Rhodes to nowhere

Speculation grows on the message boards that Fulham are signing (or even, have already signed) Huddersfields “36 goal hitman” Jordan Rhodes. I was excited at the idea – anyone who can score 36 times must know where the goal is, right?

Maybe. Here are the last 11 people to score 30 in a season in Leagues One and Two.

1987 Steve Bull Wolves 37
1991 Joe Allon Hartlepool 35
1991 Steve Norris Halifax Town 35
1993 Bob Taylor  WBA 30
1994 Jimmy Quinn Reading 35
1997 Graeme Jones Wigan 31
2003 Rob Earnshaw Cardiff 31
2003 Andy Morrell Wrexham 34 (part of a seasonal sequence that went: 1,3,2,34,9,6)
2007 Billy Sharp Scunthorpe 30
2010 Rickie Lambert Southampton 30
2010 Lee Hughes Notts Co 30

There are some handy enough players in there, right?  But it’s also quite telling that at no point has anyone gone bananas in the lower leagues then become a good Premier League player. Steve Bull might have done I suppose but that was a long time ago. Sharp and Lambert will get their chance to test all this next year with Saints. Otherwise you can’t stop seeing those two dangerous words: ROBERT EARNSHAW.

Otherwise it should be noted that one R Zamora scored 28 in successive seasons for Brighton.

So I don’t know. A few years ago this might have seemed like an interesting punt but I imagine Martin Jol will be scouring the low countries for someone altogether more suitable.  Rhodes might very well be the second coming of Gary Lineker – he can only do what he’s done, after all – it’s just that nobody’s really taken the lower league goal hero route to the top for a very, very long time. Is he the exception to the rule? You’d assume not.


Richard Allen founded Craven Cottage Newsround in 2006. This is him at a wedding last year.

9 thoughts on “Rhodes to nowhere

  1. Perhaps you’ve set the bar too high with 30 goals?

    Norwich City fans might point to Grant Holt:

    L1 09/10 – 24 goals
    C 10/11 – 21 goals
    PL 11/12 – 15 goals

    I realise that one data point doesn’t tell a story – but it is recent, and suggests that going up the leagues may not reduced a player’s goal tally too much.

    I concede that Norwich don’t play like Fulham at all*, which might explain why a lower league striker might have so much success with them.

    *I say, rather patronisingly.

  2. Maybe but it’s the sheer volume of goals that’s got him on radars. People who score 20+ are presumably more common, I just wanted to see how the uber-stikers did. Not all that well really.

  3. Would it be possible to see their ages when they scored these goals?

    If they were in their mid-late 20s then perhaps it showed the peak of their careers, if they were in their early 20s then your theory would be even more solid.

  4. I can’t remember if I said this on here or on TIFF when these rumours circulated in January, but our very own Marcello Trotta had the same goals-to-games ratio in League One as Rhodes, is the same-ish build and is younger. I’m not saying that he won’t pan out, and of course Rhodes is young and has a consistent track-record for scoring in that Division. But I am sceptical and I hope that with young players such as this the club are basing any signing on the underlying skill-sets of the players, not purely on end-results achieved at lower levels. We went down the latter route under Sanchez (e.g. David Healy, Diomansy Kamara, Lee Cook) and it proved itself a manifestly unsuccessful approach.

  5. Hopefully he won’t cost that much and we’ll still be in the market for a sure thing, top of the line striker. I wouldn’t expect much from a guy jumping up 2 leagues. Maybe in a couple of seasons he’ll come good.

    1. In fact he lost all the season cause of two consecutive injuries. But he is a young player and if he is completlely recovered, he’s a top club player ( Guardiola’s second choice after Alexis last summer). Maybe a bit risky, but a barghain right now.

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