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Archive for category: Hugh de Payen.

Will McLaren be sacked after Chelsea game?

February 11th, 2016 | 77 Comments |

Is McLaren's Newcastle future doomed?
Is McLaren’s Newcastle future doomed?
Could it be that Steve McLaren’s future depends on what happens on Saturday? After we play Chelsea we have 17 days without a game and that might be the ideal time to change managers.

Of all the things Ashley’s bad at when it comes to running a football club – and there are many – one of his worst is his management of managers. His reluctance to change managers at the drop of a hat is not a bad thing in itself, but only if you have the right manager in the first place and, with the possible exception of Chris Hughton, I’d argue he hasn’t picked the right manager for Newcastle United since he bought the club.

Evidence?

Well, in the seven seasons we’ve been in the Premier League since Ashley bought the club, our average finishing position has been 12.57 (I’ve not counted the season in the Championship) and in the seven seasons prior to Ashley buying the club our average finishing position was 8.14. That might not sound like a huge difference but before Ashley we were, on average, a mid-table team who sometimes flirted with Europe whereas now we are, on average, a mid-table team who sometimes flirts with relegation. And of course in 2008-2009 we did more than merely flirt with relegation – we kissed it, fondled it and knocked it up behind the bike sheds. (more…)


Newcastle’s new summer 2014 signings

July 19th, 2014 | 824 Comments |

Remy Cabella
Cabella – perhaps the player who fans have highest expectations of.
Newcastle have been fairly active in this summer’s transfer window, signing six new players so far.

This is just a brief overview of each of them.

Remy Cabella

There’s some argument about how much we paid Montpellier for the attacking midfielder. Newcastle claims it was £7m and Montpellier claims it was closer to £11.5m (Transfermarkt has it at £8.8m).

Louis Nicollin – the Montpellier chairman – has been less than complementary about Cabella’s move to Newcastle. When we tried to sign Cabella earlier in the year, Nicollin said Cabella would be “bored sh*tless” in Newcastle and then, when we finally got him, Nicollin said:

He wanted to go. I wasn’t happy, but I told him, ‘Congratulations’. In England, there is Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, which are above Newcastle, but Newcastle is a club with a lot of French. He likes them, so great. (more…)


Newcastle United v Swansea City match preview

April 18th, 2014 | 821 Comments |

Newcastle United v Swansea City
Win needed or it’s 5 defeats on the trot
Date: Saturday 19 April 2014.
Time: 15:00.
Venue: St James’ Park.
Referee: Chris Foy.
UK TV: None.

Newcastle host Swansea at St James’ Park this weekend as both teams seek to improve on a bad run of form.

Newcastle have looked like a team already on their holidays lately. The rubber alligator is on the roof rack of their Bentley Continentals, the caravan is hitched to the tow-bar and they’re halfway down the M5 on the way to Cornwall. Or at least that’s the way it seems if recent performances are anything to go by.

But the combination of a home fixture against a team also amidst a poor run of form and the return of some key players from injury might give us half a chance of some points this weekend.

Allegedly, the target Mike Ashley set for Alan Pardew this season was a top ten finish. We’re currently in ninth place, three points ahead of Stoke and even if they overtake us we’ll finish tenth and achieve Ashley’s target. However, thanks to a victory against Everton at Goodison Park this week, Crystal Palace are only six points behind us in 11th place and in fine form having won their last four games on the trot, including a creditable win against Chelsea. So a top ten finish is by no means guaranteed yet.

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Newcastle United v Crystal Palace match preview

March 21st, 2014 | 137 Comments |

Crystal Palace Badge
Pardew takes on his former club.
Date: Saturday 22nd March 2014.
Time: 15:00.
Venue: St James’ Park.
Referee: Lee Probert.
UK TV: None.

Hot on the heels of defeat at Craven Cottage, we face lower table opposition again this week as we host Crystal Palace, which is of course where Alan Pardew played his football between 1987 and 1991.

Back in December we beat Crystal Palace 3-0 at Selhurst Park thanks to goals from Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa (penalty) and Danny Gabbidon (own goal), so we’ll be looking to do the double over them on Saturday.

The league form for both teams from the last eight games looks like this:

P W D L F A Pts/Max Last 8
Newcastle 8 3 1 4 6 15 10/24 W|D|L|L|L|W|W|L
Crystal Palace 8 3 2 3 6 7 11/24 W|W|L|W|L|D|L|D

As the above table shows, Palace’s form in the last eight is similar to ours, although they’ve conceded far fewer goals. We can’t really argue that we’ve had tougher games either. In the last eight games we’ve faced three top half sides (Spurs, Chelsea and Villa) and so have Crystal Palace (Arsenal, Man Utd and Southampton).

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Newcastle United v Aston Villa match preview

February 22nd, 2014 | 719 Comments |

Paul Lambert & Alan Pardew
Who’ll win the tactical battle?
Date: Sunday 23rd February 2014.
Time: 13:30.
Venue: St James’ Park.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
UK TV: Sky Sports 1.

It’s a mid-table battle at St James’ Park on Sunday as Newcastle play Aston Villa and I reckon both teams will think they can win it too.

Villa will fancy their chances against us given our recent atrocious run of form. But having the home advantage against mid-table opposition should give us some hope that we might be able to use this fixture to halt our recent decline, which would be a welcome relief.

The league form for both teams from the last eight games looks like this:

  P W D L F A Pts/Max Last 8
Newcastle 8 1 1 6 3 15 4/24 L|L|L|W|D|L|L|L
Aston Villa 8 2 3 3 10 12 9/24 D|W|L|D|W|L|L|D

As you can see, Villa’s form is better than ours to the tune of five points over the last eight games. Villa managed a draw away to Cardiff in the last game whereas our last point was at Norwich on the 28th January. We haven’t scored a goal since the match before that – away to West Ham on 18th January – and it’s probably no coincidence that we’ve been without Yohan Cabaye for all four of the intervening games and without Loic Remy for the last three of them. (more…)