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Newcastle United Sign Sunderland’s 12th Man

6 years ago
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While there is a bit of fun being had with Newcastle taking Jack Colback from Sunderland, especially with no fee involved, what United are actually getting by signing him has been lost a little bit.

From everything I pick up, Colback is a steady player and goes about his job with little fuss, but isn’t a star player.

However, do the stats back this up?

The whoscored rating system is used by numerous sections of the football industry; including media, bookmakers and clubs themselves. Their system automatically analyses over 200 raw statistics to calculate the player 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.

Whoscored ranked every Sunderland match last year and at the end of the season these were the average player ratings over the course of the campaign;

7.34 Alonso

7.05 Mannone

6.91 Diakite

6.86 Bardsley

6.83 Johnson

6.82 Cuellar

6.81 Ki

6.8 Wickham

6.79 Borini

6.77 Cabral

6.73 O’Shea

6.70 Colback

So basically, independent analysis suggests that Colback was Sunderland’s 12th best player. On top of this, in their 38 Premier League games, on 13 occasions a Sunderland player was man of the match with the highest rating of all players who took part, Colback didn’t pick up any of those man of the match awards.

When comparing the Sunderland ratings to the Whoscored Newcastle ratings, there’s another interesting stat;

Colback’s 6.70 average rating would have also put him 12th in Newcastle’s season long ratings, behind 11th placed Ben Arfa on 6.75 and just in front of Mapou on 6.67.

I think the message is that Newcastle have picked up a Premier League standard player on a free but we have to accept what he is, a steady player who in reality might not be much better than what we have already got.

I’d like to think if there was any ambition at St.James’ Park, then the target would be to bring in other higher quality players which would raise the overall level and make players like Colback occasional starters rather than nailed on first teamers.

Sadly, I think I know what the reality is going to be.

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