So the other day we did a piece (read that here) where by we asked you lot to vote for who you'd like to see as our starting striker next season. The difference was, we didn't give you the players names, only their attributes.
All the strikers in question had different attributes, and had very different playing styles. Some as you might have been able to guess, more out-and-out strikers than others, but all the names are ones that have been linked over the last six months, however tangible those links may be.
It was certainly interesting to see the results come in, especially as I sat in Roker Report Towers knowing who each striker was. Who knows, you might have worked them out yourself, but now we can reveal your choice of striker for the forthcoming season...
To evaluate each players attributes, we went to WhoScored.com and looked at the players' profiles. This seemed the best idea since they could provide a more accurate and independent voice on what each player is good at.
WhoScored are far from perfect when it comes to evaluating players, as we all know a lot more happens on the pitch than just the statistical measuring sticks. For example, Nicklas Bendtner might win 90% of his headers or something, but it doesn't count the amount of times he simply couldn't be bothered to even try.
However, the plus side of using statistics is it's a count of what does happen, so if for example Bendtner was in that range of heading percentage (I don't know, I've just made up the 90% figure above), it proves that he does win them more often than not when attempts are made.
Now we've got the disclaimer out the way, we can get on with the staggering results, as I'm sure it wouldn't have turned out this way had everyone been given the names.
Player A - Gabriel Agbonlahor
Receiving no votes, and of course 0% of the votes is Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor. It's been speculated in several newspapers and websites that Agbonlahor is a target of O'Neill's this summer, and while he'd bring pace to the front line, he might not bring goals.
I'd imagine many were put off by the fact it says in the profile we showed that he has no particular strengths to his game, which would be a worry, and is perhaps reflected in the fact his goals record stands at around 1 in every 4 games.
Written in paper though, some would see him as a decent signing. Fairly big name, worked with O'Neill before, England caps, still young... when you look at his skill set though, it just doesn't add up, and not a soul wants him at Sunderland.
Player B - Stephane Sessegnon
We mentioned in the previous part of this piece (read that here) that we chucked in a Sunderland player, just to see if there was any section who could say that they were happy with how things were as they stand, and it appears that 4% of you are happy to have Stephane Sessegnon lead the line next season as he did for large parts of last season.
Perhaps some worked it out, others are indeed just happy with things as is, or are looking more towards a dribbler than a target man to fill the void next season.
Player C - Papiss Demba Cisse
Yes, that's right. We did say in the previous post (crikey, read here if you haven't already) that there was a red-herring in the midst. A player who we had next to no chance of signing. This is that man. Cisse was linked to us heavily last summer, and again in January prior to him signing for them up the road.
20% of the votes went to Cisse and see his natural finisher style as the type we should be looking for. I'll be perfectly honest, he's had a hell of a lot more impact than I'd have expected him to with the Mags, and having seen that he can cut it in the Premier League, he'd be a great addition to the squad. Sadly, that's never going to happen. Not any time soon anyway.
Player D - Victor Moses
Coming in with only 1% of the vote was Victor Moses. Not an out-and-out striker by any stretch and very similar to Sessegnon. It would appear that many thought the same lines in seeing that he hold similar attributes to Sess, but needless to say, I think most of us would be happy with Moses in a different position. Perhaps behind the central striker.
All in all, Moses comes out good, but not the type to lead our strikeforce for next season according to the vote.
Player E - Steven Fletcher
Well we all seem to want him, and the club actually seem to want him it would appear according to all reports, just not at the extortionate fee Wolverhampton Wanderers seem to want for him.
This one seems very interesting to me, as he only came in with 8% of the vote. A minuscule amount given the fact that he seems at the top of nearly everyone's hit list, and upon reading the news we're linked, most seem happy. Looking at his attributes though alone, not many seem to want him.
Of course I refer everyone to the top disclaimer about stats and all that, but still, very intriguing that he only came out with 8% of the vote. Speaking of players who only claimed 8% of the vote...
Player F - Emile Heskey
Also coming in with 8% of the votes, everyone's worst nightmare situation, Emile Heskey rocking up at the Stadium Of Light and leading the line next season. My word, what a horrifying thought!
Still, the big lummox comes in with an extraordinary 8% of the vote. Just the same as Steven Fletcher. Which leads me to believe that either A) people do want Heskey for some reason, or B) the so called target man isn't the sort of striker we want up front next season. I kind of hope it's the latter.
On paper if you saw Heskey linked with us, everyone would run a mile, easily 100% of us you'd think, but there's 8% of people who could be lying. Or on the other hand the most easy-going fans around!
Player G - Kevin Davies
The run away leader with a whopping 55% of the vote is Bolton Wanderers. Upon being linked in January he divided opinion among fans. Personally speaking, and not for the rest of the writers here, I was against. Not particularly a fan, but looking at what he can bring to the team, and seeing how he pretty much destroyed us in the 2-2 draw last season, I might have to think again.
When we said that there's a red-herring in here and an unattainable target, I wonder how many thought this was the guy? You'd be forgiven for thinking so given the attributes above.
55% is an astonishing percentage. Granted, it's a relatively small poll, but its the percentage none the less. So would we be happy with Kevin Davies up front next season? If he was the starting striker, and our main man? Well obviously 55% of us would be.
One thing is for sure though, as barring Cisse, everyone fancied a target man style player more with Fletcher, Heskey and Davies taking three of the top four positions in the final poll.
All this proved to be an interesting experiment. I wonder now we all know the names, whether or not anyone would change their votes? If you are that way inclined, do leave a comment.
Perhaps though it's time we left reputations and names at the door and focused on what they do on the pitch...