Giving Credit To Pardew...We Think...

Sometimes Newcastle even stumble across a good idea. They're so chaotic you're never sure they mean it, but on this occasion Nick Miller gives Alan Pardew the credit...

Last Updated: 11/11/13 at 09:09 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Mourinho's Little Horse Cut Down To Size


After Chelsea's title hopes took a severe blow with defeat to Sunderland, Matt Stanger ponders where it went wrong for the Blues. Jose Mourinho has much to answer for...

Rodgers And Martinez: Showing Peers Up As Phonies


While other managers have been quick to speak about limitations, Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez have pushed the boundaries to embarrass their peers...

All Articles

You never know what's going to happen next at Newcastle. You think they're actually doing okay, with a coherent transfer policy and with a good scouting system then BAM - they appoint Joe Kinnear to oversee it all. By largely staying out of things and not doing anything too stupid for a bit, Mike Ashley was almost getting back into the fans' good (well, maybe just indifferent) books then BLAM - Wonga.

Those wild fluctuations also show in their results this season - they beat Aston Villa then lost to Hull. They lost to Sunderland then beat Chelsea. They're not a team you would like to hang your hat on. Unpredictability is good for the rest of us, because chaos is undeniably entertaining, but it's a miracle most Newcastle fans live past 35, such are the stresses and strains of supporting the club.

So unpredictable is life at Newcastle that they even occasionally stumble upon a good idea. Whether that's by accident or on purpose is sometimes difficult to tell, but for the moment we'll give Alan Pardew a little credit for their two incredibly impressive wins in a row against Chelsea and Tottenham.

In both games, Pardew seemed to get his tactics pretty much spot on. Both Chelsea and Spurs were not allowed to settle, hassled and harried and pressed in that way that is terribly fashionable these days. Barcelona, now Newcastle - it's the natural progression of football.

But seriously folks, it's a wonder more teams don't employ such tactics more often, given it 'only' takes high levels of fitness, rather than high levels of skill. The top teams combine both of course, and Southampton are probably the best example of that high-pressure game succeeding in England this season. It was a good strategy to use against this Spurs side in particular, with the safety of their high defensive line compromised somewhat by the absence of Hugo Lloris. Pressing combined with a more sluggish than usual backline will more than likely combine to produce defensive errors and thus plenty of chances, as their goal exemplified.

This of course explains the ostensibly curious decision to leave Hatem Ben Arfa out of the side in recent weeks. Ben Arfa is many things, but a reliable grafter is not one of them - while Shola Ameobi offers a tiny fraction of the Frenchman's skill, he performs a better role in this system, pushing opponents into creating chances through errors, rather than really creating them himself.

As the game went on, Newcastle were pushed further back, which was partly a consequence of Tottenham's increasing attacking desperation, but also partly could have been a conscious decision to defend deeper and soak up pressure.

While we can't see inside Pardew's head (which, on most occasions, is quite a relief) he may have reasoned that Spurs are currently struggling so badly to break down teams that they might as well sit back and let Spurs pass themselves into insignificance. Tim Krul made more saves than any other Premier League keeper in a single game this season, but while he was of course impressive, lots of those shots were either straight at him or weak. When a side are as blunt as Spurs are at present, you might as well point them in the direction of the goal and let them mess it up themselves.

Of course, that could be nonsense and Pardew might have just got lucky. But when it works in two successive games, you're more inclined to give him some credit.

After those two fine wins, a break for the internationals then a couple of pleasant home games against Norwich and West Brom would suggest Newcastle are in good shape to push on. Then again, this is Newcastle...

Nick Miller - follow him on Twitter

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments


may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Please Stop Telling Us What To Think


ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

Wenger hails important win


s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

De Gea's Europa League target

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Roberto Martinez feels Everton have moved on since Marouane Fellaini joined Man United

Roberto Martinez has questioned where former Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini would fit into his current team.

Premier League: Steven Gerrard hopes 'phenomenal' Brendan Rodgers enjoys long Liverpool reign

Captain Steven Gerrard has hailed Brendan Rodgers as "phenomenal" and hopes the manager can build a legacy at Liverpool.

World Cup 2014: Jack Wilshere in good shape for England, says Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is confident England midfielder Jack Wilshere will be in good shape for the World Cup.

Mail Box

That's Why We Didn't Want Jose At United

There is plenty of reaction to Mourinho's antics (Isn't that exactly what he wanted?) plus thoughts on Connor Wickham, Fabio Borini, beach balls and Tim Sherwood...

Kieran's Not The Only One Keeping Notes

Another chap in the mailbox has been keeping notes on comments made by optimistic Man United fans. Plus, Garey Vance is offering a double-or-quits on his new tattoo...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property