Newcastle United have been one of the best teams in the Premier League so far in Project Restart.
After being out of action for three months, fans were worried about how Newcastle United would perform during Project Restart. Well, it is fair to say that the Magpies look stronger than ever and the team is enjoying their football at the moment.
Newcastle United have claimed ten points from their last four games against Southampton (W), Sheffield United (W), Aston Villa (D) and Bournemouth (W). As a result of these stellar performances, Newcastle United are now one win away from being in real contention of qualifying for Europe next season.
The Magpies’ next game is this Sunday at St. James’ Park against relegation-threatened West Ham. Three points in this clash would see Steve Bruce’s side jump to 45 points with five games remaining in the season.
The key question is how did Newcastle United turn things around so quickly? The short answer is that new tactics have worked wonders.
Up until February, Newcastle United were ultra-defensive and relied heavily on counter-attacks. Starting with the FA Cup game against West Brom, Bruce switched things up and promoted attacking football.
The Toon carried that style over to the Premier League when they took on Southampton and they stuck with it ever since. As a result, Newcastle United have averaged 52% possession in their last four games, created 36 chances with 55% of their shots being on target, and the team managed to score nine goals in the process.
This offensive efficiency has also allowed the defense to flourish by giving them time to breathe and recover. Over their last four games, Newcastle United have earned two clean sheets and only conceded two goals, both of which were late, scrappy goals.
Bruce deserves nothing but praise for altering his tactics and giving his players the freedom to create chances on a regular basis. Players like Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron, Joelinton and Dwight Gayle have been much more involved in the action and they now have a combined running tally of ten goals and nine assists.
As fans we can only hope that this good run of form continues, especially seeing that three of our next six games are against mediocre opposition in West Ham, Watford, and Brighton.