We have come to a week-long break and so here is an update on our player's 'plus/minus' rankings. The most recent ranking provided was just prior to the international break. Since then, five games have been played, Brentford (3:1), Barnsley (2:0), Ipswich (3:0) and the EFL Cup as well as league games against Preston North (6:0) and (2:1). The opposition have scored only twice since the last force-ranking while the Geordie boys have rippled the net on an incredible 16 occasions (over 3/game average). The chart:
Shelvey has been on the field for the most goals scored (both for or against) since the international break having only missed the first goal in the 6-nil thrashing of Preston. Colback started that game, was on the pitch for the first goal and then had to come off early. Shelvey's +29 overall quantifies the enormous impact he has had on the team's performance to date.
Gouffran's impact has dropped just a touch from the prior trend or maybe it is just fair to say Ritchie's has risen to the extent of having passed him in the ranking. Anita has had a few people rise above him having suffered the straight red card and thus missed three games. All the players that are seeing the pitch with any regularity are at a minimum a +10 player.
A player's plus/minus can be a little misleading in too narrow of a time frame (positive or negative) but does point to a player's consistency and impact for the team over a longer period of time.
Clarifying the measuring methodology: Borrowing the common force-ranking system used in hockey, this is a ranking of which players were on the field when the most favorable goals were scored and the fewest goals against went into the net. A 'goal for' is a +1 and a 'goal against' is a -1. Add up all the numbers and there is a total to compare to the other players in the squad. The list above is for all competitions and includes players that made the field of play. Some have since been transferred away or loaned out.