A list of the ‘best passers’ in the Championship has just been published.
The top eight features a Newcastle player but you may be a little bit surprised by his identity.
Step forward, Jack Colback.
Yes, despite being seen as the weakest link in the team by many Newcastle supporters, the midfielder is actually rated as the ‘best passer’.
This is of course where statistics can only tell you so much.
The best passer ratings relate to the players having the best average pass completion in the Championship.
So when you look at the list below, you can see it is dominated by defenders and defensive/negative midfielders such as Jack Colback.
It says it all when our old friend Scott Parker is rated third best – a decent player when he was at Newcastle but very frustrating in terms of being too negative. Parker having the infuriating habit whereby instead of driving forward, he would instead go around in circles with the intention of making sure he kept the ball.
Of course Jonjo Shelvey is the best passer in Newcastle’s team but is never going to feature in a list like this, when continually trying defence opening balls such as the one for Murphy’s goal on Saturday,you are always going to have a fair few that get cut out.
Same with other players such as Matt Ritchie, his raking 60 yard ball to set up the winner at Brighton would have been rated a failure in these stats, if a Brighton player had just got the slightest touch on the ball.
One interesting thing was that in the full top 20 ‘best passer’ lost the Express published, eight of them were Fulham players. Newcastle play them at home on Saturday and it suggests they will be very much possession based and that has stood them in good stead recently, second in the Championship form table behind Newcastle (see HERE).
Players with best pass completion rates in the Championship:
93% Tom Cairney (Fulham)
90% Tim Ream (Fulham)
89% Scott Parker (Fulham)
87% Danny Williams (Reading)
87% Jonathan Hogg (Huddersfield)
87% Paul McShane (Reading)
87% Dale Stephens (Brighton)
86% Jack Colback (Newcastle United)