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Shocking stats show Newcastle United placing in Europe for ‘Territorial Domination’

12 months ago

An interesting new report gives us some valuable extra information on the Newcastle United season so far.

The report is from the CIES Football Observatory and in it they compared clubs across the top 35 European leagues.

The stats they looked at, were how many times on average each league match a team made a pass in the opposition third of the pitch, compared to how many times the opponent made a pass in a team’s defensive third.

The table then produced showing the clubs with the highest ratio of passes in the attacking third compared to passes by the opposition in their defensive third.

The CIES Football Observatory giving this introduction, with the table below:

‘Dominating opponents does not always lead to success. However, the InStat data analysed in the 274th CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post shows that most of the best performing teams are able to maximise their passes in the opponent’s third of the pitch, while minimising the opponent’s passes in their own third. The best ratio overall in the 35 European leagues surveyed was measured for Manchester City.

Guardiola’s team made on average 210 passes per match in the opponent’s third, versus only 59 by the opponents in their own third (ratio of 3.55). This ratio is only 1.9 for Premier League leaders Liverpool (180 passes versus 85). The greatest number of passes in the opponent’s third part of the field was recorded for AFC Ajax (220 per match). The Dutch side has the second best ratio (3.43), ahead of Steven Gerrard’s Rangers Glasgow (3.03).

The worst ratio overall was observed for another Scottish side: Hamilton Academical (0.39). A very negative ratio was also recorded for Newcastle United (0.41). Fulham (1.78) has the most positive ratio in the Championship ahead of Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United (1.58). Nottingham Forest is at the opposite end of the table (0.71). More data is available in the exclusive CIES Football Observatory & InStat Performance Atlas.’

Passes achieved in opponent third vs passes conceded in own third

Per domestic league match played between 01/07/2019 and 11/11/2019 (Of ALL the clubs in the 35 top European leagues, these two images show those with the very best ratio of passes, then the very worst ratios at the bottom).


As you can see, across all of the 35 European leagues study, Newcastle United have only one other club with a worse ratio.

This simply reinforces what our eyes tell us, Newcastle have spent most of the time in their final third of the pitch defending.

This backs up the Expected Goals info that places Newcastle United second bottom of the Premier League with only Norwich below them, when it comes to the stats/info on which clubs have had the best shooting chances across the whole league, in the 12 games so far.

It backs up the idea that Newcastle are very lucky to have the 15 points they currently have, based on the performances so far.

The good news is that the last two games (and wins) against West Ham and Bournemouth, were the first times this season that NUFC had a higher expected goals than their opponent.

This is a trend that needs to be continued because expecting points when creating minimal decent chances is unrealistic.


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