Are Pardew’s long balls getting even longer?

Alan Pardew shouting.

Hoof the ******!

“Alan Pardew will tell you that he tries to play good football – That’s rubbish, he plays long ball football. It’s very direct, there is no creativity in midfield, he just wants to play route one football. Every time I’ve seen his teams play, they play that way but he’ll say in the Press ‘we play good football.’ At times he can be a conman.” - ex player and pundit Stewart Robson when Pardew was appointed as Newcastle United’s manager.

In my previous story on Alan Pardew’s long balls, “Pardew’s long balls – An in depth probe,” I revealed that thanks to our Silver Supremo’s love of “route one” football, Newcastle United are now the biggest long ball team in the Premiership. Indeed, they are eclipsing even the high priests of long balls, Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce, as well as Pardew’s own long ball protege, Brian “long balls” McDermott at Reading, who Pardew beat into second place by some distance. This piece is intended as some kind of follow up to that.

But first however, here’s a truncated version of the table I presented in that piece, which covered our first eleven Premiership games (up to and including West Ham).

Premiership long ball table (after 11 games)
No Team Gms TP LB ALB LBA LB %
1 Newcastle Utd 11 4081 724 417 58% 17.7%
2 Reading 10 3048 497 214 43% 16.3%
3 Stoke City 11 3463 562 300 53% 16.2%
4 West Ham Utd 11 3800 572 310 54% 15.1%
20 Arsenal 11 6412 496 328 66% 07.7%
TP – Total Passes.
LB – Long Balls (over 25 yards).
ALB – Accurate Long Balls.
LBA – % of Accurate Long Balls.
LB % – % of total passes which are 25 yards+ long balls.
All stats by OPTA.


Newcastle United’s last three games.

Newcastle United’s recent games
Newcastle United v Swansea City – 17/11/2012.
Team TP LB LB %
Newcastle Utd 439 69 15.7%
Swansea City 406 39 09.6%
Southampton v Newcastle United – 25/11/12.
Southampton 339 44 13.0%
Newcastle Utd 332 78 23.5%
Stoke City v Newcastle United – 28/11/12.
Stoke City 366 54 14.8%
Newcastle Utd 344 64 18.6%
TP – Total Passes.
LB – Long Balls (over 25 yards).
LB % – % of passes which are long balls.
All stats by OPTA.

Moving on then, to the side you can see a table charting the use of long balls in the three games since I compiled the table above.

In the first game against Swansea City you can see that the percentage of long balls actually declined slightly from the average shown above, though it was still very high in comparison with other teams. In the next game however, it went through the roof to record breaking levels. I have looked at the percentages for other teams over the whole of the last two and a half seasons and the huge total of 23.5% is a record which would even make Stoke, the only other side to break the 20% barrier with an average of 20.2% for last season, blush!

After that game, the club’s third defeat in a row, Pardew, after blaming the club’s decline on injuries several times, announced that in the wake of injuries to two of the side’s most creative players, the team would be going in a new tactical direction against Stoke City.

The Silver Supremo said:

“We have looked at things we have done well in the past, but we have got a different team now.”

Then, speaking of the loss of two of the teams most creative players to injury, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye, he continued:

“We have a lot of creative flair unavailable, Cabaye and Hatem especially. So we have to find a route to winning games that is a bit different. We have changed a few things and talked about it.”

A whole Geordie nation awaited the results with bated breath, and as you can see, the result was more long balls (and another defeat). Pardew was delighted at the performance however. After the game he purred:

“The improvement from Sunday [2-0 defeat by Southampton] was immense and we deserved something. I thought we were the better side.”

“I thought we could have had a penalty at 1-0 but two sucker punches have cost us. It’s galling because we’re on this run and we’re having setback after setback and I feel sorry for the players. That team won’t go far short if we play like that.”

And so Pardew’s new, improved Toon face Wigan Athletic later this evening, and I shall be posting the long ball results from the game in our match highlights post after the game or as soon as they are available. As Pardew undoubtedly finds the habits of a career in “route one” football hard to break, win or lose, he will probably press on with his method. The method usually being Newcastle ceding the midfield to the oppostion, playing much of the game in their own half and seeking to dispossess the other team and hit them with counterattacks, with many more long balls bridging the huge chasm between the midfielders and the forward players.

Time will tell though and I really hope I’m wrong.

Poll

avatar NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1038 articles on this blog.

Related Posts:

Go to comment box

25 Responses to “Are Pardew’s long balls getting even longer?”

  1. 1
    avatar Indian Magpie says:

    Next Thing we should be hoofing is Pardew. Lord that 8 year contract is looking like shambles.

  2. 2
    avatar GS says:

    Worky: are we cool? I don’t want to continue an internet fight.

    The match is on live here.

  3. 3
    avatar GS says:

    It is possible if we lose today we could end up losing 8 in a row. Even Ashley would have to sack him then?

  4. 4
    avatar TROJAN RECORDS 73 says:

    i would go along with the fact that pardew is going more direct, than ever before.
    the fact the bloke had the gall to question west ham’s play, post match, was staggering to say the least.
    the stats are there in black ‘n’ white, it’s coming to something when we are knocking stoke city into a cocked hat, in the long ball stakes.

    it’s not the fact we are a long ball team, it’s the fact, we’re not very good at it.
    you would think he would have had the sense to realise this, by now.
    no wonder he was trying so hard to get andy carroll, during the last window, it just goes to show, that he was after hitting a target man.
    it does now seem he was pinning his hopes on carroll, but there was no way the red scousers were going to let him come here, after dracula’s bar stool revelations.

    i see he’s at it again in this morning’s daily mirror, it’s typical pardew comedy gold.
    as usual bigging up the regime, how much they’ve supported him, how they are offering their help to him etc.
    it’s the usual utter tripe, you come to expect from him, of course they are offering you help, because they are crapping themselves, because their gamble, looks set to hit the skids.
    add to the fact your laughable 8 year contract, now looks like folly, at best.

    i look forward with bated breath, to this evening’s stylish football, that will no doubtedly be on show.
    surely we must expect this, from a team that was compared to “keegan’s entertainers”, last season.

  5. 5
    avatar workyticket says:

    Indian Magpie says:
    December 3, 2012 at 8:46 am

    “Lord that 8 year contract is looking like shambles.”

    Don’t worry about the eight year contract Indian. That will almost certainly have a clause where they don’t have to pay Pardew eight years wages if he’s fired. The real reason for it will be so that Ashley could get a payout if some other club wants to poach him, and to keep him on his relatively low wages (for a Premiership manager anyway).

  6. 6
    avatar workyticket says:

    GS says:
    December 3, 2012 at 10:12 am

    “Worky: are we cool?”

    I just needed a bit of a rest for a while GS.

  7. 7
    avatar GS says:

    Worky @6: Let’s see how we feel at 10pm tonight. It has been a miserable last few games.

    You have a very special talent for writing so don’t give it up no matter how much I might piss you off.

  8. 8
    avatar tunyc says:

    We lose tonight and we likely will lose 8 in a row. I don’t think AP will be kept through that. Part of his role is to take the bullet. It won’t be Llambias, we know that, and there won’t be any actual readjustment of the working methods of our ownership. AP will be sacrificed (not that he doesn’t deserve it). Or we end up looking like Blackburn. One or the other.

    TR hits it right on the head. This squad is not right for 4-4-2 long ball tactics. Ironically, Nolan and Carroll are far better suited to AP’s preferred style of play than guys like HBA and Cabaye (as for his long balls, worky-I’d say AP is doing his best to ruin him).

  9. 9
    avatar GS says:

    TR73 @4: that was a great summation of what has gone on. We still have to show support though.

  10. 10
    avatar Sammy J says:

    Its not necessarily about the long ball vs the short ball but the wrong ball vs right ball. A case in point would be how Steven Gerrards game has suffered because of liverpools new style and to coin a phrase putting “the right players in the right system” but as tunyc points out rather oddly Pardew seems to have shipped out those who did play his style of play then continued to develop this system which fails to utilise the players abilities, in fact in many ways seems to intentionally bypass them…I despair as I’m sure the players must do by now. I’m surprised we haven’t seen Obertan at CB and Cisse in goal!

  11. 11
    avatar toontony says:

    I might be wrong but didn’t Cabaye once say that he joined because Alan Pardew persuaded him that Newcastle United would be playing the playing the ‘right’ kind of football? I’m sure Cabaye didn’t mean route one hoofball when he said that!

  12. 12
    avatar toontony says:

    worky, what’s happened to the match preview this time? also, with a few of my comments it keeps saying that they cant be posted because they are being moderated even when I don’t use any rude words! Do you know what this can be?

  13. 13
    avatar toontony says:

    sorry, not complaing by the way

  14. 14
    avatar workyticket says:

    Sammy J says:
    December 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    “Its not necessarily about the long ball vs the short ball but the wrong ball vs right ball.”

    Aye, Bob Paisley and all that, Sammy J. Thing is though that it HIGHLY doubful that the long ball is the right ball 23.5% of the time, that would be ridiculous! Also, I have looked at the stats for the last two and a half seasons in depth and the virtually all the top Champion’s League sides keep their percentage of long balls under 12%. The only exception to this was Manchester United, who strayed to 12.1% in the 2010/11 season.

  15. 15
    avatar workyticket says:

    toontony says:
    December 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    “I might be wrong but didn’t Cabaye once say that he joined because Alan Pardew persuaded him that Newcastle United would be playing the playing the ‘right’ kind of football? I’m sure Cabaye didn’t mean route one hoofball when he said that!”

    Indeed he did toontony, and of course he meant the exact opposite of “hoofball.” I can understand how Pardew has managed to con so many fans for so long as I know that the human capacity for self deception can be almost limitless sometimes. However I can’t see him doing it with a top professional footballer such as Cabaye. He certainly hasn’t with Benny, who has spoken in the media about Pardew’s style is very “direct” whereas his is not.

    toontony says:
    December 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    “worky, what’s happened to the match preview this time? also, with a few of my comments it keeps saying that they cant be posted because they are being moderated even when I don’t use any rude words! Do you know what this can be?”

    Sorry about that Tony, sorry about both. As for the match preview, they take so long to do and I just ran out of time this time because I let myself get a bit distracted on other things. The reason I keep doing them as nearly all the other are just a few lines of team news and a few stats about previous games but to do the longer ones take a fair bit of time. Maybe I could’ve knocked out a quick one, but you can read one of those on LOTS of other sites. Another NUFC Blog, “Leazes Teraace” used to do good match previews which looked at the actual football in a bit more depth but they hardly knock any blogs out nowadays.

    On the other thing, I think I know what the problem is and I’ll look into it for you. If if is what I think it is I’ll get it sorted out for you straight away!

    toontony says:
    December 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    “sorry, not complaing by the way”

    Is that keyboard of yours playing up again? ;-)

  16. 16
    avatar toontony says:

    No worries worky

    I’ve read leazes terrace quite alot. The blogs in there are great like the ones on here but you never get any ‘banter’ on there and as you say they hardly do any now. I’ve had a look at the other nufcblog.com and nufcblog.co.uk but the blogs on there are crap and the commentetors are even worse!

  17. 17
    avatar workyticket says:

    toontony says:
    December 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    “No worries worky

    I’ve read leazes terrace quite alot. The blogs in there are great like the ones on here but you never get any ‘banter’ on there and as you say they hardly do any now. I’ve had a look at the other nufcblog.com and nufcblog.co.uk but the blogs on there are crap and the commentetors are even worse!”

    Thanks Tony. I’d never say anything bad about Ed Harrison as he’s always been ok with me, and if it wasn’t for him, this blog might not not exist. Actually, forget I wrote that. I curse Ed Harrison because without him this blog might not have existed! (only joking Ed).

    Seriously though, if I wrote 10+ blogs a day, even if I was retired like him and didn’t have to nip off and do some “proper” work every now and again, the stories on here wouldn’t be anything like the same as they are now. That would be absolutely impossible. As for Toonsy’s .co.uk, (or .cock as some like to refer to it), quite a few of the most vociferous users on there are idiots who were banned from here.

  18. 18
    avatar hardiechar says:

    2 hours to kick off and I am already getting nervous…come on toon stop messing us all about and get three points…..please….

  19. 19
    avatar chuck says:

    Pardew !
    What about his recent sound bite, which i defy anyone to translate into intelligible english.

    ..It’s increasing the discussion mode on that, we obviously have an idea of where it was going to go.
    But is probably going to change before we get there.
    It’s very important to just keep our eye on the ball. ?

    Between this clown and the two hapless footballing genius’s Mike & Derick (sound like a comedy team, which isn’t far from the truth) we are up schiese creek without a paddle.

    Time to realize our duo at the top have not invented a better system of running a football club, in fact they are on one of the slowest learning curves in the history of the game.

    They admitted, they didn’t believe it made financial sense to strengthen the side last summer.
    They obviously didn’t get it, we would be playing numerous games in cup and European competitions, where a full squad is not just helpfull, but an absolute neccessity.

    Then they go and sign a fairly decent midfield player, but not worth seven million, perhaps four or five, pure genius.

    Same thing the season before, signed Santon an unproven youngster for i believe six million.
    Now he has turned out to be a decent player, but thats a lotta dosh for an unproven twenty year old.

    Since Carr came along to point them in the right direction, they appear to know it all, believing their own press, with accolades for the signing of Cabaye and HBA (who actually just showed up and said sign me)

    Last seasons unsettling of both Debuchy and Douglas, caused nothing but a difficult time for both, as we decided, it did’nt make financial sense to sign them.
    And it appears both are now gunshy about this club, following their summer experiences.

    As we speak the side will soon be involved in a tough game, whith three points being essential, in order to stop this downhill slide.

    We are hearing, there’s no discord in the dressing room, usually the first sign there is, in fact.

    It feels so much similar to the relegation season and with so many out injured from an already paper thin squad,
    What the hell are we gonna do ?

  20. 20
    avatar Clint Magnum says:

    Point 20 wtf? How did that slip through.
    Its bstard freezing tonight, i feel about as much like queuing for this metro for the match as drinking hot lead. Even if we win will anything change long term with lambsarse steering pardews oar. Amd if tje result goes against us who in earth could we genuinely expect to travel northwards and manage this missowned debacle? Not feeling the love tonight, even me pre match nuclear bovril will probably fail to warm me cockles. Predictions? Drab.

  21. 21
    avatar toontony says:

    workyticket says:

    As for Toonsy’s .co.uk, (or .cock as some like to refer to it), quite a few of the most vociferous users on there are idiots who were banned from here.

    worky, I didn’t say this before but I did notice a one or two on there saying some bad things about you and this site. That explains it then! They seemed like a nasty bunch and that’s one of the reasons I haven’t been there very much.

    To the match!

  22. 22
    avatar Phisix says:

    You guys looking forward to our rubbish play and getting smashed by Wigan in an hour?

  23. 23
    avatar workyticket says:

    The “match banter” post is up now.

  24. 24
    avatar chuck says:

    I’m orf dahn a pub, bit o scran n watch the game on ESPN.
    Wif a couplah Amstels to either wash it dahn and celibrate or drown my sorrows wif!

  25. 25
    avatar workyticket says:

    toontony says:
    December 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    “worky, I didn’t say this before but I did notice a one or two on there saying some bad things about you and this site. That explains it then!”

    Aye, it happens alot Tony. It just makes Toonsy’s site look bad more than this one, though he seems to think it’s clever to stir it up a bit if it shows signs of flagging. :-)

Leave a Reply

Top of page