Below you can see two Newcastle United “teams of the season,” which I have assembled based on player statistics from whoscored.com, OPTA and transfermarkt.co.uk.
The first (and most important) is based on performances in the Premier League, with the second based on performances in the Europa League. The figures below the player’s names are their ratings from whoscored.com, which are based on a range of performance metrics based on OPTA stats. To put these into some kind of perspective, whoscored’s most highly rated Premier League goalkeeper last season was Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet with an average of 7.0. In defence it was Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen with 7.6 and in midfield the honours were shared between Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, both with 7.9. Finally, up front, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez narrowly pipped Manchester United’s Robin van Persie (7.8) with his 7.9 rating.
Getting back to Newcastle United though, although the goalkeepers, defenders and strikers were pretty straightforward overall, things became more complicated when it came to midfielders who had been played in several different positions during the season, gaining different ratings in different positions. However, after some work, I have finally managed to sort it out. (more…)
Many thanks to “ToonBano” from the Toon blog www.toonbano.com for his sixth guest blog here – wt.
As I get over the shock of actually winning a game from behind for the first time in over two years and trying to get my head around winning back to back victories for the first time this season, something amongst our latest turn in fortune has jumped out at me (apart from the new signings) and that is the system. A formation of 4-2-3-1 has been paramount throughout recent weeks and it’s about bloody time. Maybe it’s because Demba Ba is no longer in a black ‘n’ white shirt as he gets his head kicked in by Coloccini but the ‘Hoofball 4-4-2’ days seem to be over. Are they over for good?
If this is the case and we are no longer subjected to the nonsense of lumping it up to the strikers, even when we are losing, then Pardew deserves some credit for finally seeing the light. After all it’s in my opinion that it was this factor of a pre-historic style of football that was holding this club back over anything else. Not the injuries or the Europa League, but the totally cowardly non-attempt at even trying to play to our strengths and actually play some football. Our long ball stats are dropping like a stone with every game that goes by. Thank the Lord. (more…)