Service? Minutes? Goal return? - The stats behind Jordan Rhodes’ Sheffield Wednesday spell
Jordan Rhodes got back amongst the goals in emphatic fashion this week, and Neil Thompson’s way of playing has given fans hope that more could be on the way…
Rhodes has endured a turbulent time at Hillsborough, facing lengthy spells away from the starting XI and the indignity of being subbed on and off in the game recently, but there are still so many that would love nothing more than to see the forward get back on track at Hillsborough.
The forward, who will turn 31 this week, leapt like a salmon to get on the end of a beautiful Kadeem Harris cross away at Bournemouth on Tuesday night, putting the icing on the cake following what had been an overall good performance from the forward.
And the fact of it is that Rhodes, one of the top scorers in English Football League history, looks rejuvenated under Thompson. His start to life under ‘Thommo’ was seemingly held back amid the COVID-19 outbreak that saw him miss a number of games, but the last two games he’s looked more like his old self.
Against both Preston North End and the Cherries, he looked hungrier, held up play well and was confident in possession. His goal on Tuesday was just reward for getting into good positions and trying to make things happen.
But we’ve heard this before, haven’t we? A Rhodes goal often leads to hope of seeing the forward that scored 80+ goals for Blackburn Rovers and Huddersfield Town – at Wednesday it just hasn’t quite happened, but statistically, how is his goal return?
Well, to be honest, it’s not awful.
In 92 games for Wednesday, Rhodes has got 15 goals and four assists, which means a goal scored about every six games – that’s far from ideal for a player with his record, granted.
But when you look at minutes played, things get more interesting.
You have to go back to December 2019, around the time of his Nottingham Forest hattrick, to find the last time Rhodes got given four Championship starts in a row for SWFC, and before that it was January 2018.
So bearing in mind that so many of his appearances – especially since his first couple of seasons at Wednesday – have come via late cameos, looking at his minutes per goal is probably a fairer reflection than his games per goal.
So far he’s played 4,459 minutes in Wednesday colours, giving him a return of a goal every 297 minutes. It’s not Lionel Messi by any stretch, but it is almost a goal every three games. For comparison, Steven Fletcher averaged one every 223 minutes, and he wasn’t being given a few minutes here and there to get back on track.
This is by no means a piece saying that Rhodes should start every week or a guarantee he can rekindle his former days, but with the right service and guidance, there’s surely a chance?
With 110 Championship goals to his name, Rhodes is just 12 goals away from overtaking David Nugent (121) as the league’s top goalscorer of all time. And who knows, maybe ‘Thommo’ is the man to give him the game time and style that he needs to do that – and possibly keep the Owls in the Championship in the process.