Yes, football is a team sport. No one player can win a game on his own. Even with this in mind, there are only 10 outfield players in your side at any one time and so the influence of a player with standout quality cannot be underestimated.
An often regurgitated line recently is that Liverpool are yet to lose a game in the Premier League when James Milner scores, the current statistic being 47 games, 37 wins and 10 draws. Astonishing! Naturally there is nothing scientific to say that when James Milner decides to score then there’s no way Liverpool can lose. It is though a stat which backs up the undervalued nature of James Milner and why Klopp continues to play him in his side.
There is another interesting statistic and it comes from the Championship. Derby’s Tom Ince, often touted as a Premier League and England player for the future, appears to have a similar influence on his team. Since joining the Rams early in 2015, initially on loan, Ince has scored in 28 different games with Derby winning 18 of them and drawing the other 10. Remarkable!
Ince’s personal record during his time at Derby is very impressive in front of goal. He has either scored or assisted 50 goals in 103 Championship appearances. Think about that; a player who plays predominantly out wide and who had apparently not lived up to his promise, scores or creates a goal every time he goes out to play.
A passing success rate of over 83% is very high, but especially when you consider that he is a player who likes to run with the ball and as such will often be tackled. He’s not looking after his stats by simply playing easy short balls to his midfielders. The fact then that Ince can keep possession for his side as well as provide a clearly huge attacking threat is a massive combination, especially at this level.
Doing all of this while averaging 87 minutes per game in the Championship shows he’s fit as well as talented. The finished article, you could say.
His influence on the Derby team may well be known among their fans for some time; however, these stats truly highlight his importance to the team. He is clearly a player who Derby County cannot do without. Now 25, Tom Ince is on his way to reaching his peak and as long as Derby can keep hold of him, they have another player who can potentially drive them to promotion next season.