Though the piece in question is about Arsenal, The Athletic‘s Chris Waugh pointed out a real worry for Newcastle United.
Indeed, as per the graphic below, the Magpies rank the lowest in the Premier League for the number of ball possessions that actually end up in the attacking third per game.
It shows the number of possessions ending in the attacking third a team enjoys per game. #NUFC are the lowest by a margin. Exactly what @Worville was discussing on Pod on the Tynehttps://t.co/PLEoCvGh8O pic.twitter.com/mRAIZESwNO
— Chris Waugh (@ChrisDHWaugh) November 12, 2020
Just 25 of their spells on the ball this season have ended up in a structured attack, meaning the Magpies largely rely on penalties or sheer luck for their goals. Top scorer Callum Wilson has scored three spot-kicks alone while there was also Jacob Murphy’s free-kick against Wolves that saw Rui Patricio criticised.
Given there is almost £100m worth of attacking talent in the squad, that is simply not good enough and indicative of the style of play deployed under Steve Bruce. The Toon’s luck has been noted by enlightened minds such as George Caulkin before so the suggestions from certain pundits that Newcastle fans should be happy with their lot seems even more stupid now.
Will Steve Bruce last the season?
If stats such as this one were more widely discussed in the general footballing conversation, it’d be interesting to see what certain pundits have to say.