Which is harder scoring or creating chances?

11101

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I think creating chances is harder. Goalscoring requires good movement and positioning within a small area of the pitch, and finishing is usually the easy bit. Creating a chance requires you to see something that is not there yet and execute a pass from just about anywhere on the pitch.

You can find fairly limited footballers who score lots of goals (Lukaku, Inzaghi, and many more).

Assist kings are always magnificent footballers.
 

Gehrman

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Depends entirely on the quality of the assist and goal. Id say there is more pressure on the striker in football than on the creator. However strikers are.not always the best players on the pitch.
 

Dancfc

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Creating.

When you see teams creating loads of chances but wasting them most of the time they become sensational once they get a bit more clinical (case in point City under Pep).

When a team are creating feck all but are taking them when they come along eventually they have a fall because it isn't sustainable for any serious period of time (ala Spurs this season).
 

JPRouve

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I think creating chances is harder. Goalscoring requires good movement and positioning within a small area of the pitch, and finishing is usually the easy bit. Creating a chance requires you to see something that is not there yet and execute a pass from just about anywhere on the pitch.

You can find fairly limited footballers who score lots of goals (Lukaku, Inzaghi, and many more).

Assist kings are always magnificent footballers.
So you don't consider that it's part of the goal creation?
 

OleBoiii

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You can find fairly limited footballers who score lots of goals (Lukaku, Inzaghi, and many more).

Assist kings are always magnificent footballers.
This is a good point.
 

Zlatan 7

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“The hardest thing in football is putting the ball in the back of the net”

“The hardest thing in football is passing the ball to the guy who puts the ball in the back of the net”

I know which sentence I’d agree with.
 

Rozay

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Any suggestion of weighting goals and assists equally is wrong for me.

Also, no matter how brilliant an assist is, it’s pretty much always the run that makes it.

Lastly, the mental requirements of creating a chance and taking a chance are on a whole different level. As the goalscorer, the buck stops with you. As the creator, you are (quite literally), passing the buck.

Even a ‘simple’ penalty is far more demanding, especially in the right context. There is no cross or pass that will have the same pressure as Bruno’s 98th minute, after the final whistle, last kick of the game penalty against Brighton. There is no cross that David Beckham ever put in where he would have felt greater pressure than the pressure he felt standing over the last minute free kick to score himself against Greece.
 

OleBoiii

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Creating.

When you see teams creating loads of chances but wasting them most of the time they become sensational once they get a bit more clinical (case in point City under Pep).

When a team are creating feck all but are taking them when they come along eventually they have a fall because it isn't sustainable for any serious period of time (ala Spurs this season).
Another good point for Team Assist.

It's mad to think that a team that may finish as low as 7th potentially will have 2 attackers in the Team Of The Season. One of them(Kane) is already safe.
 

Zlatan 7

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Creating.

When you see teams creating loads of chances but wasting them most of the time they become sensational once they get a bit more clinical (case in point City under Pep).

When a team are creating feck all but are taking them when they come along eventually they have a fall because it isn't sustainable for any serious period of time (ala Spurs this season).
Your first paragraph makes it seem as though you agree making chances is easy, it’s the finishing them that’s the difficult part.
 

Abhinav

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It depends on what one considers finishing. For example, I believe that a striker movement is part of creating, not part of scoring because the timing and sharpness of the run creates a potential goalscoring opportunity. So in my book creating is more difficult because rare are the players that can consistently find themselves in goalscoring situations, rare are the players that have the skills to pass the ball or even spot that their teammate is in a goalscoring position.
I concur with this. Creation is definitely more difficult because it requires a lot of things to come together in a matter of seconds - run / movement, vision, timing of the pass and the accuracy of the pass. The burden of creation is not only on the player who is delivering the pass but also on the goal scorer to be in a position to make the pass successful. Ofcourse, even after all this, the scorer has to have a good-great touch, make the right decision and then execute the final shot for the ball to go in. Both are very difficult, but creation is definitely more difficult.
 

He'sRaldo

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There's a reason for why xG often predicts the winner and why parking the bus is such a viable tactic. If you don't create lots of chances, then you're not gonna score a lot of goals. A team that creates 6 clear-cut chances per game but has mediocre finishing is probably gonna be more successful than teams that only create 2 or 3 clear cut chances but has good finishers.

Ultimately the top teams are gonna have both good creators and finishers, though. At the highest level both are equally important and difficult. But if I was the manager of a midlevel team and was offered either a great finisher or a great creator, I'd take the latter any day of the week.
I reckon you've got that backwards.

Since you're midlevel and won't be facing parked buses, wouldn't you go for a great finisher to finish the average amount of chances you'd create at a greater rate? Whereas at the top you'd need a great creator to consistently break down the walls of bodies you'd face week in week out.
 

MU655

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In a way, he is right: fewer goals are scored than chances are created.

Creating chances for a team is easier than scoring when you look at it like that.
 

gibers

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Depends on the assist and it depends on the goal scored.

Are we talking about the final action for both ie finishing and the assist motion or the events surrounding them?

A player beats 4 men and crosses a ball to the box for an open net tap in. The assister did most of the work.

A player does a square pass to another player in the centre of the field and the player with the ball goes on to dribble 5 players and score.

It really depends on the assista and the goal but in general, i'd saying scoring is harder, which is why great strikers sell at a premium.
 

11101

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So you don't consider that it's part of the goal creation?
Not really, not on the part of the scorer anyway. Think of Cavani's run for the Villa goal. The glancing header was easy, the skill came in getting to that position in the box unmarked. I wouldn't call that creating.

I also think it's changed a bit over time. Two decades ago a striker did a lot more individual work and commanded an appropriate price. Now the team behind the striker does more of the work, with the striker being the finishing touch. Consequently, it's been a long time since an outright number 9 held the world transfer record.
 

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Neither is easier, they're equal and dependent on one another. That said, I would say there are less great goalscorers than there are creative players currently.
 

stefan92

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I don't think there is a universal answer to this. But I do believe that it might come down a bit to the mentality of the players if they think it's easier to assist or to score, and I am not surprised that Fabregas and Owen seem to disagree here.

A shot at the goal is definitely the end of the line. When you take a shot, you take responsibility for your team to end the attacking move and either score or lose the ball. You have to be ready to take this risk and you sometimes see that a player is not ready to do this (situations where you ask yourself: Why did he try to pass? Why did he not just tap it in?).

Or in other words, who assists tries to keep possession, who tries to score is giving possession away willingly. That's why strikers are much more in the focus of the people and are more heavily criticised when the fail. You always have a massive outrage if a forward misses the empty goal, you never have that when a playmaker misplaces an easy pass to a defender.
 

OleBoiii

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Since you're midlevel and won't be facing parked buses, wouldn't you go for a great finisher to finish the average amount of chances you'd create at a greater rate? Whereas at the top you'd need a great creator to consistently break down the walls of bodies you'd face week in week out.
Even if you don't face a parked bus it's hard for midlevel teams to create good chances consistently. There's a lot of chaos and sloppiness in the play. Having a calm presence that can make the other sloppy players better is gonna be more useful. If a striker makes a bad run, a good creator can still adjust to it and create a decent middle-ground solution. A good finisher still needs to get the ball consistently in or around the box to be useful. Also, the opponent will often park the bus once they're in the lead.

It's the same at the lower levels. If I watch two lower level teams play, it's typically the team with the best creator/attacking midfielder that wins. The best player on lower level teams are almost always central midfielders, now that I think about it.
 

JPRouve

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Not really, not on the part of the scorer anyway. Think of Cavani's run for the Villa goal. The glancing header was easy, the skill came in getting to that position in the box unmarked. I wouldn't call that creating.
Why wouldn't you call that creating? The run is part of the creation phase, getting to that position is in my opinion part of the creation not the scoring action, the scoring action is the striking or first touch plus striking.

PS: I'm not questioning your opinion but just wondering what separates our views.
 

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Interesting convo taking place on twitter between Fabregas and Owen.

I think creating chances is harder.


This debate speaks to the changes in the perception of what is important in football and what is not. So often I see people say things nowadays along the lines of ‘dribbling isn’t important’ or ‘dribbling isn’t effective’.

There’s a lot more talk about ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’ and when people use those words, they generally mean ‘goals’. The notion that a lot of things have to happen before the scorer can tap the ball in seems to have been completely lost by this football illiterate generation.

Back in the day, no one would dream of saying something like ‘Romario is a better player than Diego Maradona’ (unless they were very biased). I honestly think that if they both played today, it would be a debate, thanks to the cluelessness of peeps now.
 

Eli Zee

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The scorer who puts himself in a position to score is also creating the chance. The notion that only the guy on the ball is creating the chance is very wrong and sadly very extended among Internet fans.
Of course the scorer has to be in the position and that's part of it too.. but it's more often than not harder to create the chance than to finish it, in my opinion.
 

11101

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Why wouldn't you call that creating? The run is part of the creation phase, getting to that position is in my opinion part of the creation not the scoring action, the scoring action is the striking or first touch plus striking.

PS: I'm not questioning your opinion but just wondering what separates our views.
If you call that the creating phase then where do you stop? You could argue the shot itself is part of the goal creation. For me the distinction is what creates the chance vs. what creates the shot. One player could do both but not usually.

I edited my earlier post to say two decades ago a striker did a lot more individual work and commanded an appropriate price. Now the team behind the striker does more of the work, with the striker being the finishing touch. Consequently, it's been a long time since an outright number 9 held the world transfer record.
 

JPRouve

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If you call that the creating phase then where do you stop? You could argue the shot itself is part of the goal creation. For me the distinction is what creates the chance vs. what creates the shot. One player could do both but not usually.

I edited my earlier post to say two decades ago a striker did a lot more individual work and commanded an appropriate price. Now the team behind the striker does more of the work, with the striker being the finishing touch. Consequently, it's been a long time since an outright number 9 held the world transfer record.
I told you where I stop. :D
 

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Which players are more expensive? Goal scorers or creators? There you have the answer.
 

OleBoiii

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I think 'creating' and 'scoring' each can be broken down into 3 parts:

Creating
1. Vision: seeing the opportunity
2. Timing: deciding when to release the ball
3. The actual pass

Scoring
1. Positioning: getting into the right position
2. Body-adjustment: adjusting your body for the shot
3. The actual shot

__________________________

Comparing them point by point, I'd say it goes something like this:

1. Vision vs Positioning: on average they are equally difficult, but 'vision' has a much higher skill ceiling. The best position is generally more obvious than the best pass.

2. Timing vs Body-adjustment: the latter is easily more difficult. Not only do you need balance and timing, but you also might have to out-muscle defenders.

3. Pass vs Shot: like I said in another post: the goal doesn't move. Scoring a goal is mainly about positioning and body-adjustment. The hardest part is done when you get to the actual shot. A pass on the other hand, can be highly tricky. Again, it's all about the skill ceiling.

TLDR; creating is a little harder, imo.
 

JPRouve

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Which players are more expensive? Goal scorers or creators? There you have the answer.
It's actually a tougher question than you think. Creators are rarely sold in their prime by top clubs unlike goalscorers. For example the transfer market has never seen the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Scholes, Totti or Giggs. You can interpret it as they are so valuable that their clubs never entertain the idea of selling them or they are undervalued by other clubs. Now the exceptions like Zidane, Di Maria or Neymar have gone for as much money as the very best goalscorers.
 

OleBoiii

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It's actually a tougher question than you think. Creators are rarely sold in their prime by top clubs unlike goalscorers. For example the transfer market has never seen the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Scholes, Totti or Giggs. You can interpret it as they are so valuable that their clubs never entertain the idea of selling them or they are undervalued by other clubs. Now the exceptions like Zidane, Di Maria or Neymar have gone for as much money as the very best goalscorers.
Not to mention that the best goalscorers are sometimes good creators as well. These days, the most expensive players aren't center forwards or attacking midfielders, but wide fowards who can create and score.
 

SAFMUTD

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It's actually a tougher question than you think. Creators are rarely sold in their prime by top clubs unlike goalscorers. For example the transfer market has never seen the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Scholes, Totti or Giggs. You can interpret it as they are so valuable that their clubs never entertain the idea of selling them or they are undervalued by other clubs. Now the exceptions like Zidane, Di Maria or Neymar have gone for as much money as the very best goalscorers.
Besides transfers, look at the top of the most valuable players there are mostly wingers.

How long has it been before Lewa actual 9 was regarded as the best in the world?

Most of the more valuable players are wingers who I think enter into the creative catalog.

Weather is easier to score or create I think it's hard to say, but the market seems to value more the creators than the scorers so I'd say that's a good metric.
 

Henandez14

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Any suggestion of weighting goals and assists equally is wrong for me.

Also, no matter how brilliant an assist is, it’s pretty much always the run that makes it.

Lastly, the mental requirements of creating a chance and taking a chance are on a whole different level. As the goalscorer, the buck stops with you. As the creator, you are (quite literally), passing the buck.

Even a ‘simple’ penalty is far more demanding, especially in the right context. There is no cross or pass that will have the same pressure as Bruno’s 98th minute, after the final whistle, last kick of the game penalty against Brighton. There is no cross that David Beckham ever put in where he would have felt greater pressure than the pressure he felt standing over the last minute free kick to score himself against Greece.
And that run could be made by the scorer or the assister. You failed to consider that.

Otherwise, it's a really pointless thing to argue. Football is nuanced and each action has to be taken into context. In the context of the tactics in vogue today, where most teams try to work the ball into the box (and the other team consequently loads the box, looking to counter) assisting is more difficult. The reverse could be said of 20 years ago.
 

Henandez14

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In a way, he is right: fewer goals are scored than chances are created.

Creating chances for a team is easier than scoring when you look at it like that.
That's because every goal results from a chance but not every chance results in a goal. Ie it can't be any other way. So saying that is disingenuous. The logic falls apart once you imagine more goals being scored than chances created(where would the extra goals come from?)
 

Henandez14

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Not really, not on the part of the scorer anyway. Think of Cavani's run for the Villa goal. The glancing header was easy, the skill came in getting to that position in the box unmarked. I wouldn't call that creating.

I also think it's changed a bit over time. Two decades ago a striker did a lot more individual work and commanded an appropriate price. Now the team behind the striker does more of the work, with the striker being the finishing touch. Consequently, it's been a long time since an outright number 9 held the world transfer record.
And I would like to add, that's why an out an out number 9 is so rare these days. And why league winners and both UCL finalists got there without playing one
 

11101

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Which players are more expensive? Goal scorers or creators? There you have the answer.
Crespo was the last proper number 9 to hold the world record. Everybody since then has been at least as much creator as goalscorer.
 

Physiocrat

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I think 'creating' and 'scoring' each can be broken down into 3 parts:

Creating
1. Vision: seeing the opportunity
2. Timing: deciding when to release the ball
3. The actual pass

Scoring
1. Positioning: getting into the right position
2. Body-adjustment: adjusting your body for the shot
3. The actual shot

__________________________

Comparing them point by point, I'd say it goes something like this:

1. Vision vs Positioning: on average they are equally difficult, but 'vision' has a much higher skill ceiling. The best position is generally more obvious than the best pass.

2. Timing vs Body-adjustment: the latter is easily more difficult. Not only do you need balance and timing, but you also might have to out-muscle defenders.

3. Pass vs Shot: like I said in another post: the goal doesn't move. Scoring a goal is mainly about positioning and body-adjustment. The hardest part is done when you get to the actual shot. A pass on the other hand, can be highly tricky. Again, it's all about the skill ceiling.

TLDR; creating is a little harder, imo.
Good take
 

Demyanenko_square_jaw

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There's too much variance in both to easily compare, both can be quite simple in execution and still get things done at the highest level.

I think midfielders have moved towards a simpler, more collective approach to creating overall, while forwards have got more versatile. Most of the top creative players of this recent era like Modric, De Bruyne, Kroos are quite streamlined and unflashy in style, have one or two types of pass or passing approach they really favour for their creativity and that is tightly integrated into the system. the virtuoso ball dominant creative mid/10 has become a lot rarer.
 

tomaldinho1

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Well it depends how the assists are measured of course but all statistics and sample sizes aside then in a game of football if the number is the only measure then you’re probably right.

Obviously you have to look at it in context. The goals scored is higher maybe because of pressing defenders (defenders assist = no assist I assume) then creating the chance for yourself.

If everything had an equal degree of difficulty then you would be right but obviously it doesn’t.

You can’t really analyse it statistically in the true scientific way, the best way to do this is for 10 football experts to watch a game over the course of the season and rank the assists and goals out of 10 by way of difficulty considering everything we usually consider, opposition difficulty, skill level etc.
The issue for Owen's statement is that an assist can't exist without a goal at the end of it, so it inherently can never be more common than a goal. How you decide which is 'harder' is realistically impossible.
 

dal

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The issue for Owen's statement is that an assist can't exist without a goal at the end of it, so it inherently can never be more common than a goal. How you decide which is 'harder' is realistically impossible.
Yeah he kind of shot himself in the foot there :lol:


Anyhow having played football At a very decent level I think it’s obvious that it is much harder to assist then score a goal.

I mean look at Mahrez, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling, it’s is technically much much much harder to be them than it is to be a centre forward like Jesus or Torres. They look to assist or second assist.

You put the worlds best forwards in city’s team and replace the above with average joes the won’t score much, you put an average joe up front with these creators and you score a TONNE of goals.
 

Demyanenko_square_jaw

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Anyhow having played football At a very decent level I think it’s obvious that it is much harder to assist then score a goal.

I mean look at Mahrez, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling, it’s is technically much much much harder to be them than it is to be a centre forward like Jesus or Torres. They look to assist or second assist.

You put the worlds best forwards in city’s team and replace the above with average joes the won’t score much, you put an average joe up front with these creators and you score a TONNE of goals.
I think this is downplaying a forwards skillset and what you would see is the average joe getting marked out of games most of the time and squandering the vast majority of chances they do get , assuming you're talking about them trying to play at premier league and Cl level.
 

El Jefe

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Which players are more expensive? Goal scorers or creators? There you have the answer.
The answer for me is goal scorers although hybrid players will cost the most as seen with Neymar and United's version of Ronaldo.

There's a reason why Mbappe cost what he did and also a reason why Haaland is valued at a higher price than Sancho. Gareth Bale went for a record fee because of his goal scoring too.

The truth is the market went crazy after the Pogba transfer then completely lost all sense after the Neymar transfer. Transfer values made a lot more sense before those two transfers.

Goal scorers
Ibrahimovic to Barca - £40m + Eto'o
Bale to Madrid - £85m
Cavani to PSG - £55m
Aguero to City - £40m
Higuain to Napoli - £35m
Torres to Chelsea - £50m
Falcao to Monaco - £51m
Diego Costa to Chelsea - £32m
Suarez to Barca - £75m
Villa to Barca - £32m

Creators
Sneijder to Inter - £14m
Fabregas to Barca - £30m
James to Madrid - £63m
Mata to Manutd - £40m
Ozil to Arsenal - £42m
D.Silva to City - £24m
KDB to City - £55m
Hazard to Chelsea - £36m
Isco to Madrid - £25m
Di Maria to Manutd -£63m
Eriksen to Spurs - £13m
Cazorla to Arsenal - £10m
 

eire-red

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It's an argument that is never going to have conclusive evidence either way.

However, down the years, I think goal scorers have been the more valuable, and generally, teams with world class finishers have dominated.

I'm thinking Lewandowski, Ronaldo, Messi (although he perfectly fits both), and further back you can pick any amount of traditional strikers who were the focal point of any successful team.

Historically, prolific goal scorers have sold for the most money, and the pressure to be the main goalscorer for a top club is more tangible in my opinion. But there's no right or wrong answer I don't think, just a matter of opinion.

Personally, I value a player like Kane over a player like De Bruyne, but of course the value of one is dependent on having the other in the team at the end of the day. Still, on the margin, if I only had the budget to buy one, I'd buy Kane.