An Interesting Stat On Newcastle’s Ruthlessness In Front Of Goal

Newcastle United have not found themselves struggling to score goals this season.

The side and in particular Dwight Gayle, have been extremely efficient in front of goal, which is part of the reason that they find themselves top of the league this Christmas.

However, 65%* of their efforts have come from the middle of the pitch this season. Something that is strange, considering that 45% of their touches have come down the right hand side of the pitch.

This may sound like a very uninteresting statistic, however, it could well explain Newcastle’s ruthlessness in front of goal. Last season, for example, it seemed as though Daryl Janmaat, Moussa Sissoko and Andros Townsend were forever trying their luck from the right hand side of the pitch, with limited success.

In the case of Sissoko, a lot is usually put down to his attitude and rightly so, but it is also interesting to remember that in the final few games of last season, Sissoko was a far better player playing centrally.

Perhaps the key to Newcastle’s goal-scoring is that they are far more patient with their build  up and conservative of where they shoot from.

*all stats are taken from WhoScored.com

82 thoughts on “An Interesting Stat On Newcastle’s Ruthlessness In Front Of Goal

  1. As I said yesterday, I wouldn’t trust the FA to arbitrate an argument between two five year olds. However, this may be a reason why we have been linked with a loan for Loftus Cheek. Who do we have to replace Shelvey? Colback? Please not Anita as he is doing so well at right back.

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  2. Jake-

    I’m always interested in stats-based analysis, so thanks for the thread. I’d love to see a direct comparison between this year and last year, though. You point out that we had Sissoko, Janmaat and Townsend all working on the wings last year, but how does that percentage actually compare to this year? And how do both of those numbers compare to those of other PL/Championship teams?

    Also, does the 65% of chances in the middle refer to actual shots or is that where the chances are generated? For example, wing play would generally create a lot of chances from out wide, but the shot would still come from the middle, after the ball is crossed into the box.

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  3. Could we recall Saivet? Although I am not sure how he has done on his loan or if Rafa rates him at all. Central midfield is definitely our weakest area.

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  4. The one “bright” spot about Shelvey’s suspension is the timing. Depending on how quickly Rafa/the board can make a move, we could go as little as three games without a replacement. Still not great, but better than the full five, which is what it would have been if the hearing hadn’t been delayed.

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  5. Also, does the FA Cup match against Birmingham count towards Shelvey’s ban? Either way, he’ll be back for Brighton, but it would be nice to have him back for Rotherham so that he can get back into the flow of the team instead of jumping in cold against Brighton.

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  6. NUFC can appeal the ban. They are waiting for the reasons in writing. I am not sure if the FA can add on to the ban if NUFC lose the appeal which I am sure they would.

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  7. This is what the FA said:

    “The sanction has been set aside pending consideration for an appeal. Any appeal must be lodged within seven days from receipt of written reasons which will be produced in due course.”

    Conceivably, NUFC could appeal and Shelvey would be available for the Holiday games? My worry is that the fckin FA would add to the ban when we inevitably lose the appeal.

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  8. So, if the sanction has been set aside waiting on the FA’s reasons in writing, then it seems Shelvey will definitely be available Boxing Day. I only hope he has his head on straight.

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  9. Charlie Prince:
    Jake-

    I’m always interested in stats-based analysis, so thanks for the thread. I’d love to see a direct comparison between this year and last year, though. You point out that we had Sissoko, Janmaat and Townsend all working on the wings last year, but how does that percentage actually compare to this year? And how do both of those numbers compare to those of other PL/Championship teams?

    Also, does the 65% of chances in the middle refer to actual shots or is that where the chances are generated? For example, wing play would generally create a lot of chances from out wide, but the shot would still come from the middle, after the ball is crossed into the box.

    thank you for the comments! I will most certainly keep these in mind when doing my next stats based piece. I didn’t do enough research to answer your early questions but I will try and find out and get back to you. The 65% refers to actual shots

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  10. Why would we recall Saivet? He’s no better than what we have in Colback/Hayden/Anita. We could of course go 442 for a few games. Losing Shelvey for a few games (have a winter break son) is no big deal. It could have been a thigh strain or something. Happens all the time at all clubs. However, if it affects his mind/confidence it might have repercussions. Only he knows the truth of the situation against Wolves.

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  11. so Shelvey called the player a cous cous nonce.”,come on ffs whats the world coming to imo thats not what you call racist

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  12. Jamie Vardy was clearly seen to call a Ref a Fckin Bald C*nt earlier in the year and got nothing. The press should be up in arms if all Shelvey said was “cous cous nonce”. That is nothing, it is not even really an insult apart from the nonce bit. But that is used in London slang all the time. It is almost like “bugger” which is bad if you think about its literal meaning but it is now just accepted as a word without the literal meaning.

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  13. Eric Sykes:
    That’s what it was Ice? The French call/called Brits “Rostbiffs” (Roast Beefs). Is that racist. FFS.

    thats what makes this so crazy,if i can you a yank is that racist?,what about all the irish jokes thrown about is that racist it goes on and on whatever subject you chose

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  14. Ice, I am not a Yank. From Newcastle, live in Chicago.

    I am sure I heard “nonce” on Only Fools and Horses. I am absolutely positive. Are we going to ban David Jason from 5 Christmas specials now?

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  15. Sissoko plays centrally for Spurs and is largely rubbish. He improved because Rafa was telling him what to do.

    I like the direction of the stat article Jake, just feel it needs fine tuning a bit so that the stats are comparable to something and a bit more in depth.

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  16. Eric Sykes:
    Ice, I am not a Yank. From Newcastle, live in Chicago.

    I am sure I heard “nonce” on Only Fools and Horses. I am absolutely positive. Are we going to ban David Jason from 5 Christmas specials now?

    i knew you were a homie mate,just been on utube having a laugh at some comics shows loads of bad racist jokes,right lets ban all comics shall we

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  17. There is another thing about this Shelvey case – does the punishment fit the crime? I know he is a very well paid footballer earnings millions a year, but should that influence the fine? If this is truly an “independent tribunal” how can they fine him 100,000 for a questionable slur. Would they charge a bricklayer 100,000 for saying the same thing on a building site? Just because Shelvey can afford it, doesn’t mean it is fair or reasonable. If he was actually in court to answer for this and they didn’t know his occupation, would they charge him 100 grand?

    This whole thing is a joke.

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  18. Where do they get the idea that if you CAN pay, you SHOULD pay more? If Shelvey got a parking ticket he would pay the same as you or I. Where do these “independent” tribunalists get off giving Jonjo a punishment as a deterrent based on his income?

    I know these footballers have it good and are privileged in all sorts of ways but that doesn’t mean they should be treated any differently to the rest of us in a legal situation. The law should apply equally, in principle at least.

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  19. ERIC these guys that run the football are little hitlers mate at all levels they are the same,they never shock me,hows this for crazy?i used to play semi-pro a team mate of mine was banned for half a season he pushed the ref to the ground,i was a witness at his hearing,the reason he pushed the ref to the ground was the ref was running backwards and stood quite hard on his foot,the ********s said the ref did not do that on purpose where as my mate did the act on purpose and with more force than he needed to,6 month ban,you go work that one out

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  20. J Barton signs back on for Burnley on a free,would he have done a job for toon until end of season now with Shelvey banned???

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  21. Barton is poison.

    I am waiting for someone to say Jonjo’s fine is justified because these rich footballers can buy their way out of any trouble with the law. But, two wrongs don’t make a right.

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  22. Shelvey plays within the boundaries of the FA’s rules and regulations, not the UK legal system. So I guess if he knows the potential penalties for racial slurs and still does it anyway, then he and nobody else can complain if the punishment is a hefty fine.

    I think we will be ok. Transfer window coming up so no great shakes. Rafa might have to do his deals a.bit quicker than he might have liked but hey ho.

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  23. Sham: it is supposed an independent tribunal. The written ruling is written by a QC so it is at least a quasi-legal precedure. The FA can actually appeal against the tribunal if they think the ruling is not strict enough. I understand it is an arbitration hearing, and they have guidelines, but it should have some bearing on the real world. I do not agree with the way that it is not so much a punishment but making an example of someone. At least that is how it appears to me.

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  24. Maybe Shelvey should be put in the stocks in Eldon Square for a couple of days. If the FA decide that is the punishment would that also be right?

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  25. Sham: football is a weird world though. You would think that NUFC would be within their rights to dock Shelvey’s wages for the 5 game suspension, but they can’t. They couldn’t even dock Barton’s when he was in jail 🙂 I should stop trying to make sense of it 🙂

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  26. Probably for the best Eric. Terry got a 4 game ban and 220k fine for saying ‘f@@@@@g black c@@@’. Personally I think that’s more direct and inflammatory than what Shelvey did – but as you know racism and hooliganism are big problems in football and it can’t be swept under the carpet and put down to ‘just part of the game’.

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  27. But if Ice is right and the racial slur was to mention cous cous that is hardly even offensive. I mentioned earlier the French calling Brits rostbiffs which is about the same. And Vardy called the Ref a fckn bald c@nt. Can we have some consistency and not let it all be about political correctness.

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  28. Sham: you know I am acutely aware of racism because I live in probably one of the most racially divided cities in the world.

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  29. Anyway, he is banned and there is no way they will overturn it. I saw the written ruling will not even be sent until after Christmas so Shelvey can play the next 2 games. Some have said let him serve these so he will be available for Brighton. I think that is mad, you try your best to win the next 2 and let the chips fall where they may with Brighton.

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  30. ERIC i have been trolling a lot of sites and twitter sites and it seems right with what i quoted of what Shelvey had said,rules or no rules that seems overboard imho

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  31. It’s good point though. The French call us Roast Beefs. We call the French Frogs. The Aussie’s call us Limey and Pommey.

    Shelvey allegedly called him a ‘nonce’ – which is not a nice thing to be called – but it’s not racist and would not amount to a public order offence. It would be interesting to take that element out of the equation (as I’m sure the players throw many like for like ‘general’ insults backwards and forwards all day) and instead ask the question – if Shelvey had stood there and said ‘alright cous cous’ to the guy, who in turn said ‘alright Limey’ – would both players be equally punished? Would it even be an issue? Interesting debate but I guess the long and short of it is simple: Say anything on the pitch that hints of derogatory racial undertones and you will cop a big fine and ban…

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  32. its said Shelvey had been abused about his bald head and that was his reply to the guy,that bit ime a bit suss about as the guy cannot speak or understand English so how could he say those things????

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  33. I’m not a fan of Delph. I don’t think he brings anything to our squad. He is Haydenesque, but Hayden is better moving into the future if you ask me. Delph has missed 48 games since the start of last season through multiple injuries and has 10 goals or assists in 62 games over the last 3 seasons. He is a sicknote on his way down.

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  34. Shamrock:
    I’m not a fan of Delph. I don’t think he brings anything to our squad. He is Haydenesque, but Hayden is better moving into the future if you ask me.Delph has missed 48 games since the start of last season through multiple injuries and has 10 goals or assists in 62 games over the last 3 seasons. He is a sicknote on his way down.

    Agree mate,there is better out there imo

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  35. What about the fact that Shelvey was provoked all game by being constantly called a freak . That’s ok is it. Disproportionate ban to the so called crime imo.

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  36. Freak is an easy word to remember if your team mates have primed you to wind up a certain player who is know to be a bit sensitive. Also if the opo player speaks no English he’s done bloody well to work out Cous cous nonce hasn’t he.

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  37. is it likely Shelveys ban is down to the ‘nonce’ comment?. It’s a slang word for sex offender or child sex offender and with everything going on in the football world – could it be that word they aren’t happy about?.

    Andre Gray got a 4 match ban for homo tweets from 2012. I think the FA are coming down heavy stuff like this.

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  38. Allegedly he called him a “smelly Arab!” Talk about ridiculous! For a start he is an Arab and he was probably pretty smelly considering it was the end of the game!

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  39. Depends what price for Delph for me. He didn’t pull up trees at City, but he was a good player for Villa. He could be a decent buy for us & I do think he’s PL quality – just maybe not top 6 .. but then we aren’t a top 6 side.

    Personally I like Tom Carroll from Spurs would be a decent buy – meant to be available for around £10m.
    Robbie Brady from Norwich for £10m too.

    A couple of cheeky options could be Ross Barkley on loan with an option to buy – or buy outright if we could.

    Or Gylfi from Swansea. They are doing terrible at the moment and look like they are coming down. They have sold all their other stars & may cash in on him to try and buy a forward – maybe involve Mitrovic in the deal.

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  40. Sharpy: If I went down to my local kebab shop and called someone a Greek **** would I be in line for a ban and a 100,000 fine? I don’t know where the line is drawn anymore on what nationalities or religions are insults anymore. And nonce is a word that is often used in London as a general insult without conveying its full meaning, just like bugger or ****. I said earlier I am positive that David Jason called somebody a nonce in Only Fools and Horses. He certainly called Rodney a plonker and that is alright.

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  41. Bloody Mackems are only one point off Palace. I thought they were certain to go down and have the worst squad. I read they were battered by Watford but still won. This Pickford lad might pull off a miracle.

    I also read an article on the website Football365 that of Mackems, Swans, Boro and Hull which of their players would get into the Palace team. They could only think of a couple from each team and suggested that Palace had a midtable squad.

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  42. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy: If I went down to my local kebab shop and called someone a Greek **** would I be in line for a ban and a 100,000 fine? I don’t know where the line is drawn anymore on what nationalities or religions are insults anymore. And nonce is a word that is often used in London as a general insult without conveying its full meaning, just like bugger or ****. I said earlier I am positive that David Jason called somebody a nonce in Only Fools and Horses. He certainly called Rodney a plonker and that is alright.

    Eric – The 100k seems a lot like. Andre Gray was fined 25k for those tweets, so Shelveys fine is high – but is that coz he appealed or prolonged things? – I don’t know.

    I still honestly think it’s a **** insult though. Stick with the traditional ‘you ****ing *******’ and you make your point without getting into bother – simple.

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  43. It has got so bad over here that you can’t say hell anymore, they use heck. “oh my God” is out of the question, it is “oh my gosh”. I really do not know where the line is drawn anymore.

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  44. Sharpy, yeah, like Vardy calling the Ref a fckin bald c2nt. Would Andre Yedlin be banned and fined 100k if he called Mike Dean a Fckin Limey Bald C2nt?

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  45. Sharpy: I just think the tribunal were looking at the Shelvey fine as what would be a meaningful amount to HIM given how much he makes. That should not come into it. It is the same alleged offense whether Shelvey committed it or whether an academy player just called up on a grand a week committed it.

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  46. We should not be selling Mitro, especially to Palace.

    Why not Mamphis Depay? He is supposed to be available for 12-15m and Man U don’t want him. He is about 6 in their winger/forward pecking order. I think he would tear up the Championship and Rafa could get the best out of him. He absolutely obliterated the Eridivise which is why Man U bought him in the first place.

    Think about it, probably on the same wages as Sissoko was and we can buy him and have 15m left over. The competition will probably be Italians and lower PL clubs, so why not?

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  47. Eric Sykes:
    We should not be selling Mitro, especially to Palace.

    Why not Mamphis Depay? He is supposed to be available for 12-15m and Man U don’t want him. He is about 6 in their winger/forward pecking order. I think he would tear up the Championship and Rafa could get the best out of him. He absolutely obliterated the Eridivise which is why Man U bought him in the first place.

    Think about it, probably on the same wages as Sissoko was and we can buy him and have 15m left over. The competition will probably be Italians and lower PL clubs, so why not?

    Eric – Everton are meant to be made keen on Depay & Morgan thingy from Man Utd. Think Depay would sooner go there to be honest – but they may be looking to raise cash to buy those 2, which is my thinking on Barkley – there will likely be PL clubs interested in him too like so could be a real long shot, but shy bairns n al that.

    I wasn’t talking of selling Mitro to Palace, Gylfi plays for Swansea and they have apparently shown interest in Mitro. I’d rather keep Mitro, but if it meant getting Gylfi instead I reckon I could live with that like.

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  48. Sharpy: I wouldn’t sell Memphis to Everton if I were Man U. They are one of their chief rivals at this point. Jose needs this season to reestablish their confidence and although Zlatan is playing well he is still 35. They are probably behind Citeh, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool at this point. Maybe even Spurs so Europa League is most likely and Everton are one of their rivals for that.

    That said, that is probably too logical and Memphis will end up at Everton anyway.

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  49. OK, the Wolves players cannot even agree on what they thought Shelvey said and have differing accounts. The Newcastle lawyers think there is grounds for appeal and The Guardian says the ban would NOT be extended even if the appeal was lost.

    Sham, NUFC lawyers are involved and the verdict is being written by a QC. Even though it is technically not within the UK legal system, it is being played out as a legal case. There is definitely “reasonable doubt” since the Wolves players have differing recollections of what was said. I am not a lawyer, but if it actually did go to court I think it would be thrown out.

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/dec/20/newcastle-jonjo-shelvey-five-game-ban-

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  50. The problem is that there is a 5 match minimum ban for what Shelvey is accused of. He can therefore only either get this or no ban. This is only my opinion, but I think the tribunal thought that something went on , didn’t know exactly what, and issued the ban rather than letting him off scot free. If pushed, I don’t think they could back this up as the Wolves’ players’ accounts differ as to what was supposedly said.

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  51. I doubt they will overturn it though as that is usually the way this sh!t works. They will say that in absence of new evidence the original ruling stands. Again a reference to the way things work in the actual legal system

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  52. Eric Sykes:
    The problem is that there is a 5 match minimum ban for what Shelvey is accused of. He can therefore only either get this or no ban. This is only my opinion, but I think the tribunal thought that something went on , didn’t know exactly what, and issued the ban rather than letting him off scot free. If pushed, I don’t think they could back this up as the Wolves’ players’ accounts differ as to what was supposedly said.

    its a sorry carry on and all wrong imo but there is no way the FA will over turn the ban there only bothered about their rep not the truth of the matter,sad very sad state of how these old lags run our game

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  53. It is a total joke that no journalist takes this tribunal to task. The Guardian are giving the facts and almost giving an opinion. You would think that Lee Ryder, as chief sports writer of the local rag would back our player in the absence of any concrete evidence. It is all hearsay, he said/he said with contradictory accounts and a flimsy argument for whether it was even close to racial abuse anyway. The fine is outrageous and yet people like Craig Hope at The Mail and Luke Edwards at The Telegraph say nothing.

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  54. It might be actual journalism to look at the facts of a case and dig a bit deeper, but no, they would rather write “5 things we learned” tripe. It reminds me of the Adam Johnson case where all the journalists just let it be and didn’t even do any follow up until the trial started and his lawyers admitted grooming. They were fine for this NONCE to continue to play and that was that. Now we have a NUFC player possibly being scapegoated for a stupid FA policy and they say nowt and do nowt.

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  55. What a farce! Even if he called him a “smelly Arab” I’d be amazed if it offended him. Some people need a thicker skin.

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  56. In my opinion, if there is a minimum ban for what Shelvey has been alleged to have done there should be a higher burden of proof on the tribunal not what appears to be a lower one as they took conflicting reports of what happened, even from his teammates, and just doled out the punishment. It hurts Shelvey and it hurts NUFC, on what appears to be the most flimsy sort of evidence.

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  57. I was probably a bit harsh on journalists in the Johnson case as there are libel laws and their editors probably wouldn’t let them publish anyway. Perhaps….

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  58. Eric Sykes:
    OK, the Wolves players cannot even agree on what they thought Shelvey said and have differing accounts. The Newcastle lawyers think there is grounds for appeal and The Guardian says the ban would NOT be extended even if the appeal was lost.

    Sham, NUFC lawyers are involved and the verdict is being written by a QC. Even though it is technically not within the UK legal system,it is being played out as a legal case. There is definitely “reasonable doubt” since the Wolves players have differing recollections of what was said. I am not a lawyer, but if it actually did go to court I think it would be thrown out.

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/dec/20/newcastle-jonjo-shelvey-five-game-ban-

    I’m sure it would be Eric, but it’s not being played out at Court. That was my point!

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  59. Talking of reasonable doubt, as this is not a crinal court then reasonable doubt does not apply. It will be heard like civil court, where the burden of proof is far lower and you can be convicted based on the balance of probabilities. So if the panel decides he probably said something racist, then he will be found guilty.

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