Since I wrote a few pieces on how Alan Pardew’s Newcastle United had become the biggest “long ball” side in the Premiership this season some time ago, It piqued my curiosity to look beyond and see how the “route one” style favoured by Pardew this term compared with that of his predecessors, and possibly, what we might be able to learn from what comes out in the wash so to speak.
The stats contained in the table below go back to the start of the 2008-9 relegation season. Hence, the managers I have included are Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear, Alan Shearer, Chris Hughton (x3) and Alan Pardew.
Admittedly, some of the managerial spells are ridiculously short, and one would prefer at least a whole season for each manager, where every other team in the division was played with their varying tactics pitted against Newcastle United’s would have been the ideal. However, in the crazy world of Newcastle United since the blundering Mike Ashley took over, the longest continuous run of Premiership matches for any manager apart from the current one has been Joe Kinnear’s nineteen. Although Chris Hughton at least had a full season in the Championship, his spells as caretaker apart, he only had sixteen games in the Premiership before being sacked. Anyway, the point of this is more to take a look at Newcastle United’s long ball style as a whole in recent years, rather than just focusing on one particular manager. This brings me to my final point in this section, why I haven’t included that Championship season. This was for two reasons: Firstly, because I do not have the same stats for that season (I only have Premiership stats from “OPTA”). Secondly, it is also (literally) a different league, a different paradigm where different standards apply. (more…)
In Joe Kinnear’s “Talk Sport” interview just over a week ago with Richard Keys and Andy Gray, besides being touched as Kinnear recalled the awful series of events which befell him after his reign at Newcastle, not just the heart episode which forced him into retirement but also the loss of his only son Elliott to multiple myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow), and then Kinnear himself contracting Septicaemia (blood poisoning), it also reminded me of the complete and utter of contempt shown to Kinnear by the media and many of Newcastle United’s fans when he was manager, a contempt which still remains seemingly after seeing some of the responses to it. So in this piece, I thought I would examine his record at the club, and attempt to explore some aspects of why this might be.
Getting to the interview itself, which is still available in full on the Talk Sport website, Keys remarked at the beginning of the interview on Kinnear’s time at St James’ Park:
“You slipped away so quietly after that time at Newcastle as a result of illness. we never really got the opportunity, I’m sure all Geordie fans would like to say ‘well done.’ You didn’t get quite the credit you deserve for laying the foundation stones to sorting that mess out. It was quite a period, wasn’t it?”
“Alan Pardew backed by 95% of fans Chronicle poll reveals” wrote the Chronicle.
This staggering revelation would give Toon’s Silver Supremo the same kind of popularity as Kevin Keegan in the heyday of his “Entertainers” side, or Bobby Robson when Newcastle United were once again a top four side who were competing in the Champions League. Yet Pardew’s Newcastle United are currently 14th in the table and sliding downwards, with only one win in our last ten games.
So how can this be?
Let’s look at it another way. If you look at the image below displaying the results in the form of a bar chart, you may also observe that the story linked above could also have had the title “Over 50% of Newcastle United fans are less than content with Pardew Chronicle poll reveals.” (more…)
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool. Date: Sunday, 4th November. Kick off: 4:00pm Referee: Anthony Taylor (Manchester). UK TV: Sky Sports.
This Sunday, NUFC attempt to right a good few wrongs against Brendan Rodgers’s Liverpool at the home of the Red Bin Dippers.
Our record at Anfield is marginally better than that at Old Trafford unfortunately in reality its still poor. Since we joined the Premier League back in 1993 we have won only once in the red half of Merseyside and drawn twice from a total of eighteen league games. The one win came in our first season back in 93/94 with goals from Lee and Cole. Back in those days we were given the nickname “The Entertainers” by Sky Sports because of our fluid, positive, attacking play masterminded by KK. Nowadays the task of entertaining has passed on to Pardew and his contribution to open attacking football tends to be in the form of the “hoof” or “long ball”.
Despite having failed to ignite a talented team for more than 45 minutes in any game we’ve played this season, Pardew had his fingers crossed yesterday when interviewed on BBC Sport, as he had this to say: (more…)
The end of the season is finally upon us. A season in which defied all expectations. A season where even the most optimistic of Toon fans would have struggled to predict what would be.
Newcastle United gate-crashed the top six, and also knocked on the door of the Premier League’s top four. As it turned out at 5pm on Sunday the 13th of May 2012, Newcastle United were confirmed as finishing in 5th place, above Chelsea, above Liverpool, and above the majority of peoples expectations.
The Europa League awaits the Magpies next season, a new chapter or perhaps a new beginning is on the horizon. But before we look forward into what might be, I’m now going to relive the season that was. Cast my mind back and tell the tale of Newcastle United’s 2011 / 2012 season. I hope you are all sitting comfortably… (more…)