Unique season, this one. Nothing like it ever seen before. Mid-season break. An unloved World Cup. You know all the spiel by now. Anyway, upshot is that a lot of football has been crammed in already and as we hurtle towards the tournament that shames us all there are some tired, creaking bodies. There are four outfield players who’ve already racked up more than 1800 minutes of club football this season, and three of them play for Spurs.
Nothing complicated about this list. Total minutes played in all competitive action and the Community Shield because why not? We’ve not added up injury time because we’re not complete psychopaths. A full match is 90 minutes. Deal with it.
On we go…
Nottingham Forest – 6
(Dean Henderson 1350, Scott McKenna 1260, Brennan Johnson 1217, Ryan Yates 1213, Neco Williams 1106, Morgan Gibbs-White 1050)
Guess one of the advantages of signing a gazillion players is that you don’t have to knacker too many of them out right away.
Brentford – 7
(David Raya 1440, Rico Henry 1408, Ivan Toney 1368, Ben Mee 1210, Mathias Jansen 1167, Bryan Mbeumo 1141, Vitaly Janelt 1081)
David Raya and Ivan Toney both played the full 90 of the Carabao embarrassment against Gillingham. Maybe that spurred them on for the heroics at Manchester City, who can say, with Ivan Toney scoring his match-winning second goal in the 98th of his 90 minutes at the Etihad. We didn’t say this was a perfect system.
Leicester – 7
(Danny Ward 1350, James Justin 1316, Youri Tielemans 1290, Harvey Barnes 1270, Timothy Castagne 1220, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall 1157, James Maddison 1130)
Huge fans of James Maddison celebrating his unexpected but well deserved England call-up by scoring an early goal and promptly deciding enough’s enough early doors in the final game before the World Cup. Does see him slip behind Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in this list, but such concerns are, we concede, likely not at the forefront of his mind.
Southampton – 7
(James Ward-Prowse 1470, Gavin Bazunu 1350, Mohammed Salisu 1305, Che Adams 1133, Mohamed Elyounoussi 1103, Adam Armstrong 1063, Joe Aribo 1031)
Not ideal to need the bulk of your first team to get past Sheffield Wednesday in the Carabao Cup, it has to be said.
Wolves – 7
(Max Kilman 1440, Ruben Neves 1270, Jose Sa 1260, Nathan Collins 1113, Jonny 1074, Joao Moutinho 1040, Daniel Podence 1027)
Having a player who has played every minute of every game in every competition and his name being ‘Max’ feels like evidence we’re living in a sim, and not a very good one.
Aston Villa – 8
(Emiliano Martinez 1385, Ollie Watkins 1334, Ezri Konsa 1319, Tyrone Mings 1291, John McGinn 1240, Jacob Ramsey 1104, Douglas Luiz 1104, Matty Cash 1047)
Unai Emery has already pushed three more players into this group because five was clearly an embarrassingly small-time amount of Thousand Minuters. That’s elite coaching right there.
Bournemouth – 8
(Jefferson Lerma 1350, Chris Mepham 1342, Adam Smith 1305, Marcus Tavernier 1289, Lewis Cook 1283, Philip Billing 1141, Dominic Solanke 1077, Marcos Senesi 1014)
Chris Mepham didn’t even get the Carabao break, playing the full 90 in a 4-1 win over Everton that was followed by rather more minutes for the rest of the gang in a 3-0 win over Everton a few days later. Bournemouth like playing Everton.
Crystal Palace – 8
(Marc Guehi 1440, Vicente Guaita 1260, Eberechi Eze 1174, Joachim Andersen 1170, Wilfried Zaha 1149, Jeffrey Schlupp 1135, Joel Ward 1110, Tyrick Mitchell 1095)
Marc Guehi continues his proud record of playing simply all the football since making the move to Palace from Chelsea, where he was playing none of the football. This is better, if more tiring, although he’d probably rather not have the next six weeks off. Nice to see Eberechi Eze racking up major minutes after all his injury aggro, while Jordan Ayew has 999 (goalless) minutes on the clock this season.
Everton – 8
(Alex Iwobi 1461, Demarai Gray 1404, James Tarkowski 1376, Vitaliy Mykolenko 1285, Jordan Pickford 1260, Conor Coady 1251, Amadou Onana 1128, Anthony Gordon 1038)
Conor Coady remains a mainstay of these lists despite swapping Molineux for Goodison while James Tarkowski is another who seems to reliably play a great deal of football every single season. Alex Iwobi’s stunning midfield renaissance reflected in his table-topping performance here, while Anthony Gordon’s 52-minute run out in the Carabao atrocity at Bournemouth nudged him into the gang.
Fulham – 8
(Tim Ream 1348, Joao Palhinha 1253, Andreas Pereira 1251, Bobby Reid 1216, Harrison Reed 1179, Bernd Leno 1170, Antonee Robinson 1109, Aleksandar Mitrovic 1022)
The only Premier League club canny enough to get themselves out of the Carabao in round two and thus avoiding a whole other 90 minutes of strife. We also cannot pretend to be anything other than absolutely thrilled by the fact there is a team ninth in the Actual Premier League for which 35-year-old Tim Ream has played all but two minutes of the season. Who knows how different the season might be looking for everyone had he played those last two minutes against Arsenal in September.
Leeds – 8
(Illan Meslier 1350, Robin Koch 1259, Pascal Struijk 1208, Brenden Aaronson 1196, Tyler Adams 1167, Marc Roca 1069, Rasmus Kristensen 1051, Jack Harrison 1032)
Marc Roca and Rasmus Kristensen joined the club in that absolute pisstake of a game at Spurs that brought the curtain down on a topsy-turvy first act of Leeds’ season.
Manchester United – 9
(David De Gea 1800, Bruno Fernandes 1725, Diogo Dalot 1704, Lisandro Martinez 1657, Christian Eriksen 1494, Marcus Rashford 1423, Casemiro 1167, Cristiano Ronaldo 1051, Tyrell Malacia 1023)
Imagine how many minutes Ronaldo would have if he could be bothered. Diogo Dalot’s emergence as a genuine undroppable is an unexpected 2022/23 Premier League storyline while Lisandro Martinez has played a vast number of minutes for such a teeny tiny person. Handy that he could be given a break against Villa in the Carabao, mind. Luke Shaw is fresh as a daisy for the World Cup having played a mere 995 minutes.
Arsenal – 10
(Gabriel Margalhaes 1663, Granit Xhaka 1539, Gabriel Martinelli 1497, William Saliba 1489, Gabriel Jesus 1453, Aaron Ramsdale 1440, Bukayo Saka 1435, Ben White 1350, Martin Odegaard 1303. Thomas Partey 1050)
Gabriel Margalhaes’ World Cup disappointment will perhaps in time give way to relief at a bit of a break after a busy old start to the season for one of those massively overworked Premier League players to have also nudged beyond the 1500-minute barrier. Martin Odegaard is another significant member of the ‘Nice little rest with my trotters up while you fools are melting in Qatar’ gang. At least they took the L in the Carabao Cup. Wise.
Newcastle – 10
(Nick Pope 1440, Kieran Trippier 1402, Dan Burn 1293, Miguel Almiron 1276, Fabian Schar 1246, Sean Longstaff 1208, Joe Willock 1194, Joelinton 1169, Sven Botman 1102, Bruno Guimaraes 1028)
Few surprises on this list for the Big Six botherers. Miguel Almiron is fast becoming one of the stories of the season, while it’s no coincidence to see the Premier League’s joint meanest defence well represented here.
Chelsea – 10
(Thiago Silva 1458, Mason Mount 1450, Raheem Sterling 1444, Jorginho 1321, Kai Havertz 1238, Ruben Loftus-Cheek 1230, Kalidou Koulibaly 1168, Marc Cucurella 1140, Trevoh Chalobah 1111, Mateo Kovacic 1085).
Not having a goalkeeper on the list because you’ve got a pair of glovemen with 945 and 944 minutes on the clock feels like gaming the system. Cesar Azpiliecueta is slightly ahead of Mendy and Kepa on 950 as well. Crafty from an otherwise crisis-riddled Chelsea. Making Cucurella play this amount of football while being so very bad feels like cruel and unusual punishment, while the rehabilitation of Loftus-Cheek has been nice to see. Plenty of World Cup action ahead for most of these lads. But not Jorginho. Nice rest for the Italian hahahahaha.
Brighton – 10
(Lewis Dunk 1320, Moises Caicedo 1293, Solly March 1265, Robert Sanchez 1260, Alexis Mac Allister 1257, Pascal Gross 1241, Adam Webster 1200, Leandro Trossard 1183, Danny Welbeck 1088, Joel Veltman 1039)
Nobody else has more than 650 minutes so that really is a settled X if not quite XI despite the change of management at the top.
Liverpool – 10
(Virgil van Dijk 1890, Alisson 1800, Mo Salah 1774, Fabinho 1538, Trent Alexander-Arnold 1513, Roberto Firmino 1375, Harvey Elliott 1258, Joe Gomez 1199, Andrew Robertson 1153, Thiago 1041)
Virgil van Dijk was the first outfield player to hit the 1800 mark before weary Spurs trio Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg rather unwisely joined him, while Alisson and Mo Salah have also borne extreme workloads. Egypt’s failure to qualify for the World Cup could prove an absolutely pivotal moment in Liverpool’s season, especially when combined with Brazil’s decision to leave out Roberto Firmino. It’s going to be a relatively refreshed and recharged Liverpool attack that takes them into 2023.
Manchester City – 11
(Ederson 1710, Rodri 1657, Joao Cancelo 1588, Bernardo Silva 1477, Kevin De Bruyne 1475, Ruben Dias 1468, Erling Haaland 1380, Ilkay Gundogan 1374, Phil Foden 1227, Jack Grealish 1039, Manuel Akanji 1016)
Erling Haaland is scoring a goal every 60 of those 1380 minutes, which is silly, but isn’t actually doing City all that much good given they somehow sit closer to Spurs than to Arsenal in the league table. Kevin De Bruyne registers an assist every 113 of those 1475 minutes which is obviously related but arguably even sillier. The only person on this list to have made it to the pitch at some point in all 22 of City’s games (we’re counting the Community Shield for City and Liverpool because we felt like it) is… Bernardo Silva. So there you go.
Tottenham – 11
(Harry Kane 1937, Eric Dier 1902, Hugo Lloris 1890, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg 1825, Rodrigo Bentancur 1736, Heung-min Son 1489, Ivan Perisic 1322, Emerson Royal 1286, Ben Davies 1285, Cristian Romero 1091, Clement Lenglet 1003)
F*ck me there are some huge numbers here. Hugo Lloris always plays a great deal of football – he’s currently on a run of 101 consecutive Premier League appearances for Spurs, for which current internet convention renders the response ‘Worra trophy for Tottenham’ mandatory – while Kane and Dier are the busiest boys in all the land. Playing both in the Carabao Cup v Nottingham Forest feels very much like An Error. There are only four outfield Premier League players with more than 1800 minutes of club football in the legs this season and three of them play for Spurs.
Only his facial rearrangement at Marseille prevents Heung-min Son being a sixth Spurs player with 1500 minutes behind them already this season, and that is a crazily high number. By our admittedly unscientific fag-packet calculations, 1286 minutes of Emerson Royal equates to 759 crosses blasted 30 yards beyond their intended target and a similar number of apologetic hand-raises.
West Ham – 12
(Jarrod Bowen 1643, Declan Rice 1556, Tomas Soucek 1515, Thilo Kehrer 1478, Aaron Cresswell 1477, Vladimir Coufal 1367, Lukasz Fabianski 1244, Pablo Fornals 1200, Kurt Zouma 1194, Said Benrahma 1163, Ben Johnson 1105, Gianluca Scamacca 1081)
The only club that can field a starting XI plus sub of Thousand Minuters and Gianluca Scamacca being the latest member means they can actually now name a very tidy, balanced team of weary lads. The Europa Conference has given West Ham many of their better moments this season, but it has undoubtedly come at a cost. Jarrod Bowen at least will get a rest he probably didn’t want over the next couple of months. Declan Rice will not get such rest.