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Newcastle United new left-field threat

4 months ago
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Ryan Fraser took up a new position on Saturday.

Or more accurately, the winger took up his old position.

Ryan Fraser lining up for Newcastle United against Brentford on the left hand side, the position where he made his name at Bournemouth.

After the final whistle, the Scotland international made his feelings known.

Ryan Fraser reflecting on the 2-0 win over Brentford:

“I played out on the left for the first time and the gaffer knows that’s my favourite position!

“Maxi (Allan Saint-Maximin) and Murph (Jacob Murphy) have been playing there and I got used to playing on the right.

“Me and Matt [Targett] had a very good relationship today.

“We trained just once with each other, on Friday, and as a full-back and wide man, I don’t think you would have noticed it would have been one day on the training pitch.

“We wanted to score two or three more in the second-half but sometimes in football, you take the two-nil and we’re now up to 14th. We need to go and win next week now and make it eight unbeaten!

“The gaffer had a meeting before the game at the hotel and his quote was ‘Do you want to be hunted or be the hunter?’.”

Ryan Fraser of course willing to play anywhere for Eddie Howe and Newcastle United BUT obviously keen on the left hand side if at all possible.

These stats in the table below certainly backing the winger’s case for a left-field position moving forward…

This table from the Other14 who specialise in stats that don’t involve the ‘big six’ clubs:

Premier League Most Chances Created 28 February 2022As you can see, Ryan Fraser at the very top of this ‘Other 14’ chances created table and when you add in Matt Targett, the due combining to produce a massive 11 chances created against Brentford, as they combined down the left.

Obviously this was against ten men for all but the opening eleven minutes BUT nonetheless impressive. Particularly when Ryan Fraser says that he and Matt Targett have only had one training session so far, with both operating in tandem down the left.

If it was / is so easy to create chances down the flanks against a sitting back ten men, how come on the other side of the pitch neither Jacob Murphy nor Emil Krafth managed more than one chance created, if indeed they created any?

Ryan Fraser of course laid on the cross for Joelinton’s headed goal, whilst he also put that chance on a plate for Chris Wood who unfortunately put his header too close to the keeper when he should have scored.

It is only one game and against ten men but it still suggests that if Ryan Fraser and Matt Targett are given a run in the team together on the left, we can start to see a more reliable source of decent crosses for Chris Wood (and others) to feed off. Something the former Burnley striker hasn’t really had, apart from rare exceptions, since he arrived last month.

Allan Saint-Maximin tends to cut in from the left and cause problems for the opposition in that way, not really looking to put in crosses from the left to feed the likes of Wood.

It would be great to see ASM back against Brighton on Saturday and coming in for Murphy, with Eddie Howe keeping the new left-field pair together and finding a different position for Allan Saint-Maximin to cause problems from as well.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Brentford 0 Newcastle 2 – Saturday 26 February 3pm

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Goals:

Brentford:

Red card Dasilva (11)

Newcastle:

Joelinton 33, Willock 44

Possession was Brentford 37% (35%) Newcastle 63% (65%)

Total shots were Brentford 6 (0) Newcastle 26 (14)

Shots on target were Brentford 1 (0) Newcastle 11 (8)

Corners were Brentford 6 (3) Newcastle 6 (3)

Referee: Mike Dean

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett, Willock (Lascelles 83), Shelvey, Joelinton, Fraser (Almiron 90), Murphy (Guimaraes 64), Wood

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Dummett, Fernandez, Manquillo, Gayle, Longstaff

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Brentford 0 Newcastle 2 – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce’s ears will be burning with these latest comments from Newcastle United star – Read HERE)

(Brentford 0 Newcastle 2 – Instant NUFC fan / writer reaction to Saturday’s key victory – Read HERE)

(Brentford 0 Newcastle 2 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Can’t disagree with this from Alan Shearer – Brentford 0 Newcastle 2 – Read HERE)

(Brentford 0 Newcastle 2 – The three big points that I’m taking from the match – Read HERE)

(Brentford 0 Newcastle 2 match report – Read HERE)

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