The potential to draw a foul from the opposition is a much admired facet of football, showing speed of thought, impressive technique and no little slyness, and is something that can greatly benefit your side be it though free-kick to attack, to relieve pressure, or to reduce the side to ten (or less!) men.
The role diving plays in the awarding of a foul is contentious. It is almost certain that some of the fouls in these numbers below are from simulation. While all fans would want to see that side of the game stamped out, the skills for it are the same in drawing a legitimate foul - just with the slyness turned up some what.
Below are the top 4 most fouled goalkeepers, and the top ten most fouled defenders, midfielders and attackers:
Somewhat surprising that all four goalkeepers that had drawn the most fouls are from teams in the bottom half of the Premier League table, though then again, the ball may be more likely to be around their goal than the opposition's. Michel Vorm comes out on top here, on account of having played 11 games less than John Ruddy.
What's interesting here is that of the top ten defenders that have been fouled the most, 7 are left-backs. Whether that makes the right midfielders and right-backs of this world particularly poor tacklers or not is another question. Kudos to Liam Ridgwell for topping Leighton Baines in this list, despite his much larger centre-back-playing-left-back frame. That Danny Rose can feature so highly despite featuring just 18 times also illustrates his attacking game. Everton's Leighton Baines, Liverpool's Glen Johnson and Man City's Aleksandar Kolarov, are the only player's from the top five in the list, and no centre backs at all feature.
|Joel Ward||Crystal Palace||DF||34||31||2,790|
|Aleksandar Kolarov||Man City||DF||31||23||1,584|
Robert Snodgrass is second only to one man in the Premier League when it comes to being fouled. Surprising given that his place in the Norwich side is often questioned by their fans. Fellow of fleet-of-foot players such as Adam Lallana, Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and Adnan Januzaj also feature highly, the latter with significantly less appearances than others, while more defensive players such as Fabian Delph and Ramires are surprisingly involved. The list is clearly a sprinkling of skilful midfielders with those battlers that are just as likely to give concede a foul as they are to earn one - I'm talking about you Cheick Tiote!
|Fabian Delph||Aston Villa||MF||55||29||2,553|
|Adnan Januzaj||Man Utd||MF||54||24||1,422|
The top two are fairly predictable given their current level of influence in the league. Both are seen as not only two of the quickest and best players, but also two that have experienced accusations of diving in the past. Eden Hazard is way out in front of any other player, while Suarez has four games less than the Belgian. Frazier Campbell and Marouane Chamakh do well to feature, showing that they have had decent seasons for their respective sides.
|Marouane Chamakh||Crystal Palace||FW||50||28||2,014|
|Christian Benteke||Aston Villa||FW||43||26||2,128|