Newcastle was at the bottom of the league when Eddie Howe took over. Newcastle’s this season run has more hope than they even expected. A brilliant run of form has seen the magpies taking home 19 points out of 24 with only a single defeat since mid-December.
Monumental transformation at St. James Park has made them one of only eight teams with a positive XG difference in the Premier League.
Exciting new winter arrivals have made an immediate impact on a team that was piloted by Steve Bruce into oblivion.
What went right at Newcastle?
We can’t talk about Newcastle without the mention of a blank checkbook facing the back half of the campaign. Sensible winter transfer which saw the arrival of Premier League regulars such as Matt Targett, Chris Wood, and Dan Burn.
Winter transfers also saw the arrival of contributors of Champions League level as Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes.
Improvement of Newcastle is more of a transfer phenomenon which certainly has played its part.
Edges provided by the enormous statue of Dan Burn have made Eddie Howe’s defense much more imposing.
Newcastle Defense and Stats
Talking about stats, Burn has a 67% tackle success rate compared to Lascelles’s woeful 27%.
Chris Wood has added height and physicality, receiving 6 progressive passes per game as compared to Wilson’s 3.5. Before Tripper’s injury, he was an important distribution hub putting up 1.7 key passes and 4.6 progressive passes p/g.
Tripper was accompanied by Targett which allowed the magpies to advance through the wings.
Especially away from home where Newcastle attacked 22% from the middle and used the wide areas to get forward. With the variation in attack, Newcastle can move from defense to attack in no time with the fewest touches.
Eddie Howe with the available talent figured out his side won’t be able to control the ball much.
With this realization, he focused on the short term and ramped up the qualities his midfielders have.
From Almiron to Shelby, rank in the bottom 30% of the midfielders for passes completed per game.
All of these options turn into an absolute demons when they don’t have the ball. This places all of them in the top 25 midfielders for pressures p/g.
This has made the center of the pitch in a Newcastle match a nightmare for opponents with no time and space.
Going wide is also not good with Tripper and Targett patiently waiting to combine 12 tackles and interceptions per 90.
Newcastle under Howe has found an identity and secured top-flight football for next season.
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