Having looked at the top five individual player performances earlier this week, today we’re going to examine the players that garnered the highest average ratings. Most of these ratings might seem a little on the low side, but remember that we operate with a baseline rating of 5.50, so high ratings are quite rare, for example only 11 out of 41 rated games had any scores over 8.00 (down from 16 last season). Of course things also got a little bit dire from December through to the final day, which will naturally dampen ratings of players involved in those games.
Note: Minutes played don’t include injury time, and we use our own definition of what constitutes an assist. Rather than just the last team-mate to touch the ball other than the goalscorer, we also give credit where a player clearly created the opportunity, even if the opposition touched the ball, which is more in line with FIFA’s 1986 criteria.
#5 Daryl Janmaat – 5.53
Average Rating: 5.53 (σ 1.33)
Best Rating: 8.52
Worst Rating: 2.34
Man of the Match: 2 – West Brom (a), Liverpool (a)
Mug of the Match: 1 – Crystal Palace (a) (League Cup)
Playing Time: 40 starts, ~3452 mins
Goals: 1 –
Assists: 8 –
Opening up our top five with a depressingly low average rating of 5.53 – just 0.03 over what is meant to be our measuring stick for an all-round average performance – is the almost ever reliable right-back Daryl Janmaat. Having missed just three games all season, two cup ties and one (West Brom at home) through suspension, The Dutchman is the man with the most starts and the most minutes in a Newcastle shirt all season, which makes his placing in this list at all an impressive feat.
After an impressive first two of games, Janmaat followed the rest of the team into a slump for a month or so, before finding his feet in October and early November, putting together a string of high ratings against Manchester City in the cup (7.50), Liverpool (7.41), and West Brom (8.52). The Baggies match would prove to be his highest rating of the season, placing in the top five for the team, and was perhaps the most blatant sign that we had a player on our hands.
Good form would continue, although not quite hitting those highs, through to the new year as he racked up five assists over a two month period, cementing himself as perhaps our most potent creative force, while still generally excelling in his defensive duties.
Through the rest of the season Janmaat would continue to put in at least respectable performances amidst myriad misery, succumbing to sub-4.0 ratings only four times despite playing in a leaky defence and a side sliding towards relegation. The lowest low would, of course, come in this period, as an otherwise okay performance away at Leicester was ruined by a needless second yellow card in injury time, ruling him out of a key game the next week with our survival hanging in the balance.