Who is the Premier League's most prolific tackler?

Mark Noble

West Ham, Southampton, and West Brom stars make up the top 10 - with an Arsenal midfielder also ranking high.

Tackling is often a much-under-appreciated art in the modern game, with the governing bodies more concerned with cracking down with mistimed and two-footed challenges.

It has means players have had to adapt their games, and to be renowned as a 'top tackler' should be more of an accolade than ever.

Each team is 11 games into the season so far, and with the table beginning to take shape, here is a look at the league's 'top tacklers'...

NB. There are two ways to assess tackling- (a) Number of tackles and (b) Average per game. We have chosen to go with (a) to order our top 10, but provide figures for both. Figures apply to Premier League games only.

1) Mark Noble (West Ham) - Tackles, 49, Tackles per game 4.5

2) Morgan Schneiderlein (Southampton) - Tackles, 43, Tackles per game 4.3

3) Mohamed Diame (West Ham) - Tackles, 41, Tackles per game 4.1

3) Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) - Tackles, 41, Tackles per game 4.1

5) Claudio Yacob (West Brom) - Tackles, 40, Tackles per game 4

6) Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur) - Tackles, 39, Tackles per game 3.5

7) Ashley Cole (Chelsea) - Tackles , 36, Tackles per game 3.6

7) Geoff Cameron (Stoke) Tackles , 36, Tackles per game 3.6

7) Ramires (Chelsea) Tackles , 36, Tackles per game 3.6

7) James McClean (Sunderland) Tackles , 36, Tackles per game 3.6

Analysis: While West Brom have gained a lot of plaudits as the Premier League's surprise team this season, West Ham have by and large slipped below the radar amid their rise to sixth place; above both Arsenal and Tottenham. Looking at this tackling table, it is simple to see why the team has been so effective. Up at number one, and in joint third, are Mark Noble and Mohamed Diame.

With Kevin Nolan netting the goals, West Ham may just have the most effective midfield trio in the Premier League so far. The big challenge for the Hammers pair of Noble and Diame is to maintain this; if they can, they a top 10 finish at the end of the season should certainly be within their grasp.

Should Noble be in the England squad? 

image: © wonker

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