We all know that people have their favourites, and I’m not having a dig at people for having them because we all do it. For example, Toonsy hated Ryan Taylor, I’m not a fan of Gutierrez, some people love Ben Arfa, some don’t like Best, it’s just one of them things.
The main ones that stand up for criticism are Gabriel Obertan, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson and Leon Best. Is it justified? Well sometimes on the pitch they may look like they’re contributing, but some of these stats may prove otherwise.
I know stats can’t count for everything, but they are an indication of how well a team performs with certain personnel and how much a player contributes to the team. Some of these stats may shock people, and hopefully they may think a bit differently about certain players because of it.
Firstly, I’m going to look at when we’ve started Leon Best, and when we haven’t. I’m not counting sub appearances for this, because sometimes people come on for just a minute. So all of these stats are about when a player has started.
With Leon Best Starting: Won 11, Drawn 5, Lost 3.
Without Leon Best Starting: Won 2, Drawn 5, Lost 5
There’s a huge difference between the two, this season when Leon Best hasn’t started we have only won 2 games. The two games which we won without Leon starting were Man Utd and Sunderland, The 3 defeats were West Brom, Brighton, Fulham. That means Newcastle have won 58% of the games that Leon Best has started in, not too bad for a “championship” striker.
On the other end of the scale is the Italian full back, Davide Santon, that a lot of people really rate as a good player. I’m a bit unsure of his defensive qualities, one of the main reasons why I looked up this one to be honest.
With Davide Santon starting: Won 5, Drawn 3, Lost 5.
Without Davide Santon starting: Won 8, Drawn 7, Lost 3.
We have played 5 games less with Davide Santon starting and we’ve already lost 2 more games than we did with Ryan Taylor at left back. We won more and drew more without Santon in the side, does that mean he’s a weak link in the team? I’m not so sure he’s a weak link, but he’s no class defender, that’s for sure. Without Davide starting we lost 17% of our games, with him starting we’ve lost 38% interesting.
I’m sure everyone will have noticed the dip in our defence which occurred at around the same time as Santon was introduced, so the stats above may be a little harsh on Davide. With Steven Taylor I actually believe we’d now be sat in fourth place, that’s not me being deluded either, we would have picked up 4 more points with him, easy.
With Steven Taylor starting: Won 7, Drawn 5, Lost 2.
Without Steven Taylor starting: Won 6, Drawn 5, Lost 6.
When Steven Taylor was at the heart of the Newcastle defence we won 50% of our games, since his injury we have only won 35% of our games. Another big thing is the amount of defeats, with Steven Taylor we only lost 14% of our games, without him we’ve lost 35% of our games. He’s been a huge miss, and Williamson just doesn’t fill his void.
That’s my main three for this article and I will look into this a bit more as the season goes on, and hopefully I’ll be able to find some more interesting stats.
I have a few small stats which may be of interest too.
Newcastle have lost both games without Fabricio Coloccini starting this season. 0/2.
Newcastle have only won one game this season which Ryan Taylor hasn’t started. 1/8
Newcastle have won 56% of their matches that Demba Ba hasn’t started.
Newcastle have only lost 2 games that Ben Arfa hasn’t featured in.
Newcastle have won 44% of games that Shola Ameobi has started in.
What do you think about them?