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Ball of Shame Decathlon event #2: Find out who wins gold as the Premier League’s lowest profile strikers

Today’s fast-paced Premier League leaves little room for the genuinely fat footballers of old, but when our Ball of Shame team took a look at official Premier League stats for the first half of the season, it was clear that fatness of mind persists in the English top flight...

by Sean Goff | January 5, 2014

We’ve crafted a Ball of Shame Decathlon in which the Paddy Power Blog will give daily gold, silver and bronze medals to the three worst offenders in a quest to name and shame the division’s laziest players and clubs. We’ll give three points for gold, two for silver and one for bronze.

Yesterday we exposed the Premier League’s biggest benchwarmers. Today it’s the turn of the top flight’s most anonymous forwards: those who seem the least interested in putting the ball in the net. To make it fair, we’ll only look at players who are out-and-out strikers and who’ve racked up at least 10 league appearances so far.

Below are the 10 forwards who’ve taken the fewest shots per 90 minutes so far this season. Click the players on the podium to reveal the three biggest culprits.

We’re not ones to kick a man while he’s down, but Aston Villa’s recent injury casualty Libor Kozak’s absence won’t make much difference to his side’s shooting stats.

Despite being Villa’s joint-top scorer, today’s bronze medal winner has taken just 11 shots this season, so his leg certainly didn’t break from over-use.

Fulham have taken the fewest shots in the Premier League this season and second-placed Darren Bent should shoulder a chunk of the blame for this. Like the unfortunate Kozak he’s fired in just 11 shots this season but has spent almost 90 minutes longer on the pitch while doing so.

Head and shoulders above the rest though is Crystal Palace’s Marouane Chamakh: the only forward in our list not to manage at least one shot for every 90 minutes spent on the pitch. With just 9 to his name despite featuring in all but one of Palace’s first 19 matches, he’s having an attempt at goal every two and a half hours.

Six different clubs have claimed the six medals on offer so far, with newly-promoted sides currently holding the only golds. On Monday we’ll be examining those players who don’t seem capable of putting in a full 90 minutes in for their teams.

  • Join us here on Monday when we’ll look at the Premier League’s most game-shy players who can’t spend 90 minutes on the pitch when picked to start. Oooh, me nerves.

Stats up to and including December 29.

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