Based on the average number of fouls committed per game, below are the top five in the Premier League this season.
Whilst the numbers below may not seem high, referee’s will only be lenient with players a few times in a game. They may get away with a first foul, but then could get booked for a second. So having an average of over two fouls a game, will lead to players treading in a dangerous territory.
You may be surprised that Lee Cattermole doesn’t feature. He is 25th in the list, but has already received one red card already this season.
1) Ricky Van Wolfswinkel The man with the extraordinary name is extraordinarily at the top of this list. Strikers aren’t really know for being dirty and committing a lot of fouls. Ricky has only found the net once, and assisted one goal in his eight league games so far this season. The Dutchman has committed an average of 2.8 fouls a game. In comparison to his successful tackles, only 0.8 a game it shows that that part of his game is not a particular strong point. With Norwich seemingly struggling attacking wise this season, it also shows that the striker may be getting frustrated with limited opportunities.
2) Victor Wanyama
Another newcomer to the Premier League this season, and he has got well and truly stuck into it. Wanyama has added a bit of bite to the Southampton, not in the Luis Suarez context, but in the tough tackling department. Southampton needed this sort of midfielder. Yes, he has picked up a fair amount of fouls; 2.6 per game, and this has led to three yellow cards. But it gives the Saints extra strength in the middle of the park and the Kenyan does make a lot of tackles and interceptions too.
3) Karim El Ahmadi
The Aston Villa midfielder comes in at third on this list having committed 2.4 fouls per game on average. However he has successfully completed the fourth most amount of tackles in the league also. On average per game he completes 4.3 tackles. This makes his fouling statistic a little less disappointing for Villa fans. It shows he is getting stuck in and disrupting play one way or another, but most of the time he is winning the ball.
4) Pajtim Kasami
It can be said that Van Wolfswinkel, El Ahmadi and Pajtim Kasami are all playing for teams currently struggling in the Premier League and are therefore more likely to commit fouls. The players at the higher placed teams, are more successful with their tackles on the whole, and don’t need to foul as often. Kasami also has the average of 2.4 fouls per game. He has also an average of 3.2 tackles per game. He has picked up one yellow card in that time, and is himself fouled 2.6 times per game.
The Brazilian who arrived from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer was brought in to toughen up the centre of City’s midfield. He has done just that with 2.3 fouls committed per game. This has led to three yellow cars already, but he has been key in breaking up the play. He also has an average of 2.7 interceptions per game, and 2.9 tackles (4.3 in the Champions League).