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Archive for category: Former players.

Pardew defends “inexperienced” and “overmotivated” players

May 4th, 2013 | 12 Comments |

Alan Pardew in the dugout.
Pardew: Blaming inexperience now Europe is over
In his latest defence of his French players, this time against alleged criticism in the media, Alan Pardew’s continued with his latest “inexperience” offensive, which seems to have replaced injuries and Europa League fixtures as his main explaination for Newcastle United’s poor form, which now has the club in a relegation dogfight.

Seemingly relishing the chance to shift the the cold finger of blame from himself to the players in the guise of defending them, the silver one reacted to Luke Edwards’ Observer story which alleged a rift in the dressing room and earned the former Journal hack a ban from Press access to the club. On this he began:

“Some of the criticism of the French group has been so unfair on them.”

He then went on to explain that the latest reason for the club’s recent hammerings has been the Premier League inexperience of his January signings (Debuchy, Gouffran, Sissoko and Haidara), along with Cheick Tiote’s “overmotivation” apparently. On this, Pardew continued: (more…)


S.L. Benfica – A complete guide for Geordies (part two)

April 2nd, 2013 | 45 Comments |

Estadio da Luz (Stadium of Light) - Lisbon.
The real Stadium of Light.
With the Newcastle United being drawn against footballing aristocrats Benfica for their Europa League quarter final on Thursday, here is part two of my guide to Benfica.

In part one, I took a look at some aspects of Benfica’s history, including it’s links to Newcastle United and the North East in general. In this one, I will looking at things like the club’s current form, it’s coach Jorge Jesus, tactics, some of Benfica’s key players and that sort of thing.

Benfica and Newcastle United have never played each other competitively, so we can get that one out of the way pretty sharpish and take a look at their current form.

Current Form.

Benfica’s form in the Portuguese League is pretty predictable. If they’re doing well they’re top of the League, and if they’re doing not so well they are second, usually behind their fierce rivals, FC Porto. Their other great rivals in the Portuguese “Três Grandes” (Big three) are fellow Lisbon side Sporting Clube de Portugal, but they seem to be in a bit of a pickle at the moment, currently languishing in eighth in a sixteen team league. (more…)


S.L. Benfica – A complete guide for Geordies (part one)

March 29th, 2013 | 7 Comments |

Benfica Crest  - Estadio da Luz.
“Out of many, one.”
As Newcastle United’s next Europa League opponents are the Portuguese footballing aristocrats of Benfica, I have been inspired to write a two part guide to the club.

In this first part, I will taking a brief look at the history of the club, as well as taking a look at the links between Benfica, Newcastle United and the North East in general. There aren’t a huge amount and Thursday will be the first time the teams have ever met in a competitive game, but they are quite interesting nonetheless.

History, facts and stats.

The club known as Sport Lisboa e Benfica, or simply “Benfica” was formed by 18 year old footballer Cosme Damião on 28 February 1904. In their 109 year history since then they have become Portugal’s most successful club, with 32 Portuguese League titles, 24 Portuguese Cups plus 3 Campeonato de Portugal titles (the old version of the cup), 4 Portuguese League Cups, 4 Portuguese Super Cups and not least, 2 European Cups won in 1960 and 1961. (more…)


The Michael Owen non-contract offer kerfuffle – The facts and the figures

March 25th, 2013 | 18 Comments |

Michael Owen.
Owen: A bit of backtracking.
“Newcastle fans, following my Football Focus interview, plenty of you tweeting me saying you don’t blame me for getting injured but for leaving when we got relegated.”

“Despite the club saying they did, they didn’t ever offer me a new contract despite them putting it in the press that they did. How could they when they had just been relegated? It would have been financial suicide. I’ve seen it a million times, a club will blatantly lie to their fans to take the moral high ground leaving the player with no leg to stand on. I’ve taken the stick for years which is fine but you really don’t know half of it. All will be revealed one day.”

Tweeted Michael Owen on his final season at Newcastle United. Then however, he backtracked somewhat, updating his Twitter with the following:

“Just to clarify. My tweet yesterday referred to no contract offer after Newcastle relegation. Which I said was understandable. Newcastle did make me an offer to extend in 2008 when Joe Kinnear was manager. Apologies to the club if there has been any confusion. I just didn’t want the fans to think I had deserted the club after relegation. I didn’t.” (more…)


Guest Blog: Has Alan Pardew Finally Seen the Light?

February 8th, 2013 | 48 Comments |

Pardew: Pumping his little fist once again.
Pardew: Pumping his little fist once again.
Many thanks to “ToonBano” from the Toon blog www.toonbano.com for his sixth guest blog here – wt.

As I get over the shock of actually winning a game from behind for the first time in over two years and trying to get my head around winning back to back victories for the first time this season, something amongst our latest turn in fortune has jumped out at me (apart from the new signings) and that is the system. A formation of 4-2-3-1 has been paramount throughout recent weeks and it’s about bloody time. Maybe it’s because Demba Ba is no longer in a black ‘n’ white shirt as he gets his head kicked in by Coloccini but the ‘Hoofball 4-4-2’ days seem to be over. Are they over for good?

If this is the case and we are no longer subjected to the nonsense of lumping it up to the strikers, even when we are losing, then Pardew deserves some credit for finally seeing the light. After all it’s in my opinion that it was this factor of a pre-historic style of football that was holding this club back over anything else. Not the injuries or the Europa League, but the totally cowardly non-attempt at even trying to play to our strengths and actually play some football. Our long ball stats are dropping like a stone with every game that goes by. Thank the Lord. (more…)