It's Just Not Happening For Jelavic

Everton are enjoying a fine season - but their Croatian hitman Nikica Jelavic is not. He looks like a broken man. WhoScored's Ali Tweedale studies the striker's stats.

Last Updated: 20/02/13 at 13:30 Post Comment

Latest Articles

F365's 2014/15 Season Quiz - Questions

Post comment

With the new season just around the corner, how much do you remember about last season's Premier League. Oh, well then you're going to do badly...

All Articles

Nikica Jelavic: Six goals this season

Nikica Jelavic: Six goals this season

Everton are keeping pace with the top teams in the Premier League as we enter the final straight in the season - but only just.

Having scored in 20 of their first 21 games in this top-flight campaign, they have failed to net in three of their last five matches, and problems may have started to surface for David Moyes' side.

A case in point is the form of forward Nikica Jelavic, who has lost his goalscoring touch as the season has worn on and Everton's results have suffered consequently.

A look at WhoScored.com's player page for Jelavic with his recent performances and ratings shows an incredible drought in goalscoring for the Croatian.

Having had an instant impact after signing from Rangers in January 2012, Jelavic began this season as he ended the last, with four goals and an assist in his first six Premier League appearances in 2012/13.

He has since, however, scored just twice and assisted one more goal in his ensuing 19 league appearances for the Toffees, a run stretching over his last 1467 minutes on the pitch.

Put more bluntly, Jelavic has averaged a goal roughly every 12-and-a-half hours of time on the pitch for Everton since mid-October.

Any centre-forward would be disappointed with that return, and you can tell from the Croat's body language that he is not enjoying himself as he once was. In last Saturday's 2-2 FA Cup draw away to third-tier Oldham, Jelavic's recent travails were typified perfectly when the striker ran through on goal in the left channel, but rather than try and work the ball onto his right foot or take an early effort, he was forced onto his weaker left side and delayed shooting, before sending a tame effort over the bar.

An in-form striker for the Premier League's sixth-placed side would be expected to run riot in a one-on-one situation against League One opposition, but Jelavic is low on confidence and it is plain to see.

His conversion rate in his half-season in England in the latter part of 2011/12 was an impressive 24.3%. That has since dropped to 9.8% over the course of this season, but has been just 4.7% in his poor run over the last 19 Premier League games.

It is harsh to focus on such a specific period of matches, but that is exactly what happens to Fernando Torres on a regular basis - and other strikers need to be similarly scrutinised. Of course, Jelavic has no £50m price tag weighing him down, so much less should be expected of him. Yet with Everton creating countless chances through the likes of Leighton Baines, Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman this season, it is certainly not unreasonable for an Everton fan to be unhappy with the fact that his team are relying primarily on Marouane Fellaini for goals.

The Belgian has an impressive ten goals from an attacking midfield berth this season and has suitably replaced Tim Cahill's aerial threat from that position since the Australian left in the summer.

However, further up the pitch, Jelavic has not maintained a high enough level of performance to justify a continued starting spot. But Everton's other option - Victor Anichebe - is hardly consistent enough to hold down a place in the first XI either.

Anichebe is one of those players that is most effective from the bench, and is in distinct danger of becoming a 'super-sub' - a positive term in itself, which also implies, however, that a player is only worth having when other players are tiring. They have a physical advantage that their team-mates would otherwise be lacking.

So Moyes has stuck with Jelavic for the most part of the season, and it doesn't seem to be working as well as he might have hoped. The Toffees are in a more than respectable sixth spot in the table, which Moyes would undoubtedly be content with were they to finish the season there, and while he has built a team that are difficult to beat - four losses in 26 league matches, more only than the Manchester clubs - they have failed to convert draws into wins on far too many occasions. No side has drawn more games this season than Moyes' (12), and six of those have come after being in a losing position, when they might well have gone on to win.

A great deal of Jelavic's goals are scored off one touch. He is not the kind of striker that gets the ball down and plays the ball around outside the area before attacking the box. In fact, he does very little off the ball, currently boasting the worst pass success rate of any regular Everton outfielder this season, completing a meagre 69% of his attempted passes. What is more, all 15 of his Premier League goals since completing his move to Merseyside have been netted from inside the box.

Jelavic is there to finish off moves and little else - and at the moment, he's not even doing that well.

All stats courtesy of WhoScored.com. Follow Ali Tweedale on Twitter at @alitweedale.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

L

ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

paul7702
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Digne agent denies Liverpool talks

Lucas Digne's agent has denied reports he has held talks with Liverpool regarding a move to Anfield for the Paris Saint-Germain left-back.

Mourinho scuppered Reds' Costa move

A new biography has revealed how Jose Mourinho scuppered Liverpool's bid to sign Diego Costa - a year before he arrived in west London.

Ramos 'extends' Real Madrid contract

Manchester United's pursuit of Sergio Ramos is over after the centre-back agreed a new contract extension at Real Madrid.

Mail Box

De Gea Disrespectful? Remember RVP...

We got dozens of mails from people pointing and laughing at Brian D for suggesting David de Gea has acted disrespectfully; we printed some. And there's more...

Getting Tired Of De Gea's Disrespect

One Manchester United fan is growing weary of David de Gea's disrespect. Plus thoughts on Southampton's summer, Balotelli loan, and Depay in the centre. Why?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company