Newcastle takeover brings hope of improvement but problems on the pitch won’t be quick to fix

Newcastle supporters will journey to St James’ Park on Sunday filled with optimism {that a} brighter future awaits underneath their new Saudi-backed house owners, following the departure of Mike Ashley.

Nevertheless, regardless of the end result in opposition to Tottenham within the curtain-raiser to the brand new period, one factor is definite: it is going to take time, funding and numerous exhausting work to maneuver Newcastle up the Premier League desk and right into a place to compete with the perfect sides within the nation.

Right here, Sky Sports activities statistician Sven Alexis takes a take a look at the numbers round Newcastle’s present state of affairs to disclose the work that must be executed on the pitch to take the workforce to the subsequent degree…

A well-known, gradual begin to the season

Newcastle’s gradual begins – report in opening seven Premier League video games

Season Gained Drawn Misplaced Factors
2021/22 0 3 4 3
2020/21 3 2 2 11
2019/20 1 2 4 5
2018/19 0 2 5 2
2017/18 3 1 3 10
2015/16 0 3 4 3
2014/15 0 4 3 4

Newcastle are nonetheless on the lookout for their first win of the season after selecting up simply three factors from a potential 21. Solely as soon as have they made a worse begin this century: in 2018/19 Rafa Benitez’s facet picked up simply three factors from their opening 10 video games, happening to complete thirteenth.

Sadly for the Geordie devoted, a gradual begin has been a typical theme in latest seasons. Newcastle have didn’t win any of their opening seven video games in 4 of their final seven Premier League campaigns.

It stays to be seen what uplift the takeover can have on this squad – and what impression any new arrivals in January can have – however Newcastle, as soon as once more, are already taking part in catch-up.

Sunday seventeenth October 4:00pm

Kick off 4:30pm

Defensive points

Newcastle's defensive stats are among the worst in the Premier League this season
Newcastle’s defensive stats are among the many worst within the Premier League this season

No facet has conceded extra Premier League targets than Newcastle this season. They’ve shipped 16 of their opening seven video games and solely as soon as earlier than have they conceded extra Premier League targets at this stage. They conceded 19 of their opening seven in 1999/00 underneath Ruud Gullit and Bobby Robson.

In actual fact, solely Southampton have conceded extra Premier League targets than Newcastle since Steve Bruce’s appointment in July 2019. They’ve additionally confronted probably the most photographs per sport of any Premier League facet.

Bruce has at instances been criticised for the type of soccer his Newcastle groups have performed nevertheless it actually hasn’t led to good defensive numbers.

Newcastle on the again foot

Group Most targets conceded (since Aug 2019) Group Most photographs confronted/sport (since Aug 2019)
Southampton 138 Newcastle 15.1
Newcastle 136 Aston Villa 15
Crystal Palace 127 Burnley 14.7

Since mid-December, Newcastle have conceded 62 targets in 34 league video games, probably the most conceded by any Premier League facet within the final 10 months.

This season, whereas Newcastle rank round mid-table for his or her attacking output, their defensive stats are among the many worst – if not the worst – within the division.

Two-man workforce?

Newcastle's results have suffered when they've not had key duo Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin available
Newcastle’s outcomes have suffered when Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin have been unavailable

One factor that has gone in opposition to Bruce within the final yr is the shortage of begins that Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson have had collectively. They’ve each been within the beginning line-up in solely 13 of Newcastle’s 45 Premier League video games because the begin of final season.

If you embody sub appearances, they’ve each featured in 20 Premier League video games collectively, with Newcastle profitable 40 per cent of these video games. Nevertheless Newcastle’s win charge drops to 16 per cent when one or each are lacking.

Wilson has missed the final 4 video games with a thigh harm however may return this weekend. He has began solely 58 per cent of Newcastle’s Premier League video games since becoming a member of (26 begins from 45 video games). The Magpies have didn’t win 14 of the 16 Premier League video games Wilson has missed (W2, D6, L8).

Not solely was he Newcastle’s prime scorer final season with 12 Premier League targets, he additionally recorded probably the most assists (5).

Newcastle’s 14 seasons underneath Ashley – and the 14 earlier than

Newcastle PL report 14 seasons earlier than Ashley Below Ashley
PL wins 540 463
Win % 42% 30%
Factors per sport 1.54 1.16
Prime-4 finishes 5 0
Prime-10 finishes 8 3
Relegations 0 2

The significance of Saint-Maximin taking part in can be evident with the truth that Newcastle haven’t received any of the final 12 video games the Frenchman has missed in all competitions.

Saint-Maximin or Wilson have been concerned in six of Newcastle’s eight Premier League targets scored this season, with the winger recording two targets and three assists, and the striker notching two targets.

Turnaround will not be straightforward

Steve Bruce

Bruce was the final of eight everlasting managers in the course of the 14 years of Ashley’s tenure and it’s clear that to enhance the membership’s fortunes from their present place will not be a straightforward activity.

Below Ashley, Newcastle had been relegated twice and had simply three top-10 PL finishes in his 12 full PL seasons – the earlier 14 PL seasons noticed eight top-10 finishes and 5 top-4 finishes.

Their general win proportion and factors per sport have additionally dropped considerably throughout his possession.

Their struggles to kick on have been happening for a while.

Steve Bruce and Rafa Benitez have similar records across their two full Premier League seasons with Newcastle
Steve Bruce and Rafa Benitez have related data throughout their two full Premier League seasons with Newcastle

The Magpies have received solely three of their final 16 PL house video games and a worrying statistic is that St James’ Park has not seen back-to-back PL house wins since December 2019. They’ve additionally stored simply two clear sheets of their final 26 PL house video games.

Apparently Steve Bruce received precisely the identical variety of factors as Rafa Benitez did in every of their two full Premier League seasons on the membership. Bruce’s facet scored three extra targets however conceded 25 extra targets when in comparison with Benitez.

That means it will take a significant shake-up to get the membership shifting in the appropriate path once more – and you’ll see what Newcastle followers hope would be the first step in the direction of that after they host Tottenham, dwell on Sky Sports activities on Sunday.

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