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This killer BBC Sport stat perfectly sums up this 2019/20 Newcastle United season

3 weeks ago
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In the aftermath of Brighton 0 Newcastle 0, BBC Sport looked into some interesting stats.

Well, anything had to be better than talking about the actual match…

BBC Sport examining some of the longer-term stats and coming up with a certain killer one in particular, that summed up perfectly this 2019/20 season for NUFC.

Amongst the interesting stats BBC Sport have thrown up:

Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin has completed 121 of his 194 dribbles in the Premier League this season – only Adama Traore (174) and Wilfred Zaha (161) have completed more.

Brighton are unbeaten in all six of their Premier League meetings with Newcastle (W2 D4) – against no other side have they played more games without losing (West Ham also six).

Brighton v Newcastle is the only Premier League fixture to be played more than five times with fewer than one goal per game on average (0.7).

This was Brighton’s 11th goalless draw in the Premier League; no other side has had more since they were promoted to the division in 2017.

Newcastle kept a clean sheet for the first time since June; they had shipped 10 goals in their previous three Premier League matches.

So congratulations to anybody who backed a goalless draw at the bookie, the writing was on the wall.

Especially when Allan Saint-Maximin was so subdued on Monday night, clearly not looking anything like fully fit but Steve Bruce playing him regardless, because he knows that is his only attacking plan. Give the ball to ASM and hope he does something – his dribbling ability highlighted in the stat above. After the 0-0, Steve Bruce declared ‘it was important that we put a point on the board’, to which fans answered ‘why’? A meaningless end of season game so why risk injury to your only attacking threat, unless of course this season in only all about a desperation to get more points than Rafa did last season…?

However, the real BBC Sport killer stat was this one:

‘Newcastle have had one or fewer shots on target in seven Premier League games this season – their most in a top-flight season since 2006-07.’

Bizarrely, despite nothing resting on the game, Steve Bruce used ultra defensive tactics against Brighton, leading to only one effort on target, one of those seven times NUFC have had one or zero shots on target this season, almost 20% of PL matches.

Indeed in three games there wasn’t a single effort on target, the defeats at Chelsea, Burnley and Leicester.

The pundits repeatedly talk about a non-relegation points total but fail totally to acknowledge how much this is down to poor luck. Newcastle having the fewest shots at one end this season, whilst at the other end of the pitch Dubravka has made more saves than any other PL keeper.

Pundits are (willingly) blinded by one or two results and talk about Newcastle having been on a great run.

Since Christmas, Newcastle have won only four of 19 PL matches, two of those were against 10 men (Southampton and Sheffield United), on convincing 4-1 over Bournemouth, then that very lucky 1-0 against Chelsea when NUFC had only two efforts on target.

In these last 19 PL games, in 15 of them NUFC have scored either no goals (seven times) or one goal (eight times).

If we continue with Steve Bruce and his tactics and form into the 2020/21 season it will be a disaster.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Brighton 0 Newcastle 0 – Monday 20 July 6pm

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Brighton:

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Brighton 62% (69%) Newcastle 38% (31%)

Total shots were Brighton 11 (7) Newcastle 11 (5)

Shots on target were Brighton 3 (2) Newcastle 1 (1)

Corners were Brighton 9 (5) Newcastle 7 (2)

Referee: Simon Hooper

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Krafth, Fernandez, Rose, Shelvey, Bentaleb, Almiron (Lazaro 86), Ritchie, Gayle (Carroll), Saint-Maximin (Joelinton 74)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Muto, Atsu, Yedlin, M Longstaff, Watts

Crowd: 00,000

(This Steve Bruce statement makes absolutely zero sense after Brighton 0 Newcastle 0 – Read HERE)

(Brighton 0 Newcastle 0 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Monday’s dire goalless draw – Read HERE)

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Brighton 0 Newcastle 0 – Read HERE)

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