It is a pretty special effort by Mohamed Diame to make it into the top five Championship dirtiest players.

The stats relate to how many fouls have been committed so far this season and the NUFC player has made it into fifth place, despite starting only 20 of Newcastle’s 36 Championship matches.

Maybe the biggest surprise in the list is how many strikers feature, as you’d normally assume it to be central midfielders and defenders to monopolise it.

Maybe it is indicative of the second tier, with strikers expected to do far more work in breaking up attacks by the opposition, compared to life in the Premier League.

Mohamed Diame has plenty of detractors and going forward he has undoubtedly been a major disappointment this season, apart from the odd game or two.

However, maybe Rafa Benitez sees the Senegal international playing a vital role in other ways, getting his foot in and disrupting the flow of Newcastle’s opponents as they try to get United on the back foot. Especially as the vast majority of Mohamed Diame’s fouls/tackles happen further up the pitch in non-threatening positions where free-kicks are concerned.

The fact that he is by far Newcastle’s ‘dirtiest’ player, it is commendable that despite 52 fouls Mohamed Diame has got away with picking up only two yellow cards – one every 26 fouls!

An ideal situation really, a player capable of making it difficult for the opposition to get their football flowing by repeatedly fouling/winning tackles but who usually gets no punishment.

Diame also looks to have improved this particular skill, as last season with Hull in the Championship he picked up 10 bookings

Championship players to commit the most fouls this season, as compiled by the Express:

73 Glenn Murray (Brighton)

64 Jordan Hugill (Preston)

63 Marley Watkins (Barnsley)

60 David Davis (Birmingham)

52 Mohamed Diame (Newcastle United)

50 Sam Gallagher (Blackburn)

50 Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff)

49 Yann Kermorgant (Reading)

48 Fernando Forestieri (Sheff Wed)

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  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Not worth a nut staggers around the pitch like The Mummy, can`t pass, can`t tackle can`t head a ball. take what you can for him in the summer

    • It’s bobbi fleckman

      @leazes, that’s not really the case and if you managed to see the game (especially away from home) you’d realise what he brings to the table

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        i do see the games He`s Krap

        • It’s bobbi fleckman

          I thought you refused to go?

          • Wor Monga

            He doesn’t go!…anybody who just criticises everything about a club, and it’s players for the sake of it, like him and a few others on here…never actually go to watch them play…they only want to argue the toss with those who do go, and make believe they are pals with those other like-minded critics!!!

      • Anita kick up the Hoop

        Tell me what he brings to the table.. in the “10 roll” he’s terrible, lazy and has zero football brain.

        • It’s bobbi fleckman

          He plays a Rafa 10 role, defends from the front. makes himself available as an ‘out’, works back to tackle and passes quickly. It’s not going to be Beardsley stuff but it’s effective in this team, especially when playing counter attacking football.

          • Damon Horner

            players like Diame are the reason “terrible players” have the leagues best defensive record, it may not be a PL tactic but to reduce thinking time both defensively and offensively for those less talented has worked a treat.
            Personally I would much rather he contributed this way than to try and score or create and potentially muscle out Gayle, Shelvey or Ritchie from their respective goalscoring and creative roles.

  • MadMag83

    Rafa likes his teams to defend from the front.

    • Anita kick up the Hoop

      I’d rather they attack from the back

      • Wor Monga

        Yeh!…a bit like Rotherham…eh!!!

        • Anita kick up the Hoop

          No, a bit like most good sides you can ever remember

          • Wor Monga

            I’d rather just think about the Toon doing what they can to achieve promotion this season with the players they have, and leave the tactics to Rafa…we’re not Chelsea!!!

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            And we nevertheless will be with attitude like that!
            You build a team around an ethos, a style of play .. you then add better and better players to that ethos through buying and selling and hopefully development.. but if you think you are going to get promoted then all of a sudden build a successful team without foundations you are in for a huge wake up call .. this team has no premiership quality in it AND are playing in a weak division without a style that dominates possession of the ball .. give premiership teams that much possession and you will get destroyed. Without a total rebuild you need an established ethos/style.. what is ours?

          • MadMag83

            I agree with the ethos comments but if you can also apply that same theory to the current tactics, as in if Newcastle get promoted then they are likely to add to better players who will be more adept at playing the current system.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            What is our playing style? Kick it, compete for the second ball, give possession away, compete to win it back and repeat

          • Wor Monga

            You better get yourself a colour TV or start going to the match…cos I think you’ve been watching the mackems, sunshine!!!

          • It’s bobbi fleckman

            Rafa is pragmatic, he was with Liverpool, he was with Napoli and Real madrid. He’s not going to have us playing Keegansesque football. I’d love it to have Keegan back playing with flair but we don;t have Keegan and for now Rafa is getting results.

            We play in the last 3rd and we don;t waste possession. on the subject of Diame, I think he’s a very good player in the system we play. Hatem Ben Arfa may have got us out of our seats but Rafa would never have a Ben Arfa in his team.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            We do waste possession.. we give the ball away practically as soon as we get it.

          • Wor Monga

            No! to build dream teams like those that you’re talking about will take, time, a serious amount of money, several transfer windows, and more importantly being in the PL…at the moment Rafa doesn’t have any of those things, but he is working on that last requirement…not wasting his time dreaming about any ‘nicer’ style of playing…or waving a magic wand and making a top 5 side, either!!!

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            Of course it will take time.. but you should be able to see the outline of it now! .. Keegan replaced Thompson with Sellars then Ginola buying better and better players but all had to fit the clear system .. Bobby Robson did the same with the likes of Gallagher but his team shape and ethos was always clear.. even when he had only bare bones you could see where he was trying to go.. this team hasn’t got a style and all I can see ahead is either a massive rebuild or a massive wake up call against better opponents

      • MadMag83

        Even Barcelona, who play from the back, defend from the front. It can force the opposition to go long or it may force a mistake and lead to a goal scoring opportunity.

        • Anita kick up the Hoop

          Obviously they defend from the front .. you can do both.. we don’t

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    He must make a nice pot of tea or something… it can’t be anything he does with his football boots on!

  • Wor Monga

    It’s far too simplistic labelling a player as ‘dirty’ just on the number of fouls by him…without also taking into account the number of red and yellow cards, he’s been given…

    …Diame, and Ayoze are expected to be competitive for us in both attacking and covering roles in the M/F…and doing that in crowded midfield areas means getting some stick, and also putting yourself about a bit…The Championship is tougher than the PL with much more allowed, and that’s why the very talented Ayoze looks lightweight, and much too easily forced off the ball…

    …Mo is doing the job that Rafa expects him to, and judging by our goal difference, and results he’s been effective enough doing it so the number of cards only suggests that in games there’s been the odd mistimed challenge or coming together that hasn’t gone any further…

    …a real dirty player will always pick up cards and bans…by going over the ball with studs up, using elbows, tackle from behind, and we’ve seen nothing of that nature from Mo!!!

    • Peter Robson

      Most of the people on here don´t seem to see that mate, it´s obvious the role Rafa has him for and as you pointed out (as I have on a lot of occasions) he´s doing it right or we wouldn´t have such a healthy goal difference !!!

      • Anita kick up the Hoop

        Use your eyes for yourself .. you defer everything to the manager .. it shows a total lack of footballing knowledge on your part.

        • Wor Monga

          …when that football manager has been at the top of the game for as long as Rafa has then I’d rather defer to his judgement than somebody like yourself who has absolutely no track record of coaching or organising any trophy winning professional football club…and who’s only idea would be to throw everything into attack, willy nilly…that has never worked at any level of the game!!!

  • Rich Lawson

    Hard but fare ! Bit of an enigma,rmbr tellin my pal he was useless b4 Preston cup game and havin to eat my words as he scored twice while we watched,not one for the prem’ with us tho ?

    • It’s bobbi fleckman

      If you tell your mate that he’s useless, what do you say to your enemies?

      • Rich Lawson

        Don’t generally talk about football with the wife !

  • Scooter

    he`s a waste of space

    • Peter Robson

      So we can assume you´ll be sending in your shopping list for next seasons transfers then !!! If Rafa leaves in the summer then we´ll be in your capable hands !!!

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        if you rate Diame as a footballer then your judgement must be brought into question, he is abysmal

      • Anita kick up the Hoop

        Sheep have no opinions .. football fans always used to… seems now though that “leave it up to Raffa” is the mantra of the switched off

  • 1957

    It’s an amazing stat, he must commit a foul every time he gets near an opponent. If he was bought with more than this season in mind we are in serious trouble, his EPL goals and assist record is abysmal.

    If he had been a Carr buy it would have rightly been held up as a example of how low the club had sunk, instead we have some supporters and his cheerleaders in Chronicle telling us what a vital contribution he makes. As far as I can see he’s only played so many games due to the lack of a viable replacement in Rafa’s system.

    Needs to move on in the summer, if we can find a buyer…

    • Wor Monga

      Totally disagree with this…we’ve seen what he’s capable of like early on at Huddersfield he won the ball just outside our area, and ran almost box to box surrounded by 3 defenders, one hanging onto him, and laid a killing pass on for Murphy, to hit on target, and force a good save…
      …he’s always positioned very deep, and is closely monitored…because teams know what he can do, it’s just a pity some of the Toon’s own supporters don’t!!!

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        He`s Krap

      • 1957

        The occasional run or decent pass doesn’t make him a decent player, even Colback can do that. It noticeable that some players started poorly but in recent weeks have upped their performance, Dummett (who I don’t rate at all) being a prime example, Mo hasn’t or perhaps more accurately can’t.

        I have to completely agree with the Moose he is …

      • Anita kick up the Hoop

        Athelete not a footballer .. like so many African nationals… lack the ability to slow the game down and use a footballing brain.

        • Wor Monga

          This is…absolute rubbish bordering on racist bigotry…African players cover the whole spectrum of the game, and it’s coached into them like any other player they’re not born that way!!!

          • 1957

            A lot of African players are sublimely talented but never reach their full potential because of the poor facilities and poor level of coaching they receive at a young age. The best ones are picked up as young boys and brought to European clubs (many in France) and developed there.

  • Damon Horner

    I find it interesting other than Ciaran Clark not many Newcastle fans have any time for any of our other players without defensive roles yet we sit with the best defensive record in the league, either standards are too high from our fans for this level or they just don’t understand football away from attacking.

    • Anita kick up the Hoop

      We see the flaws in playing without possession.. against the dross at this level and with the tiny bit extra quality our war chest bought us in the summer you get away with it .. long term playing without the ability to keep the ball is sucide.

      • 1957

        When/if we get promotion adopting the same tactic of conceding possession will see us fighting relegation. I don’t know the actual stats but I suspect at EPL level you will rarely pick up any points with less than 40% possession.

        • Wor Monga

          …You’ve got us relegated before we’ve actually been promoted!…wow…that’s got to be a first in the long history of the Football Association…any supporter would probably need some professional help to cope with that sort of depressive negative thinking!!!

          • 1957

            Didn’t say we would be definitely be relegated just the negative tactics we’ve employed would leave us in a relegation battle. We have a Championship quality squad and a few quality additions in the summer won’t make us a mid table or higher team If looking at the present situation at the club and being realistic about our prospects is negative, guilty as charged.

            I’m in less need of professional help than delusional souls, like yourself, who seem to think everything in the Rafa garden is rosy, we will be fine next season with a few quality additions and staggeringly Diame is a good player.

          • Damon Horner

            The standard of player is higher so although it could be effective tactics, it’s hard to imagine it would work regularly for a full game, Rafa won’t be naïve enough to not feel we need to be better equipped for next season, definite relegation with this team is far from the certainty it is painted at times though.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            The same exact people who backed Pardew until the last possible minute are the ones who can’t see just how average our Swiss is now and more importantly how our style of play makes them even worse.

        • Anita kick up the Hoop

          You don’t need stats if you know what your watching .. stats are for Allerdyce

          • 1957

            I agree.

            Supporters at home games are accused of not creating any atmosphere, but they are responding to what they see the type of football being played is hardly exciting

      • Damon Horner

        That’s what I am working out, do we judge our Centre Backs on their ball retention abilities? or as the team with the smaller possession, should it not be a better measure of them being judged how they contain the opposition possession?

        I know playing off the ball is not yours and other fans preferred method also.