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Opinion

These 2 games have only reminded us that Fabian Schar has been Newcastle’s player of the season

3 weeks ago
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After Arsenal, Rafa and his team have only six games remaining, with surely Fabian Schar now having proved himself to be Newcastle’s best player this season.

Rafa Benitez recently admitted that Schar was a bit of an accidental purchase, finding out through contacts that the Swiss defender had a £3m relegation release clause after Deportivo went down.

The Newcastle manager seeing the player as a bargain squad player rather than new first teamer.

Fabian Schar featured in only one of the first 10 Premier League games of this season but then established himself with impressive performances, until a tenth yellow card triggered a two game suspension.

There have been 32 Premier League matches so far and these are the 18 Fabian Schar has played in:

Newcastle 3 Everton 2

West Ham 2 Newcastle 0

Newcastle 2 Burnley 0

Newcastle 2 Huddersfield 0

Wolves 1 Newcastle 1

Tottenham 1 Newcastle 0

Newcastle 2 Man City 1

Newcastle United 3 Cardiff City 0

Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 2

Watford 1 Newcastle United 1

Newcastle United 0 Fulham 0

Huddersfield Town 0 Newcastle United 1

Everton 1 Newcastle United 1

Newcastle United 0 West Ham United 3

Burnley 1 Newcastle United 2

Newcastle United 2 Bournemouth 1

Newcastle United 1 Watford 0

Newcastle United 1 Chelsea 2

When Fabian Schar plays:

Played 18 Won 9 Drawn 4 Lost 5 Goals For 22 Goals Against 18

When Fabian Schar isn’t involved:

Played 14 Won 0 Drawn 4 Lost 10 Goals For 9 Goals Against 24

Of the 35 points Newcastle have picked up so far, 31 of them have been in the 18 matches where Fabian Schar has been involved. Only four points from the other 12 games.

Newcastle United concede less and score more when he is in the team.

With Fabian Schar, Newcastle have averaged almost two points (1.7222) per game, which if they had averaged that over the other 14 games when he wasn’t playing (instead of 0.29 points per game), would have meant 55 points so far this season and seventh place in the table, only five behind Chelsea in sixth.

Last season, Schar’s points average would have meant 65 points over a 38 game season and sixth place ahead of Arsenal.

So how have Newcastle coped without him these last two games whilst suspended?

I think you would have to say they have really struggled, only seconds away from losing at Bournemouth before that Ritchie goal out of the blue, whilst the team were totally outclassed at Arsenal.

However, I think particularly last night, the Newcastle side really missed his ability on the ball, the ability to play and bring the ball out of defence.

Against Arsenal, Lascelles and Lejeune struggled at the back defensively, whilst the team really struggled to bring the ball out from defence, repeatedly losing it instead with a lack of composure.

I think that when Schar is in the team, he helps get NUFC playing better football, his passing and willingness/ability to bring the ball out of defence are massive pluses – rather than just booting it up the pitch.

These last two games were always going to be difficult but for me they did reinforce the view that Fabian Schar should be one of the first names on the team sheet, if not THE first.

I would be amazed if Rafa doesn’t bring him straight back in on Saturday when Palace visit St James Park.

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