Alan Lee - Biggest Duck in HTFC History
A while back I blogged about the worst ever Town players. I mentioned Chris Hay and his incredibly long goal-scoring drought. At the time I joked that Alan Lee would be up for inclusion in that 'worst' list without really believing it. Well, despite Alan scoring against Arsenal in the FA Cup today (and FINALLY ending his goal drought) that long period with out a goal - without an assist! - deserves some scrutiny.
Chris Hay Eclipsed
After a 4-0 defeat at Carlisle, Alan managed to secure a 23rd goal-less appearance - one more than hapless Chris Hay. And, after 90 minutes of a 0-0 draw at home to Colchester, Alan surpassed Chris' minutes on the pitch without a goal.
Added to that, we must remember that Chris Hay's playing time was largely under the watchful eye of Lou Macari whose dour approach to the game meant that Town's full-backs weren't allowed to cross the halfway line and that chances for strikers were at a premium. Hay was also played on the wing at times. Alan Lee has no such excuses.
Longest Striking Drought Ever?
So Alan Lee was crowned new King Of The Goal Duck. But, beyond that, I wondered if his goal drought was longer than any other Town striker in recent memory had managed. Time for some analysis.
It turns out that Danny Cadamarteri managed a longer goal-less streak than Alan. Again, Cads has the defence that he was often deployed in a deeper role and often on the wing. Alan Lee has only every played as an out-and-out striker, the big man upfront - the most advanced player on the pitch.
|Danny Cadamarateri||33||23||2302||06-11-2007 - 21-03-2009||Often played in midfield/wing|
|ALAN LEE||26||18||1364||28-08-2010 - 30-01-2011||Ended his goal drought in an FA Cup tie at Arsenal
|Wayne Allison||14||14||1353||23-01-1999 - 17-04-1999||Played a similar 'target man' role to Lee|
|Chris Hay||22||12||1199||01-04-2000 - 07-10-2001||Often used as a winger|
|Andy Booth||12||10||988||22-04-2006 - 26-09-2006||Booth played a total 403 times for HTFC|
|Jon Stead||18||10||929||23-11-2002 - 05-04-2003||May have played out wide|
|Jon Newby*||15||11||897||09-08-2003 - 09-03-2004||May have played out wide|
|Phil Jevons||16||7||765||03-05-2008 - 10-01-2009|
|Lee Novak||14||4||644||01-05-2010 - 09-10-2010|
|Martin Smith||8||6||625||06-10-2000 - 02-12-2000|
|Kevin Gallen||12||6||624||10-02-2001 - 01-05-2001|
|Keigan Parker||11||4||589||12-08-2008 - 01-11-2008||May have been used in midfield|
|Jordan Rhodes||6||6||582||20-02-2010 - 13-03-2010|
|Pawel Abbott||10||5||575||09-09-2006 - 30-12-2006|
|Luke Beckett||10||3||548||14-10-2006 - 13-01-2007|
|Theo Robinson||14||1||455||14-11-2009 - 20-03-2010|
|Robbie Simpson**||10||2||408||01-09-2009 - 10-08-2010|
* = Jon Newby never ended his HTFC goal-less streak - he was loaned to York City without ever scoring for the club. His full goal-less streak included 7 appearances for Bury before joining Town, appearances on loan at York City and a further 10 games after he re-joined Bury.
** = Robbie Simpson's goal-less streak for Town ended after he left to join Brentford on loan. He scored in his 2nd appearance for the Bees after 76 minutes of play.
Alan Lee also failed to score in his final couple of appearances for Crystal Palace, so here's those goal-less figures in full
Full figures, including spells at other clubs:
|Jon Newby||39||24||2657||05-04-2003 - 02-10-2004|
|ALAN LEE||28||20||1538||28-08-2010 - 30-01-2011|
|Robbie Simpson||11||3||484||01-09-2009 - 09-02-2010|
*Whistles* so it turns out that Alan has nothing Jon Newby. But hey! we bought Jon Newby as a young player with potential - he was a lower division raw talent, a 22 year-old that the club took a gamble on. Alan Lee was a 32 year old experienced head with over 400+ professional apperances and 100+ goals.
Eclipsing Diego Forlan, Steve Marlet (and any other striking flops you can think of)
So Alan is vying for the accolade of least prolific striker in Town history. But I kinda knew that before I started. I began to wonder how Alan Lee's barren spell compared with those achieved by more high-profile strikers. You know the ones I mean - the ones that have famously been held up to ridicule by fans and had to endure expert diagnosis along the lines of "he just needs one to go in off his backside" (copyright Mark Lawrenson).
It turns out that I the only expensive flop striker I could find that out-droughted Alan was Kevin Davies. Davies has been signed from Southampton by Blackburn for a massivley inflated fee of £7m. He flopped there and switched back to Blackburn in a swap deal involving Egil Ostenstad. It was a Southampton squad managed by Glenn Hoddle that was in transition and included Uwe Rsoler, James Beattie and Marian Parhars. As at Chesterfield earlier in his career, Kevin Davies was used mostly as an energetic winger. He was eventually sent out on loan to Millwall where, for him, he was prolific - 3 goals in 9 games.
|Kevin Davies (Southampton)||23||18||1631||27-01-2001 - 27-11-2001||swap deal||Second spell at Southampton - often played in midfield|
|ALAN LEE||28||20||1538||28-08-2010 - 30-01-2011|
|Brian Deane (Leeds)||15||15||1498||14-01-1997 - 19-04-1997||£2.9m||Sometimes played on the wing|
|Steve Marlet (Fulham)||16||14||1294||30-11-2002 - 12-04-2003||£11.5||Sometimes played in midfield|
|Chris Sutton (Chelsea)||21||14||1116||11-12-1999 - 29-04-2000||£10m|
|Albert Luque (Newcastle)||19||10||1001||27-07-2005 - 17-04-2006||£9.5m||Sometimes played on the wing|
|Massimo Maccarone (Mboro)||13||11||999||28-09-2002 - 11-01-2003||£8.15m|
|Diego Forlan (Man U)||26||7||909||29-01-2002 - 18-09-2002||£6.9m||Ended his goal-less streak with a 'pity' penalty
|Bobby Zamora (West Ham)||19||7||833||01-02-2006 - 19-08-2006||swap deal|
|Ade Akinbiyi (Leicester)||9||8||753||24-09-2000 - 02-12-2000||£5.5m|
|Francis Jeffers (Everton)||14||5||706||13-09-2003 - 25-01-2004||n/a||Second spell at Everton on loan from Arsenal|
|Alfonso Alves (Mboro)||12||6||674||24-01-2009 - 11-05-2009||£12.7m|
|Sergei Rebrov (Tottenham)||14||5||492||23-01-2002 - 20-04-2002||£11m||Maybe have been used as a winger|
|Andrei Shevchenko (Chelsea)||10||4||482||05-12-2006 - 23-01-2007||£30.8m|
There were others that I considered and/or researched - but a few like Andrea Silenzi (Forest) and Stephane Guivarch (Newcastle) were found out very early on and played only a handful of games for their clubs before being ditched. A few more - including Tomas Brolin (Leeds) and Finidi George (Ipswich) actually managed to score a couple of goals which split their goal-less runs into a series of smaller runs - an overall impressively awful record, but not what I'm measuring here.
This might sound like I hate Alan Lee and everything he does - like this is some kind of vendetta. I don't want to give you that impression. I've never booed a Town player ever. And I don't think he's a truly awful player. He's way better than all those players I named in my top twelve. I truly thought that he was a good addition to our squad when he joined from Palace. I thought we'd have to change our patterns of play to suit him, but when that happened I thought he'd score a few and probabaly create more for other players. It hasn't happened yet, which saddens me and I'm beginning to think it's just not going to happen for Alan at HTFC. That doesn't mean he's a terrible player though. I hope he has a successful career with Town, I really do. I believe it can happen, despite an awful start.
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