Goals, assists and discipline: How are the Irish Premier League players faring?

The season is now 22 rounds of fixtures old

BY Raf Diallo 14:47 Tuesday 24 January 2017, 14:47 24 Jan 2017

Ireland's Seamus Coleman with Valeri Kazaishvili of Georgia ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Lies, lies and damned statistics!

If football was boiled down to numbers alone, it would never capture the nuances of a match or season.

However, statistics can be a very basic guide which give an impression of what is going on.

In that vein, let's look at how Irish players have been performing statistically speaking after 22 matches of the Premier League season, with the halfway mark of the season having passed on the 19th round of fixtures.

Goals

Last season, Shane Long hit double figures for Southampton and for the first time in the Premier League in his career so far.

His 10 league goals for 2015-16 also made him the top Irish goalscorer in the English top flight.

Things have changed markedly in 2016-17 with Long slipping down the pecking order at St Mary's behind first Charlie Austin and now Jay Rodriguez.

As a result, Long has only found the net once in the league.

Instead a defender is now the top scoring Irishman in the 2016-17 Premier League.

Seamus Coleman scored the only goal for Everton as they beat Crystal Palace on Saturday with a strike from inside the box after being found in the channel, and that was his fourth goal of the season.

The Ireland captain has always had a decent goals record for a defender (he scored six league goals in 2013-14) and four in 19 appearances for a right back is excellent, considering that his role is also about providing width and overlapping as well as defending.

The next highest scoring Irish players in the Premier League are Jon Walters (Stoke) and Jeff Hendrick (Burnley) with two goals each.

 Creativity

When it comes to creating goals, assists are the main currency as that is the final pass or cross which allows the eventual goalscorer to finishing things off.

Injury has often prevented Harry Arter from winning more Ireland caps than he would have. But he impressed in the World Cup qualifier in Austria win in November.

Bournemouth have always recognised the value of a player they signed from non league Woking in 2010 and who has played a key role in their rise up the divisions.

His two assists for the season make him the most creative Irish player in the Premier League.

Discipline

Arter is also the only Irish player to have received a red card this season, with that sending off coming against West Ham in August.

The midfielder also has the most yellow cards of any Irish player with six for the season. 

West Brom winger James McClean is next with five for the campaign. 

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