4-4-2 versus 4-3-3: The Numbers

Just 4 games to go now! 6 wins on the spin, 1 short of NUFC’s best ever win run in the Premier League (1996) and Champion’s League football still a strong possibly, albeit reliant on Chelsea’s performance now in the final this year.

Newcastle are looking to end the season in one of the best purple patches the club has been through in the top flight, many crediting the change of formation to a more attacking and player-suiting 4-3-3 for the superb performances of late.

Quite a bold statement to make, as NUFC have never been lower than 7th for the entirety of the season, but it does make one wonder of the impact the change of formation has had, particular when NUFC are yet to drop points using it!

So, a look at some of the numbers was in order…

NUFC in the Premier League - Pre/post 4-3-3

2 things stand out like a sore thumb here – assists and goals conceded. Newcastle have produced 50% more assists since reverting to 4-3-3 and only conceded 1 goal in 540 minutes of Premier League football using that system.

NUFC - Pre/post 4-3-3 per game numbers

The graph illustrates the changes in fortune with the aforementioned assists and goal conceded, but also how NUFC’s goal scoring has improved.

In terms of creating chances, the new system hasn’t been more or less effective really; Newcastle have had the ability to score in every fixture this season and is the main reason behind their good season.

NUFC - Last 6, chances created

Looking at the chances created in the last 6 games where the 4-3-3 has been applied, it can be seen how more ‘free-flowing’ Newcastle’s play has become and that, other than the right dominant Liverpool game, the spread of NUFC’s creativity is far larger than it was earlier in the season.

The right side in particular is far more effective for NUFC now, where at the beginning of the season, they had one of the lowest percentages for attacks and shots from that side. The introduction and consistency of Hatem Ben Arfa has undoubtedly had a positive effect on the teams attack.

NUFC - Last 6, goals scored

A look at the actual goals from the same 6 games shows firstly the impact of Papiss Cisse – 9 goals in 6 games, an incredible return from the Senegalese man in his first season in the English top flight. 2 goals each from Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye make up the 13, the French pair having notched just 3 and 2 times respectively prior to the change in formation.

The graphic highlights the areas in which Cisse in particular does his work and that good service from the likes of Ba, Ben Arfa, and the higher playing Cabaye into the penalty area generally ends up with work for the opposing GK to do or a rippling of the net!

It may be too soon to make much of the numbers in the new system, but most of the Geordie faithful will admit that Newcastle look a far better outfit in this more attacking formation, a system that is getting the best out of the more flair and able players.

It hasn’t all been about the goals though, just 1 goal conceded in the 6 games shows that although NUFC’s attacking options have been bolstered, it isn’t having any detrimental effect on defending. Credit must go to the back 5 and midfield players like Jonas and Tiote for that.

Here’s hoping it continues and Newcastle finish with as many points as possible – the Magpie worshipers wait in hope of the Black & White’s European fate…

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160 thoughts on “4-4-2 versus 4-3-3: The Numbers

  1. JJ….If you worry about one then you have to worry about the other……unless you’re me, as I’m not worried about Chelsea winning the UCL :mrgreen:

    Toonsy….you’ll have to get used to it, they still cry when they’re older and you lock them in the cupboard under the stairs 😆


  2. Toonsy.

    Spend every second you can with him mate…

    My baby mom and I arnt together. Shes gone completely psychotic since the pregnancy.
    Will only let me see him for an hour every two weeks.
    Cab do nothing about it until he’s six weeks old. Because she refused to put me on his birth certificate…

    This is despite me paying her medical aid, the birth costs, and all his expenses.

    People complain about the nappies, lack of sleep… But Id do anything to be woken up him or change his nappy if it meant seeing him for 10 minutes longer…


  3. JJ…hope ya can sort it out, seems to be the same in most countries, Dads have very few rights 🙁


  4. JJ – To be honest that’s what I worry about. I don;t want the Mrs to get any kind of depression or anything like that. Luckily she has all my family, her family and her friends to help her out and keep her sane while I’m away.

    I don’t really want to work away if I’m honest,but the Mrs always wanted to drop to part time when she had a kid so I had to make up the money somewhere and this new job is like £40k a year – not bad after leaving a “leading” company at Toyota to become a mere Coach Driver instead. Silly money which allows her to drop to part time or even drop out of work completely which keeps her happy. So I’ll be away but at leas she is getting something out of it and she can just concentrate on the kid.

    Shit what yours has done to you mind. Far too many mothers play the god card with their children and use them as a weapon.Sad if you ask me, but she’ll slip out of it in time. Unfortunately you’ve just got to take it until the six weeks is up. Stay strong dude.

    And get writing 😈


  5. Toonsy,

    You don’t need to worry mate.
    We only knew each other for four months. And she is young (21).

    So I’m sure even if your missus does get the baby blues, she’ll handle it with maturity…

    The situation is hard and costly. But I know as long as the baby is loved and healthy things will be fine.

    I’m far more relaxed and happy than I was before the birth. 😀

    It’s a great feeling.


  6. JJ – thats sucks mate. 😈 Hold on fella you never kna whats roond the corner.
    Good luck to you.


  7. BB

    Thanks mate.

    But she hooked up with someone else already. So I have no intention of ever being together now. Its amazing. Not one arguement in four months. Every day together smiling and laughing and then she found out she was pregnant, its like her world ended and it was my fault…

    She loves the baby don’t get me wrong, but she hates me for, “taking her youth”.

    All I want is to be a good father. Its hard an hour every second weekend to be that.

    Anyway, everyone has their problems. When he is older, he will know his father loves him and hopefully his mother would have grown up a bit.

    Its just sad a mother uses the child to vent her anger. The laws really are unfair.

    Fortunately I still see it as a fantastic year. I’ve got a healthy beautiful son and the Toon are flying… 😀 😀


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