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No Alan, it was Jol who changed the game, not the penalty.

Posted on January 23rd, 2012 | 67 Comments |

Alan Pardew.
The Grey Gaffer: Could he learn a lesson from Jol?
Speaking after Newcastle United’s abject second half capitulation to Fulham in yesterday’s game at Craven Cottage, our Silver Supremo, Alan Pardew, looked for reasons for the collapse.

“I can’t really explain what happened to our back four,” he said continuing:

“It wasn’t a case of us not trying second half, we just lacked mental discipline in that second half and it cost us. Hopefully it won’t happen again.

“The strength of our team (the defence) became a problem and that unit didn’t play well in the second half. They were nowhere near good enough in terms of the standards they’ve set themselves.

“They’re probably more disappointed than me.”

Well it’s true that that both Captain Colo and “Iron” Mike Williamson did indeed have stinkers in that half, Colo especially pulled about all over the place by a rejigged Fulham. But anyway, Pardew continued:

“We couldn’t have been in a better place at half-time in terms of the way we controlled the game.

“The first half we couldn’t have played much better and it is a difficult place to come. They have got some quality players and we completely nullified them.

“We got the goal, perhaps should have had two by then, but the Premier League is such that you can’t switch off.

“The first goal for them changed the game, I thought. Whether we felt an injustice at the penalty or an injustice that they happened to be level with us I don’t know.

“We kind of just switched off in that period and it cost us three goals. Then we were in trouble.”

Well, yes, it was certainly true that we dominated the first half, though it could be said that this was due to Fulham’s awfulness as much as Newcastle’s greatness. Jol himself said of his team’s first half performance:

“We didn’t play well, it was probably the worst 45 minutes of this season, for me probably ever.”

Pardew was also right in suggesting that we should indeed have scored another goal at least. If “we couldn’t have played much better,” well, one goal wasn’t much of a return against a team who were playing so poorly. Martin Jol’s Fulham are something of a “Curate’s egg” at the moment, as their recently appointed Dutch master experiments and works out which way he wants to take the team in the long term.

Jol’s initial 4-3-3 formation (a formation mirrored by Pardew) didn’t work at all. It lasted for the first 37 minutes until Jol brought Andy Johnson. Even after he switched to a more direct 4-4-2, the moving of Bryan Ruiz into the centre made him something of a liabilty, and it was within minutes after that change that a Ruiz blunder led to Danny Guthrie’s finely taken goal. After the first adjustment didn’t work, Jol held back the hapless Costa Rican at the break, replacing him with Chris Baird, who went on to have a very good game and unlike Ruiz, kept the ball well. It was this half time substitution which finally changed the game. Penalty or not, when Fulham came out they were a different kettle of fish entirely and had far more coherence.

Pardew whined about the “unjust” penalty conceeded by Santon, yet he said nothing about how the same player should have been sent off before that for bringing down Andy Johnson in what was a clear goalscoring opportunity. He also didn’t mention that Krul could well have been sent off too when he conceeded Fulham’s second penalty by bringing down the flying slap-head when he was in on goal for a second time. If Fulham felt a sense of injustice about those two incidents, then they certainly didn’t show it or “switch off”, and neither should we.

One final observation before I go. Whilst I have no doubt that our Silver Supremo has pulled off some fine results this season, and I realise that despite some recent wobbles, we still find ourselves in a very creditable sixth positon in the Premiership table, I still feel that Pardew could learn a lesson from Jol’s adaptabilty in this game instead fof whining about “injustice”. It was not once but twice that Jol mixed things up in an offensive way until they worked. Whilst our players have undoubtedly shown good resilience and patience in a few games where things haven’t just fallen into our laps, in the rare situations where we have required similar changes in our tactics, Pardew has been somewhat more reticent and less brave in making similar switches in the middle of a game. It’s true that he has shoved on Ben Arfa in the hole for a few minutes sometimes in the past, but apart from that they have been mostly defensive ones in some kind of damage limitation exercise and / or to close a game down (enter James Perch). I have yet to see the kind of decisive action showed by Jol in Saturday’s game, and to such effect.

It’s food for thought anyway.

Newcastle United vs Fulham long highlights and post match interviews.

UTD111’s Fulham match report.

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1055 articles on this blog.

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67 Responses

  1. Our much-vaunted defence is much more vulnerable with out Tiote sitting in front of it saying “you have to get past me first”…

    Yes we missed Ba, but I think it would have been a different game if Tiote had been playing. Think this game taught us who our truly “big” players really are.

  2. So one crap result and news articles and fans alike turn on Pardew. It was a flukey result and not against our best 11. I hope this dosent continue, the moaning about results gets boring quickly, Pardew chose the 11 players that have done so well for us in the past, the defence had a bad day, I doubt man u fans complained too much when they lost to us, no they just get on with it and dont panic!

  3. Careful Johnathan & Tooneye….don’t bring your opinions to this site. The abuse will start & unpleasant things will be wished upon you….I should be dead now if Worky had his way!

  4. I will add to my earlier comments by saying, at least we havent spend 100 million this season like liverpool who are below us. So lets keep things in perspective as AP hasnt had to moan at our players like KD did after his underperforming display agains Bolton. Keep positive. CUP game next then Blackburn 2 winnable games.

  5. Fair comment Tooneye. I think it’s understandable that some fans are frustrated when freak results like the Fulham one come along. We have a team that can take Man Utd apart, yet then resuts like this one and WBA come along. And we might have fared better at Norwich with a centre-half or two.
    If we’d got something out of those games, we’d be so high up the Prem we’d be having a nose-bleed LOL!

  6. Yet again I have discovered that I no nothing about football. Immediately after Guthrie’s goal I started to tell anyone who would listen, that we’d done the hard part and our defence would hold up. Thats why I dont bet on football. On a positive result its games like this that makes this league what it is. We can all wax lyrical over who needs what result but when does it ever work out, cant win them all.

  7. I will add my twopenny worth and agree with those who are bashing the tone of this “supporters???” blog. Good grief, it was obviously a freak. The “wonderful” Jol imo got lucky, very lucky. Totally outplayed in the first half, his team were so awful that he gambled by eventually putting on players in which he had had no real faith for his starting lineup. These Fulham players, with a point to prove, found themselves against a team who had decided that they had been so comfortable in the first half they had nothing to fear. As a result we didn’t pressure the ball at all and were second to every 50/50. Our players’ attitude and not Pardew’s tactics were at fault. It was a case once again of players crossing the white line and being on their own. A basketball coach would have called a timeout and given his players the Fergie “hair dryer treatment”. It is pretty clear from players comments that they themselves know who is to blame for that shocking result.

  8. HAHA, pathetic ‘fans’ whinging about one result.

    Wonder how long it’ll be until they get there pens out and do their banners?!!

    PARDEW SHOULD GO !!!!

    SACK THE BOARD !!!!

    PROTEST AGAINST ANYTHING !!!!

  9. Aye,

    we were beaten & the scoreline looks bad.
    There’s always gonna be a dense of injustice when you get 2 pens against you, take them away & it’s a different game.
    The first early in the 2nd half did ‘kick start’ their attack. It was outside the box & it was very soft. If tapping someone on the shoulder constitutes a pen, eeeesh!
    There is no complaints about dempsey’s hat-trick from me, we capitulated for 15-20 minutes, then their 2nd pen was a typical, one from johnson, kick the ball to the right of the ‘keeper then run straight at him & fall over.
    Slightly easier for the ref to give but a ‘won’ pen nevertheless.
    Them’s the breaks i guess, but ‘injustice’ is allowed.
    Our backline was caught out, over the top though.

    Guthrie’s & HBA’s goals were good goals & i feel that if they don’t ‘win’ the pens at such crucial times, we’re still in that game.
    Oh well! It sucks getting beat in that way, but it happens. It’s just so typical that the teams around us lost points too, so we coulda jumped up & stayed ‘in with there’ chelsea.
    The only consolation being, the others dropped points, so we didn’t drop down.
    :(

  10. As soon as I saw the title I expected some replies like this. I think Jol just moved his players around because it simply couldn’t get any worse whatever he tried. He got lucky with what came next IMO. Nothing to be learned here that our defense don’t alreay know about holding on to 1-0’s away.

  11. I thought blogs were the places where ALL fans could go to vent there thoughts and give their opinions? If the team are crap in the second half, and THEY WERE, then fans have a right to say so, no?

    I was also wandering at what point a FREAK becomes more than just a freak because, and God forbid i incur the wrath of the blog police, there have been a few FREAKS this season; 2-4 Norwich, 2-3 West Brom at home, out of the cup at Blackburn, 2 points from 18. Then of course spanking Man Utd 3-0. All down to the players.

    I would venture to suggest that the fans who blindly defend Pardew and the team regardless are as “pathetic” (sic) as the fans they chastise for speaking their mind. The team were s**te on Saturday, and that’s a fact.

  12. And without trying to be sexist “We now have a jury. They’ve been sworn in. 8 men and 4 women”

    Harry @ Court

  13. Lee,

    there’s no need to feel the need to ‘fight’ for your right to slag off a losing team mate.
    Blogging IS for slagging as well as praise.

    You’re more than welcome to your opinion mate.
    ;)

  14. We went from good on the deck football to lets lump the ball upfield for our “dominant” physical “stars”. It didn’t work and it was to late to change back when the penny dropped. That would suggest a poor tactical analysis by someone! Not pointing any fingers though.

    Tiote’s value is not just his “they will not pass attitude” He is often the instigator of the proper on the deck football thats needed by us to advance to a higher level of achievment.

    I have for a bit of fun trying to work out “HBA” ratings for teams. ie the presence in a team of a player who can hold the ball beat players in tight situations and score great goals to change matches. We obviously have a 1 HBA rating, ManC I reckon are a 3 HBA (DaSilva, Nasri, Aguero) Spurs have Modric or 1 HBA.

    In higher coinage 3HBA = 1 Messi, therefore Barca are a 2+ Messi. Manc would be a 1 Messi.
    Anyway as I said just a bit of fun, anyone want to play?

  15. Not sure we are talking to you today CLiNT, thinking back to the weekend and another Clint with American connections. :)

    Any way it ain’t an exact science, but no Chelsea players spring readily to mind. I am thinking of players who are surrounded by the opposition and seem to somehow twinkle-toe their way through this morass of players. Messi is a Ten Dan in martial art terms whereas HBA is possibly a 1 Dan. Iniesta is way up the ladder and perhaps a 2HBA but not quite a Messi.

    There are probably quite a few clubs in the EPL who don’t have an HBA rating, Norwich, Bolton? Don’t necessarily make them bad teams though.

    Food for thought?

  16. Grumpy,

    aye, me namesake caned us bad there, nowt to dee wi’ me though.
    :)

    I see where you’re coming from.
    Does nani rank as a HBA for manure, or not quite?
    ;)

  17. It over a peroid of 2 weeks Clint.

    Gah was gonna try get tickets for the derby this year but my car has just erupted! Coolant all over the place. Either water pump or head gasket. £££

  18. Yeah you just about got it right as far as describing what happened.
    Obvious Pardew was out managered by an astute Jol, who adapted and changed his tactical approach.
    Something, by the way i have yet to see Pardew do, who has one plan fits all sides, for the entire game.
    Shows a lack of understanding of whats taking place and adapting tacticly.
    As for Williamson, never thought he was Premier League quality and the sooner we bring in some defensive, reinforcements the better.
    It’s going to be a question of whether Ashley believes we can garner a European spot and whether he is willing to spring for the talent to get the job done or not.
    Ah well !

  19. CliNT, This is where it becomes complicated,players like Nani, Bellamy, Pedro can beat players and do tricky stuff but can they consistently weave their way through a penalty box mess of players. Perhaps we need another coinage, a Nani perhaps. Or a Collo for skillfull defenders. Looking forward to seeing it introduced into match ratings and reports.

    Love to see Lineker, Lauro and Shearer, given teams their HBA/Nani/Collo prematch ratings. :)

    Bad luck maze, cars can not half be a wind-up at times. Just when you think you have some spare cash, bang, sh!t happens. Not so bad for me now but it always seemed to happen in early married life when we were struggling.

  20. maze,

    ta mate.
    Gutted about y’motor though man, Grrrrr!

    Grumpy,

    Good idea mate.
    :)
    That would be funnier & more fun watching motd like.
    Which is dead in the watter, for me.

  21. CLiNT, yeah agree about MOTD but it sometimes the only way to get to see matches or highlights. :(

  22. grumpy,

    i know mate, which is very sad.
    They obviously know this & feel no pressure to change in any way!
    It’s run by monkey’s & sheep.

  23. Lee says:
    January 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    “I would venture to suggest that the fans who blindly defend Pardew and the team regardless are as “pathetic” (sic) as the fans they chastise for speaking their mind.”

    Lee, in my experience many of the fans who “blindly” defend Pardew tend, almost by default, to blame the players when things don’t go so well (especially certain ones). Yet if you take the Fulham game as one example, the same Fulham players who played so poorly in the first half put five past us in the second after a few adjustments by their manager.

    Tony Toon says:
    January 23, 2012 at 9:41 am

    “I will add my twopenny worth and agree with those who are bashing the tone of this “supporters???” blog. …

    Our players’ attitude and not Pardew’s tactics were at fault.”

    Dreamer says:
    January 23, 2012 at 10:16 am

    “I agree with Tony Toon !!

    Freak result, blame players.”

    That’s just two examples from above. Many times they don’t even know what Pardew’s tactics are one way or the other anyway, so they have difficulty in backing up their arguments with concrete examples and just seem to end up resorting to abuse instead.

  24. Great article, very objective and somewhat accurate, however I think the initial substitution of Johnson for Sidwell was forced by injury. Ruiz was completely out of his comfort zone in the centre and it was welcomed, but not a surprise, when Bairdy came on an the beginning of the second half. Baird is one of the most underrated players in the league and we would be crazy to let him go

  25. Lee says:
    January 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    “I thought blogs were the places where ALL fans could go to vent there thoughts and give their opinions? If the team are crap in the second half, and THEY WERE, then fans have a right to say so, no?

    I was also wandering at what point a FREAK becomes more than just a freak because, and God forbid i incur the wrath of the blog police, there have been a few FREAKS this season; 2-4 Norwich, 2-3 West Brom at home, out of the cup at Blackburn, 2 points from 18. Then of course spanking Man Utd 3-0. All down to the players.

    I would venture to suggest that the fans who blindly defend Pardew and the team regardless are as “pathetic” (sic) as the fans they chastise for speaking their mind. The team were s**te on Saturday, and that’s a fact”

    Dunno who Lee is WT but he’s a “keeper” as far as this site is concerned and yes you are entirely right when you say that most NUFC fans wouldnt know what tactical plan Pardwho was working with so they couldnt tell if it changed either :)

    Give the average Geordie a top ten position, a few wins plus a new signing every now and then and before you know it they’re off buying new shirts, pies and Del Llambias nodding dogs with a black and white theme. Fatman knows this more than anyone and he also knows when all the above are in place everything else can be swept under the carpet.

    Stadium name change, Fatmans inability to spend his own (or should I say OUR OWN) money rather than SRB’s and of course Derek Bleedin’ Llambias :)

    Thats why we’re labelled fickle by others.

  26. FulhamG says:
    January 23, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    “Great article, very objective and somewhat accurate, however I think the initial substitution of Johnson for Sidwell was forced by injury. Ruiz was completely out of his comfort zone in the centre and it was welcomed, but not a surprise, when Bairdy came on an the beginning of the second half. Baird is one of the most underrated players in the league and we would be crazy to let him go”

    Thanks FulhamG, Of course, you’re right about Sidwell, perhaps I shou have pointed it out but that was also when Jol started changing things around. Being a Fulham fan, you’re the expert on Chris Baird but whnever I’ve seen him he looks like a pretty tidy player and he certainly retained the ball better than Ruiz and did alot of other good work. Dempsey got all the glory and was undoubtedly the man of the match, but Johnson was an important substitution too. His pace certainly pulled us around a bit on the day which helped Dempsey alot. Dempsey has certainly had a hell of a season for your lot. 15 goals now like our Demba Ba, and I beleive he’s been playing in midfield nearly all the time?

    Have you got used to that piece of “art” outside your place yet (not the scupture of Johnny Haynes) :-)

    Could be worse, you could have had 70 “Sports Direct” signs inside Craven Cottage if Mike Ashley had bought you instead of us :-(

  27. FulhamG – intersting points, care to elaborate? What did you think of our 4-4-2 for example – you must be suprised to score 5 – do we look a top 6 outfit?

  28. workyticket says:

    “Where the hell have ye been AndyMac? I was just about to send out the sniffer dogs!”

    A bloke’s entitled to a Christmas break FGS :)

  29. worky says – “if Mike Ashley had bought you instead of us” – its not to late FulhamG – we’ll give you Ashley if you give us ….. well, we’ll just give you him!

  30. See the Beeb are showing American “Rugby” tonight which is great news for me as I havent been able to get to sleep too easily lately, 5 minutes of it and I will be comatose.

    No operating heavy machinery, driving or Brain surgery by any Toon fans whilst watching it, if you intend to.

  31. Supermac says:
    January 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    “worky says – “if Mike Ashley had bought you instead of us” – its not to late FulhamG – we’ll give you Ashley if you give us ….. well, we’ll just give you him!”

    Supermac, Al Fayed is far more “entertaining” than Ashley. Sometimes he even reminds me of an Egyptian version of my dad. My dad used to be a brick short of a hod as well.

  32. Lack of effort v. lack of mental discipline = splitting hairs. (OT: I’m glad they didn’t lose physical discipline; don’t need to see that on my teevee.)

    Why are should we “nullify” worn-out and formless Fulham?

    I like what AP’s done but he has no nous for attacking at all. He looks at his players and says: right, get my two big CFs in and feed ’em crosses (from Jonas & Obertan, apparently). That’s a disturbing misuse of the squad.

    Worrying that he doesn’t frame our failings strategically. I’ve asked (mainly myself) time and again: did he not notice Johnson constantly in behind our CBs? Did he not say anything? Did they just ignore him? Our defenders played the same after Johnson came on as to before-an obvious recipe for failure. Even with Ruiz at CM, Johnson was getting behind and Santon had to do his best to get sent off to stop him.

  33. Anyway we’re still up there even with Pardwho in charge which goes to show how the BPL has lost its way a little. We get hammered by Norwich and Fulham (and the usual drubbing from the BD’s) we scrape 2 points from 18 yet still remain in 6th place ? So you have to question the quality of this league with both Mancs out of Europe, yet still topping the Premiership, suggests we’re beginning to fall behind in relative terms.

    Over the holiday period I’ve watched some great games, with no little skill on show, from Italy, Spain, Germany and Central/South America and when you compare what’s being served up regularly on MOTD there’s not a lot of difference.

  34. To everyone crying for AP: several us have criticized his tactics, especially in attack, consistently while praising the results.

  35. Also, anyone else noticing lately that we don’t seem to have any tactical approach to attak that produces goals? We’ve mainly been riding wonder goals and individual efforts for a while now.

    It’s because our attacking tactics don’t fit the squad.

  36. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    January 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    “5 minutes of it and I will be comatose.”

    Grumpy, I’ve never really watched the American football shows over here but in the American ones, the old gadgies in the box rattling through all those stats are better than a pile of benzodiazepines.

  37. being at the game, to be fair that is how fulham have played this season.

    against spurs we went 2-0 down and in second half we had 23 shots on goal and still lost 3-1
    against man city we went 2-o down and second half we came back to 2-2
    against everton the same but lost 3-1 from 2-0
    against arsenal we went 1-0 and second half we won 2-1

    i have no idea why we play so poorly in the first half..you absolutly creamed us and had BA been playing then you would have been out of sight. Its what we have come to expect of jol, slow starts but a fantastic finish. he is still yet to win me over.

    However, this was just a blip for you guys, once you get BA and cisse playing, i for one cant wait to see what those guys can do and to be fair pardew has really grown on me as he was given such stick at the start but really turned it around. Cleaning out your dead wood and ego men in nolan and barton has really kick started your rise up the league.
    good luck for the rest of the season

  38. Just read the link on comment 23 supplied by CLiNT, it bought a wry smile to my face. It was the suggestion that HBA would be invited to the Cup Final that made me laugh. They obviously do not expect us to figure in the final.

    Me I’m putting the anthromorphic (correct me if thats wrong Worky :) ) principle into effect, altogether lads (and lasses where appropriate) ommm, great universal fooball gods bless us with a cup final win this season, ommmm.

  39. “The first task is to get to know the players really well-watching them as individuals in training and in match play-to see what is good in their natural game. Then, and only then, can we begin to outline the general tactics.” – Helenio Herrera.

  40. tunyc says:

    “It’s because our attacking tactics don’t fit the squad”

    Welcome to the club tunyc but you cant tell these Geordie diehards anything about Pardwho because they think he’s Mourinho Mark 2 :)

    If we had wingers who were, at the very least, consistent then 4-4-2 might work. Matty Jarvis or even Matt Phillips getting “chalk on their boots” for example. However we aint got wingers in that sense (dont mention the Baldy Headed One) so use the formation that fits the existing squad and IMO it’s 4-3-3 reverting to 4-5-1 without the ball (which was most of the second half at Fulham :( )

  41. Got tricked into “going to see the boats at Royal Quays Marina” today.
    Ended up in Royal Quays retail park and Mrs UTD’s fave clothes shops…
    Wallet currently in intensive care….
    Suddenly, 5-2 doesn’t hurt so much :(

  42. Never hurts me any more UTD. Got numbed by the likes of FFS and SJH plus Fatman so I dont expect too much which probably explains my happy go lucky demeanour :)

    Good article BTW. Pardwho has to learn how to adapt to circumstances on the pitch otherwise he’s no better than Roeder or, dare I say it, Hughton.

  43. do remember we lined up a different formation against stoke last season which had three at the back and got it wrong this time we tinkered again with the lineup for the fulham game and worked for the first half but not for the second hopefully third time’s the charm and pardew will stick with the lineup that is comfortable to the players and the way Newcastle play

  44. nufc337 says:
    January 24, 2012 at 12:15 am

    “do remember we lined up a different formation against stoke last season which had three at the back and got it wrong”

    Aye nufc, Colo and Williamson flanking Big Sol in the middle, 4-0 battering?

    Dowie tried three at the back too when we got relegated. That one didn’t work either (obciously – we got relegated!)

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