The key stat that shows exactly why Newcastle are 19th in the Premier League

Newcastle United are third in the Premier League based on shots taken and chances created… but 19th in terms of shooting accuracy.

There is plenty wrong with Newcastle’s performances right now – a full list of which simply wouldn’t fit into one article.

But, when it comes to statistics, there is only one you need to hear to tell you everything you need to know about the Magpies’ season so far.

  ShotsChances createdPlayed
Chelsea 103 86 6
Liverpool 93 69 6
Newcastle United 91 71 6
Arsenal 91 68 6
Manchester City 89 74 6

Indeed, as Opta stats show, Newcastle are third in the Premier League based on shots taken – as well as chances created.

Only league-leaders Chelsea and Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side have registered more attempts on goal, while only the Blues and Manchester City have made more chances. Newcastle, meanwhile, also average the fifth-highest possession percentage this season.

And yet…

  Shooting accuracy (on target)Shooting accuracy (goals)Played
Burnley 25.37 1.49 6
Queens Park Rangers 24.42 4.65 6
Stoke City 23.53 5.88 6
Newcastle United 21.98 5.49 6
Aston Villa 19.57 8.70 6

A look at how Alan Pardew’s side are faring in the final third tells you everything you need to know. A meagre 21.98 per cent accuracy puts the Magpies 19th in the Premier League in terms of shots on target.

And a 5.49% goals/shot percentage is only better than two other sides in the top flight - just Burnley and Queens Park Rangers have scored less.

The lack of a clinical finisher, then, is clear for all to see, although the sheer contrast in the statistics is still hard to believe.

Before the season began, there were calls for Newcastle to return to where they should be for a club of their size: in the top six. They certainly aren’t playing like a top-six side but, in terms of build-up play, they are easily in the top four…

  Error leading to a GoalError leading to a ShotPlayed
Everton 5 5 6
West Bromwich Albion 4 1 6
Newcastle United 3 5 6
Liverpool 2 2 6
Queens Park Rangers 1 4 6
Manchester United 1 7 6

Things aren’t rosy at the other end either, of course, with only Everton and QPR have conceded more goals than the Magpies. Their count of costly errors leading to a goal is the third-worst in the Premier League, while their tally of errors that have led to a shot is the joint-second-highest.

That contrast between their chances created and ability to finish is most striking, however. Had Newcastle converted just a fraction of those they made in their opening six league fixtures, their points tally would be significantly higher right now regardless of the goals they have conceded.

Someone needs to take responsibility in front of goal – and fast.

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