Most Draws In The League
The fiery game against league-leaders Arsenal showcased the Magpies’ defensive strongpoints, with Nick Pope, Sven Botman, and Fabian Schar all producing stellar performances. Joelinton was stellar, too, with the Brazilian representing Howe’s impressive turnaround of Newcastle United more than anybody.
For every Manchester City or Arsenal game, however, there have been the draws with West Ham, Leeds, Bournemouth, and Crystal Palace - games where Newcastle either dominated the entire game or appeared sluggish and devoid of ideas. At this moment in time, the Magpies only have the only defeat - the controversial loss to Liverpool - but at least 3 of the 11 draws have felt like losses themselves in the eyes of the fans.
No club has racked up as many draws as Howe’s Newcastle this season, however the Magpies are the only club who have not lost twice. For Newcastle fans, this scenario is very much a ‘glass half-full or half-empty’ proposition.
Let’s take a look at Eddie Howe’s Newcastle and uncover the two reasons explaining why they’ve drawn so many games.
Hot-And-Cold Attacking Form
Newcastle United only achieved one victory in their first seven Premier League games before going on to win seven out of their next eight. Players like Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron were in superb form during their winning run, with Almiron seemingly scoring a wonderful goal every week.
The Paraguayan’s form in October and November was nothing short of world-class, but it was inevitable that his prowess in front of goal would regress back to the mean average. Emphatic wins over Fulham, Brentford, and Southampton were impressive, but it was only a matter of time before results saw a cooling-off period. Howe’s side dispatched Leicester City in their first post-World Cup game, but the loss of Almiron’s scoring-streak proved vital in Newcastle returning to their baseline.
Callum Wilson has also struggled since the World Cup, with the 30-year-old only finding the back of the net once since he returned from Qatar. Allan Saint-Maximin, who was such a threat under Bruce, has scored once all season, whilst Joe Willock has only managed two goals.
Newcastle’s relatively-thin squad looks tired, and the hot-and-cold form of their attackers is one of the main reasons why they’ve drawn so many games.
Newcastle’s only defeat this season came at the hands of Liverpool on 31st August 2022. Played a week before football was postponed due to the death of the Queen, the Magpies fell victim to a late Fabio Carvalho winner after Alexander Isak’s goal was ruled to be offside.
The defeat came as a crushing blow at the time, but Newcastle have seemingly forgotten how to lose a game over the past six months. Sven Botman is yet to lose a league game since his £35 million arrival from Lille, Dan Burn has proved a revelation at left-back, whilst Fabian Schar is a player reborn under Howe.
Nick Pope has proven to be a wonderful signing and his £10 million price-tag looks more of a bargain every week. Comparing this Newcastle defence to the one under Steve Bruce is truly night-and-day, with Howe’s side conceding just 13 goals all season - the lowest in the entire Football League.
Every fan would agree that a draw is better than a defeat, and Newcastle United wouldn’t be anywhere near the top-four if those draws had become defeats. Teams are beginning to figure Newcastle out, and they’ll happily sit back and let the Magpies build possession before hitting them on the counter.
After 14 years of being a side who themselves ‘park the bus’, it’s a little strange seeing Newcastle being the ones with more of the ball. No matter how this season ends up, it’s certain to state that the 2022/23 campaign has been a wonderful one for Newcastle United and that the best is yet to come for those on Tyneside.
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