Monday, May 2, 2016

Super Eagles and Top Scoring Years in Last Decade

The last two years have seen the scoring averages per game for Nigeria's national team plummet to the lowest points in the last 10 years. Those are shocking statistics, considering that the team just achieved its top scoring averages within a three year period (2011-2013). While we do not attempt to guess at what may have led to this poor state of affairs, we post the statistics in the figure below for your view. Note that the sharp rise of player scoring statistics in 2006 and 2016 are aberrant as the players who are responsible for those two high points played less than 5 games in each of those years.

Nevertheless, it is important to look at the scoring average for the team's top scorer in each of the last ten years. As noted earlier, some of those averages are aberrant considering that the top scorer in  years 2006, 2009, and 2016 participated in less than five games each. In essence, the top scorer was involved in far less games than the regularly used striker for that year. That is a sad comment on the value of the designated striker in those years. But so also was the designated striker in 2007 when a defender, Taye Taiwo, emerged the team's top scorer. 

In any case, besides those statistics being considered aberrant, we note that a clear top striker emerged in the three years in which the team's scoring averages were the highest (2011 to 2013). Of course, Nigeria went on to become Africa's champion in 2013. The best scoring year (2011) was under Coach Samson Siasia in 2011 when the team was freely scoring. Importantly, in each of the three top scoring years, the scoring average for the top scorer was over a goal in two games. In other years, the top scorer for the team barely averaged a goal in three games!