Stat's a Fact - Courageous Collins

You don’t need to be Albert Einstein to work out that James Collins put in an influential defensive performance in Sunday’s goalless Barclays Premier League draw at Swansea City.

The Wales international was at his best on home soil, making a team-high 13 clearances – the next highest was seven by centre-half partner Angelo Ogbonna – and blocking four shots – the same number as his Italian teammate, and making three interceptions.

The 32-year-old threw his body in front of everything the Swans could throw at him at the Liberty Stadium, ending proceedings with an egg-shaped bump on the back of his head.

That injury came after Collins had made yet another courageous block to prevent Ki’s shot from troubling Adrian, when the South Korean then accidentally fell into the No19 and his knee crashed into his head.

While he was a defensive rock, Collins also influenced the game at the attacking end too, having a team-high three efforts on Swansea’s goal.

Collins’ display in South Wales typified his statistical strengths, namely blocking the ball and clearing the ball out of defence often.

Only Winston Reid (7.3) averages more clearances per game than Collins (6.1), while the two defenders each average a team-high 1.3 blocks for every 90 minutes they play.

As such, the shaven-headed defender’s display at the Liberty Stadium should have come as no surprise to anyone of a Claret and Blue persuasion.

Collins was simply doing what he does best – keeping the ball out of his team’s net by any means possible!