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King of the dribble at Newcastle United this season – No, it’s not him!

7 months ago

Allan Saint-Maximin and Jacob Murphy grabbed the goals to rescue Newcastle United on Sunday.

After a shocking opening 57 minutes, the French winger introduced from the bench.

Within seven minutes the game had turned on its head, NUFC suddenly 2-1 up and heading for what was only a third victory in their last twenty two matches.

Firstly, Allan Saint-Maximin twisting and turning, dribbling into the box, before then laying the ball back for Jacob Murphy to equalise with a fine finish.

Secondly, on five minutes later ASM received the ball just over the halfway line in a central area, then turned and ran at Burnley, the defenders making the fatal mistake of backing off all the way to inside their own 18 yard box. ASM into the danger area and scoring with a composed left foot finish with the home defence at sixes and sevens.

A couple of bits of individual skill, running with the ball, the Allan Saint-Maximin trademark.

A newly updated table (see below) on Wednesday shows Premier League players who have been more successful when it comes to dribbling.

Not surprisingly, Allan Saint-Maximin makes the list, with seven games remaining Allan Saint-Maximin has attempted 90 dribbles in his injury-affected season and has been successful in 55 of them, a success rate of 61%.

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 Premier League players who have been most successful when it comes to dribbling:

A surprise no doubt to many fans, that another Newcastle player has a better success rate this season when it comes to dribbling, step forward Jacob Murphy.

Supporting Newcastle United all his life, Murphy has been successful with 31 of 48 dribbles in the Premier League this season, a success ratio of 65%.

Jacob Murphy finds himself in a strange position, having only two and a half months of his current NUFC contract remaining and not really had much opportunity to impress.

Only 10 Premier League starts all season and only one of those in 2021, until getting his chance in these last two matches against Tottenham and Burnley.

Having played only 991 minutes of PL football all season and attempting 48 dribbles, that works out at one every twenty minutes and successful with a dribble around every thirty minutes – three times in a match. In a team / squad with so little creativity and with a Head Coach who makes it so difficult for flair to flourish with such routinely negative tactics, Jacob Murphy a real positive in this respect.

Personally, I think Jacob Murphy is in a really strange position, I don’t think he deserves a place in the Newcastle team as either a full-back or winger. However, as an attacking wing-back he seems to really thrive, when the emphasis is on him driving forward and carrying the ball. With negative tactics and / or up against a better side, as a defensive wing-back I think then Murphy struggles.

I think Jacob Murphy is well worth another contract as he has got something. However, I would foresee him only starting in games where Newcastle would be playing wing-backs AND be looking to get on the offensive, rather than defensive. Maybe look to play Javier Manquillo at right wing-back when the role calls for somebody who is a better defender.


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