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New stunning stats report shows clearly what ‘style’ Steve Bruce has Newcastle United playing

12 months ago

Ahead of the last match against Burnley at St James Park, Steve Bruce had a right old rant.

At his pre-match press conference, the Newcastle United had a go at the journalists via Zoom.

Steve Bruce feeling that he had been unfairly criticised for being clueless about tactics, as well as the ‘style’ of football being played.

So what kind of ‘style’ does Steve Bruce have the team playing?

Well, a new report and table of statistics appears to give very clear evidence of exactly what style / kind of football he has his Newcastle United team playing.

A table has been published by ‘The Other 14’ (who specialise on stats/tables etc on the 14 clubs who aren’t the ‘Big Six’) which shows the most successful Premier League teams when it comes to passing accuracy, both short and long.

As you can see, a number of interesting factors, pointing to how Steve Bruce has his team playing in terms of ‘style’ of play.

First of all, the fact that overall, Newcastle United tend to play less passes than almost all of the other teams. Only three average less than NUFC’s 279.8 passes per game so far and that includes two of the bottom four in Sheffield United and West Brom.

I think you clearly see a split as well in style of play between the ‘Other 14’, exactly half the  teams on either side of the divide.

From Leeds (377.5 passes per game) up you have the clubs trying to play the better football, keeping the ball and making more passes, with Everton right at the top of these stats and also top of the Premier League table. Doesn’t mean it always works (Fulham not having the quality to then use their passing / possession in the final third) but they are trying to do the right thing.

From Burnley (303.7 passes per game) downwards, you have the other seven clubs, playing a very different ‘style’, with Steve Bruce and Newcastle typical of that. Bruce still going very defensive and relying largely on breaks up the pitch from deep by the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin, Newcastle still haven’t managed to get a majority of the possession in any Premier League match this season and average under 43% (BBC Sport the source) possession across the four games.

Maybe though the number of short accurate passes per game really shows the style of Steve Bruce.

Newcastle average just under 250 accurate short passes per game and only Sheff Utd, West Brom and Palace average less. Even Burnley (275 accurate short per game 0 they have played only three matches) have more, Villa also having played only three games and they average 268.

In comparison to Newcastle just under 250 short accurate passes, the likes of Brighton (396) and Southampton (366) are playing a completely different game, their managers quickly putting their own style on the teams and getting them playing more football.

Of those teams at the bottom of the stats who play the least short accurate passes, it is also striking that out of all of them, Newcastle play the very most long accurate (and not so accurate) passes of all the low possession / passing teams.

Steve Bruce repeatedly says that he is changing the style of this Newcastle United team but very little evidence so far, still very much reliant on giving the ball to Allan Saint-Maximin and hope he does something, as evidenced in that last match against Burnley.


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