Newcastle poach top Liverpool coach for new-look backroom team

Performance analyst Mark Leyland previously worked with Magpies coach Eddie Howe at Burnley

Melissa Reddy
Senior Football Correspondent
Tuesday 14 December 2021 16:45 GMT
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Mark Leyland joins Newcastle United from Liverpool
Mark Leyland joins Newcastle United from Liverpool (Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Newcastle United have pulled off a backroom coup in an aid to navigate away from relegation danger by poaching Mark Leyland from Liverpool to be their first-team coach analyst.

The 36-year-old joined the Anfield club in 2013 from Burnley, where he developed a strong working relationship with Eddie Howe – a bond that stretched beyond the professional, with the pair continuing to keep in touch after their paths diverged.

The Newcastle manager turned to Leyland, part of Liverpool’s brains trust as they became champions of England, Europe and the world, to help shape the club’s on-pitch strategy.

His remit is a hybrid between a coach and collating performance data in an effort to make sure the approach to analysis is streamlined from training sessions through to all match preparation.

Leyland moved to Newcastle last week with the blessing of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Lijnders, who were keen for him to stay but appreciated he couldn’t rebuff the opportunity to advance his career by assuming greater responsibility and shifting into a coaching set-up.

He had been head of post-match and elite player development analysis at Liverpool, so the job represents a promotion.

Leyland follows fellow analyst Harrison Kingston in leaving the Merseyside club. He departed last year to become Director of Performance Analysis and Framework at the Moroccan Football Federation.

Liverpool believe the high demand for their staff is a showcase of the world-class operation built behind the scenes. There is no concern over exits as the structure, talent pool and transition process is solid at the club.

Leyland faces the enormous task of helping formulate a plan to frustrate his title-chasing former employers on Thursday when Newcastle travel to Anfield.

The challenge doesn’t ease up with Manchester City and Manchester United to come before the turn of the year.

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