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Flawed report claims research shows Jamaal Lascelles has been a negative for Newcastle United this season

2 years ago
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Jamaal Lascelles was the pivotal figure at Newcastle United last season on the pitch.

With the exception of Rafa Benitez of course in terms of overall influence on the 10th place finish.

The stats said it all.

In the 32 games Jamaal Lascelles started, Newcastle won 43 points in 32 games, at an average of 1.34 points per match.

Without him, the team conceded loads of goals and picked up only one point in six games, at an average of 0.17 point per game.

Nobody would claim the captain has quite hit the heights of last season overall so far BUT to suggest he is a weakness, is very bizarre.

However, a new report from the CIES Football Observatory has named him as the fourth worst player in the Premier League, when it comes to results being compared when they have and haven’t played this season.

CIES Football Observatory:

‘The last CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post of the year 2018 highlights players whose teams have achieved the most or least points per match when they were in the starting 11 than when this was not the case.’

The only problem is though, their research is fatally flawed for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the stats above only show matches until 10 December, so even though the report is only published today (Monday 17 Dec) it doesn’t include Saturday’s win at Huddersfield.

Secondly, their stats are wrong. In that they claim they have included matches where players have played at least 45 minutes but have wrongly put down Jamaal Lascelles as not doing that in two games, the defeat to Arsenal at home and the win over Watford at St James Park.

In their figures above in the report, they have Jamaal Lascelles helping Newcastle to only 0.4 points on average, then whilst absent it being 1.5 points per game.

However, going up to date (incl Huddersfield) and using their criteria (at least 45 minutes played in a match), the Jamaal Lascelles stats still show 1.5 points per game when absent (wins over Burnley and Bournemouth, defeats to Chelsea and West Ham), but when the captain has been involved it is actually 0.77 points per match.

On the face of it they still aren’t great stats but on such a small sample of games (Newcastle happening to win two of four games he missed), the stats don’t really tell us a lot more about Lascelles’ contribution this season.

In fact, when you look at goals conceded, in the four matches Jamaal Lascelles has completely missed, Newcastle have conceded in all of them, 7 goals at an average of 1.75 goals per game.

Whilst in the 13 matches he has been involved in, Newcastle have averaged just 1.13 goals conceded. With five clean sheets also coming in the 13 games Jamaal Lascelles has featured in.

The big bonus this season of course, is that centre-back is by far Newcastle’s strongest area.

With the popular Florian Lejeune also to come back, Rafa has Lascelles, Clark, Schar and Fernandez, who have all done impressed, real strength in depth.

If only NUFC had the same ‘problem’ in the creative and goalscoring positions…

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