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SIDEWAYS LOOK

This one passing statistic would completely change how we look at midfielders

Prepare to see Lee Cattermole and Gareth Barry in a completely different light

The groan goes around the stadium.

For the 889th time on the night England have passed the ball sideways.

Maybe even, dare we say it, fractionally backwards.

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Immaculate tekkerz

EPA
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Immaculate tekkerz

Jordan Henderson, seeing nothing in front of him, decides to keep the ball and recycle play rather than launch it up the field speculatively.

All hell breaks loose at Wembley.

Football is measured in numbers. Goals, assists, pass completion, key passes. All crucial numbers for any midfielder looking to make their way in the game.

In full crab mode

Getty - Contributor
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In full crab mode

But what if we told you that we’d come up with a revolutionary new statistic that would have you looking at Gareth Barry and Lee Cattermole as the new Andres Iniestas of this world?

No longer will the sideways pass be looked down upon.

All thanks to our new statistic called ‘Distance travelled by the player passed to’, or DTBTPPT for short.

Have you ever seen Cattermole without a tucked in shirt?

Getty - Contributor
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Have you ever seen Cattermole without a tucked in shirt?

Snappy, no?

Allow us to explain.

A 40 yard pass up the pitch is rightly lauded by coaches and supporters alike.

A poor man’s Mark Noble

Getty - Contributor
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A poor man’s Mark Noble

But there should be the same respect for a sideways pass from a midfielder which allows a full-back to charge 40 yards up the pitch unopposed.

Because sometimes it’s the little moments that go unnoticed in football. The slight change of angle that opens up a whole new dimension of the pitch.

Suddenly everyone is clambering for Cattermole and the ‘Makelele role’ is redefined as the ‘Barry Crab’.

Thank us later, Opta and WhoScored.