3. 2019/20 Player Ratings – Attack

Danny Mullen

Overall Rating 6.2

Best Month: October 7.0

Appearances 24

Goals 4

Assists 2

Man of the Match Awards: 0

Like a few players this season, Mullen’s score has been impacted negatively by a number of factors; his inclusion in the League Cup campaign, the fact he never had a decent run in the side at any point during the Premiership season, but most significantly, the number of times he has been used from the bench, which was ten times from his seventeen league appearances.

In total Mullen played only 643 minutes of the Premiership season, meaning he was on the park for just 24% of our entire league campaign, a statistic most supporters will be baffled about as Mullen has proven on multiple occasions he is capable of producing big goals when it really matters for the club.

During the only semblance of a fair crack at establishing himself as a starter for Saints in the autumn, Mullen scored twice and made one assist in the period between September and October when he started six matches out of seven fixtures, however he was often played on the wing or deeper centrally in support of Obika during this time, neither of which are his best position.  

Mullen’s two goals during this period were excellent however, and his clincher against St Johnstone is a candidate for goal of the season, one of many outstanding efforts the former Livingston man has scored for Saints in his two-and a-bit years at the club.

Unfortunately, Mullen’s race in a Saints shirt now looks to be run, which is a shame as I believe he is a good squad player to have and I can only wish him very well in the future.

I’m sure should Danny ever return to play against the club he will be given a good reception, for a few minutes at least.

Cody Cooke

Overall Rating 6.0

Best Month: December 6.6

Appearances 10

Goals 1

Assists 0

Man of the Match Awards: 0

In a similar way to Mullen, the average score of Cooke isn’t really an indicator of his season as the forward featured so little in the Premiership campaign due to a combination of being injured as well as seemingly not being a consideration for Jim Goodwin, so subsequently didn’t start any matches in the league at all this season, with his six appearances from the bench yielding only 78 minutes of action.

In the first of these matches against Hamilton Accies in late December, Cooke came off the bench for the last 24 minutes of the game, with Saints leading 1-0 and on course for their first away points of the season. The big striker played very well; getting caveman/nightclub bouncer Alex Gogic sent off and being very influential even when he moved to left wing, therefore it was surprising to see him only gain another 54 minutes of action for the rest of the season, and similar to Mullen again, Cooke’s time is up at Saints.

Cooke was of course the last V-9 academy boy left at Saints, and the final of Alan Stubbs signings still permanently at the club. He was by the far the pick of these players and improved immeasurably from his first sighting in a Saints shirt back in the summer of 2018.  

There is something likeable about Cooke’s honesty and relentless endeavour however and has proven to be a useful player to have around. The forward could well be a good signing for many Championship clubs like Hearts, meaning he can stay full time having worked very hard to get this opportunity, and nobody would grudge him that.

Jon Obika

Overall Rating 6.9

Best Month: December and March 7.3

Appearances 34

Goals 12

Assists 1

Man of the Match Awards: 4

As a vocal defender of Obika since about September, it pleased me no end to see the goals begin to flow in the 2020 part of the season for the striker as practically everyone sat up and finally noticed what some of us had known for a while; Obika is a very good striker indeed at this level.

Physically, the former Spurs man is a machine. Like Jens Paeslack, but with ability and muscles coming out his ears, Obika can do what many big physical strikers the club has had over the years couldn’t (for example Yardley, Mehmet, Sutton and Higdon) and that is outrun his opponent.

It is accurate to say Obika struggled somewhat at first in the team, however having moved country and been out for a long time injured this shouldn’t have been a surprise, but eventually on his eighth match for the club the forward opened his account for the season with a scissors kick against St Johnstone. Obika has since scored eleven times in twenty-five matches, making his occasional criticism border on ridiculous.

Most of these goals have been scored post winter break, with Obika hitting seven in thirteen appearances including his cameo as Maximus Decimus at Fir Park twice in February where he hammered Motherwell so hard the locals though Margaret Thatcher had been exhumed. Thankfully Maggie remains in the depths of hell however, and Obika continued his scoring streak by outmuscling Hearts defence with all the ease of Mike Tyson knocking down Richard Branson and slotted the ball home to consign Hearts to a likely relegation. If that doesn’t make Obika a hero, nothing will.

COVID-19 has put an end to Obika’s excellent form, where he was likely to hit the fifteen-goal mark for the season. Hopefully we get to see him in a Saints shirt again, as it would be typical of our luck if his two-year contract ran out without football being played, but as we know the world faces bigger challenges.

Junior Morias

Overall Rating 6.4

Best Month: December 7.3

Appearances 29

Goals 2

Assists 0

Man of the Match Awards: 0

Junior arrived in August from Northampton Town with a glowing recommendation from the Cobblers support and predictions Morias could score anything up to 30 goals this season “up there”.

Such foolish comments say more about the arrogance of English football supporters and aren’t a slight on Morias at all considering he has only two goals since then, but if the forward stayed in Paisley for five years it would be unlikely he would score a total of thirty, never mind in a season.

The little forward has done okay in his first eight months at the club however, often used out wide or from the bench when his best football and form has come when he has partnered Obika in a front two, but this set up has been rarely used by Jim Goodwin, possibly as the season required a fight due to the circumstances of him becoming manager and the lateness of most of the new signings.

Morias has all the physical attributes to be a big player for Saints; he is built more like a weightlifter than footballer, making him unlikely to ever be outmuscled by an opponent and has a good turn of pace top go with it, but I don’t think it’s unfair to suggest Junior has not used these attributes to his advantage.

Most fans (including me) believe that Goodwin prefers Morias over Danny Mullen and not for the benefit of the team, but surprisingly the Jamaican has played five minutes less Premiership football than Mullen, and they have identical scoring figures. Both have since been benched for Alex Jakubiak, so it may be that the manager hasn’t been overly impressed with Morias either.

The forward however still has time to prove himself, and in no way can Morais’ debut season be described as a disaster, just a little underwhelming. Next season is a key one for the little Jamaican though should he ever want to avoid playing for a Northampton Town ever again.

Alex Jakubiak

Overall Rating 7.0

Best Month: December 7.3

Appearances 10

Goals 1

Assists 0

Man of the Match Awards: 0

Jakubiak only played 10 matches for Saints and scored just once, however during that same period Jon Obika found the net five times, and I don’t think that is a coincidence as the on-loan Watford man pulls defenders everywhere even from a wide position, which has created room for his fellow forward to exploit.

This unselfish work is sometimes undone however by an over-indulgence when in possession himself, but I’m sure most fans would like to see Jakubiak back at the club again for an extended period to see if he can make a more long-term impact on the team.

Seifedin Chabbi

Overall Rating 6.3

Best Month: March 6.5

Appearances 3

Goals 0

Assists 0

Man of the Match Awards: 0

Arrived unfit from his parent club, but a prolific scorer with Ilkay Durmus supplying the ammunition in the Austrian lower leagues, so was worth a punt. With eyes like a mystical God from Ancient times that are probably insured for billions, Chabbi was something of a mysterious character, and it took six full weeks before we even got to see him on the park.

Nobody could judge the forward on what little we have seen so far though, but he did look useful in the air. I would be surprised to see him back at Paisley, but who knows in these crazy times.