Interceptions are key in breaking up play, and starting counter attacks. A player with a high amount of interceptions shows that he reads the game incredibly well. He is alert to the other teams intentions and positions himself in the right place in order to intercept the ball.
Position is imperative in such a fast paced game, and if you lose your position then it could lead to conceding a goal. It also requires a player to cover a lot of ground in a match. Continuously moving with the play in order to mark your man, and try and read the game and break up possession.
The players who perfect this part of the game are of huge importance to their team but perhaps go unnoticed. They are the engine of the team, breaking up play and then bringing their teammates into the game.
Here is the top ten players with the most interceptions in the Premier League so far this season:
|Mile Jedinak||Crystal Palace||MF||93||26|
|Youssuf Mulumbu||West Brom||MF||82||26|
|Michael Carrick||Man Utd||MF||63||19|
Crystal Palace's captain Mile Jedinak comes in at the top of this table with an incredible 93 interceptions made from his 26 games so far this season. Jedinak has been praised for his style of play this season, and has been The Eagles' most consistent performer this season. His presence in the middle of the park for Palace has allowed them to stop play and make it hard for the opposition to play through them. Jedinak has a strong aerial ability as well and cuts out a lot of crosses this way.
Youssuf Mulumbu, another unsung hero in the Premier League. However his performances for The Baggies saw him linked with a move to Arsenal in January. A tough tackler, the box-to-box midfielder has made 82 interceptions this season. Mulumbu and Jedinak are way ahead of everybody else in terms of interceptions. Given that both their clubs are struggling at the wrong end of the table, it should be considered that there is more opportunities for them to intercept due to the low possession their respective teams have.
Hull City are the only two to have two players in the top ten here. Curtis Davies has been superb at the back for the Tigers this season. His aerial prowess allows him to win a lot of battles, and this is where the majority of his interceptions will have come from. His teammates will be safe in the knowledge that when a cross comes into the box, they have Davies in there to deal with it.
Unsurprisingly Michael Carrick makes it onto this list, he is a key player for Manchester United and is there to break up the play and allow the more creative players to get on the ball.
image: © wonker