Sunderland’s season has been tough for all concerned, with the Black Cats recently parting company with manager Gus Poyet after some very disappointing results – including a 4-0 defeat to Aston Villa and an 8-0 loss against Southampton.
When you consider the amount of goals Sunderland have shipped, it may seem strange to even consider who their best defender has been in the league this season, but someone has to be, and in this case it is Wes Brown.
Using HITC’s calculation to assess defensive contribution by adding up key attributes, the former Manchester United defender comes out on top with a total of 17.
That takes into consideration seven key defensive areas and sees Brown come out slightly ahead of teammate John O’Shea who has 16.76.
|Outfield blocks per game||Tackles won per game||Effective clearances per game||Effective headed clearances per game||Duels won per game||Aerials won per game||Interceptions won per game||Total||Mins Played|
|Patrick van Aanholt||0.6||2.15||3||1.3||4.8||0.5||2.25||14.6||1,586|
Those two players are well above their Sunderland teammates with Brown averaging the most outfield blocks per appearance and the most effective clearances (with both his feet and his head).
Sunderland are currently 17th in the Premier League, one point clear of the drop-zone with eight games to play.
With Dick Advocaat now at the helm fans will hope for an upturn in form but they have a lot of work to do after the international break.
Whatever happens between now and the end of the campaign, Brown will be integral to it.