Who do you think have been the best 20 Championship players this season?

Well whoever you would pick, I bet it doesn’t bear much relation to the one below published on Wednesday morning by Sky Sports.

A list of 20 that includes just one Newcastle player and as it happens, he isn’t even getting into Rafa’s first eleven at the minute!

The five strikers selected in the list, doesn’t include any of the four top scorers – no Wood (26 goals), no Abraham (23), no Murray (22) and no Dwight Gayle…despite 22 goals at a rate of one every 97 minutes played.

As I said above, only one Newcastle player yet two from Fuham, two from Reading, two from Leeds, two from Preston and three from Villa!

The list breaks down to top five keeper, five defenders, five midfielders and five forwards.

To have Ciaran Clark, Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle not even making the top five in their categories…Newcastle fans had really better start worrying for next season!

The ratings (out of 10) published below by Sky Sports, 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 20 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 45 matches these ratings produce a Top 20 like that, whoscored surely have to be worried about their credibility.


Ali Al-Habsi (Reading) – 7.02

Daniel Bentley (Brentford) – 6.87

Karl Darlow (Newcastle) – 6.85

(Sky Sports write up, obviously not realising that Rafa has now dropped Karl Darlow for the last two matches..

‘When Newcastle signed Matz Sels in the summer it seemed that Darlow would be second choice and while that was the case early in the campaign, the 26-year old is very much the club’s number one. With 13 clean sheets in 34 appearances, it seems unlikely that the club will be in for another keeper this summer.‘)

Chris Maxwell (Preston) – 6.82

Rob Green (Leeds) – 6.78


Lewis Dunk (Brighton) – 7.61

Pontus Jansson (Leeds) – 7.57

Shane Duffy (Brighton) – 7.56

Marc Roberts (Barnsley) – 7.54

Tom Clarke (Preston) – 7.47


Anthony Knockaert (Brighton) – 7.61

Tom Cairney (Fulham) – 7.38

Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) – 7.35

Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa) – 7.30

Massimo Luongo (QPR) – 7.29


Yann Kermorgant (Reading) – 7.41

Tom Lawrence (Ipswich) – 7.17

Fernando Forestieri (Sheffield Wednesday) – 7.14

Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) – 7.14

Sone Aluko (Fulham) – 7.11

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • Rich Lawson

    Sky seem to have an inherent dislike of this little northern club which has the temerity to challenge the south for honours !

    • Wor Lass

      Rich – the list is pap but it`s not Sky`s list. They`ve just published someone else`s data. They`ll most likely publish another one next week.

    • Jimblag23

      Ahh yes, the constant challenging for honours. I’ve usually got a nose bleed we’re so high in the table.

  • Paul Busby

    How did Richie not get in the list x’D

    What a joke.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Prutton will have compiled the list

  • Lord

    I can’t believe Tom Cairney only scored a 7.38, he should have got 7.42 at least.

    • Jimblag23

      You know nothing about football, he was definitely 7.43

  • MadMag83

    It’s easier for your keeper to get recognition if he’s having to make several saves per match!

  • East Durham Mag

    Who gives a toss we got promoted. They can all go to hell.

  • SH.ER

    How can you question Whoscored’s credibility? really?
    they are the best website in terms of football stats
    also if you look at the ratings of our players?
    everyday as soon as i see Clark is the BEST rated Newcastle player & Dummy is the LAST rated player I know that i will always trust Whoscored ….

  • Damon Horner

    At the end of the day this celebrates the consistent strengths of individuals and we have always been an efficient and productive team, it doesn’t mean much really.

  • Rotterdam82

    The Mag really is obsessed with Villa – yet another moaning headline (2nd time this afternoon !!) To be fair, Hourihane is there because of his Barnsley performances. Kodija is one of the best strikers in the League, injuries and African Cup aside he’d have scored 25 minimum. Jedinak is the best defensive midfielder in the division but sadly he plays alongside the likes of Lansbury !! Damon’s post sums it up, individuals don’t make a team. UTV

  • Big Al 1967

    The only table to care about is the one that says we have been promoted. Nothing else matters!! Move on

  • Andy Mac

    You could argue that if the same stats are being used to rate all players then its a reasonable comparison ? As Big Al suggests I’d rather have 11 average “7” players and win the league. Let Villa have their day in the sun ? ;-)