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6 Big Reasons Newcastle Are Winning Again

2. The Loss Of Cheick Tiote

There is no doubting that Cheick Tiote is a great player in the role that he prefers to play: he is an enforcer of formidable tenacity and power and he can stop players from playing wonderfully. Unfortunately, he also likes to try and start attacks as well, but in Newcastle's set-up he is not the right man for the job. With Tiote in the team, the natural response from the centre-halves would be to give him the ball - he'd usually drop deep to within three yards of them and play a needless one two, or a sideways ball to Jack Colback - to start attacks. That would simply invite pressure from the opposition, and make it harder to shift the ball to the attackers and pacier wide men. Without Tiote, Newcastle break a lot quicker, and Coloccini is more free to play the ball out, taking out an unnecessary step in the build-up of play and making it easier to catch teams on the break. There's less possession for no reason (which partially explains the dramatic drop in stats), but there's also more chance of possession actually turning into goals or attempts.
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