The Premier League returns at the weekend, and it’s Tottenham who will be the visitors at St James’ Park as both sides seek to carry on their fine run of form.
There is no doubt that this will be a tough game. Spurs are a good side and have Champions League aspirations, with players capable of attaining that goal by the end of the season. They won’t have it all their own way on Sunday though and Newcastle will provide them with an equally tough test.
In truth Tottenham are probably just about the favourites. I’m not being down on Newcastle, not at all, but the reality is that they will be the ones who are expected to win the eyes of the bookies. Skybet have Newcastle at 15/8 whilst Spurs are 7/5. Not much in it, but still…
If Tottenham are to win on Sunday then it will take some effort. Likewise if Newcastle are to win it will be down, mainly, to hard work. That is what I managed to deduce from an article in the Chronicle today anyway.
Now some of these stats have been mentioned before at various stages, but I thought it would be interesting to look at them again in their updated form. They basically detail just how hard working our defensive unit has been and central midfield pairing have been so far this season.
Newcastle have the hardest working back line in the Premier League, with the players who have played covering a total of 352,102 metres (219ish miles) between them. They’ve also made more defensive clearances than any other defensive unit with that particular total standing at 40. The next highest is Manchester City with 25.
The defence are undoubtedly being helped out by the central midfield pairing of Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye who give us a great mix of style and steel in the middle of the park. They’re not lazy either and have proved themselves to be the hardest working midfield pairing in the Premier League having covered a distance of 167,703 metres (104ish miles) between them.
It’s clear to see that we have a hard working team. In truth the stats didn’t need to be brought up to highlight it as it’s something that has been evident right from the start of the season. However I thought it would make for interesting reading so there you go.
Over the years I’ve seen Newcastle teams turn up and not even look bothered about playing football. Over the last couple of years this hasn’t been the case, but there has still been a lack of effort on the odd occasion.
You won’t get a lack of effort from this current crop of Toon stars and in truth I guess that is all we can ever ask for as fans. Yes I’d love to have World Class players at NUFC again, but to me that doesn’t necessarily matter. What does matter to me is that those lads in black and white, whatever their failings, go out there and give it their all.
At the moment we are getting just that!