Originally Appeared on 9/23/15 on Na Dead Raibead. 

Darren O’Dea started a lively night on the Tim-ernet with a tweet about the Celtic team tonight. He discussed how surprised he was that Kris Commons had been left out of the team this season. Then he tweeted this.

This set off a chain reaction not seen, well actually that’s not true as an argument like this seems like a nightly occurrence in the world of the Celtic internet but I digress, a debate formed about just how much Anthony Stokes has provided in his time with Celtic. His attitude, his opinions on the music of Elvis Presley, what position he played best, and more were discussed both for and against Stokes. But all of those things aren’t quantifiable in judging Stokes performance with Celtic (well maybe the Elvis thing, as he leads the team in Elvis’ punched per 90, but I digress yet again.)

Some tried to quantify Stokes attributes and contributions to Celtic.

A factually accurate statement, though using any stat per game is a misleading stat. With that metric, an appearance for 5 minutes in a substitutes role and playing 120 minutes in a match with extra time are counted the same. Per 90 minutes is a much better way to accurately measure a players contribution compared to another. I then decided to compare Stokes to some of his colleagues and past recent Celtic players who played a similar role to Stokes. We’ve seen Stokes as a lone striker, part of a two striker line-up, and even put out wide. So lets take a gander at his stats compared to similar players with Celtic.
https://public.tableau.com/javascripts/api/viz_v1.js

Dashboard 1

 

 Stokes goal scoring rate is right in the middle of the bunch, scoring less than Leigh Griffiths, Gary Hooper, Scott McDonald, and even Kris Commons. However, when we look at goals and assists rate combined, Stokes jumps up a few spots, only contributing to goals in some way less than Griffiths and Commons. Does Anthony Stokes deserve more playing time in Ronny Deilia’s squad? Hard to say. Griffiths has been in form for some time and with Deilia not looking to play two strikers, it’s hard to argue for Stokes replacing Griffiths up top. Stokes has been a multi-dimensional player at his time with Celtic, and with Gary Mackay Stevens unable to find the form he enjoyed upon his arrival to Celtic, Stuart Armstrong dealing with injury, and James Forrest forever being an enigma floating between on form, off-form, and the injury table, why not give Anthony Stokes a run out as an attacking midfielder?

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