Bristol Rovers: An in-depth look at the Gas’ 21/22 player statistics - Player of the season revealed

Newcastle United's Elliot Anderson celebrates scoring a goal for loan club Bristol Rovers this month. (Image: Dan Mullan) Newcastle United's Elliot Anderson celebrates scoring a goal for loan club Bristol Rovers this month. (Image: Dan Mullan)
Newcastle United's Elliot Anderson celebrates scoring a goal for loan club Bristol Rovers this month. (Image: Dan Mullan)
The nominations of the end-of-season awards will soon come for Bristol Rovers, but who would you choose?

We’re at the business end of Bristol Rovers’ 2021/22 season with still plenty to play for.

The Gas are right in the mix of the League Two promotion battle and currently occupy a play-off spot, though the automatics are still in reach.

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Joey Barton’s side at one point of the season were 19th in the table but now the club are sixth, with varying factors as to why the team are doing well.

The players have to do the business on the pitch and since the turn of the New Year, they have done that.

Aaron Collins, who at one point of his career, couldn’t buy a goal in the blue and white quarters, is now the focal point of the attack.

Whilst new names have emerged on to the scene such as Luca Hoole, who has cemented his place in the back four.

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His defensive partner James Connolly is another, he joined from Cardiff City in January and has adapted well to his first experience of senior level football.

Given the massive turnover of players that saw 22 players depart the Memorial Stadium in the summer, there isn’t much of an old guard at the club, but Antony Evans has been one player that has shown.

Given in a few weeks time, there will be discussions on who wins the end of season awards such a Player of the Year, then it’s time to discuss who deserves that accolade.

With the help of WhoScored.com, a website that provides data on various football leagues, we look at who they believe is Rovers’ best performing player this season.

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Antony Evans has been displaced by Newcastle United loanee Elliot Anderson. (Image: Pete Norton/Getty Images) Antony Evans has been displaced by Newcastle United loanee Elliot Anderson. (Image: Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Antony Evans has been displaced by Newcastle United loanee Elliot Anderson. (Image: Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Player of the season

With the requirement being that the players have featured more than 10 times for the club this season, here is your Player of the Year, so far.

He may have been a late arrival to the club, but deadline day signing Elliot Anderson is now ranked the best player in the squad, with a rating of 7.38.

The 19-year-old has been a revelation since joining and is no longer one of the best kept secrets in the division.

The three goals and two assists, as well as the two man-of-the-match awards, has him ranked as the top player, and one of three with a rating of seven or more.

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Anderson is followed closely by the player who sat at the top of the list for a long time, in his midfield partner Antoy Evans. Evans has 16 goal contributions from 30 appearances this season, evenly split between eight goals and eight assists. The 23-year-old, who is out of contract at the end of the season, has a rating of 7.22, so he’s got a bit of work to do if he wants to displace Anderson.

And in bronze, who will be a contender for the Young Player of the Year, is Stoke CIty loanee Connor Taylor. The 20-year-old has been at the club for the entire campaign and has been a consistent figure in the defence this season, earning a rating of 7.08.

January signing Ryan Loft is unfortunately the lowest ranked player with more than 10 appearances, with a lowly rating of 6.11. He’s started two matches since joining from Scunthorpe United and has been limited to eight substitute appearances and is yet to score or assist a goal.

Bristol Rovers characteristics

Identity is important in football, as coaches try and practice what they preach when playing football. Some teams specialise in playing free-flowing passing football whilst other teams want to go long.

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From a Rovers point of view, fans could probably be pleased in what they’ve seen from their team this season. They’ve kept plenty of clean sheets recently and they’ve scored goals, though some games have been too close for comfort.

There are a number of strengths from Rovers that WhoScored have noticed and what comes out on top is shooting from direct free kicks. That’s something which is evident as Evans on a number of occasions has scored from the set piece.

They also create chances through using through balls, which also coincides with their counter attacks strengths. There have been plenty of times this season, where in the last few moments, a midfielder like Evans has broken and Collins has finished.

Finishing scoring chances is their last strength but there have been games where Joey Barton has wanted more from his side, as goal difference could be a deciding factor.

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So what about weaknesses? Well there are four listed and one that stands out is avoiding fouling in dangerous areas, as at one point in the season they conceded the most penalties in the league.

As well as conceding set pieces, aerial duels, counter attacks, defending set pieces and stopping opponents from creating chances is another. Their last weakness and it is apparently their worst trait is avoiding offside.

Bonus 

A total of nine formations have been used this season but perhaps not the most surprising is that the 4-2-3-1 is the most regularly used (9) as that is the one that currently accommodates the current batch of players.

Second to that was the 3-4-2-1 formation which was used eight times, though we’ve seen the back of that formation since the start of the New Year.

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Top goal scorer Aaron Collins, who has 11 goals, has made the most appearances with 38 appearances with nine of those being off of the substitutes bench.

The aforementioned Evans has eight assists this season, with Luke Thomas, Sam Nicholson and Sam Finley the closest to him on four. Evans has been named man of the match four times, the most a Rovers player has had.

Tenative midfielder Finley has received the most yellow cards with 10, though fortunately he has passed the cut off for a two-game suspension. First-team captain Paul Coutts is close behind him and has been shown eight yellows.

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