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.

newcastle v southamptonThese 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

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  • vbhgft

    Southampton put three decent moves together in the entire match. The goals and Pelle’s header. 

    They were no better then we were and certainly did not play any more “nice football” than we did. We had a few god Sissoko-inspired breaks in the first half and that was as much as they did. They made no real attempt to win the game. They were presented with it. The game was turgid, all round.

    I’m not saying we were good. We clearly were not. But let’s leave out this “brilliant Southampton” stuff. Burnley played much better football at St James. By far.

  • A lex

    I’m not wanting Carver as manager but we have to remember that he can’t change things in this short time. He is only reaping what Pardew has sown, both in terms of style and acquiescence to a minimalist squad.

  • StephenBowers

    First Match I’ve been to for a long time. I really miss the toon on match days, sadly it seems to have gone, I find it incredible that 50,000 people can make such a small amount of noise.

  • DownUnderMag

    We are just missing some quality up front and someone who can cross a ball properly.  If for no other reason than the latter I wish Ryan Taylor was fit again.  Perez is working his socks off but he gets no service and no support, forced to try and fashion chances from scraps and attempt contenders for goal-of-the-year far too often (the chance he put just wide would have been magnificent but he shouldn’t need to rely on taking those shots as his bread and butter).

    Carver may have failed to show any sort of change, but in his defence he hasn’t much to work with….Gouffran, one of our worst players and who everyone called to be dropped actually seems to have lifted his game under Carver, but our defence has crumbled and is leaking goals all the time.

  • wor monga

    Well you got the superior possession statistics you’ve been crying
    out for…but unfortunately we didn’t have Pappiss Cisse in there who knows by
    instinct where the goal is.

  • StephenSouthampton

    Saints the manager killers.