Is Ciaran Clark worthy of the Toon?

Since news broke last night that Newcastle United had met the release clause of Championship rivals Aston Villa’s Ciaran Clark, many fans have commented that the player appears to be universally dismissed as a liability by his current employers supporters. Understandably this raises concerns about his ability to add genuine depth of quality to the back line of NUFC. As a result I have set out to compare his stats with those of severl other players in order to establish if the words of many Villa fans rings true, or if he will actually be a shrewd signing.

So how it will work is simple. Ciaran Clark will be directly compared against Jamaal Lascelles, Chancel Mbemba and Fabricio Coloccini based on their average stats per 90 minutes completed in the Premier League last season. John Stones will be added into the mix just to give us an idea of where our defenders are compared to a mid table Premier League defender currently being touted for a move to Manchester City somewhere in the region of 40 to 50 million pounds. For every field, 10 points goes to the winner, 7 for second, 5 for 3rd, 3 points for 4th and zero for last place. Lets get started then.

Goals scored: Both Mbemba and Stones failed to score last season, meaning they share 4th place with 3 points each. In third is Coloccini with 0.04 per 90. 2nd place goes to Clark with 0.06 per 90 and winner by some margin is Lascelles with 0.15.

Chances created: Coloccini and Mbemba tie for 4th on 0.12. Winner is Clark on 0.25. Second is Stones on 0.19 and 3rd falls with Lascelles on 0.15.

Pass Completion: An important field here, mastered by John Stones with 89%. As you might expect Fabricio Coloccini performs well on 83%. Jamaal Lascelles shows he is neat and tidy with 80%. whilst there is not lot to separate Mbemba and Clark with 77 and 76% respectively.

Aerial Duels: There is huge contrast in this one, with a whopping 29.3% separating first and last place. Lascelles is crowned victor here with 76.36%. Bringing up the rear is Mbemba with… have you worked it out yet?! A shocking 47.06% for a CB. In 4th is Coloccini with a marginally better 49.23%. 2nd for Stones on 63.75 and third place earnt by Clark with 61.54%.

Take-on totals: 10 points for Stones with 74.19%. 7 points for Clark on 29.23%. 5 points for both Mbemba and Coloccini winning 66.67%, leaving poor Lascelles pointless on a measly 60%.

Total Duels won: This is another area where you want your CB to dominate. Everton’s Stones does just that with 63.26%. Showing how not to win a battle is Coloccini with a very poor 46.67% of battles won. Lascelles is no pushover, winning 59.34%. Clark is next up with 55.13% and Mbemba is fairly weak again with 51.82%.

Tackles won/lost, average per 90: Congolese Mbemba finally shows us what he bring to the table, with an average of +0.46. Coloccini performed poorly with -0.47. Stones did well on +0.17. Clark managed -0.25 and Lascelles was not great with -0.39.

Fouls committed vs Free kicks earnt, averages: So does the player draw more fouls than he gives away? Stones does, with +0.48 per 90. Coloccini balanced out on zero, which is not a bad thing. Clark averaged -0.19 for 3rd place. Next up is Mbemba with -0.28 and in last place is Lascelles with -0.62 falling far behind his rivals.

Defensive errors: Very few made by Coloccini, with 0.04 per 90. Clark again performs well with 0.06, Mbemba manages 0.09, Stones 0.13 and Lascelles 0.15.

Defensive errors leading to goals per 90: Both Coloccini and Clark made no fatal errors last term, earning them 10 points each. Joint third is Lascelles and Mbemba with 0.06 whilst Stones proves to be most error prone with 0.1.

Yellow cards: Who is most likely to be banned due to cumulative cards? I have not included red cards because they were very rare (only 2 all season between all 5 players). Clark likes a card with 0.37 per 90. Mbemba managed 0.15. Stones had 0.1 whilst both Lascelles and Coloccini kept their noses clean with 0.08.

Blocks: Coloccini managed 1.14 per 90. Stones performed well with 1.13. Lascelles did 1.01, Clark had 0.81 and Mbemba 0.77.

Clearances: Ciaran Clark is a monster here with 8.27. Coloccini managed only 4.28. Stones had 4.47. Lascelles did OK with 6.04 and Mbemba scored high with 7.27.

Interceptions: This is the last category. Mbemba was the the best reader of the game here with 2.96 per 90. Clark was a close 2nd with 2.92. Coloccini averaged 2.4, Lasclees 2.17 and Stones only 1.81.

Total Points: As you might imagine, John Stones is in demand for a reason and he tops the billing here with a mighty 87 points. Jamaal Lascelles came in at 4th place with 68 points. Despite Coloccini’s decline, he still managed 75 points. Now prepare to be shocked. Many said Chancel Mbemba was one of our better players last season. Well the stats say otherwise. He was by far the weakest of the above 5 defenders, managing only 60 points overall. Now Villa fans think they are flogging Newcastle a ‘duffer in Ciaran Clark’ and claim they are committing daylight robbery by taking 5 million pounds from the Magpies. The stats say othrwise though. He came in with a very strong performance, netting 81 points and earning 2nd place – well above the existing Newcastle defenders.

It is clear that the Irishman is partial to a yellow card, but he is a strong overall defender that will enhance Newcastle’s back line and add real competition and strength in depth for the first time in an absolute age. Villa fans should be crying into their cornflakes at the thought of losing this player and giving him a barrage of abuse all over social media should hopefully only push him further out the door and into the warm Geordie embrace.

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About Shamrock

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

118 thoughts on “Is Ciaran Clark worthy of the Toon?

  1. Kimtoon:
    Sharpy, yep pretty sure a few would have to go too. Reckon , Sissy and Tiote could go and I still think Thauvinwill go out . The Sissy cash should cover a couple in.

    Kim – yeah, I think Rafa will be smart enough to keep a few quid back for Jan too, just in case we need a addition or two for the 2nd of the season push.

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  2. I think we only need a striker now.

    I am pretty sure about who will start in defense and attack on Friday but there are a lot of players who could play midfield. My guess is Diami and Ritchie will start but then there will be 2 from:

    Shelvey
    Colback
    Anita
    Aarons
    Saivet
    Tiote
    Hayden

    My guess is therefore:

    Selz

    Janmaat MBemba Lascelles Dummett

    Ritchie ???? Diame ????

    Gayle Perez

    Away from home you probably play safe with Anita and Colback to fill the midfield slots.

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  3. icedog:
    i thought OM had no money now they want Thanvin and Saivet in double deal

    Well Thauvins Mrs wants back to France so I can see him going there.

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  4. Marseilles are a sleeping giant so somebody will buy them soon. They have a big fan base and did you see that stadium in the Euros.

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  5. I bet if Shelvey doesn’t start the first 2 games that a certain pineapple chunks eating Cockney will put a bid in for him.

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  6. icedog:
    i thought OM had no money now they want Thanvin and Saivet in double deal

    Ice – what a great sale that would be mate – I don’t see either of those boys having a future with us

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  7. Sharpy17: Ice – what a great sale that would be mate – I don’t see either of those boys having a future with us

    i agree mate but i dont think Saivet has had a fair shake yet but Rafa see him everyday so will know best

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  8. I see WHU are looking to loan Santon for a season – I thought Pards might have snapped him up like.

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  9. icedog: i agree mate but i dont think Saivet has had a fair shake yet but Rafa see him everyday so will know best

    Ice – yeah that’s the thing. While we’ve not see much of Saviet, Rafa has saw enough of him to go and get Hayden who has played a lot more through pre season than Saivet.

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  10. Ross McCormack deal will cost Villa 14 mil with add-on ime pleased we didnt pay that for a player coming up 30,imho he is at his level and would be of no help to us in the PL,he may do well in the ccc but thats it

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  11. Exactly. At 29-years-old this is very steep but I guess if he gets them up it will be worth every penny.

    icedog:
    Ross McCormack deal will cost Villa 14 mil with add-on ime pleased we didnt pay that for a player coming up 30,imho he is at his level and would be of no help to us in the PL,he may do well in the ccc but thats it

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  12. Andy Magpie: you sure Villa haven’t bought McCormack to KEEP them up rather than GET them up?

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  13. I think Ross will get them plenty of goals, but not sure how they would cope if he got injured which is always a possibility in a guy his age and with the amount of games you play at this level.

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  14. Kimtoon:
    I think Ross will get them plenty of goals, but not sure how they would cope if he got injured which is always a possibility in a guy his age and with the amount of games you play at this level.

    common sense mate,spot on

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  15. If McCormack scores 20 odd goals and gets Villa back up then he will be worth more than £14m for them. Significantly weakens Fulham though so I have no idea why they’ve sold him.

    Still think we will need another striker so we will have Perez, Mitro, Gayle and one other. Allows us to let Armstrong go on loan and sell Riviere or give him away…

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  16. Villa were kidding themselves making a late move for Diame. If it had been a Premier League club, I might have been worried, but why would he choose a Championship club in disarray over working with Rafa and being odds-on to be promoted?

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  17. Well if Real have dropped interest inSissy how about us offering him too Liverpool in a straight swap for Benteke . Klop has already told Benteke he has no future their and his stock has dropped so much maybe we could get him . Rafa is a manager that could get him back too his best and he would rip most defenders a new one in this division when in form .

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  18. Shamrock:
    Sissy to west from or Palace would be hilarious. Either way, can he just get gone now?

    Sham , I said yesterday, if two people deserve each other its Sissy and Pards

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  19. Great post! Great detail and analysis.
    I have a few concerns about the methodology however. I think the weighting for each category needs to be different. Is Passing and Goalscoring really as key to a defenders skillset as Tackling and Interception?

    I think with the categories weighted differently you get a better look at the players as “defenders”.

    Mbemba for example excels and Tackling and Interceptions, he also tends to run with the ball a bit more and pass forward a bit more often. His blocking is comparatively low, however I recall him making several KEY blocks and clearances last season. His is the shortest of the bunch and is therefore not great in the air by comparison. If paired with a towering defender, however, this can be offset.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Great article!!!!

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  20. Sham meant to say well done very interesting and we’ll researched article, as usual ? Don’t know about everyone else but I enjoy an article with the facts /stats included.

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  21. Blacksmith: I agree with you on weighting of the various attributes. It does give an insight of how they stand, although I might argue with the rankings because of the weighting issue. Still, food for though and excellent work by Shamrock.

    I see there is a new thread.

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  22. Big Dave:
    See Ice I’m quicker than the club though saying that the club are a hell of a lot quicker than what they were in seasons gone by .

    😆 😆 😆

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