Hull City's unsung but vital hero who outshines some of the top flight's best

Hull City defender Curtis Davies is enjoying a very impressive season, and here are the stats to prove it.

Last season, Curtis Davies was playing in England's second tier for Birmingham City.  This season, there is talk in some circles of a call-up to the national team.  And a quick glance at the statistics tells you that is not as crazy as some non-Hull City fans would believe.

Against Tottenham Hotspur, Davies was again in impressive form, playing as vital a role as any in the Tigers' 1-1 draw. And at a club managed by a man who was among the best defenders of his generation, the 28-year-old's contribution will be held in the high regard it deserves.

Davies has been excelling all season - a signing every bit as vital to Hull's campaign as the arrival of a new strike-force this January.

Below you can see that he has made 61 interceptions to date, just one less than the top-performing defender in that area - Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny.

PlayerTeamInterception WonAppsMins
Laurent Koscielny Arsenal 62 21 1,819
Chico Swansea 61 22 1,963
Curtis Davies Hull 61 23 2,070
Maynor Figueroa Hull 61 22 1,948
Geoff Cameron Stoke 58 23 2,070

Davies is just as impressive when it comes to aerial duels, winning 98 so far and second only to Stoke City's Ryan Shawcross.  It is also telling that he betters Tottenham's Michael Dawson - another player linked with a return to the England squad - and Branislav Ivanovic, whose Chelsea team is currently fighting for the title - whatever Jose Mourinho says to the contrary.

PlayerTeamAerial WonAppsMins
Ryan Shawcross Stoke 102 24 2,160
Curtis Davies Hull 98 23 2,070
Michael Dawson Spurs 94 24 2,160
Branislav Ivanovic Chelsea 91 22 1,920
Ben Turner Cardiff 90 23 2,001

So that is how Davies does when compared to the rest of the Premier League, but his importance to the Tigers is even more clear when you consider his statistics with those of his teammates.

He has made more than double the amount of effective clearances as the second-best performer in that area - Maynor Figueroa.  He has also won 42 more duels than his teammate and is streets ahead when it comes to aerial battles.  The only area in which any Hull defender betters him is in tackles won, with Figueroa winning 42 to Davies' 39.

PlayerEffective ClearanceWon TackleInterception WonDuel WonAerial WonMins
Curtis Davies 180 39 61 173 98 2,070
Maynor Figueroa 75 42 61 131 35 1,948
Alex Bruce 69 17 12 44 20 953
James Chester 63 16 26 62 24 1,172
Liam Rosenior 34 29 12 64 12 1,046
Paul McShane 21 6 9 25 15 521
Abdoulaye Faye 18 1 3 16 12 270

So, England call-up or no England call-up, Davies is enjoying an outstanding campaign since his summer arrival.  And if he keeps going like this, he will be hailed as one of the bargains of the season.

image: © nicksarebi

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