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Newcastle United – A Team Of Two Halves

8 years ago
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Only four matches into the Premier League but I feel I have aged ten years, so much going on both on and off the pitch.

What have we learnt from these opening fixtures, well for me there is one glaring statistic.

At the moment Newcastle are mid-table with five points and have made a steady, at least in terms of points if not performances, start.

However, if you compare the first and second-half performances it is startling, my eyes have told me that we’ve played better every match in the second-half but what about this…

If our 4 matches had ended at half-time then Newcastle would have one point and be second bottom of the table with only pointless Southampton keeping them off twentieth spot. (Half-time scores – Spurs 0-0, Chelsea 0-2, Villa 0-1 and Everton 0-1, no goals!)

On the other hand, if the 4 matches had started at half-time, then based on those second forty fives we’d have ten points and only Chelsea (or top because then Chelsea would have only got a point against us)keeping us off the top on goal difference! (Second half only – Spurs 2-1, Chelsea 0-0, Villa 1-0, Everton 2-1, five goals!)

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I’m sure this hasn’t escaped Alan Pardew’s attention and against Norwich I wouldn’t be surprised to see Newcastle having a real go to get at the visitors early on.

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My theory is that in part it is down to Newcastle not having the most settled pre-season so the manager hasn’t been able to get as much preparation in as he’d have liked with many of his key players. Obviously some of those key players such as Cabaye and the two strikers haven’t been at the top of their games either, while Tiote has been a big miss to drive the team forward.

I think in the second half of matches when games tend to open up a bit, the likes of especially Ben Arfa has then found that little more space to work his magic in and Cabaye has played himself into matches as the games have gone on, with also more opportunities to bring his passing into play.

So watch out for a big first half display tomorrow against Norwich and an even bigger one in the second half.

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