The Newcastle v Southampton match on Saturday proves once and for all just how misleading match statistics can be.
Having ‘enjoyed’ the ninety minutes at St. James’ Park, I thought I’d check out what the bare statistics might tell somebody who didn’t have the pleasure of watching Newcastle’s latest defeat.
These are the key stats as provided by BBC Sport;
Possession was 58% Newcastle and 42% Southampton
Total shots was 16 for Newcastle and Southampton 5
Shots on target was Newcastle 3 and Southampton 3
While corners was Newcastle 9 and Southampton 0
Looking at this info above, you’d think a scoreline of Newcastle 1 Southampton 2 was a bit of a travesty…
However, while United should clearly have had a late penalty (under modern interpretation of the rules) when Riviere’s shot was handled, did Newcastle have a half-decent shot at goal in the entire match?
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I can’t remember Fraser Forster having a proper save to make and even the goal was a defensive shocker with even Gouffran not managing to miss (watch the goal HERE) after the ball was smashed off him.
By far United’s best and only real moment of inspiration was a decent lofted pass over the defence which Ayoze Perez was very unlucky to see drift just past the post, as he attempted a very very difficult first time left footed half volley.
To me that was the only spot of enjoyment in the whole 90+ minutes, it was absolutely terrible to watch from a Newcastle perspective, even the equalising goal only roused the crowd for a minute or so before the dour United performance once again killed off any kind of atmosphere.
Newcastle might have had more possession but the vast majority of that is just passing sideways and backwards in non-threatening areas.
As for the 16 ‘shots’, we have hardly any penetration and just as when Pardew was here, there are next to no players get in the opposition box, so the shots that players tend to have are from poor angles, from distance, or very often charged down as the ponderous approach play ensures the opposition have plenty players back.
As for 9 to zero on corners, well we all know the exact value of corners to Newcastle over the last few years.
Southampton may not have been at their best but they still played some very nice football at times and were far more of a threat than the statistics suggest. For example Pelle’s header against the bar with Krul beaten just registers as a shot off target!
It isn’t that Newcastle were totally outplayed, it is more the fact that it is so boring to watch and we lack enough players to provide inspiration and the formation is a real downer on expectations.
Newcastle need to put out a team that provides a threat rather than continuing with the dismal Pardew tactics of trying to prevent the opposition scoring and hoping to sneak a goal.
Clearly this should be achieved through bringing in at least one quality striker that can work with the likes of Sissoko and Perez, plus help Cabella’s recent spark into life.
At one point he worked a good position on the right and there wasn’t a single player in the box for him to cross to – a statistic that definitely doesn’t appear