It is worth noting, Darren Fletcher, Lucas and John Obi Mikel would have been my choices from Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea respectively, but none have started more than 12 games this season which distorts their results slightly. However, I ran a quick check, to gauge their own tackling success, to see if they measured up to Fellaini’s tally.
Again, his stunning success rate is not threatened, although Lucas has a similarly rapacious appetite when it comes to tackling. Given a full season, he would perhaps topple Fellaini’s overall tackle count, although seemingly still at a less efficient rate.
Watch an Everton game and it is remarkable just how much Fellaini does wrestle the ball back for his team. Just last weekend against QPR, the briefest match highlight reel would still show him robbing Adel Taarabt, before calmly dumping the ball at the feet of Steven Pienaar, who then finds the eventual goal scorer, Royston Drenthe.
Adding these results to the fact he has won the ball 127 times in midfield – a remarkably high number – it questions whether there is actually a better ball winning midfielder in the Premier League? Thinking these numbers could be a reflection of the top teams having a greater share of possession, I sought out a few more ball winners, from less successful teams.
As is depicted, it seemingly has little relation to a team’s possession and again the numbers remain hugely complimentary to Fellaini. Nobody is anywhere near as potent or effective in the tackle, and his knack of repeatedly coming up with the ball in midfield is further enhanced. Further research shows Fellaini’s haul of 127 is in fact currently bettered by nobody in the entire league. He is way ahead of Song (110) and Youssuf Mulumbu (108), who are next on the list.
Next Page: Revisiting the Fellaini, Tiote, Barry, Parker and Song comparison…
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Categories: Arsenal (NN), Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, EPL, EPL Index Featured Article, EPL Index Statistical Comparisons, EPL Opta Stats, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester Utd, Newcastle Utd, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur
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