Archive for tag: Newcastle United tactics.

One thing which hasn’t changed at Newcastle under Eddie Howe

April 12th, 2022 | No Comments |

Eddie Howe.
Howe: Still has a long way to go to change old habits
Undoubtedly, things have improved at St James’ Park since the early days of this season, when the Magpies were struggling to get out the bottom three. However, there is one thing which hasn’t changed, and has actually got marginally worse in the 20 games since Eddie Howe took over, goals, or lack of them.

Eddie Howe’s record for goals scored per game is actually lower than Steve Bruce’s was in the first eight games of the season before he was sacked. Whilst Bruce’s side scored an average of 1.25 goals per game, in his 20 games so far, Howe’s side has managed only 11 goals, with a goals per game average of only 1.1. (more…)


Why Newcastle should still be concerned over final third inefficiency

February 12th, 2020 | No Comments |

Joelinton
Joelinton – Only 1 goal in 25 Premier League games
Newcastle United have managed to defy trends this season to keep themselves away from trouble at the bottom of the Premier League. Statistically the Magpies have endured an unremarkable campaign, scoring only 24 goals in their 25 matches. Crystal Palace (23) are the only side in the top flight to have found the net on fewer occasions at the time of writing, which could be a cause for concern for Steve Bruce as his team approach the final stretch of the 2019/20 season.

With or without scoring, just getting shots on target has also been the problem; once again, the Magpies are in the bottom three there as well with only 82, only Burnley (80) and Crystal Palace (79) have fewer. (more…)


How Alan Pardew’s return to route one is saving Newcastle United’s season

November 3rd, 2014 | 155 Comments |

NUFC - Route One.
NUFC: Riding the Route One road to success.
You don’t even have to be a Newcastle United fan to notice that Alan Pardew and Newcastle United have done very well in their last four games, all wins with three against top sides Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool.

Credit where credit is due, Pardew and the team have gone some way at least to answering their critics in terms of results after a dismal start to the season. However, in studying the stats there is one fact which might cause a dilemma for some fans who advocate that Newcastle United should adopt a more passing style like the top clubs. The fact is that Pardew’s lighting fast turn of fortune rests on the exact opposite. What I mean is that after an effort to play like a modern passing side, an effort which brought him no wins in his first eight Premier League games, the Silver Fox has now found salvation through abruptly returning to his ‘route one’ roots, as you will be able to see in the evidence below.

First, to give some perspective, I will include the long ball percentage scale I devised a few years ago when I wrote a series of pieces revealing and monitoring Pardew’s long ball tactics at Newcastle. The references might be a little out of date as this was from the time when David Moyes was the manager of Everton and Tony Pulis was at Stoke.

The NUFC Blog long ball scale ©™ (more…)


Which Newcastle United manager had the longest balls?

February 21st, 2013 | 7 Comments |

Newcastle United - A long ball dinosaur?
Newcastle United – A long ball dinosaur?
Since I wrote a few pieces on how Alan Pardew’s Newcastle United had become the biggest “long ball” side in the Premiership this season some time ago, It piqued my curiosity to look beyond and see how the “route one” style favoured by Pardew this term compared with that of his predecessors, and possibly, what we might be able to learn from what comes out in the wash so to speak.

The stats contained in the table below go back to the start of the 2008-9 relegation season. Hence, the managers I have included are Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear, Alan Shearer, Chris Hughton (x3) and Alan Pardew.

Admittedly, some of the managerial spells are ridiculously short, and one would prefer at least a whole season for each manager, where every other team in the division was played with their varying tactics pitted against Newcastle United’s would have been the ideal. However, in the crazy world of Newcastle United since the blundering Mike Ashley took over, the longest continuous run of Premiership matches for any manager apart from the current one has been Joe Kinnear’s nineteen. Although Chris Hughton at least had a full season in the Championship, his spells as caretaker apart, he only had sixteen games in the Premiership before being sacked. Anyway, the point of this is more to take a look at Newcastle United’s long ball style as a whole in recent years, rather than just focusing on one particular manager. This brings me to my final point in this section, why I haven’t included that Championship season. This was for two reasons: Firstly, because I do not have the same stats for that season (I only have Premiership stats from “OPTA”). Secondly, it is also (literally) a different league, a different paradigm where different standards apply. (more…)


Can Newcastle cope without Ba and Cisse? – An alternative eleven.

September 3rd, 2012 | 24 Comments |

A potential Newcastle United 11 without Ba and Cisse.
A potential Newcastle United 11 without Ba and Cisse.
Following the departures of Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands Newcastle United have only three recognised strikers in our 12/13 squad – fact.

A much documented lack of transfer activity has left countless Geordies despondent with the size of our squad entering a hectic season, yearning for the signature of a new striker. The biggest worry is that whilst both Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse are competing in the African Cup of Nations (or potentially injured) we will be left unable to cope without arguably our two most recognised strikers, where a lack of goals could become a defining factor in our Premier League campaign. It’s worth noting that Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse contributed a huge 53% of our goals total in the Premier League last year (29 of 55), highlighting their importance.

So, should we of signed another striker? Not necessarily. Can we cope without Ba and Cisse? I believe so. A conventional 4-4-2 formation is unachievable should only one recognised striker in Shola Ameobi be available, but alternatives can be utilised to apt effect. Of 38 Premier League fixtures last season a 4-4-2 formation was utilised 26 times (68.4%). What about our other fixtures? We were often tagged as operating in a 4-5-1, 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation with 1 conventional striker, 3 advanced mid-fielders and 2 central defensive mid-fielders in behind operating predominately defensively. Why could this not be used in the few games where both Cisse and Ba would not be available? Another alternative would be to play a 4-4-1-1 formation (often favoured by Alan Pardew’s predecessor Chris Hughton) with Ben Arfa operating in what is essentially a free role behind Shola Ameobi. (more…)