In the Premier League this weekend we may have witnessed one of the misses of the season as QPR's Akos Buszaky struck a post with the goal gaping from all of 5 yards. At WhoScored we don't like to heap misery on any one player who has had the misfortune to make such a gaffe, so we have focused on 6 of them instead!
We have gathered the figures in terms of players to miss the highest percentage of the 'big chances' they have had this season. When we say big chances they do not all need to be as glaring a miss as that of Buszaky (sorry Akos) but include one on ones with the keeper and free headers from close range, as well as open goals etc. To rule out those who may only have had a few clear cut opportunities this season, all players considered must have had at least 10 big chances over the course of the campaign.
Premier League's Guiltiest Culprits
In sixth place, having missed 8 (73%) of his 11 big chances this season; Arsenal's Theo Walcott does little to put pay to the theory that he lacks an end product. His double against fierce rivals Tottenham were only his 4th and 5th goals of the season, which given his advanced position on the pitch, and the fact that he has only failed to feature once for the Gunners this term, isn't great. However, said goals were extremely well taken so Arsenal fans will hope that his confidence leads to an upturn in performances.
Just marginally worse than Walcott in this sense, Stoke striker Peter Crouch has also missed 73% of his big chances thus far (11 out of 15). The £10m man has had a reasonable start to his career at the Britannia at best, netting 7 goals in 22 appearances for Tony Pulis' side to date. With just 1 league goal in his last 6 games, the Potters will be hoping for more next season, though a 10-goal haul would not be frowned upon in his first season with the club.
Worryingly for Arsenal, the fourth player on the list is another Gunner, and like Crouch is another new signing. Since joining from Lille in the summer, it is fair to say that we have seen the best and worst of Gervinho, with his trickery and pace in possession enough to scare any full-back. However, once he beats his man he can look a little lost in front of goal, missing 9 of his 12 (75%) big chances this season.
Always in the news, never a dull moment and an undeniable talent - no not Mario Balotelli, the other one - Liverpool's Luis Suarez is a joy to watch in full flow. As much as he has wowed the fans this season, endearing himself to the Liveprool faithful but few others, the Uruguayan has been unquestionably wasteful in front of goal. Only Emmanuel Adebayor has missed more big chances than Suarez (17 to 16), though the Spurs striker has had 8 more clear cut opportunities in total (29 to 21). Having only scored 5 thus far (of 6 total), Suarez has missed 76% of his big chances in 21 appearances.
Having separated the wheat we are now getting to the chaff when it comes to spurning clear-cut opportunities, and the player ranking second in terms of wasted big chances is somewhat surprising. The performances of Grant Holt have led to admittedly faint and mainly East Anglian based calls for the seasoned pro to earn a shock England call-up. One can't deny that his stats are impressive having scored 10 goals and only started 16 of his 26 appearances. Strangely though, only 2 of his goals have been deemed big chances, and having had 10 (80% missed) clear-cut opportunities this season it seems Holt prefers the sort of strike that almost earned his side a point against United recently.
Atop the leaderboard, and leading the list of high-profile culprits, one of last season's big money buys has been extremely culpable for his side’s failings in front of goal this season. At this stage it could be one of two really, but we can reveal that Liverpool’s Andy Carroll has missed the highest percentage of his big chances this season.
It is little surprise that Liverpool have the worst chance conversion rate in the league with the wayward form Suarez, Carroll and Kuyt to choose from up front. The latter doesn’t register for inclusion but has missed 6 out of 7 big chances, while Carroll is the worst in the Premier League to have had at least 10 having missed 9 of 11 (82%). The target man has just 3 goals in 24 league appearances (14 starts) and having cost £35m last January, is yet to repay the faith shown in him by Kenny Dalglish. When considering the player with the best success rate from big chances, Yakubu - missing just 39% (7 out of 18), only cost around £1.5m it goes to show that there are still bargains out there!