A tale of two shooters – Cole Palmer and Nicolas Jackson at opposite ends of the spectrum

Nicolas Jackson had one of his classic Nicolas Jackson days on Saturday. He worked hard, ran the channels, created chances for his teammates – but ultimately disappointed in front of goal.

Meanwhile Cole Palmer had a classic Cole Palmer day – he didn’t contribute much off the ball, and drifted out of the game at times, yet he finished the match with two goals as Chelsea’s saviour.

The two link up nicely on the pitch, but couldn’t be more different in terms of some stats. Jackson’s xG difference, that is the difference between the chances he’s had and the goals he’s scored, is an astonishing -4.35 on the season. That means the numbers would predict him more than 4 extra league goals this season.

Palmer on the other hand has a difference of positive 1.98, meaning he’s scored almost two more goals than you’d expect from the chances he’s taken.

The two have had by far the most shots in the team between them – 66 for Palmer and 56 for Jackson.

Different ends of the spectrum

The two are both key players for us, and offer very different things to the team. But each needs to take something from the other’s game. If Palmer worked his tail off like Jackson we might look a little stronger defensively, while if Jackson was as dead-eyed in front of goal as Palmer, we could afford this defensive frailty a little easier.

Getting each to be more like the other is Pochettino’s big challenge for the final few games of the season and through the summer – should he last that long.

1 Comment

  1. SuperFrank, I was with you until the bit about Jackson’s “defensive frailty.” Huh???

    Maybe it’s a case of poor proofreading on your part, but Palmer is clearly the one with the issues in defense (as in, he doesn’t much care to do it), not Jackson.

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