What effect has Tioté had on the team?
Let’s compare Cheick Tioté’s six appearances for Newcastle to the four appearances of the player whose position as the deepest midfielder in the formation he has usurped, Alan Smith.
Here are some stats that show how well the team pass when Smith has played:
And here are the stats that show how well the team pass when Tioté has played:
The stats suggest that Newcastle have been better at keeping possession and passing the ball with Tioté in the team. His role when Newcastle is in possession of the ball has been to receive the ball in space between the opposition attack and midfield and to then act as a pivot that switches the ball quickly from one flank to the other.
The role is a key part to Hughton’s system. It means the ball gets worked into wide areas more often where it is then crossed into the box to exploit Andy Carroll’s ariel ability and Kevin Nolan’s late runs into the box.
Data taken from Guardian Chalkboards