DeAndre Yedlin scored Newcastle’s equalizer on Saturday for his first goal in over a year. Yedlin last scored in August of 2018 against Chelsea in a 1-2 defeat at St James Park. It was also just Yedlin’s third goal for Newcastle since joining in the summer of 2016.
While a Yedlin goal is somewhat of a rare treat, a goal by a Newcastle defender has not been this season. In fact, Newcastle defenders have scored 7 of the team’s 11 goals in the league this season. No other team’s defense has scored over a quarter of their total goals.
Goals from defenders this season:
Crystal Palace – 20%
West Ham – 21.4%
Arsenal – 25%
Newcastle – 63.6%
— MansionBet (@MansionBet) November 12, 2019
However, it’s not just the defenders contributing in front of goal that has Newcastle turning their fortunes around of late. It’s the attackers who put in a shift at the defensive end that are also paying dividends.
Speaking in the Athletic, DeAndre Yedlin touched on how both attackers and defenders have played a part at each end of the pitch lately:
“We’re definitely rediscovering the defensive solidity we have had for the past couple of seasons.
“If there’s one thing this team has always strived for, it’s being defensively strong. Everyone contributes defensively, that’s exactly the kind of team we are.
“In order to be the best we can be, we all have to do everything together; be that attacking or defending. There are no individuals in this team.
“What goes unnoticed is how much defensive work the attacking guys are doing for the team.”
We’ve seen the work our center-backs have done in the final third, especially on set-pieces. We also witness the effort that players like Miguel Almiron and Joelinton put in on the defensive side. It’s Almiron’s willingness to track back that allows Yedlin to bomb forward so often.
While our front three have not quite met the standard required in getting the goals, their tireless work rate is a key aspect of Newcastle’s recent success.
They seem to be edging closer to unlocking the door to their potential. Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron are getting close to bagging their first Newcastle goals. Just as importantly, Joelinton got more than three shots away against Bournemouth.
The dynamic trio have yet to put it all together, but the progress is starting to show. Once they do, we can hopefully see some comfortable wins soon. Eking out these one-goal victories is a little hard to take on a regular basis.