Forget Systems And Set Pieces, What's Pardews Strategy To Win Games?

I have spoken at length questioning Alan Pardew's system, line ups and our set pieces pretty much through out the league campaign so far, especially in home games. Now after the worst performance I have seen from a Newcastle team for many a year in the 1-0 loss to West Ham, the questioning has just turned into plain criticism. However, what is the most alarming factor about this season so far from our manager is not the formation or who he picks to play within it, but the seemingly complete lack of an actual strategy to win a game of football. Our performances are so poor, does he even have one?

Not once in the league so far at St James' Park has the team had a performance to shout about and be proud of. Not one. We have been out played and even out worked for parts in every game so far. Some more than others. Now seeing as we are on our own patch and some of the level of opposition we've faced are no where near the quality of our squad, that is simply unacceptable. We have ridden our luck for every single point gained from our home form and have completely relied on individual brilliance. Watching the team perform, to decipher an actual strategy being carried out from us to defeat the opposition is on the whole, completely non-existent. This is down to the manager.

Given the quality of players he has at his disposal in the likes of Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, if his direction to the team is for the centre backs to just hoof the ball forward, then he deserves to be sacked right here and now. No wonder he wants to bring Carroll back. He may as well sell the above players to pay for it seeing as they are totally wasted. If he isn't actually instructing the team to carry out this diabolical way of playing, then he needs to put a stop to it right now. Does he even realise how much we do it or is he completely oblivious? Does he not look at the stats after every game? Newcastle still play on average 67 long balls per game, with a shocking 742 in total, which is easily the HIGHEST in the Premier League. So that's more than anti-football Stoke, more than Fat Sam's West Ham with Carroll in their side and more than bloody everybody else. I've had enough, you've had enough and I am sure the players have had enough. I would much rather we at least tried to pass the ball to each other with purpose and a clear direction and fail, then to not try at all. Cowards do that and that isn't us.

11 games long ball1 Long Ball Analysis in the Premier League   Part 2 | Stats Analysis
Can anyone honestly tell me that our home form is any better than the relegation season? The only difference from that team to this is the quality of the individual. It's those individuals that have got us the points we have. It's not the way the team have played. Where would we be without Demba Ba's clinical finishing versus Spurs, Norwich and West Brom? Without Ben Arfa's genius versus Aston Villa and Spurs? Without Tim Krul coming out on top in countless one on one situations and making point blank saves in every game he's played? I'll tell you where, near the relegation zone. Just like in 2009. Now I am not saying we will be anywhere near relegation, because we wont. Joe Kinnear is long gone. But the fact we are failing to create many clear cut chances and seem to be completely void of ideas cannot be ignored. Newcastle United has famously been a momentum club over the years. When we are doing well, we do very well. When we don't, it's insufferable. If we go on a run of bad defeats than our season could get embarrassing and be over before we know it.

I have gone into the failings of 4-4-2 throughout this season and refuse to bore myself and you into going into it again. We all know 4-3-3 is the best system for our team, so Pardew needs to recognise it and have the balls to stick to it once for all Is-pardew-out-of-his-depth?. Our set pieces are non-existent. We haven't scored from one yet this season and it is well over a year since we last scored from a corner. They are a shambles. Again, I have gone into this on countless occasions and you know they are an abomination so I wont bore with this either. I have offered possible solutions here Possible-solution-to-nufc-set-piece.html and I wont be doing it again. We can talk about systems and players all you like, but if the team thats picked doesn't even have a strategy, what's the point? It becomes meaningless. I genuinely have sympathy for our fans who pay their hard earned money to anticipate watching the likes of Ben Arfa and Cabaye to show us how good they are in our team that were good enough to finish 5th last season, to be subjected to this pathetic, clueless, anti-football every single week.

I have always had a question mark over Alan Pardew. Even with the LMA Manager Of The Year award. That award was given to Pardew for the unexpected season our football club had as a whole, rather than well known tactical genius or a philosophy of football. This season is proving why I have had that question mark. Yes, he is the manager who lead our club back into Europe, but so was Glenn Roeder once upon time. Whatever happened to him? One season wonders don't wash with me. I am far from that fickle. Alan Pardew needs to get back to what he threatened to do last season and be a manager with a strategy, rather than a coach with motivation. The team don't need any more motivation they need a clear and effective strategy that gets the best out of them. Once we do, we will start to play well and win games comfortably. Seriously, what kind of a manager worth his salt would play Cabaye and Ben Arfa in a 4-4-2 midfield? Just think about that?

If you look at the other top 8 teams, they all have their own issues, but what is consistent with them all is they all have their own identity. They have a manager who is trying to play a certain way and are doing their up most to make it work no matter what. Our manager isn't. It's like he isn't even trying. You know when you first take over a team on Football Manager and your tactics are a blank 4-4-2 with no strategy put in place yet? Well that's us. That's how we play. It's ridiculous and completely disillusional for all fans of this club. I have had enough. We all have. We have supported teams like this in the past. Why should we put up with it again with the quality of players we have at our disposal?

This 8 year deal for Pardew looks more insane with every game that goes by. He needs to be a manager with a clear footballing strategy worthy of the 21st century. Rather than a coach who concentrates on motivating his players up to the eyeballs. Average managers with average players do that. If that's Pardews standards, then that's where he needs to be. Back at an average club. We're too good for that. Far too good.

The definition of insanity: is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Also see: Newcastle United at home.

Follow me on Twitter @ToonBano


  1. Agree with you. Long balls with this team is just plain stupid. Id like to see us play more offensive and agressive football in a 4-3-1-2 formation with ben arfa behind cisse and ba. Pardew is way too defensive even in home games now. We didnt do shit until west ham took the lead its a disgrace.

    1. We tried to beat West Ham at their own game with players that aren't as effective at it. Work that one out. Pardew - Manager of the year?

      We may as well buy Carroll and Nolan back. No?

    2. Had I your skills in the writing department I could not have put my point of view forward more succinctly.I agree without reservation with every point you make.AP is a man without a plan resulting in good players looking extremely mediocre and on current form it is difficult to envisage anything but a downward spiral in the league. The winner in all this will frustration from both players and fans.What happened to the dream??????

    3. To be honest I had leave loads of stuff out from what I could say. Haven't touched the sides. But this will do for now.

      The dream started to fade when Pardew starting buttering up Demba. We have not played that team once ever since. And have never played as well once ever since. He still refuses to play it now. He has tried everything he possibly could apart from the obvious. Cisse has even been played right wing this season. What is that about?

  2. AP will not give Simpson an improved contract but makes him first choice R.B. How can he expect to get the best out of him treating him like this. Better to drop him and use someone else. Also any manager who thinks the likes of Williamson, Shola, and Ferguson (and others) are premiership players is in the wrong job.

    1. I would love this latest result to finally hit home that what Pards is doing isn't working. But I dont think it will. We have been poor at home all season. If he bases everything on the final result rather than how we play, he is not a good manager.

      If the majority of fans can see it, why cant he? Its not a difficult question. The least I would expect is for our manager to know his best team/system/strategy. If the players then dont perform we can then look at them. But until then, how can we? Cabaye has been totally suffocated this year. Totally wasted. Cisse has lost all confidence in himself. Totally Pardew fault. He has shown more interest in Demba's whinging, then Cisse's efforts from last season. Demba didnt deserve to be ahead of Cisse.

      Anyway, I could go on for days... ; D