It’s fair to say our solid start to the season has had a lot to do with hard work and Opta stats have revealed the top 10 Newcastle United players who have covered the most ground in our opening seven games this season.
Surprisingly, as a team we are ranked 14th out of 20 for distanced covered by Premier League clubs this season. It seems strange given we have worked tirelessly to get results 4 of our 7 games and with 10 men against Spurs, however we have tended to sit deep and stay compact, meaning there isn’t actually a great deal of ground to cover until we spring a counter attack.
Here are the 10 NUFC players who have covered the most ground for us so far this term:
1. Matt Ritchie: 78.48km
No surprise. Ritchie works tirelessly week in week out at both ends of the pitch. One of the hardest working wingers in the Premier League and an invaluable asset to our team.
2. Ayoze Pérez: 73.63km
A potential surprise given several fans have questioned just what he offers. Granted he doesn’t do enough going forward, but these stats show just how much he runs.
3. Mikel Merino: 69.59km
Yet more proof of what a superb signing he looks. Particularly impressive given he’s played one less game then most of these in the top 10. He runs himself into the ground each week, doing as much good work off the ball as he does on it.
4. Jamaal Lascelles: 69.51km
He’s been a revelation so far this season, featuring in every game and leading by example.
5. Ciaran Clark: 67.95km
Surprising perhaps to see both centre-backs feature given we’ve rarely been stretched? Clark has done a solid job so far however.
6. Christian Atsu: 66.30km
He’s been one of our most threatening players on the counter and I’m surprised he isn’t higher up given he’s often been our out-ball on the counter.
7. Isaac Hayden: 56.37km
The combative midfielder doesn’t shirk a tackle and is a good athlete. Might however struggle to get back into the team if Shelvey and Merino click.
8. Javier Manquillo: 51.54km
The highest ranked player to have only played in 5 of our 7 games so far. Likes to carry the ball forward and looks better than some may have anticipated, filling in capably at right-back and left-back thus far.
9. Joselu: 46.29km
He’s had his problems in front of goal but has always put himself about up top. Has featured in every game since Spurs.
10. Chancel Mbemba: 43.99km
Has filled in well at left-back on several occasions this season. A player who often looks to break out of defence with the ball.
Is there any surprises here for you? Let us know your thoughts.