29 Dec 2011

Emile Heskey: MORE effective for LFC than Luis Suarez, and here's the proof...

Luis Suarez has been at Anfield for almost a year now, and it's an understatement to say that the Uruguayan is idolised by Liverpool fans. A year is (arguably) enough time to assess a player's true impact on a club, so how does Suarez compare to other Liverpool strikers of the past?

In the first comparison of this new series, I'll compare Suarez's first-year impact at Liverpool with former striker Emile Heskey's first year.

As you will see from the figures below, Heskey was more effective in terms of end product for Liverpool but he was continually maligned by fans, and often accused of not being good enough.

Suarez is adored and deified by the club's fans but does his impact at Liverpool warrant such deification?

SUAREZ vs. HESKEY: First Year Comparison



* SUAREZ: Lower goals-per-minute ratio than Heskey.

* HESKEY: Superior goals-per-game ratio to Suarez

* HESKEY: Superior SMCC per minute.

* HESKEY: SMCC per game is practically the same as Suarez.

* HESKEY: Higher win percentage with him in the team

* SUAREZ: Cost %52 more than Heskey but his SMCC is practically the same.

* HESKEY: More cost effective than Suarez, as evidenced by superior Cost per Goal.

* SUAREZ: As a percentage of overall games played, Liverpool lose and draw more with him in the team compared to Heskey.

* SUAREZ: Has scored/created 32% of total team goals scored since his arrival, which is only 1% more than Heskey.

Suarez has fantastic ability but his end product - especially this season - is arguably not good enough. Conversely, Heskey is not a player blessed with great ability but he still managed to have a greater impact on the team in some ways.

Before people inevitably start misrepresenting my view on this, I'll be clear: I do NOT think that Heskey is better than Suarez; obviously, he is not!

I just find it hard to understand how Suarez can be treated like some kind of God when his actual impact on Liverpool is the no better than Heskey's, a striker who was regularly dissed and maligned by the club's fans.

When it comes to end product, surely, someone of Suarez's superior talent should be having more of an impact, especially when playing in a team that cost significantly MORE to put together than Gerard Houllier's 2000-2001 team.

These figures show that raw ability is not always the most important thing; producing the goods is what matters, and as we've seen with Jose Enrique, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll this season, it's not always necessary to pay huge amounts of money to get players who provide a specific, measurable end product.

With this in mind, it is clearly imperative that Liverpool sign another striker in January; someone with a history of scoring and creating goals.

If I had to choose a Premier League proven striker right now to come to Liverpool, I would go for Darren Bent. He doesn't have Suarez's ability but as this comparison illustrates, overall ability level isn't the most important thing; all that matters is END PRODUCT, and in that area, Bent definitely delivers.

I'm sure Suarez will, over the course of his Liverpool career, exceed Heskey's overall impact, but at this stage, Suarez is slightly behind the big man when it comes to overall impact on the club.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Stats don't tell you everything, although it's fair to say hats off to Heskey. He used to be a very good player.

  2. Heskey is superior player to Carroll but to compare him to Suarez shows to me that you are probably American?

  3. What kind of counter-argument is that?  Typically blinkered head in the sand response.

    Please answer this question: Has Luis Suarez had a GREATER impact on Liverpool in his first year than Heskey did in his first year?

  4. analysis wise the 11million worth more 2day, second element Heskey came from the same league contrary to suarez a period of adapting is needed,

  5. No Suarez has not, but to compare players stats is fraught with misconceptions, seeing as you are good at these stats Jamie, can you do one for Suarez and T Henry, and Suarez and P Beardsley, or maybe I Rush.
    I would just like to see the results :)

  6. Would you please, if doing this, compare Heskey's first 34 games at the club to Suarez, rather than first year. It's fairer.

    Secondly, this is a time when ALL of our players just aren't finishing, or are meeting goal keepers having their best ever game. As you can see, Houlliers team scored a lot more collectively, how many of Heskey's goals were tap ins to an empty net? 

  7. sad but true, greate article MR. Kanwar :)

  8. First 34 games: Heskey had 16 goals and 5 assists, still more than Suarez.

    Why is it whenever stats are released people try and come up with lots of different ways to drill-down the stats until they arrive at something that will create the answer they *want* to hear?

    And Heskey rarely scored tap-ins into an empty net. I can't recall one such goal in his first year, and I watch the season review videos often.

  9. 21 goals in a calendar year by Heskey? that must have been his best ever year (by some distance). Hopefully, this year turns out to be one of Suarez worst .

  10. You are comparing football that was 10 years ago. How naive are you.

  11. Yes, Suarez has had a greater impact than

    Suarez has helped make the fans believe again after H+G almost destroyed the club

    I have been lucky enough to see him play live a few times and he is phenomenal

    If Jaimie truly believes that these stats paint any kind of meaningful picture, he is even more deluded than i thought, and doesn't seem to possess any ability to judge a player other than flaky stats

    The SMCC stat is laughable, judging a player on whether a team mate converts the created chance or not. Why not use industry standard shot assist stats from Opta?

  12. But Heskey was brilliant in his first full season. Have you forgotten this? He was never "dissed and maligned" by the clubs fans at that stage. We all thought he was gonna turn out to be world class. Although it was a little after his first year look at his goal against Bayern Munich in the Super Cup in 2001. He was awesome back then.

  13. Heskey was playing with English players Owen,Fowler,Gerrard,Murphy,Carragher and Barmby in a style of play that was played to suit him didn't Houllier tell Owen and Fowler Heskey was the main man!
    Suarez's Liverpool career has been hit by not having a settled partner and no Gerrard he seems to be going for a fancy finish like in Holland when simply hitting the target will do and no need for the extra step over or cut in  when he is in the area this season especially since the chargers against him, hopefully he will rediscover his coolness in front of goal. On footballing terms skill and control there is no comparrison!

  14. As I argued recently on this forum.  Suarez is currently played in the wrong position.  He's a 6 yard box player with more skill than Hernandez of UTD.  

    Proof? Look at Suarez's goals for Liverpool.  95% have been scored from when he was in the 6 yrd area.  We are looking at a player who can potentially score a lot of goals for Liverpool.

  15. Looks like he is going to suffer from Dirk Kuyt-itis

    Once a profilic marksman in Holland and now a good hard working donkey in midfield.

  16. always liked heskey as a team player worked well with owen.
    but i think had suarez been playing in the prem back in 2001 hed of had a shed load more goals and assists, more than heskey.
    the teams and players are better now than they were back then.

  17. then we have a problem!

  18. As a Villa fan you can have Heskey back and we will have Suarez in exchange.

  19. Suarez is idolised for his attitude and commitment! From the time he steps onto the pitch till he's taken off, he will do anything he can to help his team get a result, even if it means playing volleyball or winding up an opponent the wrong way. All LFC fans appreciate an above average player who gives his all and even more when he's good or entertains!

    We laud Jay, Kuyt and now Lucas because they play for the team and they play to win, whether they can or will is a different story. This is what makes Stevie and Carra especially special. This is why we moan about Carroll or Henderson. It is why we sold Torres.

  20. Stats say that Frank Lampard has a better goal scoring record than Xavi. But it doesn't mean Lampard is a better player than Xavi. Jamie are you coming up with shit articles like this just for more hits to this site or to create a meaningless debate. You are no less worse than the crap sites coming up with fake transfer news. As the editor of this page I hope you come up with more meaningful articles rather than comparing chalk to cheese.  

  21. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xme2LN07qaI&feature=player_embedded
    Heskey at his best a thundering header,cracking shot and a tap in(JUST ABOUT!) and a bonus of the best footballing goal scored under Houllier by Berger!

  22. Rafa Benitez is a legend

  23. Well, that's just one type of stat you decided to use, goals. Most stats show Xavi is a better player, which is true. Look up more about other stats like pass completion rate before you compain

  24. LOL what you retards dont realize is the amount of contribution that Suarez puts in making Liverpools 'game'. Heskey was a target man, Suarez isnt. Saurez falls back deep to pick up the ball and then the team proceeds to make a move towards goal. He doesnt stand near the goal, waiting for the ball to come the way Heskey did. Also, Heskey played with the likes of Gerrard, Barmby, Fowler, Owen etc. Suarez has had average players like Adam and Downing to support him.
    And you are comparing present football to a time when the league was much much weaker.
    Remove Suarez from the present Liverpool team and put Heskey(in his first year) and the Liverpool wouldnt be in the top 6.