Patrick Roberts put months of speculation behind us all by singing on at Celtic for a further year, on loan from Manchester City. Most importantly, he is exciting to watch. As Bertie Auld would no doubt say, “Go and entertain, son”.
But Roberts has always given good numbers. And that’s why we are here.
Leave them wanting more…
He has started 40 out of 60 available matches, lasting the full 90 minutes on 19 occasions. Roberts averages 61.27 minutes per appearance. When not injured (he has missed 8 matches), he is always in the match day squad. Remarkably he was an unused substitute away to Lincoln Red Imps and was not used to try and recover the situation in Hapoel Be’er Sheva although this was a very different challenge.
The best run of appearances was between 2nd April 2016 and 24th April 2016. Roberts completed 90 minutes (including 120 minutes in the Scottish Cup Semi-Final) for 5 consecutive matches except for a ceremonial 89th minutes substitution against Motherwell. Therefore, he has not completed 90 minutes in 4 consecutive matches yet.
Between 27th August 2016 and 1st November 2016, he started 3 matches, and came on as substitute 10 times, unused once. In that spell of 14 matches, he averaged just 36 minutes per game. Let’s hope he pushes Forrest to recapture the form that led to Roberts limited game time. It came after missing 4 matches with a hamstring injury.
Overall, 3,676 minutes is the equivalent to 40.84 full 90-minute games.
So, we haven’t burnt him out!
20 assists in 3,676 is 0.49 assists per 90 minutes, or just under 1 every 2 games. So, there is the first slightly annoying statistic to target for a boost!
Roberts loves a risk! Both in terms of attempted key passes, and dribbles, he is unsuccessful more times than successful. However, no one could beat Roberts chance creation rate of 1.17 per 90m last season. Similarly, he was the master dribbler, averaging 2.92 successful dribbles last season. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no!
Although the table above may hint at a tendency to being a “flat track bully” with the Lincoln Red Imps home game featuring heavily, as well as Scottish Cup ties against lower opposition, one key assist came in Astana. 0-1 down and without a shot at goal, he tenaciously won the ball on the right edge of the goal line and cut the ball back for Griffiths to score the vital away goal. That, and one assist in the Lincoln Red Imps match are his only European assists. Of 20 assists, only 7 have come at Celtic Park.
Arguably his most effective game came away at Partick Thistle, where the team put on a show to win 5-0. As well as 2 goals from 4 shots, 3 on target, there was an assist from a penalty. He also created 3 chances for others from 6 attempts and provided 5 key passes. He led the team with 3 successful take dribbles from 6 attempts. Not his most important impact perhaps, but his most productive single match.
Roberts 17 goals have come at a rate of 0.42 per 90 minutes, which is a very good return for a striker. Many of his strikes are from long range and it is therefore no surprise that last season his xG (Expected Goals) was 6.8 but he recorded 11 goals. Taking less shots per 90m than Sinclair or Forrest, he is nevertheless as accurate with 37% of his shots on target.
The 17 goals have come against 8 opponents. Hearts bring out the best, with 5 goals against the Maroons. Whatever his future is with Manchester City, there will always be that special Champions League goal at the Etihad to give Celtic a point.
Overall his Scoring Contribution is 0.91 per 90m meaning he contributes a goal or assist virtually every game.
I have many more statistics captured this season including xA (Expected Assist), xG (Expected Goals) and Packing and Impect rates. I am sure Roberts will shine according to those measures.
Regular readers will know Roberts is a firm favourite on Celtic By Numbers, but only because the numbers tell us that this is the only logical conclusion! No sacred cows here. Consequently, there is a veritable plethora of additional material to sate your Roberts mania.
The following are particularly fine examples of the art:
“So, when do we play Hearts?”