Who do you think have been the best 20 Championship players this season?
Well whoever you would pick, I bet it doesn’t bear much relation to the one below published on Wednesday morning by Sky Sports.
A list of 20 that includes just one Newcastle player and as it happens, he isn’t even getting into Rafa’s first eleven at the minute!
The five strikers selected in the list, doesn’t include any of the four top scorers – no Wood (26 goals), no Abraham (23), no Murray (22) and no Dwight Gayle…despite 22 goals at a rate of one every 97 minutes played.
As I said above, only one Newcastle player yet two from Fuham, two from Reading, two from Leeds, two from Preston and three from Villa!
The list breaks down to top five keeper, five defenders, five midfielders and five forwards.
To have Ciaran Clark, Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle not even making the top five in their categories…Newcastle fans had really better start worrying for next season!
The ratings (out of 10) published below by Sky Sports, are generated by ‘whoscored.com’ and as well as Sky Sports, this system (ratings) is used by numerous sections of the football industry; including media, bookmakers and clubs themselves.
Every match in all the major European Leagues is automatically analysed by whoscored.com, with over 200 raw statistics used to calculate each player’s ratings and are weighted according to influence in the game – taking into account the area of the pitch and its outcome for each important event.
Here at The Mag we used to regularly feature the whoscored ratings from individual Newcastle matches, until the ‘unusual’ results became far too regular.
Statistics will never tell the full story as you need to use the benefit of what you actually see with your own eyes as well – but this Championship Top 20 is surely laughable.
Yes Newcastle’s biggest strength is the overall power/ability of the team/squad but within that there are obviously outstanding individual performers.
Naturally you can have the odd individual playing very well in a struggling team but when after 45 matches these ratings produce a Top 20 like that, whoscored surely have to be worried about their credibility.
Ali Al-Habsi (Reading) – 7.02
Daniel Bentley (Brentford) – 6.87
Karl Darlow (Newcastle) – 6.85
(Sky Sports write up, obviously not realising that Rafa has now dropped Karl Darlow for the last two matches..
‘When Newcastle signed Matz Sels in the summer it seemed that Darlow would be second choice and while that was the case early in the campaign, the 26-year old is very much the club’s number one. With 13 clean sheets in 34 appearances, it seems unlikely that the club will be in for another keeper this summer.‘)
Chris Maxwell (Preston) – 6.82
Rob Green (Leeds) – 6.78
Lewis Dunk (Brighton) – 7.61
Pontus Jansson (Leeds) – 7.57
Shane Duffy (Brighton) – 7.56
Marc Roberts (Barnsley) – 7.54
Tom Clarke (Preston) – 7.47
Anthony Knockaert (Brighton) – 7.61
Tom Cairney (Fulham) – 7.38
Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) – 7.35
Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa) – 7.30
Massimo Luongo (QPR) – 7.29
Yann Kermorgant (Reading) – 7.41
Tom Lawrence (Ipswich) – 7.17
Fernando Forestieri (Sheffield Wednesday) – 7.14
Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) – 7.14
Sone Aluko (Fulham) – 7.11
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])