Who have been this season’s most regular benchwarmers?
I did some analysis at work lately that turned out to be way more popular than I was expecting: this graphic for bwin looking at which outfield players have spent the most time on the bench in Europe’s big five leagues this season. It ended up on quite a few newspaper sites and apparently the James Tarkowski stat – the fact that he’s spent over two days of his life on the bench in the Premier League this season – got mentioned on live TV when he came off the bench against Man Utd the other day.
I thought it’d be worth putting together some quick top 10s for the three EFL divisions to see if people found it interesting. If so then I’ll create some similar graphics to the bwin piece once the season is over, including each club’s most prolific benchwarmer.
Huddersfield’s Martin Cranie tops the list: he’s spent over five times longer on the bench than on the pitch this season (3,299 minutes to 603) during the Terriers’ impressive campaign.
Brentford are the only team with two players in the top ten: Austrian midfielder Konstantin Kerschbaumer and German striker Philipp Hofmann have both struggled to earn a regular place under Dean Smith.
Walsall’s George Dobson tops the League 1 and the overall EFL list, with only 982 minutes on the pitch compared to 3,383 on the sidelines.
Daniel Devine of Bradford may have spent slightly less time on the bench overall but no outfield EFL player has been an unused substitute more often than him: he’s sat out a total of 31 league matches as a member of the match day squad, which is three more than anyone else.
This looks to be another table that both Southend and Millwall are scrapping to be near the top of: the Shrimpers have three players in the top ten and the Lions – their main rivals for a play-off place – have two.
Crawley have been depriving us of the fantastically-named Bobson Bawling this season: the young midfielder has been on the pitch for just 746 minutes in League 2 this season compared to 3,363 on the bench.
Yeovil and Colchester have both contributed two players to the top 10, although the Glovers’ share responsibility for loanee Tahvon Campbell’s inclusion with Notts County. The West Brom winger has completed just two league matches this season – one for each club.
Note: Hopefully it’s obvious why I’ve not included goalkeepers. Unlike outfield players, sitting on the bench week after week is something that most backup keepers are resigned to, and every member of all three top 10s would be goalies if I didn’t filter them out. Also, the values quoted include both injury time and time that a player spends on the bench after being subbed off.