The guys at EFL Stats have once again worked their magic to provide us with another handy statistic focusing on the 2017/18 Championship season. Only four players managed to appear in every minute of the regular season, but who were they? Before scrolling down, have a little think and guess!
A very notable mention has to go to Curtis Davies of Derby County as well. He fell shy of maximum minutes in the season by seven minutes. He also appeared in all 180 minutes of the semi-final of the play-offs too! 28th November 2017 saw Davies departed with just under ten minutes to go for midfielder George Thorne in a 1-0 home defeat to Ipswich Town in the Championship.
Of the four players, none of them were relegated, and one of them may indeed be about to earn promotion at Wembley very soon! Rather than wait to long to reveal that one, we’ll just get that out the way first!
James Chester (Aston Villa) – 4,140 minutes
Although officially this statistic does not include the play-offs, Chester indeed played 180 minutes in the semi-final 1-0 aggregate triumph over Middlesbrough. He most likely will play the full 90 at least for Aston Villa in the play-off final with Fulham at Wembley as well. This man is simply one of the first names on Steve Bruce’s team sheet and is ultra-reliable. The Welsh international has struck up a fine relationship alongside John Terry at the heart of the defence. This partnership is a big reason for them having the season they have done.
Liam Moore (Reading) – 4,140 minutes
The picture in the article gave it away didn’t it! The former Leicester man was the rock at the heart of the Reading back line over the campaign, firstly under Jaap Stam and then Paul Clement towards the end. Moore almost contributed towards Reading returning to the Premier League last season as they fell to heartbreaking defeat on penalties to Huddersfield Town. The following season didn’t go to plan, but they at least avoided relegation, which looked more than possible for quite some time. Moore has been linked with a move away this summer.
Shaun Hutchinson (Millwall) – 4,140 minutes
The 27-year-old centre back won the battle for the central defensive position in pre-season and Neil Harris always kept him in. An injury to Byron Webster, and quite a serious one, meant that he would always be required, and he never disappointed. After Jake Cooper joined permanently from Reading, Hutchinson helped contribute towards a fierce defence than prided themselves on clean sheets. Millwall went into the penultimate match of the season still in quite a shout of the play-offs. A strong defence was a major reason for that.
Jack O’Connell (Sheffield United) – 4,140 minutes
Chris Wilder clearly has a big, big amount of respect for the ball-playing centre back. When others may have needed a rest, O’Connell always put his hand up to play and do a job for the team. He suited that left-side of the back three position better than anyone else in the squad could. Since joining in 2016, O’Connell has been a huge part of Sheffield United’s success on the pitch. Although they missed out on the play-offs, and were disappointed to do so, they have definitely made progress on and off the pitch. O’Connell, born in Liverpool, has a big future ahead of him, being only 24.