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Archive for tag: Alan Pardew’s long balls.

How Alan Pardew’s return to route one is saving Newcastle United’s season

November 3rd, 2014 | 155 Comments |

NUFC - Route One.
NUFC: Riding the Route One road to success.
You don’t even have to be a Newcastle United fan to notice that Alan Pardew and Newcastle United have done very well in their last four games, all wins with three against top sides Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool.

Credit where credit is due, Pardew and the team have gone some way at least to answering their critics in terms of results after a dismal start to the season. However, in studying the stats there is one fact which might cause a dilemma for some fans who advocate that Newcastle United should adopt a more passing style like the top clubs. The fact is that Pardew’s lighting fast turn of fortune rests on the exact opposite. What I mean is that after an effort to play like a modern passing side, an effort which brought him no wins in his first eight Premier League games, the Silver Fox has now found salvation through abruptly returning to his ‘route one’ roots, as you will be able to see in the evidence below.

First, to give some perspective, I will include the long ball percentage scale I devised a few years ago when I wrote a series of pieces revealing and monitoring Pardew’s long ball tactics at Newcastle. The references might be a little out of date as this was from the time when David Moyes was the manager of Everton and Tony Pulis was at Stoke.

The NUFC Blog long ball scale ©™ (more…)


Pulis pips Pardew to Premier League long ball title: The full table

June 6th, 2013 | 55 Comments |

Alan Pardew head in hands.
Doh! I’ve lost again!
Below you will find my final report for the 2012-13 season on Alan Pardew’s long balls.

It has been a long journey which started in the first few games of the season. Although Pardew has always been something of an old school “route one” manager, I noticed from watching the games early in the season against teams such as Aston Villa, Everton, Norwich and Reading that things started to get even worse this season, and my suspicions were confirmed when I found in my first report (made 11 games into the season) that with 17.7% of their total passes being over 25 yards, Newcastle were indeed the biggest long ball side in the Premier League, ahead of Reading, who were then managed by Pardew protege, Brian “long balls” McDermott.

As I made further reports, Newcastle United maintained their lead, until now. In true Pardew style however, the performance declined in the final stages and Pardew eventually lost out to the kings of “Route One” football, Tony Pulis’s Stoke City (yes, I know he’s gone now), who sneaked up on the back stretch, eventually claiming the title for this season with an overall long ball percentage of 16.2%. In the final countdown, Pardew’s Newcastle could manage third with 15.6%, with the aforementioned Reading sneaking back into second place with a long ball percentage of 15.7%. (more…)


Newcastle United are still the biggest long ball side in the Premiership

April 17th, 2013 | 189 Comments |

NUFC - Route One.
NUFC: More ‘hoof’ than a Tesco economy burger.
“We were tighter as a team. We kicked the ball longer. We tried to get as many bodies around the ball as we possibly could to make it difficult for their passing game.” – Newcastle United first team coach Steve Stone praising a route one performance against Swansea City (which we lost).

“Alan Pardew will tell you that he tries to play good football – That’s rubbish, he plays long ball football. It’s very direct, there is no creativity in midfield, he just wants to play route one football. Every time I’ve seen his teams play, they play that way but he’ll say in the Press ‘we play good football.’ At times he can be a conman.” – ex player and pundit Stewart Robson when Pardew was appointed as Newcastle United’s manager.

Although Newcastle United have never been what could be described as a “pass and move” side, in their early season games I noticed Alan Pardew’s sharply increasing reliance on the long ball as a tactic in early season games against teams such as Aston Villa, Everton, Norwich and Reading. Because of this, and also because of Alan Pardew’s previous reputation as an old school “hoofball merchant” before he joined the club in December 2010, I decided to track Newcastle United’s performances in this respect. (more…)


Newcastle United vs Fulham match banter!

April 7th, 2013 | 99 Comments |

Newcastle United v Fulham.
A must win game for the Magpies.
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sun 7th April, 2013.
Kick off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leics).
UK TV: None.

Hello, good afternoon and welcome to the NUFC Blog “match banter” feature for this afternoon’s vital home game against the Cottagers of Fulham.

With only seven games of the season to go, Newcastle United are still not out of the relegation quagmire. With a strong, winning performance from Aston Villa yesterday, and Wigan going on their perennial end of season run, the pressure is well and truly on Alan Pardew now.

Pardew’s long balls.

Despite our awful season however, Pardew has stuck to his guns, insisting with the “route one” style which has made him one of the managerial greats. Indeed, as you can see from the table below, we have been the biggest long ball side for the whole of this season, eschewing the more Continental “passing” style embraced by top clubs such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and so on. Here’s hoping it can keep us away from another season in the Championship. (more…)


Are Pardew’s long balls getting even longer?

December 3rd, 2012 | 25 Comments |

Alan Pardew shouting.
Hoof the ******!
“Alan Pardew will tell you that he tries to play good football – That’s rubbish, he plays long ball football. It’s very direct, there is no creativity in midfield, he just wants to play route one football. Every time I’ve seen his teams play, they play that way but he’ll say in the Press ‘we play good football.’ At times he can be a conman.” – ex player and pundit Stewart Robson when Pardew was appointed as Newcastle United’s manager.

In my previous story on Alan Pardew’s long balls, “Pardew’s long balls – An in depth probe,” I revealed that thanks to our Silver Supremo’s love of “route one” football, Newcastle United are now the biggest long ball team in the Premiership. Indeed, they are eclipsing even the high priests of long balls, Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce, as well as Pardew’s own long ball protege, Brian “long balls” McDermott at Reading, who Pardew beat into second place by some distance. This piece is intended as some kind of follow up to that.

But first however, here’s a truncated version of the table I presented in that piece, which covered our first eleven Premiership games (up to and including West Ham). (more…)