Toon 1-2 Terriers – Shamrock’s review

There is a theme developing here. In fact there’s a couple. The first being that our bunch of pampered EX-Premier League standard players need to wake up and man up. The Championship is full of players willing to graft for their team – players that will go in hard for those 50/50 balls. The referee’s turn a blind eye to robust challenges. Get used to it boys. Welcome to the Championship. Now step up or watch your careers fade away into oblivion – because tippy tappy sideways passes whilst pointing somewhere expecting your teammates to take a hit for you or run those extra few yards is just not going to cut it.

The second thing screaming out at us has to be the dire need for a large, physically influential striker. It seems obvious from the radio commentary and game highlights, but i’ll qualify that with some facts. After all, Rafa likes facts – and so do I. The main piece of evidence being the 9 completed crosses, 7 of which were between the penalty spot and 6-yard box and 2 of which were on the 6 yard box. 5 of those crosses consisted of Newcastle’s total of 7 goal scoring opportunities – and yet not one of them hit the back of the net. In fact, from our total of 13 shots only 3 of them was a header (a sitter for Gayle, which went wide and a later miss for Ritchie), with Gayle’s follow up from a penalty, which was unopposed and does not really count .

That is shocking. It’s all very well calling for 4-4-2 or whatever else you want – with traditional wing play etc etc. But who’s going to get on the end of the ball? 4-2-3-1 is not a problem for us when it comes to getting crosses in. We managed 32 to Huddersfield’s 6. This was not a one off. The numbers are similar for the Fulham game too. We just need a big man to get the ball down and rough the opposition defenders up. I’m sure if we had that, then the likes of Gayle, Perez and Ritchie would be on queue with a follow up into the bottom corner.

Jamaal Lascelles is getting a bit of stick. He is being portrayed as unable to handle the pressure of being Captain. He’s an average defender that talks big but delivers little. I think that’s harsh. Take a look at the goals in this clip.

The first goal is truly shocking. Huddersfield walk the ball down their left wing, with a man in support. Janmaat fails to close the man in possession down, whilst nobody from midfield busts a gut to prevent a 2 V 1 situation on the wing. I can’t work out what’s worse – Janmaat pointing at the extra runner and nobody coming to assist him, or the fact that in the end he fails to chose either man to close down and instead ends up somewhere in between the two, thus allowing a free cross into our penalty area. Shelvey came over to help out eventually, but failed to commit. The cross into the box is not attacked by either Hayden but especially Mbemba and the ball falls to Wells, who puts it away. No question Lascelles was escaped by his man and has to take equal responsibility for conceding the goal. But for me, Janmaat created he problem, the midfield then failed to provide back up, Mbemba stood around and failed to attack the cross and then Lascelles lost his man. That was a proper team effort of cock-ups.

The second goal is a long ball attacking our right wing. The first thing I will point out is that neither of our right sided payers are anywhere to be seen until Janmaat comes jogging back when it’s way too late. Our center back pairing get pulled out of shape as a result and Mbemba has to cover the right back slot, leaving Lascelles exposed on his own. Mbemba does take a little dig into his back during the challenge, but he is far too soft here. This is the Championship son! Mbemba should have won that ball all day long, but he allows the attacker to turn the ball inside and gets left for dust. Now Lascelles is in between a rock and a hard place here. He knows he has to keep a high line with most of our team stranded at the other end of the pitch. He tries to draw the referee’s attantion, briefly, to the foul on Mbemba. Maybe that cost him a second, but I don’t think so. His eyes are on the ball, knowing Mbemba is about to be left for dust. He needs to keep himself in between the ball and the goal.

Payne then comes running in from midfield. Lascelles can’t run at Payne because all the momentum is coming the other way. A Toon midfielder should have been on Payne. Look at the footage closely when the ball comes over the top. You see Payne stood right next to Hayden. A couple of yards in-field to them is Shelvey. Watch what happens next. Payne goes for it like a bat out of hell. Hayden seems oblivious to the fact HIS man has taken off and instead decides to go over to help Mbemba. He should have seen Lascelles had this covered. Hayden realises his mistake far too late and is out of the game. The ball gets released and Lascelles tries to make up for the mistakes of his two teammates but it’s too late. Dummett comes racing back to help out, but for some reason instead of challenging Payne, who Lascelles has managed to shepherd out wide, steps inside and neither challenges Payne nor gets in between the ball and the goal. Bizarre. Look one more time at the footage and ask yourself this. Where is Shelvey? He should have been busting a gut to get back and support his teammates, but he is nowhere to be seen.

Lascelles made 3 blocks, 5 clearances, 1 tackle, 2 interceptions and 4 headers. Mbemba has similar numbers, resulting in 16 successful defensive actions for Lascelles versus 12 for Mbemba. The numbers are similar for Huddersfield’s CB pairing, with 14 and 12 respectively. The massive difference however, is in central midfield from a defensive perspective. Take a look at the pic below to see successful tackles from our respective central midfielders, Shelvey and Hayden Vs Hogg and Mooy.

DMS

As you can see, the Terriers’ central midfielders won 11 tackles in total, compared to the Toon’s 3. The spread was even between their midfielders, with Hogg winning 5. Meanwhile, Hayden won all 3 of Newcastle’s. Shelvey did not win a single tackle. It gets worse. Hayden failed 3 attempts to tackle, but at least he was trying. Shelvey failed none, because he did not make a single challenge. In total Hogg and Mooy made 18 tackles attempts, winning 11. Hayden made 6, winning 3 – whilst Shelvey made none.

Shelvey did create 2 goal scoring chances, made 4 good crosses and had one shot on target. Compare that to Diame, who failed his two take on’s, had no shots, put in no crosses and created no chances. It was his first game, but he was anonymous. Shelvey is better suited to an advanced role. Yes he likes a Hollywood pass, but he actually connected with 80% of his long passes and was our best creative output.

The trouble we have, is not having specialists for specialist positions. If we are playing 4-2-3-1 then we need two effective defensive midfielders otherwise Hayden will be caught out trying to cover the area of two players. Rolando Aarons showed he has a lot to learn by being bullied off the ball and failing to put a single cross in. He will get there and is a good squad player, but we are desperate for a senior left winger. Anita on the wing managed only 2 crosses, neither of which were accurate (one went out of play and the other almost left the box). Newcastle improved massively in the second half and that was in no small part of Matt Ritchie, who showed what having the right players in the right positions can do. In 45 minutes he managed 10 crosses, 2 of which were goal scoring opportunities. Trouble is, there was no big man to ruffle a few feathers in the box.

Janmaat only completed 1 of his 10 crosses and made not a single positive defensive action. Yes he did create a chance, but surely we need a full back who’s first duty is to defend? His fruitless marauding is often the catalyst for opposition attacks and it needs to be put to bed. He is a good defender on his day. Paul Dummett did more defensively, created a goal scoring chance and succeeded with 3 crosses. Credit where it’s due.

One final observation I will show you, is this.

Huddersfield shots

This is all of Huddersfield’s shots on goal. Note that how all bar one are to Mats Selz’ right side, almost exclusively in the bottom corner, where both goals went in. Have they done their homework and discovered a weakness in our man between the sticks?

About Shamrock

Like everyone here, support Newcastle United. Not the easiest side to feel good about at times, but it's our side!

32 thoughts on “Toon 1-2 Terriers – Shamrock’s review

  1. Shelvey is poor. Can’t tackle but plays center-mid . Bought a slow dud in my eyes..
    He was dropped at Liverpool and Swansea for a reason

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  2. SHAM great thread mate, it sums up what i thought about some of the players on the day but you have took it to another level which imo is spot on,i love these type of threads which take one hell of lot of study it also takes out doubts fans might have on some players you cannot beat “facts”

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  3. As usual, some interesting observations. I am not worried yet as Rafa’s record has been good everywhere he has been. I don’t agree with Munich Mag that all of the new signings are plodders. We haven’t even seen some of them and Ritchie tore up the Championship last time he was in it.

    I find it difficult to judge a player until they are at NUFC because I don’t pay as much attention to other teams’ players unless they do something special. When you watch them every week you then really notice their strengths and weaknesses. Having only seen 90 minutes against Fulham I cannot really say what we have bought. That said I am disappointed with Shelvey so far and he really needs to be bossing games at this level.

    It would be good to have some competition for Dummett and we all have known for a long time that we need another goalscorer and preferably someone in a similar mould to Mitro so we have some holdup play.

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  4. “In fact, from our total of 13 shots only one of them was a header (a sitter for Gayle, which went wide), with the exception of Gayle’s unopposed follow up from his penalty.”
    ?????
    Well that just isn’t true – what about the headed sitter Ritchie missed in the second half or Gayle’s header into the top corner from the penalty spot in the first? If you didn’t watch the game that is fine but don’t write an analysis of the game based just on the 2 minute highlight video you’ve seen.

    Having said that… I agree, we were useless .

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  5. Excellent again Shamrock! Shelvey has great passing ability but is really slow and ball watches when it’s not near him. Colback and Diame could be the best midfield combo.

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  6. Great Thread mate as always. What to do about Shelvey eh, think it’s obvious he needs playing further forward and some strong words from Rafa about how to get stuck in like a few of them. As for Janmaat I had hoped he’d be gone as he has never convinced me he is a good defender and I’m sick of saying it. I’m old fashioned I like my defenders to defend first and foremost, I don’t care if he gets forward well, there’s little end product and he leaves us vulnerable with every failed foray forward. I would put Anita at RB where I think he is much better deployed than the wing or MF. Failing that let’s try Gamez, after all we haven’t bought him for decoration .

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  7. 2_goal_tino:
    “In fact, from our total of 13 shots only one of them was a header (a sitter for Gayle, which went wide), with the exception of Gayle’s unopposed follow up from his penalty.”
    ?????
    Well that just isn’t true – what about the headed sitter Ritchie missed in the second half or Gayle’s header into the top corner from the penalty spot in the first? If you didn’t watch the game that is fine but don’t write an analysis of the game based just on the 2 minute highlight video you’ve seen.

    Having said that… I agree, we were useless .

    You think I did a review consisting of total shots, tackling stats etc based on a 2 minute YouTube video? I was not aware of a Ritchie header as it’s not registered in the match stats. I’m happy to take your word for it though. As for berating me for not mentioning g Gayle’s header from the penalty, even going as far as quoting what I wrote – all I can say is re-read it again. It’s there.

    Thanks for your contribution though and er, welcome. I have even added Ritchie’s header into the article stats, so hopefully you’ll sleep easier now ?

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  8. An excellent analysis Shamrock. Shelvey is good going forward but is useless as a defender. As for Janmaat I am with Kim on this one. Anita was very good at RB last season better than Janmaat in my view who is regularly beaten ( when he is there) , when the opposing player feints to go outside then cuts inside. This seems to beat him frequently.

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  9. Another way to interpret the crossing stats, is 9 successful crosses resulting in 5 goal scoring opportunities from which only 2 players managed to get their head on and neither scored, or hit the target. Arguing over a single header is neither here nor there. It’s still pish poor and the point still is that we need a big man up front.

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  10. No concern for me. If we end the transfer window without a winger, left back and striker I’ll be more concerned. The players will also be getting use to what they can and can’t get away with in this league and they’ll realise soon they can be a lot stronger than they could in the PL.

    Unbelievably I see Sissoko could be on his way to… Wait for it… Crystal Palace!!! ??? oh it would be hilarious if they went down and we went up. Now that would be karma for both him and Townsend.

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  11. Stuart79:
    No concern for me.If we end the transfer window without a winger, left back and striker I’ll be more concerned.The players will also be getting use to what they can and can’t get away with in this league and they’ll realise soon they can be a lot stronger than they could in the PL.

    Unbelievably I see Sissoko could be on his way to… Wait for it… Crystal Palace!!! oh it would be hilarious if they went down and we went up.Now that would be karma for both him and Townsend.

    Stu. Mate I said the other day , if two people were made for each other it’s Sissy and Pards
    # full of self importance

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  12. Heard Pards giving a presser the other day and when asked about transfers he started off his reply with ‘ As I said to my fans the other day…….
    MY FANS, not our fans 😆 that little slip tells you all you need to know, still thinks it’s all about him.

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  13. Shamrock: You think I did a review consisting of total shots, tackling stats etc based on a 2 minute YouTube video? I was not aware of a Ritchie header as it’s not registered in the match stats. I’m happy to take your word for it though. As for berating me for not mentioning g Gayle’s header from the penalty, even going as far as quoting what I wrote – all I can say is re-read it again. It’s there.

    Thanks for your contributionthough and er,welcome. I have even added Ritchie’s header into the article stats, so hopefully you’ll sleep easier now

    Sham , It’s a sorry state of affairs when someone has little else to think about than picking over the bones of a well compiled article. It’s like they desperately search for the smallest missing detail for the sake of it. Even if there is an error there are ways of pointing it out.

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  14. pls no time to wast try to build up a displain team so that we can be up.loose of two game is a problem.

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  15. Kimtoon: Sham , It’s a sorry state of affairs when someone has little else to think about than picking over the bones of a well compiled article. It’s like they desperately search for the smallest missing detail for the sake of it. Even if there is an error there are ways of pointing it out.

    here bloody here mte

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  16. Great thread Sham. Well done. What’s the craic with some of the other threads that you can’t comment on? WhatS that all about?
    I see there’s a few already on Lascelles back but most were happy with him last season and were in agreement he should be made captain.
    It’s far too early to judge any player. Far too early.
    Incredible show of naivety from some on here.
    YKWYA. 😥

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  17. Mark Douglas ‏@MsiDouglas · 2m2 minutes ago

    NO interest from Palace in Sissoko, we’re hearing.. prospect of #nufc stay increases….

    Oh dear, he’s still waiting for his big move then.

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  18. Kimtoon:
    Mark Douglas ‏@MsiDouglas· 2m2 minutes ago

    NO interest from Palace in Sissoko, we’re hearing.. prospect of #nufc stay increases….

    Oh dear, he’s still waiting for his big move then.

    dam dam

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  19. Ice: I watched “A Shot in the Dark” the other night and it is so funny how similar that was in delivery to Rafa’s “facts” speech. The difference was that Rafa’s speech actually did make sense and he was unfairly mad fun of for it at the time.

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  20. I nay be mistaken but wasn’t Shelveys best run at Swansea playing as a no. 10 where he linked midfield and the strikers while being further up enough to have shots?

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  21. Another good one, Sham. I’d like to say something about this sentence: “If we are playing 4-2-3-1 then we need two effective defensive midfielders otherwise Hayden will be caught out trying to cover the area of two players.”

    Essentially, I agree. However, Shelvey, I think, is suited for one of those 2 ‘defensive’ midfielders. The idea behind having those two guys is so you have both extra tackling power in front of your defence and two options for playing the ball out of defence.

    The idea, at least in its original conception, was to have one as a ball winner and another to spread the play from deep. So the two guys have different roles. The best guy on our books for winning a defensive tackle is Tiote, though I reckon Colback can do it as well. I haven’t seen enough of Hayden to comment, but I’m not that impressed at the moment.

    Shelvey has, in the past, shown he can win a tackle, mostly in midfield, and he can spread the ball very well – I presume this is what you mean by a Hollywood pass. His problem is he is not good at understanding his defensive duties, ie, he doesn’t seem to understand what is required to defend. He needs to add that to his game to play the role expected of him.

    Contrast that to Aaron Mooy. I use Mooy as an example because I know his game very well – he was the best player in the A-league last season (and the season before), and is probably the best player Australia has produced for a while. Mooy gets around the field and tackles defensively and offensively. He spreads the play well (though not as well as Shelvey, although he does it intelligently), and he has the conceptual understanding of defence and attack. He still needs to develop all that, and I think his defensive play (his weaker attribute) will be greatly enhanced in the EFL, but I don’t think he is too far away from being a very useful PL player.

    I think I’ve lost the thread of what I wanted to say. But maybe I’ve said it. Essentially, I think Shelvey could be a good fit the position he plays and the role expected of him, but he needs to get his defensive role together … and do some tackling further up the field as well.

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  22. Cheers Bris. Interesting insight into Mooy there, who did a great job – better than our lot. I have seen nothing from Shelvey that suggests he has the work ethic or guts to chip in defensively. The idea of having a DM around that spreads play is sound, but they still need to be able to defend. I’m just not sure he got that in his locker, which is where Funkys’s point comes in about his most effective role being #10. I’d like to see him there and I’d like to see Tiote told to earn his pay in the team and seek his big move once his contract has run down. Hayden likes to get forward a bit and he does his bit defensively, so if he had Tiote next to him I think he would grow as a player a lot, with Tiote sticking to hard tackles and simple passes. They could be very effective together, with Colback the back up.

    Once the team.toughens up a bit I think they will be fine. They are creating chances, winning possession and getting lots of crosses in. Just need time to adapt and those 2 signings (LW and big man up front).

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  23. Nice read Sham… not concerned about the two losses as it is a long season.. a little concerned about the apparent lack of fight and urgency with our general play. There does not seem to be a whole lot of difference between our on field application and fight this year and that of recent years gone by.. Maybe it is a Newcastle thing, sign on with big hopes and promises and then coast through the rest of your contract. I hope Rafa can fire this lot up… based on some of the efforts, I have seen to date, a few rockets will need to be fired up few arses…
    Anyway, I have given up trying to work out where our squad is at… every time I see a glimmer of hope it is squashed by a mediocre performance…

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  24. Lee Ryder ‏@lee_ryder · 1h

    Another day, another Sissoko rumour in the French media. This time Inter Milan and Everton linked. #efc #nufc

    Getting silly now, when will this distracting saga ever end.

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