Thursday morning sees Sky Sports present a list of (supposedly) the definitive top 10 performers in the Championship so far this season.
‘Newcastle are dominating the Sky Bet Championship, but the stats suggest it’s Barnsley skipper Conor Hourihane who’s the star player in the second tier.
After the Magpies became the first team to reach the 40-point mark this quickly since Mick McCarthy’s Wolves back in 2008, it’s fair to say that most are of the opinion that Rafa Benitez boasts the league’s best players.
Nevertheless, while the league leaders are on a superb eight-game winning streak at present…their success is owed to the collective rather than one star man. Indeed, a look at the player ratings leaderboard shows that not a single Newcastle man is among the top 10 at present…’
Top 10 Rated Championship Players After 17 Matches:
1 Conor Hourihane (Barnsley) 7.83
2 Anthony Knockaert (Brighton) 7.78
3 Lewis Dunk (Brighton) 7.68
4 Tom Clarke (Preston) 7.63
5 Pontus Jansson (Leeds) 7.59
6 Christophe Berra (Ipswich) 7.53
7 Andy Yiadom (Barnsley) 7.51
8 Marc Roberts (Barnsley) 7.47
9 Kyle McFadzean (Burton) 7.47
10 Alex Baptiste (Preston) 7.45
The ratings (out of 10) above 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 10 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 17 matches these ratings have three Barnsley (currently 15th) in the top eight and not a single Newcastle player in the Top 10, whoscored surely have to be worried about their credibility.
The Jonjo Shelvey non-inclusion is particularly bizarre, he is at the heart of pretty much everything that has helped put Newcastle on 40 points (Barnsley on 22…), yet finds himself rated behind all of these other Championship performers…?
This is the top six Newcastle players at the moment, according to whoscored:
2 Jonjo Shelvey 7.40
4 Yoan Gouffran 7.32
5 Chancel Mbemba 7.28
6 Matt Ritchie 7.27