Are Newcastle United a better team with Dwight Gayle in the starting eleven?

The answer would appear obvious, as we are talking about not only Newcastle United’s top scorer but also the forward who is the Championship’s most lethal finisher.

In his 22 Championship starts, Dwight Gayle has scored exactly half of NUFC’s goals in those games, 20 of the 40, so surely his value is a foregone conclusion…

A look at the various stats gives further food for thought, a comparison between the 22 matches that the striker has started, compared to the 10 where he has been missing from the starting eleven (ignoring the cup matches as they have variable levels of opposition and weakened teams etc.).

Outcome of matches

With: Played 22 Won 15 Drawn 1 Lost 6

Without: Played 10 Won 7 Drawn 2 Lost 1

Points won

With: 46 from 66 at an average of 2.09 points per game

Without: 23 from 30 at an average of 2.30 points per game

Goals scored by Newcastle

With: 40 goals at an average of 1.82 goals per game

Without: 22 goals at an average of 2.20 goals per game

Goals conceded by Newcastle

With: 18 goals at an average of 0.82 goals per game

Without: 7 goals at an average of 0.70 goals per page

There are obviously a lot of variables in a football match and sometimes stats can be misleading…

However, with 32 matches to play with, it is a decent number to give us some pretty good information.

I would still pick Dwight Gayle in every match this season when he is fit.

However, the stats say that Newcastle win more and lose less games (and pick up more points) when he has been missing, with the team scoring more and conceding less as well.

So maybe the simple message is that there is no need to be afraid when Gayle isn’t available and approach these upcoming half a dozen matches when he is likely to be out injured, with just as much confidence as if he was was playing.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])