Tag: Real Madrid

Taking a Look at Minutes Played

As Paul Pogba limped off the field today my first thought was “wow,this sucks for him after all the (unnecessary) criticism after the Chelsea game.” Actually, if I’m keeping it real, it was more like “Damn, now I have to watch Fellaini play for an entire half.” (Though to be fair to him he was pretty good today)

Back to my main point, Man U have made some deep runs in both Europe and the domestic cups and infuriatingly it feels like Mourinho has played Pogba for every second of those games. Whether it was against lesser opposition where he probably shouldn’t be playing at all or against tougher opposition but the game has been put away, Pogba has been in the middle of the pitch for pretty much all of it.

To settle if its really been that bad, I put together a list of minutes played for the Top 6 in England plus PSG, Barca, Real Madrid and Atletico.

ALL Data from whoscored.com

Notes: I only chose players who have played 2/3 of the total minutes in the league and their primary position had to be central midfield. (Saul is the exception as he is for some reason listed as a defender first) Also, for teams that play 3 in midfield all 3 mids are included (KDB,Silva,Fernandinho) but teams that play with a #10 only the 2 deeper midfielders would be included (which is why Ozil doesn’t show up). The list is sorted by Total Minutes played.

Player Total League Europe Cup1 Cup2
Pogba 3511 2250 783 360 118
Koke 3447 2271 698 478
Wanyama 3191 2392 608 23 168
Eriksen 3055 2274 551 60 170
Herrera 3044 1819 540 540 145
Gabi 2950 1997 630 323
KDB 2829 2004 539 32 254
Silva 2801 2035 540 0 226
Saul 2665 1672 512 481
Matuidi 2600 1753 700 127 20
Busquets 2594 1703 601 290
Fernandinho 2580 1855 545 0 180
Kante 2536 2329 0 90 117
Kroos 2474 1560 554 360
Wijnaldum 2438 2081 0 267 90
Henderson 2265 2118 0 147 0
Motta 2259 1870 376 13 0
Lallana 2181 1986 0 180 15
Matic 2175 1995 0 90 90

This Week: I am just completing the Leroy Sane post so it should be up later tonight or early tomorrow. I figured I would post this quickly as the game just ended and it didn’t take too long to look up. The Champions League post will be up tomorrow during the late afternoon or evening.






I struggled to get through this weeks edition of the Starting XI. A lot of FA Cup matches were played and when Top 4 teams run up the score against league 2 or lower sides it’s difficult finding excitement in that (as a neutral). At the time of posting, I’m looking at updates of whether Jose Mourinho purposefully had Rashford not travel with the team as to “surprise” Chelsea if he’s included in the starting lineup today. That storyline itself has me ready to get back to league action but anyways I’m moving on to the Starting XI.

11 gifs, thoughts and tweets from the latest round of football matches

  1. This week I’m focusing more on La Liga, so of course that means another game where Real Madrid fall behind early then end up winning the game. I’ll have more on Keylor Navas later but with tough matches still left against Atletico and Barcelona so ensuring they left this game with all 3 points was crucial.

2. After a historic comeback, it’s hard to fault Barcelona for slipping a little in their next match, but being outplayed so much that they lost to Deportivo instead of drawing is pretty bad. I’m not sure what’s funnier the way Depor managed to not score on a 50 yard 3v1 counterattack or the papers linking Neymar’s timely suspensions/injury at this time of year (Stop snitching lol). The title isnt out of reach but the pressure on Real Madrid has lessened considerably.

3. Griezmann scores a fine header to give Atletico the W and just as importantly to give them some space in the 4th and final CL qualifying spot. Villareal are now in 5th and are 4 points back and Real Sociedad are level on points but are in 6th place after losing this weekend.

4. Speaking of the race for 4th place, Sevilla may find themselves there after drawing with Leganes. This is their 2nd draw in a row and with away matches left against Atletico, Barcelona and Real Madrid it’ll be interesting to see if they can stay in 3rd. (Especially with a deep CL run.

5. On to Germany and as I was just about to commend Dortmund for turning the corner, they lose 2-1 to Hertha Berlin. Dortmund were without Reus and had played midweek but Tuchel does himself no favours by rotating his squad yet again.

6. It gets funnier the more you realize how ridiculously lucky/unlucky this sequence is

7. The Bundesliga title race looked like it might be between Bayern and RB Leipzig before the winter break. However with Bayern 10 pts ahead, it looks like another year where they win the title. From here on out, I’m more interested in following the race in Germany for the spots in Europe and the top scorer race. Aubameyang and Lewandowski look like they’ll be taking this one to the wire, the former is ahead by 1 goal. The sleeper candidate would be Anthony Modeste who has propelled FC Koln to the 7th spot with his 19 goals.

8. Liverpool got the win but I think it’s safe to say they aren’t quite over their problems breaking down lesser opposition.

9. I wrote about Nice here, and ended the post by saying they have an outside chance of winning and a good chance of finishing in 2nd. Of course they promptly dropped points with a 2-2 draw this weekend to Caen.

10. The Memphis Depay hype train is decomissioned but I’m lowkey ready for it to start back up again.

11. Keylor Navas giveth away points…

…And Keylor Navas taketh away points

This Week : I’ve mainly been looking up stats for various player & clubs that will feature in upcoming posts which is why I skipped writing last week. From here on out I’ll be posting consistently, starting with a post on a Man City player midweek and then a CL post which will be mainly a review of the matches but also some quick thoughts on the upcoming matches. I’ll have to wait for the draw to post that article but it will be posted sometime on Friday. Thanks for reading!


Formatting edits were made to this post on February 28

After a short break trying to figure out different ideas for articles (more on that at the end), here is the February 27th edition of the Starting XI. I’ll be posting this every Monday from now until the end of the season.

  1. Wavy dribbling by Reus to get his assist. Dortmund were not quite clinical with their finishing (especially in the 1st half) but this is definitely an improvement from their night in Lisbon a couple of weeks ago.

2. The less said about Hamburgs defending in this game the better. Bayern dominated them the entire match and the scoreline still could’ve been worse

3. Just like Reus in the video above, Hazard does fantastic work to beat his defender and provide the assist.

4. From one prolific striker to the next. Harry Kane bounced back from his own goal and Tottenhams’ exit from the Europa League with a hattrick and 1 assist. 2 of the goals were absolutely fantastic finishes and he left no doubt as to who the MOTM was.

5. I know its only the EFL cup but it’s great seeing United winning a trophy, especially as the league is basically out of reach. Fantastic cross by Herrera to set up Ibra’s winner in a game that Southampton created many good goalscoring chances and definitely could’ve won. (Note: I really hope I don’t have to see another game with Rojo at LB, in the leadup to one of Southhamptons goals it honestly looks like he’s trying to give away a penalty)

6. Barcelona got a late winner in a tough match against Atletico Madrid and now are only 1 point back of Real Madrid, although they have played 1 more match. As for Atletico, their title challenge concluded a while ago and now it looks like it is a three team race for the title. If that’s not bad enough, Real Sociedad are only 1 point behind them in the race to get the final Champions League spot.

7. Clearly Real Madrid learned absolutely nothing as they fell behind 2-0 early in the second half. Luckily enough after a questionable penalty they were able to turn it around and pick up all 3 points. Villareal is a tough side but these are the games Madrid needs to win in order to ensure they win the title. Much has been made about Barcelona being “finished” but they are 1 pt back and Sevilla is 3 pts back. Madrid may have a game in hand but they still have to play Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla.

8. After their famous 4-0 victory vs Barcelona, PSG immediately followed that with a goalless draw vs Toulouse. However, this convincing victory vs Marseille looks like the dominant PSG are finally here to stay and it has them right back in the Ligue 1 title race, tied on GD with Nice and 3 pts back of Monaco.


10. Many articles have been written about Leicester sacking Ranieri, it’ll be interesting to see how the players respond to this, starting with tonights match vs Liverpool.


NOTE: I’ll be posting more regularly, starting with a post on one of the teams in the Ligue 1 title race. This should be posted on this Thursday