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Are Newcastle United more or less successful when Vurnon Anita plays – The Stats

6 years ago
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Vurnon Anita is a player who seemingly divides fans down simple lines.

On the one hand some supporters see the diminutive midfielder as a cultured Dutch international from the supreme Ajax production line.

While others see Anita as totally unsuited to the Premier League due to lacking pace, height and strength, with no end product of creating chances or scoring goals.

Yesterday saw the former Ajax man react angrily to suggests that he’d kicked off with the management after being left out.

In terms of Vurnon Anita’s ability and impact, I thought I’d put the stats to the test. With Vurnon Anita, are Newcastle more or less successful than without him?

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Since the Dutchman’s arrival at St.James’ Park, Newcastle have played 86 Premier League matches, Vurnon Anita has started 50 of those matches.

In the 50 he has been in the first eleven, United have the following record;

Won 15  Drawn 8  Lost 27

In the 36 league matches Anita hasn’t started;

Won 14  Drawn 9  Lost 14

When Anita has been in the team Newcastle have picked up an average of 1.06 points, while when he hasn’t been in the starting 11 it is 1.39 points per match. This works out at a difference of 13 points over a season.

I must admit I was always sceptical of Vurnon Anita’s credentials from the first time I saw him play fro Newcastle.

A player of his physique has to be outstanding to hack it in the Premier League and he is certainly not that.

I still don’t understand why the club bought him, if you remember Anita was the only senior player bought after United finished fifth.

Pardew made clear that he saw his priorities as bringing in a new commanding centre-back, signing Mathieu Debuchy, another winger who could score and create goals, while another striker was also a priority if Demba Ba wouldn’t agree a new contract without the selling clause…which he never did.

A player such as Vurnon Anita didn’t make any sense, either from the point of view of the qualities needed in the Premier League, or the positions Newcastle desperately needed strengthening.

Belatedly Alan Pardew appears to have realised that players such as Vurnon Anita and Yoan Gouffran were major weaknesses in Newcastle’s team, with much better options staring him in the face every day in training.

However, it remains to be seen whether the manager drifts back to relying on players who have shown they fall short, no matter what the stats and his own eyes say.

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