James Milner: a workhorse of modern football.
He's not the flashiest, nor the most interesting if some spoof Twitter accounts are to be believed, not prolific in front of goal, but by going out about his business like an excitable sheepdog, is it surprising he's a manager's favourite?
If the gaffer says jump, Milner asks how high. If a goalkeeper asks him to mark up, Milner asks how many. If a striker asks him to pass, he duly obliges.
And now it’s official: according to statistics worked out by the EA Sports Play Performance Index, he’s the hardest worker of them all at the moment, covering 113km of pitch so far this season – almost 5km more than Bournemouth’s Andrew Surman and Matt Ritchie. In fact no player in the Premier League can claim to run as much as the Liverpool midfielder for space so far this season.
And while those top three might not be too surprising, the rest of the list may raise a few eyebrows, with flamboyant midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Cesc Fabregas featuring in fourth and seventh place respectively.
Milner’s fellow defensive midfield toiler and former England teammate Garth Barry features quite highly too, as does West Brom’s veteran Darren Fletcher.
It seems there’s plenty of life in some of these old dogs yet.
Check out the full list of the 8 most hardworking players in the gallery below.
Data courtesy of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the Official Player Rating Index of the Barclays Premier League
1. James Milner, Liverpool
Distance covered so far this season: 113km
2. Andrew Surman, Bournemouth
3. Matt Ritchie, Bournemouth
4. Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal
5. Gareth Barry, Everton
6. Etienne Capoue, Watford
7. Cesc Fàbregas, Chelsea
8. Darren Fletcher, West Brom