Seamus Coleman, James McClean and Joey O’Brien rated among the very best in the Premier League by Bloomberg
Using more numerical wizardry than Lionel Messi’s accountant, this Opta-backed study confirms that three Irish players had very good seasons.
A fascinating report by Bloomberg Sports has been release today. Using a very complex set of metrics, backed by those good folks at Opta (check out the full methodology behind it here) they have ranked the 50 best individual footballers in Europe plus lots of other lists for the football nerd out there.
The big news (well, it is hardly news but) is that Lionel Messi is the best player in the world in their books, with Cristiano Ronaldo second. So far, so normal.
The rest of the Top 50, which you can see here, features lots of Bundesliga stars and a few odd ones like Juventus’ George Chiellini at seven, ahead of the likes of Gareth Bale, Luis Surez and Thomas Muller. We like the big Italian defender and all but come on...
But it was the Premier League breakdown we were really interested in. Using the same numerical gymnastics, they came up with the top 10 players in each position in the Premier League.
As you might expect, we looked for the Irish lads first and the first two who pop up are a pair of full backs.
Everton’s Seamus Coleman is sixth on the right-back list, ahead of Kyle Walker but behind Aston Villa’s Matthew Lowton, who’s second. Top of the right-back pile is Manchester United’s Rafael.
At left back, Joey O’Brien is rated even higher, with the West Ham man in at fifth, ahead of Ashley Cole and Jose Enrique.
And Sunderland's James McClean, who many of us figured had a difficult second season, comes in eighth on the left midfield list.
The entire Premier League rankings are available here, and it makes fascinating reading. Excellent ammo for pub debates too.