I originally decided to put some statistics together in order to see if Joey Barton this time last year was performing better than our midfielders this year.
However, it was looking like that didn’t have many legs so I decided to look at the statistics of all our centre midfielders and to be honest, I was quite shocked.
Esteban Granero – a boo boys favourite – actually turns out to be able to play football, surprisingly. The former Real Madrid man has the highest number of key passes (44) (a pass that leads to an goal-scoring opportunity), holds the highest number of successful dribbles (19) – with Mbia in second place having less than half of Granero’s total (8).
It gets better for the Spaniard though, apart from Ali Faurlin and Joey Barton, who are currently out on loan, Granero has the highest average pass per game ratio along with the one of the highest pass success percentage.
However, being disposed 42 times is a clear low point as the last thing a team needs to be doing in our position is wasting possession.
Despite Mbia’s chaotic nature, his defensive abilities are a clear asset to the team. He has the highest number of successful tackles, the highest number of interceptions and the highest amount of clearances.
But is there a place for Joey Barton?
The 31 year-old doesn’t really hold any stand out statistics. Yes, he has the highest number of passes per game (52) and also has the second highest number of interceptions (33) but he doesn’t really stand out as a brilliant performer.
Although if you were to ask who would you rather have Ji-Sung Park and Shaun Derry or Joey Barton, I think most would say Barton.
Derry is aging and despite a lot of huff puff he’s now easy to play around (Swansea away). He looks more immobile than ever. If Derry wants to continue playing then by all means he should look for a lower club and I don’t think he would struggle for offers, Huddersfield were rebuked only this week.
However if he is considering retirement I don’t think QPR would do wrong in offering him a coaching role of some type.
The difference in wages between Barton and Park would be minimal and for what they would offer to the team only Barton would really deserve their astronomical wage.
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