Players have us ahead of schedule, says Pardew

Toon 1 year ahead of schedule.

Europe beckons

Alan Pardew says Newcastle United are a year ahead of plan in being in contention for a European place this season. Pardew also talks about some of the ‘problems’ that need to be overcome to compete in the Europa League.

Much has been said in the past about 5-year plans for our club, although I’ve never been entirely sure what those plans are. If we look back to when the first 5-year plan was mentioned we must be on about year 4 of it by now, although I rather suspect we’re now on a different 5-year plan than that one. But wherever we are on whichever plan we’re on, we’re a year ahead of it.

Pardew said:

We’re a year ahead of schedule. I didn’t expect us to be as close as we are to those European spots but we’re going to take the chance in front of us if we can.

That’s football – it doesn’t often put an opportunity in front of you and you’ve got to grasp it. I keep saying to the players that you’ve got an opportunity so grasp it with both hands and that’s what we’re going to do hopefully in the remaining games.

We are ahead of schedule only because of the players and the application they’ve had. They’re absolutely brilliant. They’re a fantastic set of players and there’s a fantastic camaraderie between them.

We’ve given them a tactical base but we’re not based around one system. We’ve got two or three systems that we can turn to and the players bind to anything that we put in front of them, which is fantastic. It doesn’t happen often at a football club so I’m very privileged to be working for these players.

I do remember reading something about top 10 being our aim for this season, so presumably European football was our aim for next season and the fact that we’re in contention for Europe at the moment would mean that we’re a year ahead. I have no idea what year of what plan we’re on though.

Still, I’m not complaining. We’re in with a chance of Europe and will need to be ready for the challenges it brings, challenges that Pardew also has concerns about:

The format of the Europa League actually works against Premier League teams because of the nature of our division,” said Pardew.

The intensity you have to have to play in a Premier League game [is a disadvantage]. In some of the other leagues the Europa League isn’t so much of an issue as every game isn’t as fully committed as ours. It’s harder for the Premier League teams but that’s not to say we wouldn’t accept that challenge.

We really hope for our fans more than anything that we get European football for them.

What I’m curious about is the rest of the plan, assuming we’re not nearing the end of it. The next step up from the Europa League is the Champions League and Pardew intimated in a recent interview that a cup of some sort was desirable too. It’s harder to ‘plan’ for cups though as it can all go bang and be over with in 90 minutes. Any alleged ‘luck’ should be evened out over the 38 league games in a season though.

It would be interesting to know just how far Ashley, Llambias and Pardew think they can take Newcastle.

avatar 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 633 articles on this blog.

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34 Responses to “Players have us ahead of schedule, says Pardew”

  1. 1
    avatar John T says:

    If I remember correctly, Ashley’s first full season was 2007-2008 (presumably making that year 1 of the 5 year plan). Therefore, this would be the fifth and final year?
    I’d be surprised if relegation and alienating the fans was in his plan, but bugger it, we’re pretty much nailed on for a top 6 finish this season so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

  2. 2
    avatar tattyheed says:

    its always nice to be ahead of plan. next year maybe we should plan to win something.

    anything…….

  3. 3
    avatar UTD111 says:

    No doubt the “where we want to be” plan will encompass all aspects – including financial ones….

    Sadly, the financial part of the plan could be our undoing if it includes estimates of income which rely on selling one or two of our better players for a fat profit in the summer….

    My hope is that Ashley and Co will adopt the methodology of all good planners, and review/revise the plan in the summer, with a view to kicking on from where we have got to……but I have my doubts….

  4. 4
    avatar Chuck says:

    We’ve given them a tactical base, but were not based on one system,weve got two or three systems we can turn to and the players can bind to anything we put in front of them……..
    First is it Two or three other systems? we are very familiar, with what we have been playing for the most part all season.
    Talking about a 4-4-2, with eight men defending, where we play route one hoofball.
    Also the 4-5-1, same game i less striker.
    Then we were exposed to what has been described as a 4-4-3, which looked in fact more like two strikers and a right winger, with all of the attacking play coming from the right.
    If you read the soundbite, it does’nt actually describe anything, a vague statement, which is what he’s about, a case if bullshit, sometimes baffles brains.
    Probably back to basics against Swansea, will be afraid to play HBA (should be afraid to not include him)
    probably replace him with Raylor as Swansea are an attacking side who tend to use the width of the pitch to open things up and tend to keep a high line.
    This leaves them vulnerable to the counter and who knows a good hoof up to Ba or Cisse could work.
    But is that what we want or need ?
    Appears the 4-3-3 worked very well against L’Pool, so why not Swansea?
    And face it folks we go to matches to be entertained, not to chew our fingers or be annoyed watching hoofball.

  5. 5
    avatar Tripp says:

    Well, HBA seems to score more away than at home. Pardew seems to like to stick with things he perceives to be working and this new formation, whatever you want to call it, seems to be working so I’d expect us to use that shape again this weekend.

  6. 6
    avatar Chuck says:

    Sure on his acquiring NUFC , we all recall how Ashley was going to revive the club.
    First by installing a London money guy who new jack about football and lasted about a year or so, then got outta town.
    BSA was in charge, with his vast backroom staff of physio’s and statisticians.
    Of course theres only one control freak allowed so BSA had to go.
    Then i seem to recall there would be a certain amount spent on an annual basis on players and a five year plan being mentioned.
    Of course, these fantasies were never brought to fruition.
    As relagation changed everything, a complete re- evaluation in fact.
    There was an attempt to follow Arsenals business approach, buy players, younger, better and most important cheaper.
    So far it seems to be working fairly well, in the process of building a decent side, that can compete both in the EPL and hopefully Europe.
    Only one thing missing , a manager who understands the modern game.
    I dont understand why we did’nt get someone like Jol, when he was available, perhaps his experience with Camolli @ Spurs may have made him leary of coming here.
    Ah well !

  7. 7
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck says:
    April 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    “Then we were exposed to what has been described as a 4-4-3, which looked in fact more like two strikers and a right winger, with all of the attacking play coming from the right.”

    Chuck,

    Maps of the game, so you can check out what they were all up to, and Liverpool too.

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/gamecast?id=318250&cc=5739

  8. 8
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck, we were playing a 4-3-3, and you will observe that we were very narrow in the middle, with Guthrie, Cabaye and Tiote all huddled in the centre circle for much of the game, with Gutierrez operating in the left back position more than anything else.

  9. 9
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck says:
    April 5, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    “There was an attempt to follow Arsenals business approach, buy players, younger, better and most important cheaper.”

    Chuck, I know that Arsenal was mentioned as some kind of model, as was Aston Villa briefly, who are now looking much like the old Newcastle with their wage bill, plummeting form, Big Sam style manager and such. Actually though, they never mentioned the real model, another North Eastern club who play in black and white and who have recently sold their number 9 for over £30 million too.

    That team is UDINESE from Udine in Italy. If you want to see where Newcastle United are going, look at them. ;-)

  10. 10
    avatar AndyMac says:

    Chuck to support WT’s often confused tactical theories :) check out the average positions for the front three on Sunday.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/9173868/Newcastle-United-v-Liverpool-live.html

  11. 11
    avatar Supermac says:

    Andy – the telegraph actually had us down as 4-5-1 which gives us grat control in MF and with fast players on the break – looks good to me.
    Problem is that Ba doesn’t score so often.

  12. 12
    avatar Tripp says:

    He did pick up an assist though.

  13. 13
    avatar Chuck says:

    Tactics remain a mystery to me, we were listed as putting out a 4-5-1
    What i saw was a right winger alongside two strikers with three DM behind them.
    Pardew claims (above)that we are not stuck to any one tacticle approach.
    Which mystifies me as giving a 4-5-1 to the press then playing the way we did, was this accidental or what ?
    None of his soundbites seem to make make much sense, a form of double speak i suppose, that can easily be denied as the original statement was so obscure no one understood.

  14. 14
    avatar Tripp says:

    avatar Chuck says:
    April 5, 2012 at 7:18 pm
    … stuck to any one tacticle approach.

    Tactical or testicle?

  15. 15
    avatar AndyMac says:

    SM – “The telegraph had is down as 4-5-1″ etc etc

    Bearing in mind the papers know little more than we do before the kick off but the positional stats show the three front players quite clearly.

    Chuck says:

    “Tactics remain a mystery to me, we were listed as putting out a 4-5-1. What i saw was a right winger alongside two strikers with three DM behind them”

    The difference between what you thought you saw and what was planned is http://netherlands.worldcupblog.org/1/systems-4-4-2-vs-4-3-3-according-to-jan.html

    However before we get twitters on here pretending they know what the f they’re talking about, 4-3-3 means we counter attack with three up top. Having three forwards allows the ball to be played up the field quicker (giving us more targets to aim for) which means they keep opposing defences sitting further and deeper back.

    As I said earlier this week, puuting pressure on your opponents is half the battle. If you let them come at you they dictate the play. If you dictate the play they have to come up with Plan B.

  16. 16
    avatar Chuck says:

    WORKEY
    Udenese eh!
    Really getting exotic here, doubt if any of the brains trust have even heard of them.

    Unless of course they have a gambling casino in town ?

    No i only mentioned Arsenal as a club who have had both success and at the same time earned money, an obvious side to use as a business plan.

    But for the most part the acquiring of Carr and a system of being aware of whichplayers may have buy out clauses, who are free agennts and most important how to acquire decent quality for little money.

    It’s not much different from what Ashley already does in the retail business, instead of tailored textiles its people, that are bought and sold.

  17. 17
    avatar AndyMac says:

    “It’s not much different from what Ashley already does in the retail business, instead of tailored textiles its people, that are bought and sold”

    Except players dont have “50% off” stickers attached to them before they leave their club !!!

  18. 18
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck says:
    April 5, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    “WORKEY
    Udenese eh!”

    Aye, Udinese, Chuck. They’ve been doing it since the nineties. Roy Hodgson was head coach there when he was in the Italian phase of his European tour. There is one difference, they don’t get 50,000 screaming mugs at their ground every other week. Udine’s about the same size as Middlesbrough, and Udinese’s crowds are more like the Riverside, so they are even more reliant on their revenue from wheeling and dealing in the livestock market.

    Trust me Chuck, I knaa what I’m gannin’ on about ;-)

  19. 19
    avatar Chuck says:

    AndyMac
    Yes believe it or not i do understand the various combinations and lineups.
    So can you describe to me the system used by Barca. and the fact they have an interchanging front six, with only a semblance of fixed roles.
    In the modern game there are any number of differing positional tactics and lineups, a horses for courses approach.
    Plus theres the possession is everything approach as demonstrated by Barca, who are fierce in regaining possession.
    We could i’m sure discuss this subject for hours but it gets complicated, just as basketball and ice hockey have numerouse complicated tactical game plays, to days football can be (not allways)difficult to understand unless you are privy to the instructions conveyed to the players, game plans!

  20. 20
    avatar workyticket says:

    AndyMac says:
    April 5, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    “Except players dont have “50% off” stickers attached to them before they leave their club !!!”

    Papiss Cisse, Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa did at least, Andy. It’s not all one way traffic though. Enrique went at 50% off, as did Routledge, and Barton went for free. Some of us delude ourselves by deriding him and saying he’s crap, but he isn’t and he’s worth a pretty penny now.

  21. 21
    avatar Chuck says:

    WORKEY
    Yes no doubt you know about Udinese, my point was it’s doubtfull if the NUFC brainstrust know what you know.
    And though i state Arsenal were possibly somekind of role model,I think there’s more truth to the retailing awareness of Ashley being applied, than either the particular business plans of either Arsenal or Udinese.

  22. 22
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck says:
    April 5, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    “WORKEY
    Yes no doubt you know about Udinese, my point was it’s doubtfull if the NUFC brainstrust know what you know.”

    Oh yes they do, Chuck, they aren’t as daft as you think when it comes to money and models to rip off. The owner of Udinese also owns Granada in Spain, which is a recepticle for their development players from the Udinese footballer farm, along with several other clubs they have links with all over.

  23. 23
    avatar Chuck says:

    On selling players at the club.
    Obviously Pardew sussed what was going on in the dressing room and could’nt get rid of both scousers quick enough.
    The fact we got mad money for Carroll kept the boss happy enough.
    Enrique ? there should have been a contractual renewment offer long before.
    They knew what they had two years before his time was up, obviously a mistake, which they didnt repeat with Tiote.
    So they are learning.
    Though in the case of Ba, messed up with the escape clause.
    Joey was an embarrassment and would have played out his time and fecked off, for no return, so they let him go.
    In which case they got mad money for a thug, got rid of two players that Pardew could’nt deal with therefore two big earners off the books, doubt if they were paying Enrique a lot and doubt they offered him as much as L’Pool.
    But it was also obvious he was tapped up, a major problem in to-days game.

  24. 24
    avatar Chuck says:

    Getting close to Amstel time in the city, outta here !

  25. 25
    avatar AndyMac says:

    Chuck says:

    “AndyMac
    Yes believe it or not i do understand the various combinations and lineups”

    Chuck I’m not preaching just highlighting the gulf between 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 and what it means to us.

  26. 26
    avatar AndyMac says:

    Soz Chuck but that link to the Telegraph

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/9173868/Newcastle-United-v-Liverpool-live.html

    then requires you to click on “Team Stats” and then choose “Players Average Position” to view the relative positions adopted during the game.

  27. 27
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck says:
    April 5, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    “with therefore two big earners off the books, doubt if they were paying Enrique a lot and doubt they offered him as much as L’Pool.”

    You got there eventually Chuck. Most of the rest was just a PR narrative served up for the benefit of fans. Enrique was offered the same as he was on and yes, Liverpool did offer him far more.

    Andy the ESPN matchcast thing, the one I linked to above with average positions, heatmaps and such is far better than your Tory one from the Telegraph. ;-)

  28. 28
    avatar Supermac says:

    AndyMac @15 “If you dictate the play they have to come up with Plan B”
    - to dictate the play over 90 minutes you need to control the midfield. One way is to have a basic 4-5-1 with two runners (Ba & HBA) to quickly break forward to support Cisse presenting 3 options in attack.

    The alternative (in our case) is to have 2 up, one of which is a target man (Shola or Best) on the end of a long ball. This can be a good plan B against a tired defence (worked against 5under1and) but a poor plan A as it is too easy to cut out by a modern back 4.

    It seems to me we now have the quality players to start 4-5-1 with the option to assert the initiative and change after 60 minutes to 4-4-2 if required.

  29. 29
    avatar AndyMac says:

    Aye 4-3-3 with the ball and 4-5-1 without SMac.

    I see the Telegraph have managed to solve our injury crisis by cloning HBA :)

    Newcastle (Probable, 4-3-3): Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Gutiérrez; Ben Arfa, Tioté, Cabaye; Ben Arfa, Cissé, Ba.
    Out: Lovenkrands, Best (both thigh), Sammy Ameobi (knee), S Taylor (Achilles), Obertain, Vuckic (knocks), Coloccini (hamstring).

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/9186575/Swansea-City-v-Newcastle-United-match-preview.html

  30. 30
    avatar workyticket says:

    AndyMac says:
    April 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    “I see the Telegraph have managed to solve our injury crisis by cloning HBA”

    You can never trust what the Tories say, Andy.

    That Vuckic is built like a brick shithouse, yet he’s always getting injured.

  31. 31
    avatar AndyMac says:

    WT says:

    “That Vuckic is built like a brick shithouse, yet he’s always getting injured”

    So what’s Ober’s excuse this week ? :)

  32. 32
    avatar workyticket says:

    Andy, thanks for letting me use a picture of you for our new header image BTW. It’s much appreciated.

  33. 33
    avatar AndyMac says:

    workyticket says:

    “Andy, thanks for letting me use a picture of you for our new header image BTW. It’s much appreciated”

    Been on the waccy baccy again today ? :)

  34. 34

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