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Pardew Gives Progress Report on Newcastle United Vision

Posted on April 15th, 2012 | 135 Comments |

"Making Good Progress"
Alan Pardew has been talking to The Sunday Mirror – and his comments confirm what most of us now accept is happening at United.

The “austerity” policy and supporting business model which Mike Ashley instigated when taking over the club, and which was highly criticised by many United fans, including myself, is achieving what it set out to do – to make the club financially sound and put it in a position to compete with the so-called “Big Clubs” at the top of the Premier League.

Pardew told The Sunday Mirror:

“From day one I’ve tried to be open and honest about the financial model we’re operating. I understood the fans’ initial resentment”

“Mike set out to make Newcastle self-financing and I knew exactly what that framework entailed when I took the job in December 2010. I’ve aimed to be transparent with the supporters and give them clarity about what we are trying to achieve and how we will operate in the transfer market.

“They know that in certain circumstances we will sell players.”

And it’s that last bit which always causes a little bit of unrest in the ranks of the Geordie faithful. It’s a question of when will we reach the point where we don’t have to sell players in order to feed the Ashley financial model? In other words, when will we be in a position to choose to keep our better players and say “no” when another club waves silly money at us?

He went on:

“At a club like this, where huge money was spent in the past on top players such as Alan Shearer and Michael Owen, it was inevitable that some would not be happy with our spend. Many were unhappy with the sale of Andy Carroll, but that £35million has helped us build a team that has exceeded all expectations this season.

“Our policy makes sound financial sense in a harsh economic climate and with UEFA financial fair play rules looming. Mike was determined that the club’s future would not be put at risk by spending money we could not afford. We have all seen what has happened at Portsmouth and Rangers.”

“Now I think a lot of Newcastle fans are starting to see the bigger picture and appreciate what we are doing makes sense. We set out to find value in the transfer market and I believe we have succeeded.

“We have been helped by the fact that signings such as Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye have come in and had an immediate impact.

“And I have been helped by the fact that the backroom staff I inherited are first-class.”

It’s true that many fans have indeed been seeing the “bigger picture” recently. And of course this has been helped by some excellent signings and rapid progression to a position where we are genuine contenders for a place in the Champions League – albeit a little earlier than expected!

As to the future, Pardew had this to say:

“We have proved this season by breaking into the top six that we can be a force in the Premier League and we have laid foundations that I hope can keep us at the top end of the table in future years.”

We can all speculate about what Mike Ashley’s motives are. Personally I’m hoping this season’s progress is a demonstration that he has some ambition for the club. That he wants to make it a success in order to cock a snoop at the football establishment – just as he has with his (cough) “other business” where his success has allegedly upset some of the more fragile egos in the London “City”. Yes of course he wants to make money, but he also likes success and he might also just be starting to enjoy the experience of owning a football club again after the hard time we gave him in the past.

But one thing is clear. This season is visible and tangible evidence of progress, and if this progress does continue, I for one couldn’t care what the owners motivation is!

NUFCBlog Author: UTD111 UTD111 has written 59 articles on this blog.

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135 Responses

  1. This doesn’t sound to me like it’s the words of Alan Pardew. He isn’t normally quite this articulate.

    It sounds more like a press release by Derek Llambias to the Mirror group, which purports to be an interview with the manager.

  2. workyticket says:
    April 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm
    Looks like pure PR guff to me.
    ______________________________

    Course it is!!

    It’s his job!

    When did you last hear any manager talk his club DOWN? :)

  3. Who cares what his ulterior motive is or his future ambitions. All that matters is he supports the club financially, builds for the future and hopefully has learnt his lesson about meddling with the managers job. As for Lambsarse however, sorry but the guy is a buffoon and needs to go. All the major gaffs and pr blunders were sewn by that tool.

  4. Archie says:
    April 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm
    All valid stuff but I’m not sure you got it quite right with “Cock A Snoop!”
    _____________________________________

    I’m sorry, I have a cold! :)

  5. “That’s why you come to Liverpool FC to play in games like this and you want to win things. Getting to Wembley twice is amazing” – AC

  6. Another interview with Pardew about Ashley and self-financing… Boring. Really really boring now.

    Heard it all before last month, and the month before that.

    We know Alan, but please do tell us again next month and then in the summer about it all so we don’t forget.

  7. Jimbob says:
    April 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    “Another interview with Pardew about Ashley and self-financing… Boring. Really really boring now…”

    Jimbob, the message must be repeated over and over until it drowns out every alternative and people are completely brainwashed by it. That’s PR.

    “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over” Josef Goebbels – Godfather of the PR Industry.

    “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it” – Adolf Hitler

    Transfer window is coming up again, sooner than we think.

  8. GS, I’m sick of it mate.

    Worky, I know, I think you’ve even replied when I moaned about this before with the same response.

    FFS how many times!!!

  9. Supermac says:
    April 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    “I’m Bart Simpson – who the hell are you?
    I’m Sparticus”

    Supermac, bearing in mind your profession, I thought you’d be able to spell “Spartacus” correctly! ;-)

  10. Worky @ 13

    You don’t have to go back that far mate.

    What about the more recent “We aren’t privatising the NHS, no, definitely not, it’s a fib….”

  11. “And it’s that last bit which always causes a little bit of unrest in the ranks of the Geordie faithful. It’s a question of when will we reach the point where we don’t have to sell players in order to feed the Ashley financial model? In other words, when will we be in a position to choose to keep our better players and say “no” when another club waves silly money at us?”

    Arguably it’s nigh on impossible to become self financing if we’re not in the CL every season as I’d guess our curremt turnover for 2011-2012 is probably somewhere in the region of £120m give or take ?

    However if these two modern day Scrooges could manage to get their collective fingers out and make an effort to attract substantial sponsorship, marketing and commercial revenues that at least look match the ambition of a top five club then maybe we wouldnt have to sell top players every year ?

    OK the Mancs are way ahead in terms of commercial revenue generation but we surely should be able to match the RBD’s “Warrior” kit deal ? Unless of course its SD :(

  12. Just for the record, Warriors kit deal is allegedly £25m surpassing Manchester United’s £23.5m-a-year Nike deal.

  13. Maybe it needs to be said again and again because its the first thing used against Ashley when people are having a pop? He’s brought a stability to the club we didn’t have, so let’s stop all taking pot shots and back the club?

  14. Iain Barzycki, who’s not backing the club? And who’s taking pot shots?

    Do you think it’s normal to repeat the same thing literally every month?

    I certainly don’t need to hear it. I know it’s what the club are doing, I know Ashley wants it self-financing etc and that isn’t a problem, it’s sensible and it’s working… So great.

    But I also know the sky is blue, I don’t need someone telling me every month it’s blue just in case I forget.

    I’m sure nobody is upset by our financial plans etc, I just don’t understand why we have to go over it again and again…

  15. Pardew sez
    It’s true many fans indeed have been seeing the bigger picture……
    Read
    There are still those who dont get it…

    We set out to find value in the transfer market and i believe we have suceeded….
    Yeah like Obertan (a Pardew choice) and Santon, who gets the same treatment as HBA did all season, on the bench.

    Yeah agree Cabaye, HBA, Cisse, Ba,all good signings, in fact the basis of a possibly good side, but it’s more about what a manager gets from good players, how he utilizes them, according to their abilities and thats not by sitting the most productive forward on the side for most of the season.
    Can someone tell me again why HBA has spent most of the season warming a spot on the bench, after all he’s just the most productive forward/winger/ roamer we have.
    Being either a scorer or making an assist on mot of our recent goals.
    hey i dont get it ?

  16. JimBob
    Not a good analogy mate.

    The bit of sky that I’m looking at is actually dark grey, and it has been for a while, so I really could do with somebody to remind what up there beyond the doom, gloom and despondency.

    My mother once told me that my first wife was not right for me, but she was – right up until the divorce.
    That was nearly 30 years ago and she still reminds me on a regular basis.

    Not sure if I’m saying here that Ashley could continue with this for another 28 years, or if you should just consider yourself lucky that my mother didnt buy the club.

    Personally I think we do owe Ashley a debt of gratitude and if the cost of paying off that debt is the constant fawning of Pardew and others I’m fairly happy with that.

    In some circles its referred to as motivation, a positive attitude and shaping ones own future.

    Personally I think its a load of sycophantic crap, but I understand the need of those with weaker personalities to have a mantra to hang on to.

    I had a mantra. The gearbox went on it.

  17. Chuck

    HBA now is not the HBA we had at the beginning of the season.

    His confidence and all round play (tracking back etc) have been developed by the coaching team by bringing him back from a serious injury gradually, and integrating him into the way the team plays and what is expected of him.

  18. I get the feeling that whatever the topic of the thread, Chuck would still manage to get in the “what was HBA doing on the bench for most of the season” routine :)

  19. Iain Barzycki
    So what are you suggesting ?
    Make this a blog, where everyone goes along with the party line?
    Well there are some who just dont buy it, people who can figure things out, without having it explained by people like Llambias and Pardew.
    And the old line, just support the club, has become a catchall for those who believe all they hear from the powers that be.

  20. AndyMac says:
    April 15, 2012 at 6:40 pm (Edit)
    I get the feeling that whatever the topic of the thread, Chuck would still manage to get in the “what was HBA doing on the bench for most of the season” routine
    ____________________________________

    I get the feeling you may be totally correct there!!

  21. Breaking News:

    Newcastle United change name of Ground to “WhathefeckisBenArfadoingonthebench” Stadium !

  22. I am LITERALLY over the moon with where we are.

    Happy with 5th, expecting 6th, hopeful of Champion’s league.

    We are a team as well as a collection of individuals. If my favourite player doesn’t play every week, I am OK with that as long as we beat Man U 3-0.

    Great goal by Drogba.

  23. I’m not saying this should be a blog where everyone tows the party line, but at the same time, does it really matter if Pardew repeats himself month in month out? The first thing always levelled at Ashley is his financial running of the club. It’s a policy that, in the surface appears to be working. Is it such a big issue if we sell someone for 35m and develop the entire squad? I agree, more needs to be done to find sponsors to stop that, but if its what it takes to get the club back where it belongs, then so be it.

  24. GS we’re all over the moon, not sick as parrots but football, early doors, is a game of two halves and from where I sit if we gatecrash the top four, we’ll always give 110% support to the team.

  25. Chelski score – and no-one in the empty seats cheered??

    Wembley has empty seats everywhere – don’t ever anybody try to tell me Totts and Chelski are “bigger than Newcastle”

    Bollox

    #bigclubsmyarse

  26. UTD111 says:
    April 15, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    “HBA now is not the HBA we had at the beginning of the season.

    His confidence and all round play (tracking back etc) have been developed by the coaching team by bringing him back from a serious injury gradually, and integrating him into the way the team plays and what is expected of him.”

    Or, alternatively, he started playing him on the right flank, as Chris Hughton did when his leg broken by Nigel de Jong. This opens up the pitch for him and has been great for his passing and crossing.

  27. AndyMac, there are no easy games in this League, so all the lads have running their socks off from early doors, and giving 110% so they can gatecrash the top four party. :-)

  28. Archie, apart from your views on the Sky, and referring to my analogy of it, I could indeed have chosen a better one… Though with it being so grey and gloomy every time you gander towards it, I thought a reference and a reminder that it is in fact blue when the clouds dispense, may in fact cheer certain quarters up.

    Your insistence to include Ashley and how we should owe him gratitude is an entirely different subject matter to the point which is being raised. Though I agree with it, the issue is why does Pardew deem it necessary to repeat himself over this particular subject on a basis that is very regular?

    Is this just to drum into the skulls of people with weaker personalities, so they in fact absorb it like a sponge? (good analogy?).

  29. Andymac
    Listen, heard all the Pardew apologist’s and their bizarre reasons, his head was’nt right, he was not really fit, a lotta rubish, i mean you dont have players on the bench who are unfit, No ?

    I am well aware of why he sat.
    Pardew is so dumb, he did’nt realise what he had, the most productive forward in the club.
    His attempts to make him into a defensive winger was so bizarre, it’s unbelievable.
    Playing a pedestrian fill in ,like Raylor, on the right wing, or HIS mistake of a signing Obertan, belies belief.
    Now that everyones aware of what a game winner HBA is, makes it impossible to drop him.
    Even then he (Pardew has no clue as how to use him, (giving him freedom to roam) hell if he just left the side to it’s own devices, we may turn into Barcelona.
    Instead of having wingers who play defense.
    Does’nt anyone recall SBR’s rant about Robert, he realized he was’nt going to track back, but that his value as a goalscorer, come playmaker was more important
    to the side, so he let him do his thing and the fans loved it.
    Just as they are now watching a great player, who is both an entertainer and can do it all, so why was it he sat on the bench for so long again ?
    There’ gotta be someone who comes up with one i have’nt heard before.

  30. Prepare yourselves for another chelsea goal which should not be if you’re gonna watch the FA cup highlights. Absolutley terrible goal line decision.

  31. Iain Barzycki,

    No it doesn’t matter if he repeats himself mate, but I’m just curious as to why he does over the matter of self-financing etc.

    We all know it’s what the club needs after the over spend of the years, and I’m sure the majority understand it. I’m delighted with how things are and how the team are performing, as I’m sure you are. Pardew, Ashley etc do deserve recognition.

    Maybe it’s the press asking the same questions? I dunno. Maybe I think too much, but it is every month we are reminded.

  32. chuck says:

    Andymac
    Listen, heard all the Pardew apologist’s and their bizarre reasons, his head was’nt right, he was not really fit, a lotta rubish, i mean you dont have players on the bench who are unfit, No ? I am well aware of why he sat.
    Pardew is so dumb, he did’nt realise what he had, the most productive forward in the club. His attempts to make him into a defensive winger was so bizarre, it’s unbelievable. Playing a pedestrian fill in ,like Raylor, on the right wing, or HIS mistake of a signing Obertan, belies belief”

    We all know that Chuck, we know, we’ve been there. 4-3-3 eventually came and smacked Pardwho on the back of his head. Better late than never. Let’s move on. OK ?

  33. Isn’t the real point about Ben Arfa that he is still at the club. So what if Pardew didn’t use him to his full potential for a couple of months. I think he is contracted for another 3 years so we will see a lot more of him and Pardew may have seen the light?

  34. Jimbob says:

    “Iain Barzycki, No it doesn’t matter if he repeats himself mate, but I’m just curious as to why he does over the matter of self-financing etc”

    Maybe because TK is being lined up for Chelski or Tiote or both ?

    Its the old “give them an idea of the bad news so that when the bad news comes its not so bad” routine :)

  35. Pardew’s always said Ben Arfa is our best player. I think he’s done good with him.

    If you remember at the start of the season HBA was sluggish and not as confident, maybe slightly anxious after the De Jong affair.

    But look at him now, it’s been a massive turn around, and you have to give Pardew, the coaches and certainly the medical team (the ones in France too) a lot of credit.

  36. Jimbob

    Aye – much preferred that analogy .

    Though some people absorb info slower than others.

    Would that be a treacle sponge?????

  37. ANDYMAC
    Actually i kinda like the idea of,
    “Whatthefuckishatembenarfadoingonthebenchstadium” not quite “St. James” Park” but infinately better than “Sports Direct Stadium”, with it’s cheap and nasty signs everywhere, well guess it has to mirror it’s merchandise.

  38. chuck says:

    “Aw Andy, why did’nt you just say so before, had no idea i was annoying so many people”

    Chuck you can keep on this topic for the next ten years if you like. Its not annoying its just that its been done and we all either agree 100% with you or dont. Personally I do :)

  39. Archie,

    Nothing quite like a treacle sponge.

    Goes down me faster than Ashley Young hits the ground…

  40. Jimbob says:
    April 15, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    “Pardew’s always said Ben Arfa is our best player. I think he’s done good with him.”

    He also said that he couldn’t play out on the wing, Jimbob.

  41. Now we’ve reached the business end of the season are Spuds not capable of doing their talking on the pitch ?

  42. So I’m going to take a stab in the dark here and assume Chelsea will get to the final… Reckon Liverpool will do them… So that could be two trophies for them this season.

    Not such a bad season then for Dalglish potentially.

  43. Jimbob
    No he did’nt allways say HBA was our best player !
    How do you reach the evaluation he was’nt confident and was anxious, you his shrink ?
    As for sluggish, errrmmm ! dont recall that either, but then he had very few opportunities, in which to get match fit, as he spent most of his time on the bench.
    And yeah, a massive turnaround you say, nowt to do with Pardew.
    The fact is due to injuries, he was forced to play him and we are seeing the results, with possibly Pardew more surprised than anyone.
    What fans have to realize is, this guy was a great player long before he came to this club, why are so many giving Pardew accolades for making him into a special player, probably the only one who was unaware of exactly how good he was.
    Doubt if he will sit him any time soon.

  44. True Worky, and he assumed Obertan could play down the wing :-)

    By “wing” I think he means in his preferred 4-4-fcking-2 formation. Not in his front three, 4-3-3 formation.

    It’s two entirely different styles. Can HBA stay on the wing and hoof balls onto someones head? Probably not.

    But he can play on either side of an attacking front three, which if I’m correct, he did in France?

  45. Jimbob @63:

    If Dalglish does the cup double, is he manager of the year? I think he would have a good shout.

  46. chuck says:
    April 15, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    “How do you reach the evaluation he was’nt confident and was anxious, you his shrink ?”

    Yes. Yes I am.

    How do you reach the conclusion that he wasn’t anxious or had confidence issues? You his therapist?

  47. GS, My vote would be for Pardew obviously, but reckon you’re on the right track there. He probably would be… But then do all these ‘flops’ Comoilli (whatever the name) signed suddenly become great additions?

  48. Wow!
    5-1 Chelsea, what happened to Spurs, they have collapsed, whereas Chelsea are playing better than any time this season, could be a very interesting run in.

    If Spurs continue this way and miss out on a top four, could mean losing their two best players, Bale and Modric.

  49. Jimbob says:
    April 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm (Edit)

    “But he can play on either side of an attacking front three, which if I’m correct, he did in France?”

    He played as a CF earlier on at Lyon, then spent alot of time on the left flank of a front three. But I as I wrote in my comment at 41.

    “Or, alternatively, he started playing him on the right flank, as Chris Hughton did when his leg broken by Nigel de Jong. This opens up the pitch for him and has been great for his passing and crossing.”

  50. “This opens up the pitch for him !”

    That was schoolboy defending !
    Spurs running out of form at just the right time !
    Lampard let his boots do the talking !

  51. I think Pardew has always recognised the innate talent of Ben Arfa. It would take a buffoon not to.

    I think he wasn’t started early on, but is started now, for one of three reasons:

    1. Pardew didn’t feel Ben Arfa would ‘complete enough’ in terms of taking responsibility in other areas of his game. But Pardew now thinks he is.

    2. Pardew didn’t feel that Ben Arfa fitted in with the 4-4-2 he used at the start of this season, and Ben Arfa, although skillful, was not quite worthy of changing the system for, but now Pardew thinks he is.

    3. Pardew simply changed his mind.

    Either way, Pardew is vindicated because his system, without Ben Arfa at the start, worked fairly well and when you’re unbeaten in 11 games there’s no pressing reason to risk a change a system.

    Then we had a bad run of games, lost Steve Taylor and Pardew needed to change things in defence anyway. We emerged from the poor run with a 4-3-3 that seems to work well.

    Maybe Pardew is ‘at fault’ for not seeing that 4-3-3 was the way to go originally and maybe he wasn’t. But even if he was ‘at fault’ he eventually changed things to get us winning again, which is good, yes?

    Pardew has undoubtedly made mistakes and he’ll make many more, but nobody is faultless. He appears to have shown he can adapt and, personally, I think that’s good.

    I think Pardew talks a load of guff sometimes and I can’t say I was overjoyed when he was appointed as I thought he was a buddy-boy, yes-man for Ashley and Llambias. Maybe he still is. I don’t know.

    But on the basis of how he’s managed the team this season, I think he deserves praise.

    I have also previously been highly critical of Ashley and Llambias and they have served up many mistakes to be critical of too (like, most recently, the ill-advised ground renaming fiasco). There may be more duff moves from this pair in the future too.

    But on the basis of how they’ve set up the transfer policy and for their part in Newcastle’s better-than-expected season they deserve praise too.

    None of which means I won’t be on the back of Ashley, Llambias or Pardew when they next screw up but – in the same way I’ll give them criticism when I think it’s due – I’ll give them praise when I think it’s due too.

  52. Jimbob says:
    April 15, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    “Spurs have been shocking recently, what is going on there?”

    We’ve already dealt with that one too, Jimbob. It was the curse of the England manager, which crushes everything it comes into contact with. Even being linked with it strongly is enough. Pardew was very lightly linked too, and to his credit, he ran away from the vortex ASAP and saved himself in time.

  53. To-days result, Chelsea vs Spurs, could be the final nail in Arry’s coffin, in regard to the Engerland job.
    Probably to the relief of those who may have had to select him on results.
    But all is not lost, cause do we have a deal for them.
    We got this guy who looks the part and has undoubtedly appeared to have been the reason for the current fifth place side, doing so well.
    Is willing to go with the party line and has a good haircut.
    We (cetain fans) are more than willing to sacrafice our ambitions for the greater glory of the national side in which case you can have the guy for nowt, please !

  54. You know, it is not always easy to fit the flair players into a team. Think Hoddle or Le Tiss, or even Gazza for England.

    They will dominate one game and then go missing in another. I am willing to bet that this occurs with HBA in our remaining games.

  55. workyticket says:

    “Pardew was very lightly linked too, and to his credit, he ran away from the vortex ASAP and saved himself in time”

    Yeah wasnt linked heavily enough IMO :lol:

  56. Yeah Pards has only got us to 5th – and possibly the Champs league….

    I’m sure you lads are right wanting rid of him

    FFS!!!!!!!

    What planet are you on?

  57. Worky, the “curse of the England manager” isn’t the actual reason though is it.

    Maybe there’s unrest, or his court case has caught up with him? Hasn’t he always maintained he isn’t a great tactician? He just lets players go out and play?

    One or two poor results can manifest into something far worse, I’m grateful we are on the flip-side of that and are finishing strongly :-)

  58. If they start linking Pards with the England job now – we’re fooked for the last 5 games….

    But at least it will cheer up some deluded folk on here!!!

    #Igiveup

  59. UTD111 says:

    “What planet are you on?”

    Earth UTD its a place inhabited by fans of football clubs who talk the talk. As opposed to Planet Hyopocrite where fans shout and scream when their club is doing badly and then turn full circle when the team goes on a good run :)

  60. UTD111 @72#
    Dream on mate, guess he is destined for Barcelona.
    As for Modric, does anyone recall when he was supposedly coming here ?
    Possibly going to Chelsea, though Man. U. would like him, but cant afford to compete in the market these days.

  61. Jimbob, sorry for re-treading old ground, youre spot on, I think he gets questioned on finances because the press use the club as a model.

    In relation to HBA, he was injured at start of season, and when he was fit, we were performing well, so couldn’t put him in. We had a slump and Pardew changed it up, and we’ve reaped the benefit. HBA was a bit overweight a couple of months ago, and appears to have got fitter. And regards Obertan, he is pretty poor, but has pace, which we needed, and was good at Bordeaux. We’ve wasted 2m on worse!

  62. GS @80,

    Agreed mate. He will do and does now. Against Bolton he wasn’t firing much, but then in ten seconds he scores a goal that nobody in our squad can do. That’s what sets players like him apart from the norm.

    As frustrating as they can be, they can equally exhilarate.

  63. The problem with Pardwho is that he wont see that 4-3-3 suits the players we have at our disposal because he went back to 4-4-2 on Monday. Still at least he’s not playing Obertan so we must be thankful for small doodahs :)

  64. Iain Barzycki, I think that too mate, just they must ask him every two weeks :-)

    And you say “we’ve wasted 2m on worse”, we certainly have! We spent £5.8 million on Marcelino!

  65. Didn’t the Sun or some paper put a picture of a turnip on the back page and call an ex-England manager “turnip taylor”? I fear for ‘Arry if the press turns against him because he is such easy meat for Fleet Street if they stopped sucking his dick for a few minutes.

  66. Marcelino was top of my list too, closely followed by Guivarc’h and Boumsong. Christ we’ve signed some tosh over the years. Let’s just hope the nucleus of the squad stays and we add to it, and I hope Guthrie signs a new deal too. He’s donr well for us this year when called upon.

  67. Iain Barzycki says:

    “In relation to HBA, he was injured at start of season, and when he was fit, we were performing well, so couldn’t put him in. We had a slump and Pardew changed it up, and we’ve reaped the benefit. HBA was a bit overweight a couple of months ago, and appears to have got fitter”

    At the risk of sounding Chuck like Iain, after Bolton away where HBA changed the game for us Pardwho said

    “This is a big player and he has a high opinion and a high regard for his own ability and that’s important to have a player like that in your squad. He feels he can change a match and he managed to do that today and it’s good for us”

    What happened next ?

  68. Andreas Andersson, Marcelino, Des Hamilton, Ian Rush and Boumsong make me cringe.

    Paul Dalglish was never given a chance!

  69. Is it me, or did it all of a sudden get much livelier on this Blog?

    I read it most days, but didn’t post as I didn’t want to mauled by a dead sheep (Cliff).

    The sweet scent of Europe has us all giddy.

  70. Iain Barzycki says: “Let’s just hope the nucleus of the squad stays and we add to it”

    I don’t think we’ll sell anyone cheap. Not sure what would happen if we got ‘fantastic offers’ for lots of players though.

  71. HBA was still overweight after that game. He isn’t anymore, he’s fitter. Paul Dalglish and Paul Robinson. Christ almighty, and they call him a King at Liverpool!? We should’ve sewn 35m for Carroll coming!

    I wouldn’t mind us getting young Moses from Wigan or Dempsey from Fulham though, they’d boost us next year. Although we need to get Smith, Lovenkrands and Best (should I get a tin helmet?) Off the wage bill 1st.

  72. Iain: why get rid of Best? Him and the “new and improved” Shola have done well for us this year.

  73. JIMBOB @68#
    I only questioned your statement, claiming he was (HBA) both sluggish, lacked confidence and was nervous.
    I did’nt say he was’nt, i only questioned your knowledge of what goes on in a players head.
    Gotta admitt, there are a whole lotta supposition stated as fact among the comments we read here.

  74. Iain, Moses would be possible due to Wigan’s impending relegation (they will probably stay up).

    Dempsey will cost a bit won’t he? And he’s 29, that doesn’t fit into the clubs policy.

    All the above players you propose to ship out I agree with. We need to not only replace them, but get another 4 or 5 on top of the existing squad if we have any chance to realistically compete in four competitions next year.

  75. Why always Ben Arfa???

    Don’t we have the goal machines Cisse and Ba as well.

    That’s right, if I talked about Cheese, Cliff would bring the subject back to Ben Arfa.

  76. Chuck, you know I’m just messing mate.

    I do think he was anxious, as I believe anyone would be after the injury he sustained, and in my opinion he did look slow at the start.

    I wanted him in the first eleven slightly earlier than he was, and I did get confused at his absence at times.

    Pardew had a fixation on a system in which started to go stale, and players looked uncomfortable. They were static. Some of our performances were poor. But can you imagine HBA on the right-wing swinging balls into the box of Ameobi / Ba to head home and then spending most the game alongside Simpson?

    Once the system changed and Pardew could fit HBA into it, we looked much more fluid. This system not only included HBA, but a fired up HBA, ready to show everyone including Pardew what he could do.

    HBA stays in the team playing well, as long as we play a system to his strengths. Whether or not Pardew does keep it 4-3-3 we shall have to wait and see…

    It’s also totally down to you Chuck whether or not HBA’s form is due to good management, or solely down to HBA himself. Personally I think it’s been a great effort from everyone concerned.

    Either way Ben Arfa’s name is now the first on the team sheet and he’s in black and white, I’m happy.

  77. GS says:
    April 15, 2012 at 8:59 pm (Edit)
    Why always Ben Arfa???

    Don’t we have the goal machines Cisse and Ba as well.

    That’s right, if I talked about Cheese, Cliff would bring the subject back to Ben Arfa.
    ___________________________________________

    Let’s give it a try…..

    GS – what kind of cheese do you prefer? Camembert for me….

    But should it have been my choice since the beginning of the season???

  78. Hugh
    Sure other than deadwood, would love to hang onto most of our talented players.
    However going on both history and comments from our manager and footballing genius Llambias, appears they are not discounting selling one or two of our stars to finance, team building.
    “Younger better and of course cheaper.”
    So forewarned is forearmed.
    Believe Ba (though protesting his happyness at NUFC )with his buyout clause, will probably end up at PSG.
    Tiote may also go, but for anything close to twenty million, grab it!
    Hopefully the side can resist selling Krul, as good goalies are hard to find.

  79. UTD111 @104

    My choice too, although it was bit soft in the middle until it matured at the turn of the year. The chief cheesemaker of course failed to see this and served Le Brie Obertan and Cheddar Raylor instead.

  80. JIMBOB
    Cant argue with most of what you said, close to being on the same page here, good analysis.

  81. In all honesty, Best did reasonably well for us, I’m just not a fan. I think he’s Lazy and just not good enough for the shirt. Dempsey may cost a bit, but gets goals from midfield, which I think we’ve lacked (from Cabaye, Tiote, Guthrie etc). If we can find a younger equivalent to do the same, ill take him. I wouldn’t mind seeing Fraser Forster back at the club too.

    IF Tiote did leave, has anyone seen that Abeid play? I’ve heard he’s similar, but never seen him myself.

  82. Iain: the one I would like to see given a chance is Ferguson, he has so much enthusiam I think it is infectious.

  83. Chuck cool mate.

    Iain, never seen Abied play, but one thing about Best is that his first touch and control is excellent, but we can find a better player.

    Tiote will probably go, so we’ll need another defensive midfielder. Guthrie’s not that answer he’s more of a box-to-box type player, and I do hope we sign him on another contract.

  84. He might UTD, but I dunno if he’s the full-time answer?

    Perch is another player I look at and think how brilliantly they’ve changed opinion of others towards them.

    I used to think he was useless, but he’s been outstanding.

  85. Within 12 yards of goal, Best is quality, but its like playing with 10 men at times. I think Perch has done ok as a utility player, he isn’t a good enough footballer to play centre mid IMO. I like Guthrie, I think him, Tiote and Cabaye balance each other out well. I don’t think we should sell Tiote for less than 25m though.

  86. I remember when Perch came to SJP playing for Nottingham Forest – and he was outstanding. I remember thinking “he’s their best player”

  87. If any of you read Football 365 they are having an argument about who is better CR7 or Messi.

    It is obviously Shearer.

  88. C’mon, C’mon, ‘Urry up ‘Arry c’mon. We’re going down the pub, we’re going down the pub. England manager, you’re ‘aving a larf.

  89. JB says:

    “Pardew had a fixation on a system in which started to go stale, and players looked uncomfortable. They were static. Some of our performances were poor.”

    Agreed. Ultimately a good team needs attacking threat from all three areas of the pitch, left right and centre. We were far too restricted in our play and oh so bloody predictable. Remember those games when we fluked three points yet the two forwards were getting no service whatsoever ? Neither from the wings (we have no real wingers except maybe Fergie) nor from the fairly remote CM’s. At least 4-3-3 keeps them in touch with one another and balances the side!

  90. Before & as HBA signed for us, he was making all sorts of noises about not being a winger & preferring a freer role. AP then took over the reigns & completed the HBA deal.
    Anyone remember this?

    AP has tried to embed a work ethic into HBA’s game as he’s been coming back to full match fitness.
    None of any part of what has happened & the time scale it’s taken is of any surprise at all, whatsoever.
    Apart from the size of the mammaries employed!

    :lol:

    Eeeee!
    (Bites bottom lip with front teeth!)

  91. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    April 15, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    “Before & as HBA signed for us, he was making all sorts of noises about not being a winger & preferring a freer role. AP then took over the reigns & completed the HBA deal.
    Anyone remember this?”

    No, I don’t remember that at all, Clint. Where are the interviews where he said that?

  92. worky,

    i ain’t going on the hunt for old articles like mate.
    But i remember reading them. There was a long wait & a lot of column inches to kill while the deal was done.

  93. AP did take over & finish the signing like, so i don’t see the…well, actually, i do really.
    Any publicity, hey?

    ;)

  94. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    April 15, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    “worky,

    i ain’t going on the hunt for old articles like mate.”

    I really don’t think you’d find any, Clint. Perhaps you’re confusing him with Pardew?

  95. Na,

    i’m not in any confusion mate, but seeing as you’ve mentioned him, AP did say something similar, if not the same, too.

  96. Andymac @ 121 #
    You are right !
    Pardews boring two defensive wingers game, got stale when everyone picked up on it.
    The result was there was no one to supply the forwards, apart from defenders hoofing it up the middle, making it resemble a route one game.
    IMO the 4-3-3 came about stricktly by accident.
    Apparently all the news media had the lineup as a 4-5-1, but i think pardew started out with a 4-4-2.
    The accident was HBA, took it upon himself to join up with the two strikers and the rest is history.
    What i’m saying is HBA forced both his inclusion and a change of lineup.
    Which Pardew took complete credit for, he’s no fool.
    He has admitted he does’nt know where HBA should play and has given him freedom to roam.
    The first sign of any managerial skills IMO.

  97. From an Australian poster on another site……………

    Melbourne Heart have announced that “Curtis Good” a 19 year old Australian centre back has left the club and is currently on trial with Newcastle United in the English Premier League. Dont know who would have scouted him for a trial or whether its his agent touting him about. But Im a big follower of the A-league and Good has never stood out as a player with the potential to play in the Premier League. However best of luck to him and lets hope he can perform well enough to be awarded a contract.

  98. RANT…

    Why can’t the FA fix their rules? They seem to have tied themselves in knots as to what they can and cannot overturn. Yohan Cabaye gets a 3 match ban for a pretty innocuous lash out when he is on the deck and Mario Balotelli gets nothing for a horrific foul.

    Tiote goes down like he has been shot in that one game and they don’t review it.

    Rooney elbows someone in the head off the ball like he is Didier Peskovich and they don’t review it.

    I live in the USA and people ask me about the offside law. I just explain the old law because I don’t think I understand the current law.

    And Ashley Young, he should be very ashamed.

  99. chuck says “IMO the 4-3-3 came about stricktly by accident”
    – much like KK’s front 3 of Martins-Owen-Viduka which nearly worked
    – but football’s like that, you use what you’ve got, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t

  100. Before we get too worried about rumours of selling our best players, we should remember that in the last window we were the biggest spenders, and our outlay this season has been £23,400,000 for some class players.
    OK we made big money for a couple of seasons, but we are on a sound footing and heading for europe – I think some very good players are on the way to SJP for next season.
    Some will go while some will arrive – that will always be the case with any (or every) club – but for a change (at last) I think we will improve with our transfers!

    HWTL

  101. Wouldn’t be suprised if someone came in for Ben Arfa this summer. Also saw in the papers the other day that apparently man city have a Tevez replacement lined up (even though technically thats what Augero already is) in our Cisse. Ha.

  102. Why are people worried about Simpson and Gosling leaving when they have a year and two years, respectively, left on their contracts?

    I actually think Simpson has done really well for us this year.If he played for Spurs he would probably get in the England squad.

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