Eddie Howe isn’t one to celebrate too wildly, but there was a reason the Newcastle United boss clenched both fists and roared: “IN!” after Callum Wilson doubled his side’s lead against Aston Villa. This was a goal straight from the training ground.
Newcastle’s second goal in Saturday’s 4-0 win at St James’ Park was another reminder of what Howe’s staff have brought to the club after an innovative set-play routine used at Bournemouth paid dividends against Villa once more. Former Bournemouth captain Tommy Elphick previously told ChronicleLive that assistant Jason Tindall, in particular, was “amazing in set-piece situations and organizing yourself” and Wilson’s second goal was a case in point.
Tindall, first-team manager Stephen Purches and the rest of Howe’s squad are conscious not to repeat the same plays – to maintain the “element of surprise” as the Newcastle manager said after the game – but it had been a long time since that particular routine. it was used against Villa during his spell at Bournemouth. Indeed, none of those players who were part of Villa’s squad of the day in 2016 were still at the club when the visitors traveled to St James’ Park at the weekend.
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Thus, in the 56th minute, Kieran Trippier filled the role of former Bournemouth defender Simon Francis, while the right-back took a short corner to Miguel Almiron. Almiron, like Matt Ritchie before him, raced away from goal, drawing Villa’s markers in the process, before chipping the ball back down the line to Trippier on the overlap.
Wilson knew exactly where he needed to be as the striker anticipated the cross just like Steve Cook all those years ago, and Trippier picked out his teammate’s head before the ball bounced off the turf, post and post . clean It was Newcastle’s fifth goal from a corner this season as the Magpies once again made the most of Trippier’s deliveries.
Wilson’s header gave the hosts a 2-0 lead before Newcastle blew the visitors away. It was another important set-piece goal at a crucial moment in the game after a Bruno Guimaraes header had previously opened the scoring against Brentford; Sean Longstaff’s goal killed 10-man Fulham just before the break; and goals from Jamaal Lascelles and Chris Wood converted a Carabao Cup tie at Tranmere.
It would be hard to imagine such a return if Howe’s squad did not follow the manager to St James’ last November and this has been a real plus for the club’s owners; not only did they get a new coach, but also a coaching staff. In Howe’s final season at Bournemouth, after all, half of the Cherries’ goals came from set-pieces and Newcastle have improved in that department over the last 12 months. Everton assistant Paul Clement even went so far as to say that Newcastle are “one of the best playing teams in the country”.
That doesn’t happen by accident and, after the 4-0 win against Villa, Howe paid tribute to Tindall, Purches, assistant Graeme Jones and first-team coach Simon Weatherstone before highlighting the role of analysts in the club also in a “collective effort”. . That department, like many at the club, is growing after Howe previously promised that “we need to produce a higher level of everything for the players”.
(Image: Sky Sports)
Mark Leyland arrived from Liverpool as the club’s first coaching analyst; Andrew Forrester has joined as a data analyst; and ChronicleLive understands the Magpies have brought in Michael Emmerson, who was Chelsea’s lead academy analyst.
As well as making external appointments, Newcastle have also promoted from within to support the likes of head of performance analysis Thomas Coffield and first team performance analyst Kieran Taylor. Joe Friar, formerly a performance analyst with the under-18s, has been working as a first-team performance analysis assistant, while Dani Garcia has been employed as a first-team goalkeeping analyst after previously coaching goalkeepers at the academy.
These analysts, like Howe’s coaching staff, are quietly playing their part in Newcastle’s turnaround behind the scenes.
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