With six goals in nine official games since the start of the 2023/24 season, Hwang Hee-chan has been the talk of the town in Football Transfer Tavern, and his manager, Gary O’Neill, was quick to praise him upon his return from A-League action.
O’Neill’s praise for Hwang’s recent goal conversion ratio (the ratio of goals to shot attempts) was unstoppable.
O’Neill spoke about Hwang in a pre-match press conference ahead of the team’s English Premier League match against AFC Bournemouth at Bournemouth Vitality Stadium on Nov. 21 at 11 p.m. in England.
According to the full interview posted on the club’s official website, O’Neill was impressed with Hwang’s goal conversion rate.
“I hope he can maintain his amazing goal conversion rate,” O’Neill said, referring to Hwang as 스포츠토토“Channy.” “Last season he only scored three goals, but this season he has already scored six goals. It’s very encouraging.”
Hwang Hee-chan, who joined Wolverhampton on loan from Leipzig in Germany for the 2021/22 season, made the switch outright last season but remained a “colorless” player with just three goals and one assist in 27 games. According to soccer stats platform Footmob, Hwang’s time per league goal in the 2022/23 season was 376 minutes.
That’s almost 6 hours and 20 minutes of waiting to score a goal. Considering that a soccer match is 90 minutes long, this means that even if he played full-time for four consecutive games, he would still have to wait for a goal.
This season is different for Hwang (Hwang Hee-chan’s nickname). According to Footmob, Hwang has scored five goals in 414 minutes of Premier League action this season (the other goal was in the League Cup), which means he scores a goal every 83 minutes. Compared to last season, his time per goal has dropped significantly.
According to another soccer statistics source, Hooscore.com, Hwang has taken 12 shots on goal in the league this season, scoring five goals. That’s a staggering conversion rate of 45% of his shots on goal.
O’Neill praised Hwang’s positioning skills, saying, “It’s not that he takes a million shots and tries to take one long shot that might or might not work, it’s that he knows how to get into a good position.”
Hwang was also a key contributor to the team’s counterattack against Manchester City in the seventh round of the Premier League on Jan. 1. It was his quick transition and positioning that led to the game-winning goal in the 21st minute of the second half, when he received a selfless pass from Mateusz Cunha and struck a strong, accurate shot from the edge of the box to secure a 2-1 victory.
O’Neill further emphasized that the rest of the Wolverhampton players should learn from Hwang.
“It’s not just Hwang, all the players can get involved in the attack and create goals,” he said. “Pedro Neto opens up the flanks, Cunha disrupts the defense, and Chani finishes.”
“His finishing is very reliable and threatening. She positions herself well,” he said, adding that he would be putting a lot of energy into keeping Hwang alive, saying, “We will work together to find ways to keep her goal conversion rate up.”
Meanwhile, O’Neill will face Bournemouth, the club he managed in 2022/23.
O’Neill proved his tactical prowess by guiding Bournemouth to promotion that season, but was suddenly sacked for unknown reasons. He then took over as Wolverhampton manager after the resignation of Julen Lopetegui and became the club’s firebrand.
“It’s nothing personal,” O’Neill said, “we’re just trying to get the three points.” “It’s not up to me to decide whether I’m going to stay on (at Bournemouth) or not, it’s up to the hierarchy at the club. “I don’t care what happened at Bournemouth, but I only want to talk about Wolverhampton now,” he said, adding that he would focus on his current club.
Wolverhampton and Bournemouth currently sit in 14th and 19th place, respectively. Bournemouth are winless in the league this season with just three draws and five defeats in eight games. They’ll be looking to get their first win at home against Wolverhampton, and will likely push forward in attack. That should open up space in front of Hwang Hee-chan.