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Pardew hails important result – still has his critics though

Posted on March 19th, 2012 | 73 Comments |

Plenty fans still ready to rain on Pardew's parade. Alan Pardew has suffered some criticism for the way Newcastle United went about getting 3 points yesterday but hails the win as possibly the most important of the season.

It wasn’t pretty and we were outplayed for portions of the game but Pardew defends the win, saying:

It could well be one of our most important results of the season.

My players are absolutely elated with the win. Mike Ashley said after the Sunderland game that it was fantastic theatre. It wasn’t much theatre today, but what there was was a real professionalism on the pitch. Both teams put in a full stint.

The flair players could have done and shown a bit more ‘je ne sais quoi’ but it was a battle and it’s always good to win a battle. I’m really proud of the players today. We knew in the dressing room we weren’t balanced. We knew we had to give a little bit more and we did that.

Everybody is pulling to trying to get us this finish we need. We are going for Europe, that’s how important this win is. It’s the last 10 games, we have won the 10th game if you like, it makes the task do-able.

We are not firing on all cylinders. If you win when you’re not at your best, it is a great attribute.

Personally, I think he has a point.

Pardew is heavily criticised by some and often labelled as a one-horse cowboy with a particular brand of hoofball and little else. That may be true and for all I know that’s the conclusion I might come to in the fullness of time too, but I think it’s too early to be judging him on artistic merit. Newcastle is still very much a ‘work in progress’ and I think we sometimes forget that, particularly on the back of our unexpectedly lofty League position.

Pardew has only been with us for 13 months. For the moment he’s just concerned about points and getting them the way he feels he best can with the players at his disposal. He’s been successful at that too this season.

I doubt he’s the next Pep Guardiola but I think – or at least hope – he will develop in the same way that players do. If, in a couple of seasons’ time, we’re still playing hoofball and constantly scraping wins in the same fashion as yesterday, I’ll be the first to complain. For now though, I’ll take the points thanks.

Anyway, Paul Lambert thought he should have had something out of yesterday’s and said:

Our play deserved something. I’m not disappointed with the way we played. We took the game to someone who is playing very well and the performance was very good. We never sat back, we tried to go and win the match. On another day we might have got something.

That is good as we have played. They don’t need me to sit here and say well done. I have a great belief in the lads.

Roll on next Sunday where a somewhat resurgent West Brom awaits us. If we get another 3 points in the same fashion, I won’t be complaining!

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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73 Responses

  1. It’s easy to say the players should play more of a passing game but when you don’t have the quality of players who’re able to play that way, then you can’t expect them too… I mean, players like Willo & Simmo aren’t the best at passing & at 1 point in the game, Willo was trying to dribble his way out of defence & almost gave the ball away on the edge of our box, which I wasn’t too happy about & the fact that every time he did hoof it up field, it went straight to a Norwich player really got on my tits…

    So yeah, I’d love to see us play the ball up field but first of we need defenders who can play that style & as it stands this season, we don’t have them, not all of them anyways.. Colo & Santon are the only 2, not even Saylor plays that style of football, so in the summer, I hope we get another CB & LB who are able to & used to playing the passing style of play & then that in itself will help our midfielders & strikers…

    Got to say also that I was mighty impressed with Perchy yesterday, I think he’s found his position & did well.. having HBA on the field too helped a lot but we’re still weak on the right side, thats where most of Norwich play came from… just glad Holt wasn’t on until the last quarter as he terrified our defence at their ground!!!

    Also, I want to know why Whitbread wasn’t booked & us given a penalty for short pulling, he had Willo’s short almost over his head & the ref did naff all about it… surely the peno given against us a couple of games ago would have set the precedent for these incidents but it seems its only against the Toon players & not for in the eyes of the match officials…. shocking!!!

  2. Well his critics have clearly forgotten how we were doing before he came… Yah, we aint Man United, but Rome wasnt build in a day and we have certainly improved under him and long may it continue.

  3. The club as a whole is going thru a continuing building process, that goes 4 the squd to. We are doing well above expectations and u sense things will hopefully only improve as we slowly build and strengthen the squad each season. Fans surely realize u can’t build a team 2 challenge 4 the top in 1 or 2 seasons, for once there is actually a long term plan 4 success in place.

  4. The frustration is that we know we can play better football than has been on show – not just yesterday, but for several games now.
    Krul clearly seems to be under instruction to wait for the team “to set” and then hoof it up field. The trouble is that it never sticks up there and we never play it through midfield.
    The players haven’t looked happy or looked like a team recently. Cabaye was brought to Newcastle on a promise by Pardew of playing football and improving his game. His body language was particularly downbeat yesterday. Because of broken promises?
    Football’s meant to be entertainment and fun. It’s been a bit since we’ve played well.

  5. Well then don’t suggest he be praised yet, Hugh. Apparently, It’s too early to tell.

    He’s done great. The defense is still relatively tidy, the spirit is good and the results are there.

    I still don’t think he’s getting enough out of this team going forward, though I hate to be debating this after a solid performance. Put it this way: it’s nice to be able to grind out results when you need to do so. I have trouble, however, accepting that the best this squad, with its 8 full internationals, could do for the last 15 minutes against Norwich is park the bus and hoof the ball up the field.

    Too true about the shirt pulling. The handball was another pen not given. I dare say we’ve had as many good shouts waved away as anyone this term.

    “How we were doing before he came.”

    Aside from an exceptional 11-game run to start this season, AP’s points per game is almost identical to CH’s.

  6. Toon69 says:
    March 19, 2012 at 8:14 am

    “It’s easy to say the players should play more of a passing game but when you don’t have the quality of players who’re able to play that way, then you can’t expect them too”

    So what about Swansea then Toon69? One of their star players is Wayne Routledge, who wasn’t good enough for Alan Pardew when he was here apparently. Their whole squad cost a mere pittance by Premiership standards.

  7. tunyc says: “Well then don’t suggest he be praised yet, Hugh. Apparently, It’s too early to tell.”

    It’s not too early to tell that we’re 6th.

    It’s too early to tell if we’ll finish 6th of course.

    And I think it’s too early to tell if we’ll ever play ‘attractive football’ on a regular basis.

    At the moment I’m prepared to give him praise and credit for getting results and overlook the style in which we get them.

    If we’re still playing hoofball and/or not getting results in a years’ (or 2 years or 3 years) time I might reconsider.

  8. tunyc says:
    March 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    “I still don’t think he’s getting enough out of this team going forward”

    That’s John Carver’s job on the Friday before a game according to Carver himself, tunyc. Monday to Thursday is Pardew working in the defence.

    Every Monday he [Pardew] comes into work having compiled a defensive report on the opposition. That’s his project, working with our video analysts to provide players with the best information.

    This week, for example, he will talk about Manchester City’s angles of attack, their set-pieces, their movement, as well as focussing on individuals. The lads will be made aware of Dzeko’s strengths and weaknesses, the best way to nullify Silva, Milner’s incredible work-rate, everything.

    That takes care of Monday to Thursday. On Friday it’s my turn when we look at ways to get at opponents. Put simply, Alan concentrates on how not to lose and I then find ways to win.

  9. Nowt wrong with a 1-0 win.
    norwich tried hard from about the 15th minute for about 15/20mins. They had a couple of chances second half, one great save by Krul from whitbread, but that was about it.
    1-0 = 3 points in the bag.

  10. Yokel smear campaign followed by biased black and white view of the game. Quelle surprise Clint! :-)

    We were better in the dirst half, they were better in the second and had a few more chances than you say. Difference was they didn’t have a £9 million hitman.

  11. worky,
    we took control half way through the 2nd half & Shola did a great job when he came on. They had a couple of half chances, one in the last minute & one earlier when howson blazed over from about 40 yards.
    If Papiss had got his extra 1, they wouldn’t have got a look in mate.
    Shoulda had at least 1 pen when Ba had his shirt removed, not to mention the first half hand ball & one that Shola clearly saw late on.
    They did alright & got a chunk of the game when we looked nervous around the middle third of the game.
    But aye,
    you’ll usually find me supporting Newcastle, that’s my team!
    :)

  12. &,

    who else on a match day would go & vandalize SBR’s monument, though it pains me to say it, i don’t think even bentner, clattermole or their rabble would stoop to that.
    It seems a bit obvious that we had ipswich’s greatest rivals in Toon, they get beat, then that happens…
    …Got any better suggestions?

  13. You’re guilty until proven innocent in this country, unless you’re rich, then vice versa!

    ;)

  14. West Auckland?

    2 time winners, mate, 2 time winners.
    :)

    Ask dennis waterman & tim healy.
    :)

  15. Oh aye! West Auckland. The Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy. One theory was that Sir Thomas Lipton meant to send the Woolwich Arsenal, but someone made a mistake and sent West Auckland instead because they had the same initials, according to the Wiki thing.

  16. Have you seen the TV movie?

    A team mostly built of miners from West/Bishop Auckland & Darlo.

    Geordies here, Geordies there, Geordies every…

    :)

  17. worky,

    it was more to do with the fa’s arrogance, such as it is/was/will always be, as they wouldn’t send/allow a team to play.
    So, no change there then.

  18. Toon69 says:
    March 19, 2012 at 8:16 am

    “Sorry, that was ‘Shirt pulling’ not shorts as I wrote.. finger trouble this morning”

    I thought you were just being Geordie Toon69. :-)

  19. workyticket says: “Dennis Waterman’s North East accent is about as good as Dick van Dyck’s Cockney one.”

    Diagnosis Murder is a classic though. The clever plots, the top-class acting etc.

  20. Hugh de Payen says:
    March 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    “Diagnosis Murder is a classic though”

    Utter shite. Jack Klugman as Quincy ME on the other hand was great, especially when he lost his rag at the red tape and the heartless beaurocrats.

  21. NizzleToon says:
    March 19, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    “Is ‘hoof’ / ‘hoofball’ the new buzz word?”

    Comes and goes NizzleToon. Kinnear was accused of it (wrongly) merely because of his Wimbledon associations when he was the manager who actually took them away from that style. Hughton was also accused of it (wrongly) because the his two most used strikers happened to be big lad / target man types. In Pardew’s case it’s partially right.

  22. Hi guys! Im a fan in NY USA and wasn’t able to watch the match just see the highlights on fox soccer but it looked like we had a good few chances and we were the better team – so why rant? btw i would love to hear from a few geordies what they say so keep the comments coming

  23. Worky I take your point but wonder if it’s the reality or if its something that people have picked up and are using it too readily?

  24. newyorkfan says:
    March 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    “Hi guys! Im a fan in NY USA and wasn’t able to watch the match just see the highlights on fox soccer”

    newyorkfan, I’ve been looking for a video of the full match to put up for those who missed it, but it doesn’t seem to be happening this time. I’ll stick one up if I find one.

  25. newyorkfan,

    aye, we were man.

    Some fans want to see us play a more expansive game, but we’re still a team in development so we’re a bit inconsistent. We will get better when the team really gels.
    We’re not doing bad though, crawl before ya’ can walk, before ya’ can run, before ya’ can fly, hey?
    ;)

  26. So Newyorkfan, are you a Geordie ex-pat in NY, or are you an American fan?
    If the latter, could I ask out of curiosity what led to you following the Toon, rather than, say, Arsenal/Liverpool/Chelsea/Man U?

  27. NizzleToon says:
    March 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    “Worky I take your point but wonder if it’s the reality or if its something that people have picked up and are using it too readily?”

    Well, perhaps people have gone too far in both directions, NizzleToon, as they usually do. Quite a few fans have seen things in his method which simply aren’t there, possibly through some kind of wishful thinking.

    I’ve seen fans on some blogs and forums saying things like he inherited some kind of “long ball” team from his predecessor, and that he’s trying to turn us into some kind of Barcelona, but that he doesn’t have the players yet. Besides what can be seen, the stats actually bear out the opposite and it’s just ill-informed cobblers mostly. As I mentioned recently on here, Pardew once condemned Wayne Routledge as not good enough for Newcastle, now he’s one of “Swansealona’s” top players under the stylish young Brendan Rogers, who is now starting to look like more than a “flash on the pan” with a bargain basement squad playing elegant, crisp, passing football.

    “Direct” football isn’t really my thing personally, but I don’t necessarily mean it as an automatic insult when I refer to Pardew’s football as “direct”, nor do I think that Pardew will get us relegated or anything else as hysterical as that. However, Pardew is a football manager who was schooled in the English tradition of the 80s, and his style is indeed somewhat direct in parts. In attack, his first thought is to get the ball to his front two by the quickest route possible, route one. However this isn’t the whole story. We do have some very skillful players in our midfield who, once they do have possession in an oppenent’s half, can indeed play a more aethetically pleasing and indirect passing game sometimes.

    For better or worse that’s just the way it is however well, or poorly, we are performing on the pitch and there’s no point in deluding ourselves, or think that we will develop into the next Barcelona once we get this player or that player.

  28. Hugh de Payen says:
    March 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    “Go down to ‘Situational’ and select ‘Pass Types’, we’re pretty average on all of them.”

    Where’s the definition of what a “long pass” is on there, Hugh?

  29. Re: Stats, hasn’t Hugh just posted (#44) a list of stats that show we play long ball football less often than Spurs, and pretty average amount overall. So the view that Pards has us hoofing the ball up the pitch isn’t borne out by what is actually happening in games. It’s interesting to see how people’s inbuilt perceptions can influence what they think they see. A lot of people dislike Pardew, and so every time he subs Ben Arfa (after yet another largely anonymous performance that apparently warrants a standing ovation) will say he’s a hoofballer who can’t manage real talent, when the much vaunted stats say something very different. It’s bizarre to slate a manager who has us in 6th with a squad most picked to struggle this season (or damning him by faint praise, which is basically the same thing) but still, for the rest of us it’s enjoyable to see those who predicted doom at the start of the campaign grimly refusing to change their tune, even as we zone in on Europe.

  30. Hugh de Payen says:
    March 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    “No idea. What definition/stats are you using?”

    When I’ve read long pass stats, they usually define what a long pass is eg over 30 yards or whatever. Also, I didn’t see how many passes of any description each team made per game on average. Some teams pass more than others, whether they are long passes or short passes and long balls in terms of % would have been helpful too.

    One thing on there which I did glean from that, possibly, is our passing away from home. We were 17th in the long ball stakes on that one!

    In the others I’ve read, somewaht predicably, Stoke have usually been the perennial table toppers in terms of long passing, goals from set pieces etc. Not on there though seemingly.

  31. FWIW, I think a lot of it is subjective. As Worky pointed out: what’s a ‘long pass’ anyway? Does it have to go over a certain distance? Come from defence? What?

    I do think we sometimes resort to ‘hoofball’ when we’re under pressure. Instead of having the confidence/ability to play ourselves out of difficulty we have a tendency to hoof it forward and hope to hit a striker.

    But I do think we have more to our game than that. We play up the flanks a lot, particularly the left with Jonas and Santon/Raylor and we use that to some effect (in fact that gave us the goal yesterday) and whilst I have to agree we have our ‘hoofball’ moments, I think accusations of us being ‘just a hoofball team’ are a bit unjust.

    Our football isn’t particularly ‘pretty’ just now but we’re like a lot of teams in that respect. Who does play ‘pretty’ football in the PL? Arsenal? Swansea, some say.

    I wouldn’t, for example, call Man U’s style ‘pretty’ but it’s clinical and effective (I wonder if Man U supporters ask why they can’t be more like Arsenal?).

  32. Interestingly, there were shades of Argie football yesterday. Guti was shifted back to full back a la Maradona in the WC, and Ben Arfa seemed to be ghosting in behind the front two in a kind of 4-3-1-2 Argie style formation.

  33. John T says:
    March 19, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    “for the rest of us it’s enjoyable to see those who predicted doom at the start of the campaign grimly refusing to change their tune, even as we zone in on Europe.”

    Well when we had a poll on this site, most people had us down as mid table (60%). Of the rest, 18% thought we’d make the Europa League, 15% thought that we’d “just scrape through,” 3% even thought we’d make the Champion’s League with only a mere 4% predicting doom. Hence, your attempt to stereotype some of your fellow fams is somewhat wide of the mark, John. ;-)

  34. workyticket says:

    March 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    “15% thought that we’d “just scrape through,”….with only a mere 4% predicting doom”

    Yeah, so that 19% who thought we’d either be in a real dogfight or actually go down due to Pardew’s poor tactics and our weak squad [both of which I’d have counted as predicting doom after a safe midtable finish the season before] haven’t changed their tune, and continue to slate the team and manager as though we really were in the bottom 6 as they predicted, rather than the top 6!

    That’s what I’m saying I find enjoyable. I’m not attempting to stereotype anybody – just saying it’s funny!

  35. John T says:
    March 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    “Yeah, so that 19% who thought we’d either be in a real dogfight or actually go down due to Pardew’s poor tactics and our weak squad”

    John T. Not that you’re clutching at straws or trying to “spin” things or anything like that, eh ;-) As I wrote, only 4% of people on this site thought we were going to be relegated, and some of those could have been Mackems!

    I’m afraid I can’t see why you would find disagreements with your fellow fans “enjoyable”? Is it because you feel “superior” to them in some way?

  36. worky says – “Guti was shifted back to full back a la Maradona in the WC, and Ben Arfa seemed to be ghosting in behind the front two in a kind of 4-3-1-2 Argie style formation”
    – with cabaye & Perch on the “wings” !
    It looks like they picked numbers out of a hat for position.

    Interstingly The Times match report today made Perch our best performer with 7/10 – I must appologise to this lad for my criticism earlier in the season, he is doing his best and has put in some good performances recently which is great to see. Well done son!

  37. supermac,

    it would seem that Perch’s best slot is a midfield one mate. He looks confident there.
    He did well v norwich & has done recently per se.

  38. The Independant reports that Chelsea are planning a £30m raid in the summer for Tioté and Krul. This will go on and on.

  39. Supermac says:
    March 20, 2012 at 12:41 am

    “The Independant reports that Chelsea are planning a £30m raid in the summer for Tioté and Krul. This will go on and on.”

    Just a mere “raid” Supermac? Not a “daring raid,” or a “daring swoop?”

    CLiNT FLiCK says:
    March 19, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    “‘An email’?

    ?

    I’m not at my own computer mate.”

    What the frig is webmail for Clint? Takes about two minutes to setup. I think that you can both read and compose e.mails with your existing account too without the need for your e.mail client on your home machine.

    CLiNT FLiCK says:
    March 19, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    “supermac,

    it would seem that Perch’s best slot is a midfield one mate.”

    He’s primarily a defensive midfielder and a right back Clint, that isn’t a new discovery.

  40. Supermac says:
    March 20, 2012 at 12:46 am

    “sell Krul & get Foster back?”

    Supermac, up in Scotland they’ve been saying something about an automatic option to buy for around £2-3 million if both he and Celtic are agreeable, not entirely sure though.

  41. NYFAN
    Theres a special deal on FSC of $2.99 a month introductary offer, for three months, which gives you, in combination with FSN and ESPN, more football and Rugby than you would want to watch.
    with games from La Liga, French football, German,Italian,
    SPL, you name it.

    As for the debate about Pardew.
    C’mon folks, look at the fact we can field how many international players? compared to teams like Lamberts Norwich and Rodgers Swansea.
    Yet both sides play both a more entertaining and effective game than we do.
    So what does that indicate ?
    Clearly we lucked out against Norwich, who had us on the back foot from halfway through the first half untill the final whistle.
    Which most fans were happy to hear.
    In my opinion it’s a condemnation of Pardews inability to do anything but play a one style fits all football,
    plan “A” without a “plan “B”.
    With the players at his disposal, we should be where we are and IMO if we had someone who understood the modern game and utilised those players in an effective way.
    We would be doing even better, but thats a judgement call, perhaps the EPL is not as good as in former years.
    Face it the guy has no real track record,other than sitting two of the best players out of Argentinat at his time at W/Ham, while struggling to avoid relegation.

    On Perch, sure i dont consider him as a starter on this side, but have to say he gives it his all and perhaps should be carried by the club as the “Any position Sub”

  42. @ Workyticket 57 – Feel superior? Not at all! It’s enjoyable in the same way Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch is enjoyable, or the good half of Ricky Gervais’s stuff.
    A resolute refusal to acknowledge what’s going on and change your comments accordingly to better reflect reality is surely always a reliable source of humour? Same as its funny seeing people write we’ve got a team chock full of world class players who’d walk in to Man U’s first team over on Ed’s blog.

    Unless I’m meant to read all comments on all blogs entirely straight faced thinking ‘hmmm…not sure if I agree, but I’d defend to the death your right to say it’.

    All I’m saying is that some of these comments read as criticism for a bottom 6 team, and I would imagine those making then are largely either the 15% who thought we’d just scrape through this season, or the 4% who said we’d get relegated, and are critiquing the team as though they are being proven right game by game, rather than proven wrong.
    And God help me, I think it’s funny!

  43. worky,

    soz mate,
    i’m about as interested in email as i am ‘pop music’, that’s a big, fat, hairy zero!

    I have just got a new phone & have (surprisingly) bothered to set up the email account, but don’t have any edresses on there yet.
    I’ll endevour to rectify that soon mate.
    I gotta say, i tend to just call people & actually talk to them all personal ‘n stuff, like.
    :)

  44. Fair enough, Hugh. I don’t like the pejoratize term “criticize” so much as “evaluate”. Sounds different: Pardew hails (you all love that verb) result-some supporters still evaluating him though.

    Worky-am I reading that right? Four days of defensive training and one of attacking per week? And are we actually that reactive to the tactics of each opponent? Explains a lot really.

    AP’s team doesn’t currently play pure percentage ball but they play it more than CH’s despite the fact that we’ve added players like Cabaye, Marveaux, HBA and Santon during his tenure. You’d think we’d be going away from that style and one wonders why we’re not. That’s my critique of AP.

  45. tunyc says:
    March 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    “Worky-am I reading that right? Four days of defensive training and one of attacking per week? And are we actually that reactive to the tactics of each opponent? Explains a lot really.”

    Well, I suppose that Carver was talking in particular about their preparation for the Man City game earlier in the season, but he didn’t suggest that it was untypical. It also suggests that our whole attacking strategy seems to be in the hands of John Carver. Look at it again:

    “Every Monday he [Pardew] comes into work having compiled a defensive report on the opposition. That’s his project, working with our video analysts to provide players with the best information.

    “This week, for example, he will talk about Manchester City’s angles of attack, their set-pieces, their movement, as well as focussing on individuals. The lads will be made aware of Dzeko’s strengths and weaknesses, the best way to nullify Silva, Milner’s incredible work-rate, everything.

    “That takes care of Monday to Thursday. On Friday it’s my turn when we look at ways to get at opponents. Put simply, Alan concentrates on how not to lose and I then find ways to win.“

  46. “That’s my critique of AP” – well tunyc mate, if you put him in charge of manc with their superb players he would instruct them to play the only way he knows – and he wouldn’t last more than 3 games.

    I think he sends out a team to play how he played – and has no idea of how to direct players much better than he was.

    The exact opposite of Glen Hoddle who complained that his players didn’t understand what he wanted cos they were not as good as he was !

  47. tunyc says:
    March 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    “You’d think we’d be going away from that style and one wonders why we’re not. That’s my critique of AP.”

    That’s the style he learned as a young player/coach / assistant / manager at Barnet and Reading. He spent much of his playing career as a part timer at lower league and non league clubs. He’s done very well for himself, but he was brought up in the world of “thud and blunder” direct football at places like Whyteleafe, Epsom & Ewell, Corinthian Casuals, Dulwich Hamlet and Yeovil Town, not Barcelona and Real Madrid.

  48. Great news, I wouldn’t expcet to see him play tomorrow, and if he does maybe a 10-15 minute slot if we are winning comfortably. I don’t see the point in putting him through too much in his first game back, another week of training will do him the world of good.The Carling Cup game against Reading is an ideal comeback..It’s been a long time coming. Holy shit a midfield trio of Arteta, Wilshere and Cazorla is a knicker wetting thought. It’s got a great balance of creativity, discipline and box to box energy… 31 1

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