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Newcastle United: The Defenders


Mr Logic
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A heartening statistic from the first 5 games, and not one traditionally associated with us, is the limited opportunities to score that our opposition have had. Now I'm not for one minute suggesting we have great defenders, we've certainly got some decent ones, but what we do apparently have is a good defensive unit. The Man Utd game aside, and others like Chelsea and Arsenal will sorely test us, we've done very well. So much so that atm the statistics would suggest we are in line to win more games than we lose this season.

 

              Attempts on target.

                  Them    Us

Man Utd:      7      2 
Aston Villa    1    13 
Wolves        2    6   
Blackpool      4    13 
Everton        3      4 

 

The introduction of Tiote to the side can only improve the situation based on the evidence of the Everton game. Quite a few potential opportunities were snuffed out before they even reached the defenders. Another thing to note is that we seem to have dramatically improved our away confidence/form. The Wolves and Everton games showed a determined effort throughout. Long may it continue.  :clap2:

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Yes our defenders are better but the protection afforded to them from a capable midfield cannot be underestimated.

 

This - all the beat teams defend from the front(note how Andy Carroll came back to tackle/help out when we were under pressure late in the game at Everton).

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Im still dumbfounded as to how we lost the Blackpool game.

 

Looking at those statistics, it does seem quite embarassing. Obviously Smith was to blame for one of them. We struggled to snuff out the break which lead to the Campbell goal but all-in-all, I was disappointed with our inability to break down their defence to get a clear break. We played well but we were just unlucky on the day. The performance was there so at this stage of the season, despite embarassment, looking at the long term, it seems quite promising.

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Guest sittingontheball

When Yakubu had that chance about ten yards out, both Jonas and Andy Carroll tried to get challenges in and it was deflected onto the post by Kevin Nolan. Great team effort!

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Prior to the Everton games there were a lot of complaints about that very midfield, in particular the liability of Smith and how he dragged everyone elses performance down because they had to compensate for him. Smith or no Smith the Blackpool statistics speak for themselves, 9 times out of 10 we should have won that game on chances converted.

 

The team as a whole are more defensively minded. That has to come from Hughton and his 15 something years as a LB including 50 odd international caps. I was suggesting that one thing Hughton has definitely brought to Newcastle is an effective defensive mindset that underlies any more attacking gameplan. I still worry a bit about the tendency to hold such a high line sometimes but overall we play defensively as a UNIT and not as a bunch of individuals.

 

There are still problems though, wether a lack of tactical awareness or inappropriate players. The last 10 minutes of the Everton game was tailor made for swift counters. Had the shoe been on the other foot and we were pushing so hard you can just imagine us conceding. I don't believe we threatened them at all in that period though I have not seen the game again to study that.

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His only 'defensive minded' players in midfield this season have been Smith and Tiote. Barton is a tough tackler but I'd still say he's more attack minded. Think the difference is we've got players who can pass the ball and run with it at the moment, plus a striker who keeps hold of position and it's that which is helping the defence more than defensive tactics.

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the Blackpool statistics speak for themselves, 9 times out of 10 we should have won that game on chances converted.

 

Smith & Jonas were dropped because they played poor in the Blackpool game, yet going off the stats the DM (Smith) must have been doing his job & the chances we had the winger must have played well.This is the problem of people over reading stats when you drill down there is only two stats that really matter goals for & goals against.

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We now defend, and indeed play, like a team.

To mention an individual, although others contribute just as much, I liked the look of M.Williamson from the first time he pulled on a B&W shirt.

He could be one of the best and most astute buys we've made in a long time.

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