Stat's a Fact - Stew's back on the goal trail

We look at Stewart Downing's six Barclays Premier League goals this term
Downing's strike against Everton was typical of his goals this season

Stewart Downing might have had to wait until his 36th game as a West Ham United player to find the net for the first time, but the next 42 have proven to be far more fruitful.

After notching once in his debut season with the Hammers, he has contributed with six goals this term, scoring at a rate of better than once every seven games.

It is quite a turnaround for the 30-year-old, who has been more used to creating rather than scoring prolifically during his time at the Boleyn Ground.

His credentials as a creator are plain for all to see – only Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and David Silva have provided more key passes in the Barclays Premier League this term, while no player in the top flight has delivered more accurate crosses and corners than the No11.

However, it is his goals which have caught the eye this season, particularly before Christmas when he struck four times to propel Sam Allardyce’s men up towards the top of the table.

His strike against Everton, therefore, was a welcome return to personal form, with his goal bearing more than a passing resemblance to those from earlier in the season.

The No11 compared his goal from the weekend to the one he scored at Crystal Palace in August

An analysis of his goal positions shows that four – against Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Leicester and Everton – of the six have been very similar in nature, left footed shots from the right channel, either just inside or outside the box, and finding the inside netting in the far corner of the goal.

All four goals are the perfect example of the England man’s ability to cut in from the right flank, buy a yard of space from the defender, and shoot accurately to give the goalkeeper little chance of saving.

Six goals in a season is the third best return that Downing has produced in his career, so Hammers fans will be hoping for more of the same from one of their key playmakers as they look to take another step forward in 2015/16.

Head to our Match Centre for more in-depth stats from Saturday's game