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)

  • Paul Patterson

    Kind of meaningless unless the ball goes forwards every now and again. Karl Darlow could walk these stats in future games. Just distribute every ball to the defenders, get it back and repeat. He could come off the field with a 100% pass success but it would mean nowt . .

  • Wor Monga

    The ball has to be passed around the defence…that’s the way it is to allow the team to assume positions, and prepare themselves for a move forward…something like chess, but not quite as boring…and all the teams have to do it…

    …the passes obviously get counted up, and become stats on the net for public consumption…

    …it doesn’t make Colback any better or worse than we think he is…which is immaterial anyhow because Rafa feels he can do the job, for us, and that’s all that matters!!!

  • Double Carpet

    Not really a surprise at all. Only to the nuggets who are only happy when they can pour their ill-informed vitriol on someone.

    All teams need a link player – all the best teams have one. In the past think of Makelele, Deschamps – or for us Batty, or years ago, in Keegan’s first coming, Davie Mc.

    Colback occasionally gives the ball away, but clearly less than others and links the play really well. What he does badly is make daft challenges because he can’t rein himself in. He also doesn’t go on mazy dribbles or score ‘worldies’ (© Merson, P.)

    And he does make forward passes – Perez’s goal in the first minute at Norwich as one example.

  • Delashio

    Its his job to keep it simple and get the ball to someone who can make that killer pass. Whats everyones problem with this?

    • Toon Wolf

      A forward pass occasionally would suffice never mind a killer pass.

    • Martin

      Our problem isn’t the simple passes, it’s his constant fouling and giving away free kicks in dangerous areas where it’s lead to goals. Blackburn away being the one where my patience snapped with him.

  • Wor Lass

    Not the sort of stuff a lot of people on here want to read – better get explaining it away!