Sunday, 18 November 2012

Newcastle 1-2 Swansea Chalkboard Review

I'm still in the habit of looking at the Premier league table from Swansea down rather than upwards at the moment but another great result means I have to go through a fair few teams to get to the bottom.

We're still at the level where if we win the opposition must have 'had an off-day' or fielded a weakened team, just because it's a cliché that gets trotted out on a regular basis doesn't mean it's always wrong.  Cissé and Cabaye in particular are two big players for Newcastle (Cissé scoring 13 goals from 39 shots last season and Cabaye coming top at Newcastle for Touches, Assists, Tackles and Interceptions - More details here).

That's far from saying Newcastle would have won this game with those two (and others including Coloccini), but it certainly didn't do Swansea any harm.  Much has been made of Newcastle arguably making the most of their opportunities last season as the chart below hints at, despite being below average in terms of both possession and possession in the final third, they finished an impressive 5th.
PL 2012 - Number of games where team makes more passes than opposition.  Note Swansea in bottom right on their own, dominating possession last season but not final third possession
Overall, despite Newcastle having twice as many attempts on goal as Swansea, they only managed two more on target:
It was a good days work for De Guzman, as well as the goal (seen in the chalkboard below), he also completed the furthest distance of any player in the game (7.02 miles, almost half a mile more than Tioté, the highest Newcastle player according to figures from the Press Association).  There's far more to football than just 'putting a shift in' but with the top 3 in terms of distance: Hernandez was 2nd (6.75), Rangel 3rd (6.64) it's never a bad thing to see.
In terms of the other main stats, a lot of them were topped by Newcastle players. Ben Arfa attempted 13 take-ons (7 successful), the next highest attempted by any player was Hernandez with 4 (0 successful).
Take-ons by Team
From a defensive point of view Tioté, is an impressive player, making 5 out of 5 tackles and also making 9 interceptions, 7 more than any other player:
Pablo Hernandez may not got the pulse racing like Nathan Dyer often does, but he has the ability to consistently both choose the right option and execute it well.  His cross for Michu's goal was a great example of his ability.  I may have mentioned earlier about him failing in all 4 attempted take-ons but he's not that kind of a winger, often happier to bring the ball inside and look for neat interplay rather than just going past an opponent.

Michu's goal was his fourth headed goal of the season in the league and that compares to Swansea only scoring 7 headed goals in the league all of last season with Lita with 2 scoring the most.

Swansea's win sees them 7 points clear of the drop ahead of a mid-table clash with Liverpool, a visit from Champions League chasing West Brom and then a visit to highly talented but unpredictable Arsenal.  As Laudrup himself has said, there are a lot of new Swansea players still bedding in, so there is every hope for even greater things to come.

Twitter: @we_r_pl

Match Stats: Created using Statszone
Chalkboards: Created using Statszone