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TEAMtalk's top five wasteful strikers

WhoScored.com's Martin Laurence analyses the Premier League players that were guiltiest when it came to missing clear-cut chances this season.

Last Updated: 24/05/13 at 17:01 Post Comment

Danny Graham: Yet to open his account for the Black Cats

Danny Graham: Yet to open his account for the Black Cats

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While the likes of Robin van Persie, Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale rightly received the plaudits for their goalscoring exploits last season, there are a number of players that probably can't wait to see the back of this campaign.

In this piece WhoScored.com looks at the latter, analysing the players that were guiltiest when it came to missing clear-cut chances. To put it bluntly, it's those that couldn't finish their dinner, hit water if they fell out of a boat or a barn door with a banjo (whatever that means).

Here's a rundown of the five players with the worst conversion rate when it came to big chances last season, be it a one-on-one, free header or clear attempt from close in on goal.

5) Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham)
The fact that Adebayor failed to replicate his exploits from an impressive previous campaign could have been predicted by many, with the Togolese international never really having had joy in back-to-back seasons since a move to England. The 29-year-old scored just five goals, picking up one assist, in 25 Premier League appearances, having wracked up tallies of 17 and 11 respectively when on loan with the club last year.

His profligacy in front of goal is highlighted by the fact that he netted just three of the 13 big chances that were presented to him during the campaign, leaving the forward with a dismal conversion rate of 23.1% from said opportunities. It's fair to say that if Adebayor was in the form that he was last season, added to the brilliance of Gareth Bale, Spurs would have qualified for the Champions League.

4) Papiss Demba Cisse (Newcastle)
Much is made of the so-called second-season syndrome, and perhaps no player exemplifies such struggles following an excellent debut campaign as much as Papiss Cisse. The Senegalese striker scored eight goals in 36 Premier League appearances for Newcastle this season (a 9.3% conversion rate), having scored 13 goals from just 14 league appearances in the north-east last season (33.3% conversion rate).

The departure of compatriot Demba Ba left much of the goalscoring burden on Cisse's shoulders, and though he scored more goals in the second half of the season, the 27-year-old wasted some glaring chances this time around. Newcastle's number nine missed 18 of the 23 clear-cut opportunities that went his way, and with a meagre big chance conversion rate of 22.7% from their star striker, the Magpies eventually sunk to a final standing of 16th.

3) Nikica Jelavic (Everton)
In a near-identical situation to Cisse, Jelavic hit the ground running in the Premier League after a move across the border from Rangers to Everton in January of last year. The Croatian struck nine times from just ten starts in the 2011/12 season, making a name for himself for a one-touch finish that left keepers with very little time to react. He began this season in a similar vein, scoring four goals in his first six league games, but went on to score just three more in the 31 appearances that followed, losing his place to Victor Anichebe in the process.

A combination of point-blank stops and point-blank miscues, with Jelavic rarely operating from further out than the penalty spot when it comes to efforts on goal, transpired against him, and his confidence took a battering in turn. The 27-year-old scored just four of the 22 big chances he had during the campaign, leaving him with a conversion rate of 18.2%.

2) Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)
A like-for-like replacement for Robin van Persie he was not, but in scoring 11 league goals Arsenal summer signing Olivier Giroud was the most effective of the players on this 'leaderboard'. He joined the club having led the Ligue 1 scoring ranks and helped to fire Montpellier to a shock championship with 21 league goals, along with nine assists. Although he showed some impressive link-up play at the Emirates this season, he was also culpable for missing some gilt-edged chances.

Having scored his 11 goals from 107 shots, a 10.3% conversion rate isn't bad, but certainly isn't a strike rate that will win you a league title. The Frenchman missed 19 big chances, which was the second most in the entire division, from a total of 23. His conversion rate from clear-cut opportunities was a pretty woeful 17.4%, and Arsenal fans will be expecting an improvement next season.

1) Danny Graham (Swansea and Sunderland)
Having seen his chances limited at Swansea due to the fine form of the new star in south Wales, Michu, Danny Graham departed for Sunderland. Many questioned whether the striker could forge a partnership with Steven Fletcher under Martin O'Neill, and the answer proved to be no, as the Ulsterman was fired shortly after his arrival. An injury to top scorer Fletcher would then see Graham get his chance as a lone front man, and in turn his opportunity to shine, right?

Well, wrong, evidently. Now 13 games into his Sunderland career, Graham is yet to open his account for the Black Cats, having scored just three goals in 18 appearances in the first half of the season under Michael Laudrup. The 27-year-old had 13 clear-cut opportunities over the course of the season, and netted just two of them (15.4%). Although he's received very little service, attempting just 16 shots at goal since the January move, Paolo Di Canio, along with the entire Sunderland fan-base, will be desperate to have Fletcher back at the start of next season.

All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.

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