HE consistently covers more ground than any other Everton team-mate. Only Yohan Cabaye won more tackles throughout 2011/12 – and he made the most Everton passes during the campaign just ended.
Yet Marouane Fellaini didn’t feature in the top three shortlist of Everton’s Player of the Season, voted for by Blues fans – making the big Belgian Everton’s unsung hero for 2011/12.
For some he’s a curate’s egg of a player – only good in parts – and he did commit more fouls and collect more yellow cards than any of his team-mates.
But while a lack of discipline has seen Fellaini miss some significant clashes in the past, it’s worth noting that he only missed one game through suspension last season – and following that ban at Newcastle he collected just two more yellow cards in his final 22 appearances of the season.
David Moyes has spoken of building his Everton team around the multi-talented Belgian, but our season by numbers snapshot of Everton’s campaign also highlights just how important it will be to try and secure a permanent deal for Steven Pienaar.
Despite only arriving in February the on-loan midfielder ended the campaign with more assists than anyone else and was responsible for most dribbles.
The figures, however, won’t help the Blues boss make his mind up over which two from three centre-backs to perm next season!
Player of the Season Johnny Heitinga made the most blocks, Sylvain Distin the most interceptions and Phil Jagielka the most clearances.
Leon Osman ended the season as the most accurate marksman, with 38 shots on target, although Nikica Jelavic wasn’t far behind on 25 despite playing 18 matches fewer.
Jelavic also figured very highly in the curious ‘Goals via Clearcut Chances’ category.
This category was created to decipher which players are reliant on their team creating clearcut chances.
But while Emmanuel Adebayor is totally dependent on his side creating a chance and putting it on a plate for him – he scored every one of his goals via clearcut chances, none of them difficult or made by himself – Jelavic scored more goals from difficult angles or volleys.
The only other player not relying on his side to create easy chances for them in 2011/12 was Norwich’s Grant Holt with 31 per cent of his goals coming from CCCs.
Just how badly Jelavic was needed at Everton becomes even more clearcut when the departed Yakubu’s statistics are analysed.
Despite Blackburn’s relegation, Yakubu ended the season with the Premier League’s best goals to shot ratio of 29 per cent.
Another old boy, Mikel Arteta, also ended the season with impresive figures – enjoying the most accurate pass completion ratio of 91 per cent.