Chelsea may be blessed with a goal machine in Costa, superb magicians such as Hazard and Willian, and a back-line that would rather watch Gemma Collins do a striptease than concede, but according to the latest data released by the EA Sports Performance Index the real reason they are looking invincible this term is their desire to run that extra mile.
Only three Premier League players have broken the hundred mile barrier for the cause this season and perhaps unsurprisingly two are to be found in Mourinho’s group of foot-soldiers. What does raise an eyebrow is those players aren’t the relentlessly scampering Hazard or the youthful verve of Oscar but rather in their two ‘holding’ midfielders Fabregas and Matic.
This offers up several intriguing questions.
Has Mourinho done away with the notion of needing a player stationed in front of the back four? It certainly suggests he is once again one step ahead tactically and dispensing with an anchor as the Blues sail to the title.
Indeed is the role of the ‘holding’ midfielder now redundant? It was at Chelsea remember where the role first came to prominence with the masterful application of Makalele.
Does these findings prove that the widely held belief that it’s the full-backs who are the lung-busters of a team is a fallacy? Bear in mind that three others on the list are also perceived to be covering midfielders.
You’ll find the list below and I’m sure you’ll agree it is fascinating reading.
Special mention must go to the third player to break the hundred mark in Jake Livermore while a brace of Newcastle players reveals Pardew’s team worked hard for him throughout his rocky spell earlier this year.
1/ Fabregas (Chelsea) 101.96 miles
2/ Matic (Chelsea) 101.22
3/ Livermore (Hull) 100.12
4/ Sun-Yueng (Swansea) 99.05
5/ N’Zonzi (Stoke) 97.26
6/ Sigurdsson (Swansea) 96.80
7/ Schneiderlin (Southampton) 94.28
8/ Janmaat (Newcastle) 93.68
9/ Colback (Newcastle) 93.62
10/ Tadic (Southampton) 93.39
Data courtesy of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Official Player Ranking Index of the Premier League. Pick, manage and play as your own team of stars in EA SPORTS FIFA 15 Ultimate Team. Find out more at http://www.easports.com/uk/