Steve Bruce has been at Newcastle United for ten months now.
Fair to say, they have been a very eventful 10 months, especially off the pitch.
However, what about the football we have watched?
A very interesting new report (see below) from the official Premier League website has given us some very useful and interesting extra insight.
We know it has been absolutely terrible to watch this Steve Bruce brand of football, no matter what his mates in the media try to claim. Although it was well flagged up ahead of the first Newcastle game he took charge of, an abysmal previous Premier League career as a manager over the course of 392 games (pre-NUFC) with an average goals scored of only 1.02 per game.
Steve Bruce has actually become even more negative at Newcastle United, an average of only 0.86 NUFC goals scored in each PL match.
This official PL report below throws up a shocking set of statistics.
They look at the most successful passing combinations this season.
By far the most successful passing combination being Martin Dubravka hoofing the ball up and Joelinton getting on the end of it!
On 140 occasions in the 29 PL matches has Dubravka successfully ‘passed’ to Joelinton.
The second highest is a huge 46 less, on 94 occasions Joelinton has successfully passed to Miguel Almiron.
With then third, Lascelles completing 81 passes to Fernandez.
It is a miracle Newcastle have scored even as many as 25 goals, considering the shockingly negative Steve Bruce tactics, what a chancer!
Report from the official Premier League site:
‘The most prolific pass combination at St James’ Park has been the long kicks of goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to Joelinton.
There have been 140 successful back-to-front passes of this nature, which indicates just how direct their style has been.’
Newcastle’s second-most frequent link-up is between Joelinton and Miguel Almiron.
Once the striker has controlled a direct pass, he regularly brings the gifted Paraguayan into play. From there Almiron is able to weave his magic in attacking areas.
And it helps Bruce’s side gain possession inside the opposition half.
‘Early on in the campaign Almiron struggled to get close enough to the lone front man.
Operating wide in a 5-4-1 formation, it was difficult to offer the type of support runs Joelinton requires. But it is something they have since worked hard to improve.
Bruce’s use of Almiron in a more central attacking-midfield position in recent months has also aided the chemistry.
Joelinton and Almiron have combined for 154 passes over the course of the campaign, the most of any Newcastle team-mates.
In turn, this has helped Almiron influence matches on a more consistent basis.
The duo have also operated as a front pairing of sorts and switched roles with Joelinton moving to the left.
In a team who focus on efficiency with the ball rather than sustained possession, it will delight Bruce that his two principal attackers are collaborating so effectively.
The unselfish Joelinton has now created seven goalscoring opportunities for Almiron, who has scored twice in 2019/20 and looks a more confident player.
This pairing is not one of the division’s most productive in terms of goals or assists, but for Newcastle the foundations of a promising partnership have been laid.’
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