Shearer.

Credit where it's due, Beckford is starting to look like a Prem player.
Sam Hoare
42   Posted 08/02/2011 at 13:52:53

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Not sure I fancy him yet as the lone striker yet but so long as Saha is on fire I'm more than happy for Beckford to play the support/sub role.
Andrew Lawrenson
43   Posted 08/02/2011 at 16:51:36

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The kid is gonna be ok for us. He will be a firm favourite and he never stops trying. Fat Yak, Sulky Vic, Headless Vaughan.... better than the 3 of them. He can only get better now after the great finish on Saturday.

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