Shamrock’s Championship Team of the Year

The official PFA Championship Team of the year featured two Newcastle United players in Dwight Gayle and Jon-Jo Shelvey. There were several names in the team such as Anthony Knockheart that on the face of it, deserve to be there. I have decided to do a stats comparison of the top rated players in their respective position in order to establish which players really were the best performers for the 2016/2017 season.

The rules are as follows: To qualify, a player must have achieved at least 2,500 minutes on the pitch. In order to be considered for a position in my team of the year, the player must also appear in Opta’s Top 10 overall score for the relevant position. I will then break down the player stats relevant to their individual position and compare the results against the rest of the Top 10. This will give us a position-specific Championship top-dog for the season, based on averages per 90 minutes played. The individual stats comparison will be utilised at squawka.com.

Goalkeeper:
Newcastle’s Karl Darlow only placed a mere 8th in the Opta rankings, some 92 points behind 5th placed David Stockdale and therefore does not qualify to be listed for this position. What I found interesting here, was David Stockdale made more saves-per-goal and kept more clean sheets than his peers. However, he also made more defensive errors and more errors that lead to a goal. This suggests to me that he is probably a good instinctive shot stopper, but is lacking in footballing skills. He had his ups and downs, but not steady enough to claim spot in my team of the year.

Results:
1 = Ali Al-Habsi (Reading)
2 = David Button (Fulham)
T3= Robert Green (Leeds Utd)
T3= David Stockdale (Brighton)
5 = Kieran Westwood (Sheff Wed)

Left Back:
This one was difficult because players such as Leeds’ Charlie Taylor and Sheffield Wednesday’s Daniel Pudil did not get enough minutes on the pitch to qualify as having had an integral part to their respective teams’ season.
What I found here, was that Paul Dummett came out on top for clearances and discipline. He is very reliable as a defender, but lacking with attacking productivity.



Results:
1 = Jordan Obita (Reading)
2 = Chris Lowe (Huddersfield Town)
3 = Scott Malone (Fulham)
4 = Paul Dummett (Newcastle Utd)
5 = Jordan Amavi (Aston-Villa)

Central Defense:
This was an intriguing read. Jamaal Lasclles has come in for some criticism this season – and he attempted to vindicate himself at the conclusion of the league by stating that he had been carrying a hernia injury. I could almost accept that excuse IF he had not been shown to be the best in the league at headed duels. If he can leap, he can do everything else? He is an accurate passer of the ball and has a better one-on-one record than his peers. So we know he is imposing and physical, but what surprised me was that his tackle rate stinks and his anticipation is well off par. This indicates to me that he is imposing, passionate and steady, but lacks the intelligence required to reach the upper echelons of the game. Lewis Dunk was steady across the board, but not as steady as Ciaran Clarke, or Leeeds’ Pontus Jansson – who is a behemoth inside his own box and well worth a Premier League signing him up.

Results:
1 = Pontus Jansson (Leeds Utd)
2 = Ciaran Clarke (Newcastle Utd)
3 = Lewis Dunk (Brighton & Hove Albion)
4 = Jamaal Lascelles (Newcstle Utd)
5 = Kyle Bartley (Leeds Utd)

Right Back:
For this one, players such as Leeds’ rising star James Bree, Fulham’s Ryan Fredericks and Newcastle pair Andre De Yedlin and Vurnon Anita did not get enough minutes on the pitch to feature in the Top 5. This time there are a couple of surprises from the teams languishing in the bottom half of the table.

Results:
1 = Matt Doherty (Wolves)
2 = Luke Ayling (Leeds Utd)
3 = Tommy Smith (Huddersfield Town)
4 = Chris Gunter (Reading)
5 = Eric Lichaj (Notts Forest)

Central Midfield:
Another very surprising set of results here. Because this is the engine room, I am looking for midfielders that are the full package. Players were marked against both attacking and defensive stats. Jon-Jo Shelvey made it into the EFL team of the year, but I honestly don’t know why. His pass success rate was one of the lowest of his peers, whilst he also had some of the lowest stats for forward passes, which surprised me. Shelvey did come out on top for aerial duels won though and as we know, featured highly in the assists department. If we are looking for midfielders next season, then I’d suggest there are a couple of bargains to be had in the Championship – all rounders that would be massive value for the money paid. I considered breaking these down into one attacking midfielder and one defensive midfielder, however I’m going for a 4-2-3-1 formation, the attacking midfielder role will be addressed later on.

Results:
1 = Tom Cairney (Fulham)
2 = Conor Hourihne (Aston Villa)
3 = Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion)
4 = Mathew Palmer (Burton Albion)
5 = Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town)
6 = Kevin McDonald (Fulham)
7 = Jon-Jo Shelvey (Newcastle Utd)
8 = Barry Bannan (Sheffield Wednesday)
9 = Danny Williams (Reading)
10 = Stefan Johansen (Fulham)

Wingers/Number 10’s:
A lot of the modern day attacking players are so adaptable across the final 3rd of the pitch that you will often see them deployed in different positions from one game to the next, or even redeployed several times during the same game. Therefore, I have not gone with rigid 4-4-2, because it does not really fit the tactics used by the majority of today’s managers. Some good players failed to make the cut for this one, due to lack of game time. They include Jack Grealish, Alex Pritchard, Floyd Ayite, Lucas Piazon and Yanic Wildeschut. Stand by for this one, because there are some shock results. Matt Ritchie was one of the worst performers for take on’s, duels and discipline for example.

Results:
1 = Fernando Forestiere (Sheffild Wednesday)
2 = Garath McClearey (Reading)
3 = Helder Costa (Wolves)
4 = Anthony Knockheart (Brighton & Hove)
5 = Tom Ince (Derby County)
6 = Sone Aluko (Fulham)
7 = Matt Ritchie (Newcastle Utd)
8 = Callum Robinson (Preston NE)
9 = Yoan Gouffran (Newcastle Utd)
10 = Kamar Roofe (Leeds Utd)

Striker:
There was a lot of competition up front, but in sticking with Rafa Benitez’ preferred single striker policy, only one player will make this season’s starting line up. I have done away with the 2,500 minutes rule here, because it would have wiped out half the league’s top scorers, which is not right! Strikers are paid to score goals first and foremost. Although Dwight Gayle’s fitness is a concern, his overall stats are still the best in the league. Talk of moving him on in the summer should be sidelined, pending a massive offer. He would be very useful in Newcastle’s squad for the forthcoming Premier League campaign.

Results:
1 = Dwight Gayle (Newcastle Utd)
2 = Yann Kermogant (Reading)
3 = Lasse Vibe (Brentford)
T4 = Chris Wood (Leeds Utd)
T4 = Tammy Abraham (Bristol City)

Shamrock’s Championship Team of the Year 2016/2017

About Shamrock

Like everyone here, support Newcastle United. Not the easiest side to feel good about at times, but it's our side!

177 thoughts on “Shamrock’s Championship Team of the Year

  1. kimtoon:
    So we are now linked to Gibbs for the LB slot.

    Kim – I like Gibbs like. He would be a bit risky coz I think he’s had quite a few injuries, but he’s certainly a talented player.

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  2. Lads, broken metatarsal right foot, Hernia operation and a thigh injury he’s had so actually Gayle looks dodgier a bet than Gibbs. All the same I’m not fussed either way if he comes or not. I’m with Georgio in that not many names really excite me other than Siggy .

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  3. kimtoon:
    Lads, broken metatarsal right foot, Hernia operation and a thigh injury he’s had so actually Gayle looks dodgier a bet than Gibbs. All the same I’m not fussed either way if he comes or not. I’m with Georgio in that not many names really excite me other than Siggy .

    Kim – of the LBs mentioned so far, he’d be my preferred choice for sure. I think him on the left and De Yedlin on the right would provide a great attacking option out wide.

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  4. Gibbs has found a new lease of life as a wing back recently. Looks very good. Be suprised if they sold him.

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  5. Papers reckon B’mth are ready to offer Defoe a 3yr deal of £115k per week 😳. He’s all yours you crazy fools.

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  6. shamrock:
    Gibbs has found a new lease of life as a wing back recently. Looks very good. Be suprised if they sold him.

    They are apparently going to sign Kolasinac from Schalke which would see Gibbs go

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  7. Kim – that injury list doesn’t look too bad to me. He’s no kid anymore either.
    Best option for LB that I can think of although I liked the Santon link. Rafa’s probably got 10 others he prefers. I just wish these links to Championship players would go away. The current squad is littered with them already without adding others who need to prove themselves.

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  8. georgio:
    Kim – that injury list doesn’t look too bad to me. He’s no kid anymore either.
    Best option for LB that I can think of although I liked the Santon link. Rafa’s probably got 10 others he prefers. I just wish these links to Championship players would go away. The current squad is littered with them already without adding others who need to prove themselves.

    Yeah not that bad really compared to say Gayles recurrent hammy’s

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  9. georgio:
    Kim – that injury list doesn’t look too bad to me. He’s no kid anymore either.
    Best option for LB that I can think of although I liked the Santon link. Rafa’s probably got 10 others he prefers. I just wish these links to Championship players would go away. The current squad is littered with them already without adding others who need to prove themselves.

    Georgio – not keen on Santon at all. Didn’t really rate him much first time round. If he comes back it would be to keep their lass sweet rather than coz he misses NUFC so badly 🙄

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  10. Ice – I don’t believe it mate. Maybe in July that might happen but 2 days after playoffs – don’t think so.

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  11. icedog:
    so Cairney to put in transfer request to push through a move to the toon

    Ice – I don’t think he would have done that unless there was genuine interest and a solid offer from another club – most likely us.
    Balls to this £20m nonsense though. I reckon £12-15m is a fair price in this market.

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  12. We’ve got 18 players returning from loan. Rafa probably needs to re loan the kids and find new homes for the other 12-13. Riviere? De Jong? Saviet? Nobody will want these guys and they’re on big salaries. Well done Mr Carr.

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  13. georgio:
    Ice – I don’t believe it mate. Maybe in July that might happen but 2 days after playoffs – don’t think so.

    its now being reported in the London press,so summit is happening

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  14. georgio:
    We’ve got 18 players returning from loan. Rafa probably needs to re loan the kids and find new homes for the other 12-13. Riviere? De Jong? Saviet? Nobody will want these guys and they’re on big salaries. Well done Mr Carr.

    Georgio – yeah that’s gonna take some shifting those players – particularly the French lads who didn’t have good loan spells either. I think De Jong may get til Jan to prove his worth though.
    But yeah, lots to move out to create squad space for the incomings

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  15. Guys thanks for the article air time. Much appreciated. Fee free to put one of your prepared threads up as and when.

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  16. So Spurs are now on the same points that won Leicester the league last season. With Chelsea already winners this shows how poorly the so called big clubs were last year.

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  17. Well done, Sham. Would like to have seen Shelvey and Ritchie in there but never mind.

    Kim – The two Manchester clubs and Arsenal have been very poor in the last couple of years. Although I think they will spend outrageous amounts of cahs in the summer to try and re address the balance.

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  18. Is it just me that thinks the media should stop the Bradley Lowery show. Every time I see him the lad plainly looks really tired and very ill. Heartbreaking to see again and again.

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  19. kimtoon:
    So Spurs are now on the same points that won Leicester the league last season. With Chelsea already winners this shows how poorly the so called big clubs were last year.

    Kim – I feel for Spurs like. They have been brilliant the last 2 seasons & got nowt to show for it.
    If players leave there for Man Utd, it’s greed over football IMO

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  20. So I see we are also being linked with Boudebouz from the French league at £8.5m

    Him – or Tom Ince at a similar cost?

    (I know they aren’t the only 2 options, but for the purpose of this question they are) 😉

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  21. georgio:
    Is it just me that thinks the media should stop the Bradley Lowery show. Every time I see him the lad plainly looks really tired and very ill. Heartbreaking to see again and again.

    Georgio – I know what you mean, but I think the family are trying to create as many memories for the lad as possible. It must be heartbreaking to know your child has a terminal illness – but does he die of boredom in a hospital bed, or do what they are doing now?!.

    He is raising money & awareness for childhood cancer & at the same time meeting his heroes.

    I think it’s a horrible call for a parent to make, but I think if I were in their shoes (and god please never let me be!!) it’s memories for them too isn’t it.

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  22. Sharpy17: Georgio – I know what you mean, but I think the family are trying to create as many memories for the lad as possible.It must be heartbreaking to know your child has a terminal illness – but does he die of boredom in a hospital bed, or do what they are doing now?!.

    He is raising money & awareness for childhood cancer & at the same time meeting his heroes.

    I think it’s a horrible call for a parent to make, but I think if I were in their shoes (and god please never let me be!!) it’s memories for them too isn’t it.

    agree mate, it will be taking their minds off what’s to come too, almost a form of denial if you like. Gut wrenching to see his little face looking so tired, wretched disease that it is.

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