We have reached Christmas and 17 Premier League matches behind us, so which players have produced for Newcastle United, who has delivered the goals and assists?
Steve McClaren said pre-season that he needed all of the players to take responsibility for creating chances and scoring goals.
Recent seasons having seen Newcastle rely on a very small group of players to contribute almost all of the goals and assists.
These are the players who have Newcastle goals and assists in the Premier League this season, the combined total to the left and on the right the breakdown of Goals + Assists (stats taken from football data website Whoscored):
9 Gini Wijnaldum (7 + 2)
6 Ayoze Perez (4 + 2)
5 Moussa Sissoko (0 + 5)
4 Aleksandar Mitrovic (3 + 1)
3 Daryl Janmaat (1 + 2)
2 Papiss Cisse (2 + 0)
1 Fabricio Coloccini (1 + 0)
1 Vurnon Anita (0 + 1)
1 Gabriel Obertan (0 + 1)
1 Siem de Jong (0 + 1)
In a very poor team, Gini Wijnaldum has proved to be an unqualified success and little surprise that he is at the top.
No surprise either for most Newcastle fans to see the identity of the player in second place.
Despite seemingly not convincing Steve McClaren, Ayoze Perez has scored the winners against Bournemouth and Spurs, scored in the win against Norwich, as well as the opening goal in the 2-2 draw with Chelsea. On top of that he has two assists, yet Steve McClaren doesn’t see him as an automatic starter ahead of the likes of de Jong and Cisse – bizarre.
Moussa Sissoko is next, with his stats heavily influenced by the Norwich match, still disappointing that he hasn’t managed a single goal.
We still await to see whether Aleksandar Mitrovic can get into a groove at Newcastle but with three goals and an assist from a stuttering series of opportunities, there are some signs of positivity.
Nobody created more goals than Daryl Janmaat last season and he has already picked up a very creditable two assists for his collection, as well as a gutsy goal against Watford.
After that though….
You have to say it is desperate stuff from the rest of the team/squad overall.
To have no goals and one assist from the combined efforts of Colback, Anita and Tiote is a total joke. When you take into account the fact that only Sunderland have conceded more goals than Newcastle, then clearly this idea of playing two extra defenders in midfield is just disastrous, contributing nothing going forward and next to no protection of the back four.
You have to also say that it is disappointing that until Coloccini’s goal on Saturday, there hadn’t been any other contribution from a defender, whether on a set-piece or open play, particularly when you look at the left side, where Paul Dummett has struggled defensively and not delivered anything going forward.
Left-back must surely be Newcastle’s weakest position (as well as centre midfield), unless Kevin Mbabu is given a chance to build on his promising game and a half in the Premier League.
So we can all see the strengths and weaknesses in the team/squad but the question is, what..if anything, will Steve McClaren do with his team selection and will Mike Ashley spending in January to correct the imbalance/lack of quality in the squad.