Before tonight’s Premier League game away to Everton, Newcastle sit 16th in the Premier League table on 7 points with a Goal Difference of -3 (5 scored and 8 conceded).
Only 4 Premier League teams have conceded more goals than Newcastle this season. At face value this is surprising given that they have conceded the 3rd fewest shots in the league at 51 (excluding penalties).
In giving up those 8 goals they have allowed the opposition to score with 16% of all attempts faced. This concession rate of 16% is the highest in the league (coincidentally they share it with their North East rivals Sunderland), so they’ve been pretty unlucky to concede 8 goals?
I’m afraid the answer to that is a resounding “No”. Have a look at where Newcastle have conceded their 51 shots from in their opening 5 games this season:
For some (not very smart) reason, more than half of all shots Newcastle have conceded have come from Prime Positions. By permitting 90% of all shots to be taken from the two most favourable zones you can see why the Geordies have conceded a goal in almost 1 of every 6 shots they have faced.
90% of shots coming from those two most dangerous zones is by far the worst performance in the League; the next greatest offender (Swansea) only allows 79% of their conceded shots to be struck from those zones.
Obviously no team sets out to give up chances in these very dangerous areas, so it will be interesting to see in tonight’s game whether they can keep Everton (who can pile on the pressure when required) out of the danger zone with greater effect than they have managed in their previous 5 games so far. If not, they can expect the goals against column to keep increasing at a rapid rate.
EDIT – as requested, below is an outline of the 4 zones. Apologies, for the omission in my original posting.