With Newcastle United’s new owners currently plotting their next set of moves, they are still to make a decision on the current Manager, Steve Bruce. In an interview late last week, Amanda Staveley went on record to say that they still haven’t made a decision regarding the future of Bruce.
Current thinking is that Steve will be given his multi-million pound layoff, thought to be in the region of £8M, and Greame Jones will take the reigns for the game against Tottenham. Beyond that, it’s all speculation at this point, but it’s safe to say that you don’t make a £305M investment and retain the manager who doesn’t have the favour of the clubs fans, and has the team winless, second bottom of the Premier League.
In case the new owners need any kind of data to make their decision, I thought I’d dive into some of the numbers surrounding the team’s poor performance this season. I have data going back to the early 90’s, and update it every week so it’s the latest and greatest.
A Case for the Defence
In an interview a few weeks ago, Steve Bruce was asked about the coaching responsibilities between him and Greame Jones. Bruce admitted that he coaches the defensive unit and Jones the attacking. So let’s take a look at Newcastle United’s defensive frailties so far this year.
Last year Newcastle United conceded 1.63 goals p/game, and before that, 1.53. This year in the seven games played so far, Steve Bruce’s side have conceded 2.29. That’s a trend headed in the wrong direction. This year, we’ve conceded 16 goals, that’s 26% of what we conceded last year, but with only 17% of the season gone.
One of the most damning stats though, is that Steve Bruce’s side haven’t managed a clean sheet so far this season. Two years ago we kept 11, last season? Seven. Those are not numbers that give you confidence Steve Bruce knows what he needs to do to address the slide.
Key Players Missing
It’s not all on the defensive side though. Newcastle have been without main main Callum Wilson after deciding not to strengthen that part of the squad over the summer, and it shows more than ever in shooting accuracy.
Last season, Newcastle United’s shooting accuracy was at 36%, this season so far our shooting accuracy is only at 29%. It’s actually been pretty consistent since the 05-06 season, but with the over reliance on Callum Wilson and not strengthening, you’re taking a huge risk and relying on no long term injuries. Not to mention, Dwight Gayle has barely played a role so far, and you have to believe that the back of Steve Bruce will be a welcome sight for Gayle.
As a result, Newcastle’s goals p/game is down to 1.14 (as opposed to 1.21 last season).
It’s Not Looking Good
When your shooting accuracy is on a downward trend, and your goals conceded p/game is on an upward trend, that’s not a combination that normally leads to success. In other words, when you’re conceding more goals than you’re scoring, you’re not likely to win many football matches.
This is what a new manager has to solve, and why Steve Bruce should no longer be manager of Newcastle United.