Speaking in his latest interview, Alan Pardew has been getting his latest round of excuses in before the season starts, saying that Newcastle United might find it difficult to replicate 2012’s fifth placed finish in the Premier League because he hasn’t replaced Demba Ba, and the club simply can’t compete with the financial strength of behemoths such as Southampton, Swansea City and Norwich City when it comes to buying players.
Here’s what Pardew said:
“When you look at the teams now and the money that’s being spent, you have to be honest and say it’s going to be difficult replicating that fifth-place finish. But our ambition must be to try to do that,”
“Demba went to Chelsea, and that was a big blow for us last year. I think the fact that we never really replaced him got missed a little bit.(more…)
Well, 1732 of you voted at the time of writing, and for the second time in a row NUFC Blog’s player of the season is (drumroll):
He beat off Tim Krul into second for the second time in a row too, with Davide Santon replacing Yohan Cabaye on the bottom siep of the podium. However, a poor season for the team seemed to make it much harder for all of you who voted to pick a decisive winner. Last year Captain Colo recieved received a mighty 34% of the entire vote, or 525 votes out if 1522. This year however it was only 17%, or 287 votes out of the aforementioned 1732.
You can see the full results in the poll at the bottom of this piece.
Though not a perfect defender, many are better in the air including central defensive teammates such as Mike Williamson and Steven Taylor, his abilty with the ball on the floor and the way he can build play from the back have marked him out in Newcastle United’s heart of defence. Unfortunately though, this quality has hardly been a feature of Newcastle United’s play in general under the old fashioned “kick and rush” style of Alan Pardew. (more…)
Below is a table comparing the main statistics of all of Newcastle United’s main strikers who have played in the Hughton / Pardew years. There are six, Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands, Andy Carroll, Leon Best, Demba Ba and most recently of course, Papiss Cisse.
Please note that this is for Premier League games only. Championship stats have been excluded as they would obviously give the players who played a full season in the lower division an unfair advantage. As well as that, cup games have also been escluded too to make as level a playing field as possible (if you’ll pardon the pun). I think you might find one or two surprises in there, which was partly the reason I did this post in the first place.
I suppose I could have included Kevin Nolan too, as his goalscoring and assist figures would also stand up with the names below after Chris Hughton moved him further forward into the “hole” as they say, however this one’s for strikers and Nolan has always been a midfielder, albeit a highly attacking one in recent seasons. (more…)
Below you can see two Newcastle United “teams of the season,” which I have assembled based on player statistics from whoscored.com, OPTA and transfermarkt.co.uk.
The first (and most important) is based on performances in the Premier League, with the second based on performances in the Europa League. The figures below the player’s names are their ratings from whoscored.com, which are based on a range of performance metrics based on OPTA stats. To put these into some kind of perspective, whoscored’s most highly rated Premier League goalkeeper last season was Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet with an average of 7.0. In defence it was Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen with 7.6 and in midfield the honours were shared between Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, both with 7.9. Finally, up front, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez narrowly pipped Manchester United’s Robin van Persie (7.8) with his 7.9 rating.
Getting back to Newcastle United though, although the goalkeepers, defenders and strikers were pretty straightforward overall, things became more complicated when it came to midfielders who had been played in several different positions during the season, gaining different ratings in different positions. However, after some work, I have finally managed to sort it out. (more…)
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…)
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle. Date: Sat 2nd February, 2013. Kick off: 3.00pm. Referee: Howard Webb. UK TV: None.
Despite the fact that Chelsea are currently third in the league and we are lowly fifteenth, there have been distinct signs of hope for a draw amongst quite a few fans, and also Alan Pardew, for this one.
Why? As well as the new found optimism which has come from what has been regarded by most as a “successful” transfer window, not to mention our first away victory of the season at Villa Park, the Pensioners have drawn four of their last five games, and one of those was against League One’s Brentford! Of course, Rafa “the Gaffer” Benitez is a relatively new manager, unwelcomed by some amongst the Blues’ fanbase, and the team don’t quite seem to have settled yet under their latest manager, hence it might be one of the best times to take points off one of the top sides in the Premiership. (more…)
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle. Date: Weds 2nd January, 2013. Kick off: 8.00pm. Referee: Martin Atkinson (Yorks). UK TV: Sky Sports.
Hello, good evening and welcome to our “match banter” for this evening’s game against Everton at St James’ Park.
Of course, this will be our first game of 2013, and the last of what has been a very tricky trio of games over the Christmas and New Year holidays, with the Magpies conceeding a whopping eleven goals in the first two. Well here’s hoping that 2013 starts on a better note than 2012 ended!
It will be tough though. Despite a narrow defeat in their last game against Chelsea, Everton’s recent form has been very good, with the record in their last six games (most recent first) being L|W|W|D|W|D, leaving them at sixth in the Premiership table going into this game. On the other hand, our recent record has been L|L|W|L|L|L, though if you only count Premiership games, it has been L|L|W|L|L|W which is slightly more respectable. (more…)
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle. Date: Sat 22nd December, 2012. Kick off: 3.00pm. Referee: Kevin Friend (Leics). UK TV: None.
Hello good afternoon and welcome to this extra special Christmas match banter for Newcastle United’s home match with the “R’s” of Queens Park Rangers.
To say that this was an important game for Alan Pardew and the Magpies would be an understatement. With The Magpies being pulled ever closer into the relegation quagmire, a fairly daunting pair of away games against Manchester United and a recently resurgent Arsenal follow, not to mention a tricky home tie with sixth placed Everton to complete the Christmas and New Year holiday fixture list. With QPR being one of the few teams which are below in in the table at the moment, hopes have been pinned on this game as the best hope of getting a desperately needed 3 points. However, despite their lowly position at second bottom, even here the momentum is with today’s West London visitors. Even Pardew himself has acknowledged this. Speaking of QPR in a pre match interview he said: (more…)
Writing in his column for the Sun, Alan Shearer has laid the blame squarely at the door of Mike Ashley for the Newcastle United’s current lack of form.
“Newcastle missed a huge opportunity in the summer” he began, continuing:
“Having punched above their weight last season and almost made it into the top four [sic], this was the time to spend. The club was up and running again after so many years mired in uncertainty. There was once again a feel-good factor and even Mike Ashley was enjoying it. But he needed to put his hand in his pocket and strengthen with two or three quality players. The best time to buy is when you are in a position of strength.”
Which is fair enough, especially the last sentence which is very true. “Momentum” is vital in football, something which the ex Toon hitman acknowledged himself when he continued later in the piece:
“Sadly the momentum built up by Alan Pardew last season has been lost and Saturday (Newcastle’s 1-3 defeat to Man City) was a stark example of that.”(more…)
Many thanks to “ToonBano” from the Toon blog www.toonbano.com for his second guest blog here – wt.
Today is the two year anniversary of Alan Pardew’s very first game as NUFC manager, when we defeated Liverpool 3-1 thanks to goals from Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and Andy Carroll. Just looking at the goal scorers that evening and the impressive overall performance, compared to who we have in our team now after another defeat at the hands of Fulham Monday Night, it’s safe to say things have changed a lot over that period of time.
Most people were confused and concerned as to why Alan Pardew was even in the dugout that night two years ago as Chris Hughton was doing a sterling job in our first season back in the Premier League after the ultimate humiliation of relegation. Which of course was thanks to him for rescuing this club from certain doom by getting us promoted at the first time of asking, even though he had no previous managerial experience at that point of his life. Most fans thought he was unfairly sacked and I was one of them. (more…)