Don’t judge Pardew on 10 games, judge him on 176

Posted November 21st, 2014 by workyticket | 67 Comments

Alan Pardew.

Pardew: Mr.Mediocre overall.

“Judge me on ten games” pleaded Alan Pardew as media and fans alike called for his silver head. It was only a matter of weeks ago, but it seems like a far away memory now.

Indeed, it has only taken half that many games to take Alan Pardew from the mire to the sunlit uplands of redemption. There have even been calls for the fans who doubted him to make a humble public apology to the great tactician after his sudden return to route one paid instant dividends, thrusting the Magpies to the giddy heights of eighth in the table at the time of writing.

Good or bad, of course it would just be silly to judge any manager on a mere 10 games as Pardew pleaded, or even five, especially a manager whose form is notorious for going up and down like a bride’s nightie. So, lets ignore Pardew’s appeal, move beyond the temporary peaks and troughs of Pardew’s mercurial fortunes and judge him over his full 176 games with the Magpies so far. Importantly, we can also compare his performance with that of previous managers of Newcastle United in the Premier League too. Continue reading…

How Alan Pardew’s return to route one is saving Newcastle United’s season

Posted November 3rd, 2014 by workyticket | 154 Comments

NUFC - Route One.

NUFC: Riding the Route One road to success.

You don’t even have to be a Newcastle United fan to notice that Alan Pardew and Newcastle United have done very well in their last four games, all wins with three against top sides Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool.

Credit where credit is due, Pardew and the team have gone some way at least to answering their critics in terms of results after a dismal start to the season. However, in studying the stats there is one fact which might cause a dilemma for some fans who advocate that Newcastle United should adopt a more passing style like the top clubs. The fact is that Pardew’s lighting fast turn of fortune rests on the exact opposite. What I mean is that after an effort to play like a modern passing side, an effort which brought him no wins in his first eight Premier League games, the Silver Fox has now found salvation through abruptly returning to his ‘route one’ roots, as you will be able to see in the evidence below.

First, to give some perspective, I will include the long ball percentage scale I devised a few years ago when I wrote a series of pieces revealing and monitoring Pardew’s long ball tactics at Newcastle. The references might be a little out of date as this was from the time when David Moyes was the manager of Everton and Tony Pulis was at Stoke.

The NUFC Blog long ball scale ©™ Continue reading…

Bashing the Bishop: Newcastle United, Derek Llambias and the Z-list PR guru

Posted October 22nd, 2014 by workyticket | 120 Comments

Mike Ashley and Keith Bishop.

“That’s another fine mess…”

Most Newcastle United fans are now familiar with the sight of Newcastle United’s PR consultant, Keith Bishop, who seems to have become a permanent figure at the right hand side of Mike Ashley. But who is he? And how did Keith Bishop PR get the job despite being a small celebrity PR company that would be totally out of its depth with a large Premier League club? Finally, what does former Newcastle United managing Director Derek Llambias have to do with all this? Below are a few answers.

First to correct a few possible misconceptions from the local media though.

Keith Bishop PR has been described as “one of London’s most well-known PR agencies” by Mark Douglas in local newspaper, the Chronicle. In reality it is more of a C-Z list celebrity PR outfit than a proper PR company like Bell Pottinger, Edelman, Ogilvy PR and others who are commonly retained by top companies, including large Premier League football clubs. Bishop is more like a poor man’s Max Clifford, more suited to representing celebrity has beens and wanabees than a large Premier League football club. When asked by ‘Features Exec’ in April 2013 “Who are some of KBA’s most well-known, or respected clients?” he replied “Newcastle United, Glasgow Rangers F.C., Flavia Cacace, Kristina Rhianoff and a few soap stars!” Other top clients of Bishop are Les McKeown of the Bay City Rollers (he’s still going!), Sven’s ex, Nancy Dell’Olio, Pat ‘the mullet’ Sharp and Lord Brocket from “I’m a Celebrity”, North East Sky Sports reporter David Craig and Gary Newbon. The figures of Keith Bishop PR also indicate it is a quite a small time operation too. Whilst it is true that Bishop can also boast of having Leeds United and Rangers on his books, like Newcastle, they are also something of a PR disaster area at the moment. Continue reading…

Is Ashley planning Udinese style selling club network at Newcastle, Rangers and Oldham?

Posted October 16th, 2014 by workyticket | 23 Comments

Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo.

Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo.

Is Mike Ashley using Giampaolo Pozzo’s selling club network of Udinese, Granada and Watford as a model for Newcastle United, Rangers and Oldham?

To begin at the beginning though, let’s take a brief stroll down memory lane. In the aftermath of Kevin Keegan’s acrimonious departure from Newcastle United in 2008, an under fire Mike Ashley made a statement. In this, among other things, he attempted to outline what subsequently became known as his ‘Arsenal model‘ for the club. In Ashley’s own words:

“My plan and my strategy for Newcastle is different. It has to be. Arsenal is the shining example in England of a sustainable business model. It takes time. It can’t be done overnight. Newcastle has therefore set up an extensive scouting system. We look for young players, for players in foreign leagues who everyone does not know about. We try and stay ahead of the competition. We search high and low looking for value, for potential that we can bring on and for players who will allow Newcastle to compete at the very highest level but who don’t cost the earth.” Continue reading…

Newcastle’s new summer 2014 signings

Posted July 19th, 2014 by Hugh de Payen | 825 Comments

Remy Cabella

Cabella – perhaps the player who fans have highest expectations of.

Newcastle have been fairly active in this summer’s transfer window, signing six new players so far.

This is just a brief overview of each of them.

Remy Cabella

There’s some argument about how much we paid Montpellier for the attacking midfielder. Newcastle claims it was £7m and Montpellier claims it was closer to £11.5m (Transfermarkt has it at £8.8m).

Louis Nicollin – the Montpellier chairman – has been less than complementary about Cabella’s move to Newcastle. When we tried to sign Cabella earlier in the year, Nicollin said Cabella would be “bored sh*tless” in Newcastle and then, when we finally got him, Nicollin said:

He wanted to go. I wasn’t happy, but I told him, ‘Congratulations’. In England, there is Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, which are above Newcastle, but Newcastle is a club with a lot of French. He likes them, so great. Continue reading…

Newcastle United v Swansea City match preview

Posted April 18th, 2014 by Hugh de Payen | 821 Comments

Newcastle United v Swansea City

Win needed or it’s 5 defeats on the trot

Date: Saturday 19 April 2014.
Time: 15:00.
Venue: St James’ Park.
Referee: Chris Foy.
UK TV: None.

Newcastle host Swansea at St James’ Park this weekend as both teams seek to improve on a bad run of form.

Newcastle have looked like a team already on their holidays lately. The rubber alligator is on the roof rack of their Bentley Continentals, the caravan is hitched to the tow-bar and they’re halfway down the M5 on the way to Cornwall. Or at least that’s the way it seems if recent performances are anything to go by.

But the combination of a home fixture against a team also amidst a poor run of form and the return of some key players from injury might give us half a chance of some points this weekend.

Allegedly, the target Mike Ashley set for Alan Pardew this season was a top ten finish. We’re currently in ninth place, three points ahead of Stoke and even if they overtake us we’ll finish tenth and achieve Ashley’s target. However, thanks to a victory against Everton at Goodison Park this week, Crystal Palace are only six points behind us in 11th place and in fine form having won their last four games on the trot, including a creditable win against Chelsea. So a top ten finish is by no means guaranteed yet.

Continue reading…

Newcastle United vs Everton match banter!

Posted March 25th, 2014 by workyticket | 494 Comments

Newcastle United v Everton.

A stiff test for Carver this evening.

Date: Tues 25th March 2014.
Time: 7:45pm.
Venue: St James’ Park.
Referee: Lee Mason.
UK TV: None.

Hello, good evening and welcome to our match banter for this evening’s game aginst Everton.

Once again, miscreant manager Alan Pardew will be restrained in his Benton office, leaving assistant John Carver to handle things in the dugout once again. This time though, it will be against a tricky Toffees side who have won their last three Premier League games.

Recent form.

You can see the recent form of the two teams below for their last six Premier League games (most recent first).

Team Results Points
Newcastle United W|L|W|W|L|L 9/18
Everton W|W|L|L|W|L 9/18

As you can see, in terms of recent form in the Premier League this evening’s two protagonists coudn’t e any closer with three wins, three losses and 9 points out of 18. Could it be a tight contest this evening? Continue reading…

Newcastle United v Crystal Palace match preview

Posted March 21st, 2014 by Hugh de Payen | 137 Comments

Crystal Palace Badge

Pardew takes on his former club.

Date: Saturday 22nd March 2014.
Time: 15:00.
Venue: St James’ Park.
Referee: Lee Probert.
UK TV: None.

Hot on the heels of defeat at Craven Cottage, we face lower table opposition again this week as we host Crystal Palace, which is of course where Alan Pardew played his football between 1987 and 1991.

Back in December we beat Crystal Palace 3-0 at Selhurst Park thanks to goals from Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa (penalty) and Danny Gabbidon (own goal), so we’ll be looking to do the double over them on Saturday.

The league form for both teams from the last eight games looks like this:

P W D L F A Pts/Max Last 8
Newcastle 8 3 1 4 6 15 10/24 W|D|L|L|L|W|W|L
Crystal Palace 8 3 2 3 6 7 11/24 W|W|L|W|L|D|L|D

As the above table shows, Palace’s form in the last eight is similar to ours, although they’ve conceded far fewer goals. We can’t really argue that we’ve had tougher games either. In the last eight games we’ve faced three top half sides (Spurs, Chelsea and Villa) and so have Crystal Palace (Arsenal, Man Utd and Southampton).

Continue reading…

Newcastle United v Aston Villa match preview

Posted February 22nd, 2014 by Hugh de Payen | 719 Comments

Paul Lambert & Alan Pardew

Who’ll win the tactical battle?

Date: Sunday 23rd February 2014.
Time: 13:30.
Venue: St James’ Park.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
UK TV: Sky Sports 1.

It’s a mid-table battle at St James’ Park on Sunday as Newcastle play Aston Villa and I reckon both teams will think they can win it too.

Villa will fancy their chances against us given our recent atrocious run of form. But having the home advantage against mid-table opposition should give us some hope that we might be able to use this fixture to halt our recent decline, which would be a welcome relief.

The league form for both teams from the last eight games looks like this:

  P W D L F A Pts/Max Last 8
Newcastle 8 1 1 6 3 15 4/24 L|L|L|W|D|L|L|L
Aston Villa 8 2 3 3 10 12 9/24 D|W|L|D|W|L|L|D

As you can see, Villa’s form is better than ours to the tune of five points over the last eight games. Villa managed a draw away to Cardiff in the last game whereas our last point was at Norwich on the 28th January. We haven’t scored a goal since the match before that – away to West Ham on 18th January – and it’s probably no coincidence that we’ve been without Yohan Cabaye for all four of the intervening games and without Loic Remy for the last three of them. Continue reading…

Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur match banter!

Posted February 12th, 2014 by workyticket | 253 Comments

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur.

Bantam cocks vs headless chickens at SJP this evening?

Hello, good evening and welcome to a rather impromptu ‘match banter’ post for this evening’s game, which sees the Magpies at home against Tottenham Hotspur.

I say “impromptu” because I thought I had already written the last blog on here for some time at least, and that the server this blog is hosted on would run out on 21st. Well, to get to the other reason for this blog, it is to keep all you regular readers informed that after intense late night discussions yesterday evening, it was decided between myself and Hugh that the server, including this site, could stay up after all! Things are still the same with myself, ie I’ve been doing stuff on here pretty much non-stop for well over four years now and I need a break to concentrate on other things. However, despite my previous information, the server will be staying up for the forseeable future, and Hugh might even have a bash at a few blogs if he can, although he is very challenged at the moment too so we’ll see.

So now you know! Continue reading…