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Tactical Analysis: Newcastle 3-2 Everton

Newcastle fans must’ve been delighted after there fantastic victory over a poor Everton side, going into 2015 in the top-half of the table, something which you wouldn’t expect from a side who was in the relegation zone for sometime. It was Everton started better however, Arouna Kone scoring after 5 minutes. The hosts however completely dominated the rest of the game, Papiss Cisse scoring his 5th goal in 6 league games to make it 1-1, around 11 minutes before half-time. Ayoze Perez made it 2-1 just after the break and Jack Colback scored his first for Newcastle to make it 3-1. Kevin Mirallas scored with 6 minutes left to try and urge a late comeback, but Newcastle held and Everton’s poor season continues. What went wrong for The Toffees? How good were Newcastle?



Newcastle lined-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, making 3 changes from the defeat at Old Trafford. Steven Taylor, Vurnon Anita, Adam Armstrong were all put on the bench, whilst Michael Williamson, Chiek Tiote and Papiss Cisse came into the side. The Toon started with Alnwick in goal, Coloccini and Michael Williamson in the centre-back positions and Janmaat and Dummett as full-backs. Chiek Tiote and Jack Colback started in the defensive midfield positions, with Ayoze Perez starting in attacking midfield. Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran played on the wings and Papiss Demba Cisse was upfront.

Everton lined-up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation, but they made 7 changes from the defeat against Stoke. Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka, John Stones, Steven Naismith, Kevin Mirallas, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku all came out of the line-up, whilst Joel Robles, Antolin Alcaraz, Sylvain Distin, Luke Garbutt, Samuel Eto’o, Aiden McGeady and Arouna Kone all started. Everton started with Joel Robles in goal, with Antolin Alcaraz and Sylvain Distin in the centre-back spots. Seamus Coleman and Luke Garbutt played in the full-back positions, with Gareth Barry and James McCarthy starting in the defensive midfield spots. Samuel Eto’o played attacking-midfield and Aiden McGeady and Leighton Baines playing on the wings. Arouna Kone started upfront.

Everton Too Deep and Creating Errors

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It now appears that no side in Europe’s top 5 leagues have made more defensive errors this season leading to a goal than Everton (10), and to be honest I am not surprised. This is the Everton heat-map of the defenders (Coleman, Garbutt, Alcaraz and Distin) and as you can see, it is way to deep. You can also see what the full-backs usually do but Alcaraz and Distin are way to deep and all goals came from Everton mistakes.

Because the defenders were so deep, it made Newcastle dominate the whole of our own half, leading to poor errors and Distin and Barry simply couldn’t move the ball two yards away without a Newcastle player there. This lead to mistakes and there was many to spot in build-up to the goals.

Goal 1 – Papiss Cisse

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Here is the first goal, as you can see Sylvain Distin is a yard or two behind the other defenders, and that gives the space Newcastle need. You can also see Arouna Kone on the far right ball watching and his marker runs straight into that area. The ball comes in.

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Seamus Coleman is caught ball watching, all Papiss Cisse needs to do is move a yard towards the ball and he would have his chance. As expected, it goes in.

Goal 2 – Ayoze Perez

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Four Everton players had the chance to clear it in the build-up towards this goal, Joel Robles punches the ball into the ground, Gareth Barry had space to smash the ball clear, Leighton Baines passes the ball straight to Aiden McGeady and then the Irish winger passes it straight to a Newcastle player like it was his team-mate.

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Seamus Coleman attempts to join the counter, but in the end he creates a lot of space for Ayoze Perez. All it took was one pass for Perez and he was through, which was exactly what Chiek Tiote done. Everton defenders all over the place, again.

Goal 3 – Jack Colback

The last goal was probably the worst out of all of them. Ross Barkley shouldn’t even be in the centre-back position, but somehow he randomly appears there.

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Antolin Alcaraz is also way out of position, which forces Ross Barkley (who is likely not to have ever played centre-back), to drop into that position. It’s a comedy of a first touch from Barkley and Colback is through. Robles comes out but Colback puts it through him.

Newcastle’s Midfield Dominance

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Newcastle dominated the middle third of the pitch, which helped them to victory. Here is the pass maps of Newcastle United’s midfielders (Cheik Tiote, Moussa Sissoko and Jack Colback) compared to Everton midfielders (James McCarthy, Gareth Barry and Ross Barkley). Although Everton’s accuracy was slightly better, it was all Newcastle in midfield.

The three midfielders also pressured high, forcing defensive mistakes to happen. They made the same amount of tackles, won more aerial duels and attempted more take-ons. Everton made it extremely difficult for themselves.

Man of the Match: Chiek Tiote

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If I would give the ‘Man of the Match’ award to anyone, it would be the Everton defence for their creativity towards the Newcastle goals, but Chiek Tiote was certainly a miss against Manchester United and his return versus Everton certainly pushed them towards triumph. He created 3 chances, won 100% of his aerial duels and also assisted Ayoze Perez in the second goal. Tiote was certainly a key player in the match.


Both teams went into this game on bad form – but Newcastle were the ones who looked they were on form and were quality, however Everton errors helped them to victory. Although the build-up play was good, Everton’s simple mistakes cost them 3 points and it isn’t the first time it has happened this season. The pressure is certainly on Roberto Martinez to turn the ship around. The Toffees have got no Plan B and their is no organisation in the midfield and defence. The January Transfer Window is getting extremely close, and there are many players out there who could come in and fix this ‘soft’ Everton side.

Joel Parker
Joel Parker
Big Evertonian and love writing about Football!!
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