CFC 2-0 NUFC – What did we learn?

Reality check time at Stamford Bridge as Newcastle were cut open by the craft of Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres in a 2-0 defeat on Sunday. But, Newcastle gave a super account of themselves and the disappointment of the club and fans at losing to one of England & Europe’s top sides really highlights the strides Newcastle United have made in recent years.

Chelsea were worthy winners in the end, but there were plenty of positives to take away. What did we learn statistically?

Positives:

In general, and particularly in the second half, Newcastle looked anything but a struggling side against Chelsea. Yes, in Eden Hazard, Juan Mata & Fernando Torres, Chelsea had players that were at times unplayable and we found them very difficult to contain, but Chelsea didn’t have the game all their way.

Tim Krul only made 4 saves all game, Petr Cech with 3. The Blues has 12 attempts at goal, just one more than Newcastle, getting 6 on target compared to NUFC’s 3. But, it was actually Newcastle that were the more astute when it came to carving out chances – their players managed to manufacture 8 chances in total (Simpson & RTaylor most with 2 each), whereas Chelsea managed only 7.



In terms of possession, Chelsea edged it slightly with 52.5% and their players had just 26 more touches than Newcastle’s (667 to 641), producing only 62 more passes (513 to 451). However, it was NUFC that were the more accurate with their passing, getting 88% on target compared to Chelsea’s 86% – very impressive considering Newcastle’s average pass accuracy for the whole of last season was just 76.7%.

Finally, Newcastle showed that they possess the ability, especially with players like Hatem Ben Arfa, to open up even the best of teams and they did that successfully, particularly down the sides at Stamford Bridge – they managed to produce 21 crosses compared to Chelsea’s 13 and at a more successful rate (24% to 23%).

Negatives:

A revert back to the passing figures shows that in general the teams were pretty par, but a look at passing zones highlights that NUFC simply didn’t play high enough up the pitch. Just 31% of their passes were produced in Chelsea’s half compared to 47% by the Blues. Furthermore, only 75 passes in total (17%) were made by Newcastle in the final third and only 44 (59%) were accurate. Chelsea completed 156 passes in the final third (30%) with a 72% accuracy. Nothing optimises this issue more than the fact that despite missing the game v Chelsea, Cheick Tiote has made more final third passes than any other Newcastle player in the Premier League so far (21)!!

A look at the positional shooting figures and for the second game running in the Premier League, Newcastle failed to produce a single shot from the right hand side. Pretty damning stat considering NUFC’s most creative player (HBA) plays there, although the left footed Frenchman does tend to cut inside a lot of the time and rarely holds down that left sided position throughout the game.

But, it is not Ben Arfa who is the problem – a look at where Danny Simpson received the ball shows just how little an attacking threat he poses, even though he has supplied more outfield crosses than anyone at NUFC in the Premier League so far. Compared to Davide Santon, Simpson is very content staying behind the play and rarely takes risks and joins in the build-up of attacks. NUFC have initiated 43% of their attacks from their left side in the division this season so far, only Wigan have produced a higher percentage (45%).

Danny Simpson v Chelsea – Where he received it
Davide Santon v Chelsea – Where he received it

Lastly, that 43% of attacks is a surprisingly high percentage, especially when you think about Jonas Gutierrez’s role at Newcastle now. He no longer plays the game as the flair, direct, attack-minded winger that he was bought by Kevin Keegan as. Alan Pardew has preferred to harness Jonas’ superb positional discipline and work rate by reverting the Argentinian to more central midfield role, where his responsibility is to help out his full back and double up whenever possible.

Newcastle v Chelsea – Average player positions

A look at the above graphic shows exactly that point – Jonas rarely ventured forward and was always on hand to help out Davide Santon and ensure he was never exposed to the threat of one of Chelsea’s talisman. It worked! Chelsea too failed to produce a single shot from their right hand side. The downside, is that we seldom see Jonas in the attacking third and in fact against Chelsea, he received the ball just 7 times in the Chelsea’s half (see below).

Jonas Gutierrez v Chelsea – Where he received it

To wrap up – yes, after the performance at Stamford Bridge last season, to lose there 2-0 was disappointing. But, one must consider the fact that this was NUFC’s 3rd game in a week and that Chelsea have spent over £80m on incomings this window in an attempt to solidify their place at the top of Europe’s elite and challenge again for honours domestically.

Demba Ba had an increasingly pleasing game but Yohan Cabaye and Papiss Cisse still seem a little ‘off’, whereas Vurnon Anita was thrown somewhat into the deep end for his first start in the toughest league in the world and I’m sure he will improve as he settles and his confidence grows.

Next up in the league – Aston Villa at home! HTL!

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210 thoughts on “CFC 2-0 NUFC – What did we learn?

  1. KIM we have perch 🙁 dont forget jabba had to give rangers a helping hand the blokes not made of money 😆 😆

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  2. Ice, I remember Pards saying he’s like two in maybe three.

    Then its Anita and maybe one more but that’s it.

    Then I am happy with the current squad.

    Then I just hope we can keep the current squad together.

    He is obviously told to put a list together and so he gets optimistic, but if we can’t get those players for less than a pittance then we just give up and say no signings.

    Then we sell and raise money and go back with a decent offer for one of those players (Anita).

    After that, unless we sell again, our dealings are done. We may bring in a cheapy or freeby, but thats it.

    I know it sounds negative but that is how its worked for the past three years.

    I doubt Pardew is happy about it but there is nothing he can do and he has to keep morale up.

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  3. Sharpy you need to put those mackems in their place, it has taken them a year and a half to replace bent 😕
    Within a year of selling Carroll we had replaced him twice over!
    I know this transfer window has been frustrating but i do wish some perspective was used when criticising.
    Can someone name a club who have had a better last few windows overall?

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  4. I look around at West Ham , QPR, Reading ,Southampton Even Villa trying to get or getting in what they need to consolidate or improve on last year and the SCUM in all .I’m not saying spend loads but address what needs fixing that’s all.

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  5. Keep the faith everyone.. good things (new players) will happen… trust me, I’m a doct…….. 🙂

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  6. JJ that just about sums it up mate,sad but true,as a lot of the none footy press have said ashley is in this game to make money not a lot of thought for footy side of it,what a pity we had a chance to push on,ah well nowt we can do about it

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  7. Look I think we all need to accept that mike and Dekka will not put the club further in debt by spending big on players. We will only buy if we have the cash and the deal is right. We can look at all the big spending other clubs are doing but thing we never see is the debt that the clubs are putting themselves in. Players and their agents are bleeding clubs dry and something has to give. So I can see why our club is run the way it is but I agree that it is frustrating watching other teams spend.
    We haven’t sold big so it is a fair chance that we won’t buy big…

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  8. I’m still trying to work out this Carroll bid we put in to loan /possibly buy. I mean if there is no real intent there why bother to even try ,they must of known we’d be told to F.off. 🙄 Then theres LDJ ,who never had any intention of coming and Debuchy with all that rubbish between Toon and Lille . When you get down to it every one bar Anita ( dirt cheap ) we been linked to has come to nothing. Beats the hell out of me why we are using Carr to scout if we don’t end up with anyone he finds .I accept last years gems like but you seriously can’t tell me Carr ain’t identified a decent CB for the first team ,it can’t possibly be Good ,he ain’t gonna be ready yet.

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  9. AMF thats it mate keep the flag flying,you aussies know whats what, just look at the games how well you did,oh better not we know what didnt happen
    what ever i will always be a toon nutter 😀

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  10. LST
    I do, I have a feeling we’ll get either a sneaky striker in or a defender, either Debuchy or another CB.

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  11. Liam,

    I have a feeling we are done, UNLESS, we sell and the two I can see us selling are Cabaye or Tiote and of those two I think Cabaye is the more likely to leave.

    If Cabaye does leave I think we will sign Debuchy. That’s my opinion 😀

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  12. What ever happens in the next few days.. the team will have my full support. Nothing else matters once the whistle blows to start a game.

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  13. AMF ime not kidding my village is on the flight path into toon it could be nowt like but defo saw it pass over,could be to tell them they are getting nowt,its better face to face 🙁

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  14. Ice 🙂 I believe you, many wouldn’t 🙂 🙂 maybe jabba has flown Andy back into town 🙂 🙂

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  15. Ice,
    He’s got Lambias and they going to set up the cut out shadow puppets and switch on the Benton lights so that David Craig has to stand outside until midnight on deadline day waiting for feck all to happen while they sent texts to mess the journos about 😉

    Sometimes I genuinely think its some kind of hilarious game. 😉

    Is Ashley’s chopper the only one in the Toon?

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  16. cant stand david craig i hate transfer deadline day yet love it at the same time 😕

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  17. Actually come to think of it, this board does have a proud history of making a signing just after I’ve stated they haven’t shown ambtion…

    I wrote a blog about us not needing a new number nine until they find the right man. Two days later we signed Cisse.
    Then I wrote a blog about them not signing anyone until we sell because they won’t spend.
    The next day they signed Anita.

    I guess I should be writing a blog saying they have left us short of depth and it will prove costly, just so that they then go ahead and sign us a defender but screw that, I’m too lazy today.

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  18. Actually the whole David Craig thing is a good guide to what’s going on as last summer transfer window he was outside the stadium of sh**e for the first time and I knew then that, that was it nowt happening at Toon, as he would of been there otherwise.

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  19. I think someone needs to hide the copter keys on deadline day so he can’t fly anyone away from Toon 😀

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  20. kim thats true if he is outside the toon calling a sickie and getting the beers in just in case!

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  21. i only know it as ive seen it at benton a few times,always have copters flying over here cops,elec board ect,now dont ask me what make it is or how nuts and bolts in ime nee engineer maybe somebody has a dead ringer for it,but that was it imo,as i said could be nowt,he could be ganning on up to rangers to put more cash in there 😀

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  22. Arsenal are not buying Cabaye or Tiote they ain’t gonna match our Valuation. Tiote to Chelsea possible. City & Utd not interested. Spurs may want to spend but do the players want to be part of AVB’s project.

    So I don’t expect to see anyone leave.

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  23. Is there actually any substance to any of these rumours ??

    Man city are lazily linked with captain colo/ben arfa and in reality they are signing nastasic from fiorentina and sinclair from swansea and are in talks with benfica for garcia.

    The cabaye spuds link was lee ryder classic dot to dot journalism because they sold modric, They will sign mvila, willian and loris.

    Arsenal maybe interested in cabaye but id be amazed if wenger bid £20m or over.

    seems like newspaper bollocks that has been retweeted, printed and said a million times over until people take them as fact, Even skys sources havent mentioned tiote/cabaye leaving and they will attach themselves to any ropey link…

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  24. CC – Precisely easy targets and easy to unsettle the toon
    Ice – ashley wouldnt be that worried about coptering until friday 😎

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  25. Liam
    Know what ya mean, scares me shitless and excites the hell out of me and the same time. I honestly don’t think anyone will go but I have faith in some arrivals.

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  26. Incoming I think Liverpool need the cash for Dempsey and Sturridge so we will get Carroll back. Debuchey will depend upon Lille in the match tomorrow. Lose and Lille will sell. Others can’t predict.

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  27. PREM do you really think toon want carroll,i doubt it myself,seems all pardew and rag crap myself,pardew just putting good face on for club imo,could be wrong like 😐

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  28. Reading these posts, Geordies sure are an optimistic bunch. Most expect one in…

    I would say, there’s a 90% chance we don’t sign anyone and a 30% chance we lose one…. Tick tock tick tock tick tock…

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  29. Sturridge wouldn’t work at Liverpool, so I hope they sign him.

    He is too selfish a player, he would frustrate the hell out of Gerrard and Suarez.

    I think he is a good player and not long ago thought he’d be a good signing but having watched him more closely since then, I just think he is too selfish and has too bigger ego to ever go beyond the player he is now.

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  30. [email protected] ,I don’t think Carroll will return and my reason for that is he’s still getting game time and risking injury!, hard to sell a crock like. Also Buck made it clear he wanted it resolved last week so he had time to get cover in ,that is why he was sitting down to talk to AC.

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  31. jez theres a right bunch og negative people on today.
    FFS have a bit of faith jabba won’t let us down, and anyway we should be grateful he hasn’t sold our top players. 😉 but some are still not happy.

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  32. Twatter is alive with the news cabaye fee agreed with arsenal….prepare yourselves for more madness 🙄

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  33. DAVE @198 just gan back to work mate,ill give you a shout if owt happens could be jan like,i know your just hoping for a birthday present t/morrow 😀

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  34. Premandup says:
    August 28, 2012 at 15:10
    Incoming I think Liverpool need the cash for Dempsey and Sturridge so we will get Carroll back. Debuchey will depend upon Lille in the match tomorrow. Lose and Lille will sell. Others can’t predict.
    ————————————
    I think that’s pretty accurate. Not saying Carroll will come here as I just don’t think Lpool wants the bad pr of selling him back to us at a fraction of what they paid. But he will go somewhere at a reduced fee so they can add Dempsey and/or Sturridge. I’ve heard a few rumours here that the Carroll situaiton is what’s held up the dempsey to LPool deal.

    On a related note, I see the semi-annual Great Newcastle Transfer Panic has retuned again 😯 😆

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  35. arsene has been known to want cabaye too.
    Oh well let the fun begin 4 more days left

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  36. I agree with Ice as I was just about to say the same thing. I can’t believe that Ashley/Llambias would allow Cabaye to go for 15m as reported, it would have to be £22m+ for them to even consider it. Same with toto to all the clubs he’s been linked to.

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  37. Ice
    Quite a few comments on it seemed very sceptical of the goal. Benny managed to do what he did when Bolton had 11 men on the field, in a league where defending is renound for tough, precise tackling compared to the Brazilian league where they allow players lots of space for running past them.

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  38. That Macca guy who got his on page on Liverpool rumours site says Carroll 90% to go but will be an undisclosed fee.

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  39. BATTY @ 116, PREMANDUP @ 117, SHARPY17 @118 and KIMTOON @ 125,

    I didn’t know that Ranger was that bad, I remember him being agile and effective last season against us! To be frank I like this lot from your team: Krul, Coloccini, Gutierrez, Tiote, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Ba and Cisse! And I would never forget Papiss’ wonder goal against us last season, I even celebrated it that time!

    And RIP to Freddie Fletcher @>—, your legend I guess?

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  40. I was also so happy when you cashed in on Carrol, but sad that the guy was destroyed by his own price tag!

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