Newcastle United’s Joselu vs Brighton’s Glenn Murray – A Statistical Comparison

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Newcastle United’s Joselu vs Brighton’s Glenn Murray – A Statistical Comparison

Numerous times last season on these pages, we listed the goalscoring exploits of the likes of Dwight Gayle at Newcastle and Glenn Murray at Brighton as the main reason why their clubs were promoted.

At times in this game, people can look for complicated reasons and perceived intellectual titbits as to why teams achieve their goals when sometimes the real reasons are obvious. Teams need goals. Simple.

When looking for automatic promotion from the Championship, sides have always needed prolific scorers in their ranks. As for this season following promotion, Newcastle have not been able to get a proper number nine playing every week and it has been a major problem for them.

Given that he couldn’t get into the side ahead of Gayle last season, it’s perhaps no surprise that Aleksandar Mitrovic hasn’t nailed down the position this year but still, we don’t know why Rafa Benitez cannot seem to trust Dwight Gayle in this league after last season’s heroics.

Joselu has been the man who has been entrusted with the role of late and though the fans appreciate his willingness, they have been increasingly frustrated at his lack of will in front of goal. Down at Brighton though, Chris Hughton kept faith with his main man from last season in Glenn Murray and he really hasn’t let them down.

Glenn Murray

Here’s how the two central strikers compare at the respective clubs:

Joselu Glenn Murray
Minutes played 720 475
Shots* 2.7 1.0
Goals 2 4
Key passes* 1.0 0.1
Assists 0 0
Aerial battles won* 4.2 3.4
Fouled* 0.7 1.4
Pass completion rate 64.6% 55.4%
Offside* 0.1 0.8
Dispossessed* 1.0 1.1
Bad control* 2.0 2.1

*Per game

This is a more difficult one to call than I thought. Just by watching them, to the naked eye, I would have said Glenn Murray had been better this season and of course, by scoring 4 goals, he edges ahead of Joselu in that regard.

Certainly, in averaging one shot per game and only playing 475 minutes, it makes his goalscoring exploits look even more impressive, but sometimes you have to ask why he does not play so much or attack the goal when he gets the chance to.

Joselu, somewhat surprisingly, is winning more aerial battles than Murray, completes more passes to his teammates, strays offside way less than Murray and also has better control.

Based on this, you’d say Joselu is a higher quality, more composed player and you can see why Benitez wants him but frankly he is not clinical enough. In terms of who is better though, you’d have to check this again in another six or so games and if Joselu can add goals to his game then he’d come out on top.

Gary Christie

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