Newcastle United’s excellent 11 match unbeaten run has sent NUFC to the top of the table and the player ratings from fans point to five players who have been mainly responsible.

After every match we ask Newcastle fans to give us marks out of 10 for every player and the interactive system takes all those marks and turns them into ratings for each player.

Since the turn of the year there has been 12 Championship matches. starting off with the defeat at Blackburn before the 11 games unbeaten, in that time tens of thousands of marks have been awarded by supporters after the various games, so over a period of time we believe it gives a decent snapshot in terms of who is performing…and who isn’t.

These are those 12 most recent matches and after each result there is the player who was the fans man of the match, then in brackets the two players who were rated second and third highest in each game.

As you will notice, one name stands out way ahead of the crowd:

Reading 0 Newcastle 0 Ciaran Clark (Darlow & Dummett)

Huddersfield 1 Newcastle 3 Matt Ritchie (Clark & Darlow)

Brighton 1 Newcastle 2 Karl Darlow (Atsu & Dummett)

Newcastle 2 Bristol City 2 Ciaran Clark (Shelvey & Atsu)

Newcastle 2 Aston Villa 0  Ciaran Clark (Darlow and Shelvey)

Norwich 2 Newcastle 2 Jonjo Shelvey (Clark & Yedlin)

Wolves 0 Newcastle 1 Ciaran Clark (Lascelles & Darlow)

Newcastle 1 Derby 0 DeAndre Yedlin (Ritchie & Diame)

Newcastle 2 QPR 2 Jonjo Shelvey (Ritchie & Darlow)

Newcastle 4 Rotherham 0 Matt Ritchie (Yedlin & Clark)

Brentford 1 Newcastle 2 Ciaran Clark (Darlow & Gayle)

Blackburn 1 Newcastle 0 Ciaran Clark (Darlow & Gayle)

As you can see, Ciaran Clark has been man of the match in six of the 12 Championship games since the turn of the year, second highest mark on two occasions and once third highest. He has been outstanding and that counts for pretty much all season, not just since new year.

Man of the Match

6 Ciaran Clark

2 Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey

1 DeAndre Yedlin, Karl Darlow

Rated Second or Third best

6 Darlow

3 Clark

2 Dummett, Atsu, Shelvey, Yedlin, Ritchie, Gayle

1 Lascelles, Diame

Overall Totals (Rated in top 3 players)

9 Ciaran Clark

7 Karl Darlow

4 Matt Ritchie Jonjo Shelvey

3 DeAndre Yedlin

2 Dummett, Atsu, Gayle

1 Lascelles, Diame

Dwight Gayle has obviously been injured most of this time or else he would definitely feature higher in this 12 game period but as you can see, five players stand out.

Ciaran Clark and Karl Darlow (give or take a couple of wobbles) outstanding at the back, with Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey the prime movers at the other end of the pitch. Then DeAndre Yedlin whose pace allows him to do it at both ends.

Throw in Dwight Gayle as well and these for me are the six players who are definitely good enough to take their chance in the Premier League next season (if promoted), the rest of the team/squad still having it to prove.

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  • Azza

    For me dummit has been very impressive lately, really making left back his own

    • Wor Lass

      You`re not allowed to suggest such a thing to Mag staff writers, m8!

  • Wor Monga

    Well…it’s just a bit of fun anyway, and Clark has made a vast improvement in our defence, but those results have to be put down to nothing more than a complete defensive unit working closely together, and the only time it wobbled was (H) QPR (Darlow out of position) (A) Norwich (Darlow mis-clearance) (H) Bristol C (Darlow out of position) and without those 3 bad errors it would have given us 6 more points, but nobody would say that Darlow hasn’t been one of this season’s best players for us…

    …Same for the M/F, and attack it’s been a complete team effort, and that kind of togetherness and understanding will see you right at any level of football!!!

  • Wor Lass

    A fairly interesting bit of analysis but I notice you just managed to make sure Paul Dummett didn`t get too much credit! Being fit for a sustained period for once in his career, he`s confounded his critics and shown that he can play at left back.

    • Scooter

      Dummett`s playing well, he`s steady & reliable

      • Wor Monga

        Ah, I see a new picture of your favourite, 2 stroke putt putt, and similarly for the first time I have to agree with your comment!!!

    • 1957

      I’m not a fan of Dummett but he has upped his game recently.

    • Damon Horner

      It may be two dimensional but I always look at it that we do not concede many from that side and it could be permanent luck or it is for a reason, he isn’t flash by any means but it looks like he does an effective job for what his role is and what he adds to the team balance, along with Hayden, that allows the freedom for your Yedlin’s and Shelvey’s.

    • Wor Monga

      I’ve never had the lad down as a sick note either…have I been missing something?

      • Wor Lass

        I haven`t looked up any stats but he always seemed to pick up soft tissue injuries – thigh, calf or whatever – in previous seasons that kept interrupting his progress. A bit like Saylor.

  • 1957

    It would be interesting to see who appears in the bottom of the ratings, I suspect Diame would feature heavily.

    • Wor Monga

      Why’s that? when the majority of us can see quite clearly that he’s doing the job that the coach wants him to do, and he’s doing it well enough…even though you’d probably rather see somebody like Aguero, Hazard or Ozil in there to get us out of the Championship…that’s not going to happen…is it?!!!

      • 1957

        You must be Diame’s agent…

        I suggest looking at the lowest rated players because Graham Porter has written a piece about the best and it would be interesting to see if Mo’s appearance in these stats was the result of a one off performance. If he doesn’t appear it might prove your point. My recollection is he frequently gets low ratings in the Mags post game rating nonsense, so I’m not sure the majority of contributors on this site would agree with you.

        I would happily take any of the names mentioned, or indeed any decent footballer, but the transfer window has closed now!

  • Damon Horner

    Not so much an indication of performance as such but of fans favourites and amusement.