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Archive for category: Dan Gosling.

Return of the prodigal Pardew – Reading vs Newcastle United match preview

September 29th, 2012 | 15 Comments |

Reading F.C. vs Newcastle United.
The Royal Blues of Reading.
Venue: Madejski Stadium, Reading.
Date: Saturday, 29th Sept.
Kick off: 3:00pm
Referee: Andre Marriner (Sheldon, W.Mids).
UK TV: None.

Today sees Alan Pardew (complete with his new eight year contract), returning to his managerial alma mater, Reading.

Where José Mourinho and André Villas-Boas had Sir Bobby Robson, and Pep Guardiola had Johan Cruyff to guide them in their early stages of coaching, Pardew had Terry Bullivant. After a spell in the Autumn of his career as a player-coach under Bullivant at Barnet, Pardew subsequently moved with him to Reading in 1997. After playing 17 games for the Royals, once again as a player-coach, Pardew retired from playing, pressing on with his coaching role. When Bullivant resigned following a very poor run at Reading the following year, Pardew had his first taste of the hot seat as caretaker manager until the arrival of Tommy Burns. Like Bullivant before him, Burns didn’t last long, being sacked after the club were relegated to the then Division Two, leaving Pardew to be promoted to permanent manager in 1999. (more…)


Can Newcastle cope without Ba and Cisse? – An alternative eleven.

September 3rd, 2012 | 24 Comments |

A potential Newcastle United 11 without Ba and Cisse.
A potential Newcastle United 11 without Ba and Cisse.
Following the departures of Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands Newcastle United have only three recognised strikers in our 12/13 squad – fact.

A much documented lack of transfer activity has left countless Geordies despondent with the size of our squad entering a hectic season, yearning for the signature of a new striker. The biggest worry is that whilst both Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse are competing in the African Cup of Nations (or potentially injured) we will be left unable to cope without arguably our two most recognised strikers, where a lack of goals could become a defining factor in our Premier League campaign. It’s worth noting that Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse contributed a huge 53% of our goals total in the Premier League last year (29 of 55), highlighting their importance.

So, should we of signed another striker? Not necessarily. Can we cope without Ba and Cisse? I believe so. A conventional 4-4-2 formation is unachievable should only one recognised striker in Shola Ameobi be available, but alternatives can be utilised to apt effect. Of 38 Premier League fixtures last season a 4-4-2 formation was utilised 26 times (68.4%). What about our other fixtures? We were often tagged as operating in a 4-5-1, 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation with 1 conventional striker, 3 advanced mid-fielders and 2 central defensive mid-fielders in behind operating predominately defensively. Why could this not be used in the few games where both Cisse and Ba would not be available? Another alternative would be to play a 4-4-1-1 formation (often favoured by Alan Pardew’s predecessor Chris Hughton) with Ben Arfa operating in what is essentially a free role behind Shola Ameobi. (more…)


Monkey hanger massacre! Hartlepool v Newcastle United highlights, post-match interview, report

August 8th, 2012 | 101 Comments |

Highlights from yesterday evening’s monkey hanger massacre at Victoria Park. There are also some other highlights here.

Hartlepool United were trounced 5-1 with Shola Ameobi opening the account for Newcastle after only 3 minutes, latching on to an irresistable low cross right across the face of the Hartlepool goal by new lad, Romain Amalfitano. Sadly though, the big lad picked up some kind of knock just before half time and was out of the game for the second half. (more…)


Newcastle United 2011 / 2012 Season Review – Part One

May 18th, 2012 | 9 Comments |

Ba celebrates hat-trick against Stoke.
"Make mine a treble!" - Ba gets his revenge on the Potters who shunned him.
NUFC Season Review – Part Two.

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…)


Newcastle ‘Player of the Season’ Vote: 2) Midfielders and Forwards

May 17th, 2012 | 115 Comments |

NUFC midfielders and forwards.
Attack, attack, attack!
Following on from my piece on the contributions of our defenders and utilty players this season, let’s carry on with our assessment of Newcastle’s players with a view to deciding who is our Player of the season. I’ll be moving on the engine room now, and later the forwards. There are undoubtedly a few worthy recipients here!

Midfield: (more…)