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Newcastle vs Liverpool


Rory Fitzgerald

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Cover%20Picture%201.jpg

 

 

Treatment room

 

Newcastle have a bit of a mini injury crisis with the following players missing the last game against West Brom and could miss the Liverpool game;

 

- Tim Krul - definitely out (shoulder)

- Davide Santon - likely to be out (hamstring)

- Fabio Coloccini - only due back training on Thursday so unlikely to be in team (back)

- Ryan Taylor - definitely out (knee)

- Sylvain Marveaux - maybe out, could make the bench (groin)

- Cheick Tiote - if anyone is to make it back, its Tiote (hamstring)

- Haris Vučkić - definitely out (knee)

 

Added to that list is the case of Hatem Ben Arfa and his hamstring. The last time he played 90mins for Newcastle in the league was in November and his substitute appearance in the 3-0 defeat to Sunderland was the 1st time he played since his hamstring injury in December.

 

It seems that the best Newcastle can hope for are a few cameo appearances from the subs bench after Pardew recently said;

“I still need to protect Hatem’s hamstring and I can’t afford to lose him in the run-in. Hatem’s as cautious as we are that his hamstring is protected because he knows that he can influence games comes off the bench and we also need him next season.”

 

 

From Top 5 to Bottom 5

 

After collecting 65pts last season and even finishing ahead of Chelsea, Newcastle have been very average this season. Only once this season have they won games back-to-back in the league . In fact, apart from the opening round of games, Newcastle have never been higher than 10th this season and lately they have been floating between 13th and 16th.

 

The influence of Yohan Cabaye on this Newcastle team was perfectly illustrated when he missed 10 games with a groin injury. His form hasn't been as strong this season as last season but alot of that can probably put down to depression which he recently revealed and says he has overcome. It was in this period that Newcastle suffered a horrible stretch of 'form'. There was one run of 13 games between mid-November and mid-January when they played 13 games and lost 10 of them including the 4-3 defeat at Old Trafford and 7-3 defeat at The Emirates. Cabaye was missing for 8 of those defeats.

 

He said that the injury and resulting surgery allowed him to go home to Lille and spend time with friends and that it was this overdue period away from the game that helped nurse him back to full health. Since coming back, Cabaye scored 4 goals in the next 7 games helping Newcastle pick up 12pts which is their best run of form over a rolling 7 game period. However, there are fears about burn-out given the run in the Europa League with Pardew saying;

 

"Cabaye is probably my biggest worry. The rest of them are really sound physically and mentally. But Cabaye is our best player in terms of intelligence on the pitch and he needs to play. That's why he has played almost every minute."

 

2nd season syndrome seems to have hit Cheick Tiote pretty hard, the 26 year old has only started 18 of Newcastle's 34 league games this season. The starting role beside Cabaye has been shared between Tiote, James Perch and Vurnon Anita. As for the attacking midfield role, Moussa Sissoka has started 11 games in a row since coming in and played every minute of the last 9. However, he hasn't scored since he got 3 in his first 4 games.

 

 

Newcastle's Style of Play

 

From what I have seen from various Newcastle blogs, the fans are not happy at all with Pardew and his style of play , or more pointedly, his lack of style of play. It seems that the fans might have a point if you read Steve Stone's comment on their approach when they recently played Swansea;

 

“We were tighter as a team. We kicked the ball longer . We tried to get as many bodies around the ball as we possibly could to make it difficult for their passing game.” - Newcastle United first team coach Steve Stone praising a route one performance against Swansea

 

Other opinions on Newcastle’s use of the long ball can be found here;

 

Newcastle’s current problems lie in the fact that they have no footballing philosophy to speak of.... The common misconception is that Newcastle’s midfield quartet of Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Tiote and Gutierrez are the heartbeat of the team and that they dictate the tempo of the game and carve out opportunities for whichever of the Senegalese strikers is in the mood that particular day. The truth, however, is that Newcastle are heavily reliant on the long ball and the midfielders spend a significant proportion of every game stargazing as hopeful balls are repeatedly launched over their heads in the vain hope that Ba or Cissé can make some magic happen should they happen to get on the end of it, which is a rarity. If he wants to play a direct, long-ball style then Pardew needs to have courage in his convictions – he shouldn’t attempt to sugar-coat it and to pull the wool over the fans’ eyes. If it’s to be long-ball, target-man football then Andy Carroll needs to come home.

 

There is nothing inherently wrong about playing long balls provided it plays to your strengths, yet it clearly isn’t ours. Demba Ba is good at winning balls in the air and holding the ball up but he hasn’t played for us since December. Cisse is a good player but he is no good at winning balls in the air, so why continue to play so many long balls? Most of our attacking players like Cisse, Marveaux, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, and Gouffran are more comfortable playing the ball on the deck, so why not play to their strengths? [/i][/b]

 

Pardew's mantra last season was "rhythmic passing" but this autumn Newcastle hit more long passes than any other Premier League side. It is partly explained by the fact that, since August, Cabaye and Cheik Tioté - now away at the Africa Cup of Nations - have barely played together in a central midfield they once controlled and deliveries from defence have often been poor.

 

 

Do Newcastle play Route One football ?

 

Firstly, the statistics will tell you that Newcastle average the highest amount of long balls per game so that is not in dispute. Long balls are defined by Opta as attempts to pass the ball over 25 yards. As such, playing long balls does not necessarily equate to Route 1 football.

 

To flesh this out further, I have taken a cross section of games this season and looked at the type of long balls attempted by Newcastle. The games I chose were 2 home wins by a narrow margin and 2 home defeats by a narrow margin. This approach was taken to rule out games whereby a team won by a large margin and therefore there is less chance of grandstanding and 'ole' passing which may happen when a team is winning by 3 or 4 goals.

 

Newcastle%204%20games%20-%20PNG%202.PNG

 

I am not going to argue with Newcastle fans that have seen their fans play most of their games this season. However, what I see from these 4 games is that there are alot of horizontal, cross field and diagnal passes which is not Route 1 football.

For an example of Route 1 football, see the graphic from the West Ham analysis here - http://roryfitz9.webnode.com/news/liverpool-vs-west-ham/ - I dont think these graphics are the same as West Ham graphic. Newcastle play alot of long passes and from the graphics it seems that they may be an impatient side and try to hit their wide attackers and Cisse rather than building play through midfield. This is not necessarily a 'punt & hunt' tactic ala Allardyce or Pulis.

 

Here is the average position of their players vs Sunderland . Obviously Krul is out so Elliot is likely to continue rather than Steve Harper. For what its worth, I don't think Gutierrez will start at LB, rather Haidara might start there. Given the doubt about Marveaux, I think Gutierrez will start at LM to help Haidara and Gouffran could switch to RM. If this is the case, I think Newcastle will look like a lob-sided 4-3-3 (rather than the 4-2-4 type formation below) as Gutierrez could tuck in on the left and leave the attacking play to Gouffran, Sissoko and Cisse. On the Toon Army's utility man, Jonas Gutierrez, one blogger thinks he is rather fantastic but ....... what does he do ?

 

I have seen Jonas Gutierrez play, both in the flesh and on television, on a number of occasions and I have audibly sung my appreciation of his services to my beloved Newcastle United with great pride and sentiment. I must confess though, I’m still not really sure what he actually does…

 

Pitch%20position.png

 

 

 

So, going on the;

 

  • pitch positions above,
  • graphics showing Newcastle's long passes,
  • opinions of the Geordies themselves,
  • stats that say Liverpool are likely to have more possession even though its at St James Park

it could be that Newcastle may be dangerous when we loose possession in their third if they do have a tendancy to hit a longer pass in attempt to exploit space quickly. Their league position might suggest they are not are not that effective but their home form is whats keeping them up.

 

 

Home & Away

 

At home, Newcastle have picked up 28 points. Liverpool have picked up 29 points at Anfield so the home form of the 2 teams is very similar .

Away from home though is Newcastle's problem, they have only picked up 9pts whereas Liverpool have picked up 22pts on road.

I wouldn't bet on the draw, its been 15 games since Newcastle last drew a home game - back on September 2nd against Villa.

 

 

Prediction

 

Liverpool have not lost in 4 games, have nothing to play for, will be without our best player/striker and playing away from home against a side trying to get 3 more points to secure safety - sadly I think all roads point to a defeat at Newcastle. I am going with 2-0. Early odds are;

 

  • Newcastle 2/1
  • Draw 23/10
  • Liverpool 11/8

Referee is Andre Marriner who has been given the FA Cup Final this year.

 

Quantifying Suarez's loss ?

 

Given the week that has been, here are the leading strike duo's in the Premiership and the average number of minutes it takes for such duo to score a goal. Liverpool are only marginally behind Utd. As for Newcastle, you can see that their duo was heavily reliant on Demba Ba.

 

Strike%20Partnerships2.PNG

 

http://roryfitz9.webnode.com/news/newcastle-vs-liverpool/

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- Sylvain Marveaux - maybe out

 

 

Thats a bit of a shock!

 

Think this is our hardest game left despite their position and form. Hopefully we can win at least 3 of the last 4, dont think anyone could knock the manager if we get 60 and beat last seasons total by 8 points though they will.

 

If we turn up on holiday like we did for 45 v Chelsea we'll get done here mind so gotta watch that.

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Thats a bit of a shock!

 

Think this is our hardest game left despite their position and form. Hopefully we can win at least 3 of the last 4, dont think anyone could knock the manager if we get 60 and beat last seasons total by 8 points though they will.

 

If we turn up on holiday like we did for 45 v Chelsea we'll get done here mind so gotta watch that.

 

Sissoko has played as many mins as Marveaux and Sissoko has only been there since January !

 

That said, he has been available for selection for the 9 games before WBA last week which he missed, so he's getting more consistent. Think he will be in the squad but it remains to be seen if he starts.

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I have seen Jonas Gutierrez play, both in the flesh and on television, on a number of occasions and I have audibly sung my appreciation of his services to my beloved Newcastle United with great pride and sentiment. I must confess though, I’m still not really sure what he actually does…

rory fitzgerald = dunc

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Reina

McLaughlin - Carra - Wisdom - Johnson

Lucas - Gerrard

Coutinho - Texiera - Enrique

Sturridge

 

Enrique worked really well with Suarez when he was there - there is more of a question mark given its Sturridge.

 

Gerrard may be top of our assists but in terms of Suarez's goals, Enrique has provided more assists (4) than Gerrard (3).

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Lost 6 of the last 11 at their place, always felt like we had a good record there!! Perhaps just because we get some belting wins in between horrendous losses.

 

It's either/or isn't it? We either spank them off their own pitch or we are awful and get chinned.

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--------------------------------------Reina

 

Wisdom----------Carragher-------------Agger----------Johnson

 

----------Gerrard------------------Lucas---------------Enrique

 

---------Downing----------------Sturridge------------Coutinho

 

 

Bench :

 

jones----McLaughlin----Henderson----Coady----Suso----Ibe----Borini

Edited by Red Yoda
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It's either/or isn't it? We either spank them off their own pitch or we are awful and get chinned.

 

Bigtime, we are either horrendous or brilliant. The Roy Hodgson one the lowest point, 2-1 down with 5 mins left and he brings on Jovanovic for Maxi, f*** yeahhhh!! I was certain he was sacked after that but still we had weeks of s*** to look forward to.

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Bigtime, we are either horrendous or brilliant. The Roy Hodgson one the lowest point, 2-1 down with 5 mins left and he brings on Jovanovic for Maxi, f*** yeahhhh!! I was certain he was sacked after that but still we had weeks of s*** to look forward to.

 

...and Big Andy scores the goal that ends up costing us £35m.

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NO PYRO, NO PARTY

 

As the Reds prepare to take on Newcastle on Saturday, the club is reminding its travelling fans that smoke bombs, flares and other pyrotechnic devices are not allowed in any Premier League football grounds.

 

A number of incidents have been reported recently that a minority of Liverpool fans have been behaving inappropriately during our away fixtures and using these illegal devices.

 

If a person is identified behaving inappropriately at away grounds then the club will have no option but to ban the individuals concerned from future matches.

 

LFC encourages all away fans to respect the values of the club and stop taking these flares and fireworks to matches.

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