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What Went Right For Newcastle & Wrong For Swansea

Written by on April 7, 2012 | 6 Comments »
Posted in English Premier League, Newcastle United, Swansea City

The statistics were massively in favour of Swansea but they still lost 2-0 to Newcastle on Good Friday. Here are some of the stats that stand out:

Attempted shots – Swansea 19; Newcastle 5

Passes (successful/attempted) – Swansea 835/914; Newcastle 181/271

Completed % – Swansea 91%; Newcastle 67%

Possession – Swansea 77%; Newcastle 23%

Corners – Swansea 7; Newcastle 0

In amongst the numbers were some key things Newcastle did right that Swansea did not have an answer for.

Newcastle took their opportunities.


Papiss Demba Cisse was quite lethal in putting away two of the three chances that came his way. The other fell to Hatem Ben Arfa.

Compare Newcastle’s chance-taking to just one player from Swansea – Gylfi Sigurdsson. Since he arrived on loan from Hoffenheim the attacking midfielder has impressed. But he alone had seven chances and of his three on target all were long-range efforts. With three chances from inside the penalty area Sigurdsson missed the target with one and had two others blocked. 

Swansea decided to leave leading scorers Danny Graham and Scott Sinclair on the bench. Luke Moore started through the centre with Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer operating wide. Dyer and Moore made way for Graham and Sinclair in the 66th minute but within 3 minutes Newcastle had gone two up. The starting front three made very little impact on a Newcastle midfield and defence that sat deep and remained compact. 

Dyer was pushed deep and more times than not there was too much real estate between Dyer and the Newcastle danger area. Only two successful take-ons from 49 passes clearly indicates that the tactic of opening up the Newcastle defence by attacking the full backs with pace just did not work.

The same applies to Wayne Routledge.

Although the Newcastle defence sat deep Luke Moore could not offer the Swansea midfield an option for a ball forward into and around the penalty area. Instead he dropped deep too often and simply collected the ball in positions where two banks of defenders stood between him and a goal scoring chance.

His one attempt on goal was not surprisingly from distance.

With two goals you might have expected Papiss Demba Cisse to have played the conventional lone striker role. The reality was different – particularly in the first half. Working together with Hatem Ben Arfa and Demba Ba the trio would rotate with Ben Arfa popping up in a number of different areas (even as the lone striker on occasion); Demba Ba moving between the left side of midfield and striker; Cisse sometimes dropping back to midfield while others took his place in attack.


 Cisse’s first goal came after he dropped deeper.

For all Swansea’s possession and passing domination they could not find a way to deliver telling passes behind the Newcastle defence and into the penalty area.

Any thoughts on Newcastle’s 2-0 win against Swansea?

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Passing Fancy, Wolves and Stoke Cross and Wigan Resilient

Written by on December 18, 2011 | No Comments »
Posted in Chelsea, Newcastle United, Stoke City, Swansea City, Wigan Athletic, Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves like to get the ball wide and to sling in crosses while Stoke are well-known for being as direct as an arrow. No surprise then that were more crosses at Molineux on Saturday than you find in a Dracula movie. Of the 65 attempted only a couple actually caused the defenses any trouble although the winner from Peter Crouch did come from a Matthew Etherington cross.

Good ball retention doesn’t always lead to goals or even chances on target. That much was clear as Newcastle and Swansea both passed the ball well (Newcastle 342 of 429 – 80%; Swansea 384 of 462 – 83%). 

Newcastle dominated in attempts on goal but few hit the target. In the  case of Swansea they struggled to even get in positions to attempt shots on goal.

Wigan’s resilience under Roberto Martinez is amazing. No matter how often it looks like all hope is lost Wigan somehow manage to find a way back. They are still in the bottom three of the Premier League but things are looking a lot better after consecutive away wins and a point against Chelsea courtesy of a late Petr Cech blunder. 

After a first half when they failed to apply pressure of any consequence to the Chelsea defense the second half was quite a difference.

Instrumental was midfielder James McCarthy who passing and mobility stood out.

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Open Thread – Premier League Saturday

Written by on December 16, 2011 | 22 Comments »
Posted in Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea, English Premier League, Everton, Fulham, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Stoke City, Swansea City, West Bromwich Albion, Wigan Athletic, Wolverhampton Wanderers

Blackburn v West Brom

Dropping more leads than a careless detective – West Brom have dropped 11 points from winning positions this season – only Blackburn are worse they have dropped 12.

Everton v Norwich

Over the years Everton have earned a reputation as a tough nut to crack – even for good teams. Not so this season – 15 of their 16 points have come against sides currently in the bottom half of the table.

They have also failed to score in four home matches this PL season and have lost 4 of 7 at home.

Landon Donovan cannot pull on that blue jersey quickly enough Everton have failed to put a shot on target in their last 2 games

Read the rest of this entry »

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