Let’s face it: the way Queens Park Rangers have been playing for much of this season, hailing any of their defenders for their fine performances may be a step too far for even the most blinkered of supporters.
But the simple fact is, every club has to have a defender who is outperforming the rest, and QPR are no different.
Using HITC’s formula to calculate defensive contribution by adding up key attributes, the QPR defender who comes out on top may surprise some, and may even prompt howls of disagreement, but according to the stats Richard Dunne has been the club’s top performing defender in the league this season.
The 35-year-old has come in for criticism at times, but his performance in seven key areas sees him outshine Steven Caulker, Rio Ferdinand et al.
Dunne averages more outfield blocks, more tackles, more effective clearances and more duels than any of his fellow QPR defenders.
|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|
It remains to be seen if his presence will be enough to prevent his side from relegation, with QPR heading into the international break 19th in the Premier League and four points clear of safety.
But at least compared with those around him, Dunne has impressed, whatever you may think about that.