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Archive for category: Poll.

Do you agree with Pardew about Newcastle United’s relegation battle? Vote!

November 30th, 2012 | 35 Comments |

Alan Pardew at Stoke.
Will this be the winter of Pardew's discontent?
Speaking in the wake of Newcastle United’s 2-1 defeat by Stoke City, the fourth in a row which leaves the Magpies slumped at 14th in the table, Alan Pardew, has now acknowledged that Newcastle may well be involved in a relegation battle in the coming months.

When asked by the Shields Gazette’s Miles Starforth if it was “too early to be talking about the club being involved in a relegation scrap,” the Silver Supremo responded:

“Well, we are now, and no, it’s not too early. We can’t bury our head in the sand, and we have to get wins to get out of it.”

After that gloomy initial prognosis however, he then continued on a more optimistic note, adding:

“Actually, I’m so buoyed by the performance [the Stoke City defeat], and by the fact that the things we have changed, the things we’ve done, have definitely helped the team. The team have responded to them. Hopefully, we can take that forward.” (more…)

Pardew’s long balls – An in depth probe

November 16th, 2012 | 54 Comments |

NUFC long-balls v West Brom.
Pardew's long balls against West Brom.
As it starts to dawn on more fans that Alan Pardew is not bringing a more attractive, “fluid” style of play to Newcastle United after all, the Magpies continue to extend their lead as the biggest long ball team of the Premiership.

Using OPTA statistics for the Premiership season so far, which define “long balls” as passes which are over 25 yards, these long passes account for over 17.7% of Newcastle’s total passes on average, which is a hell of alot (see table below). To put this into some kind of perspective, Newcastle United are even beating Pardew’s own “Alma Mater”, Reading, currently managed by Pardew protege, Brian “long balls” McDermott into second place (16.3%). Meanwhile, the established high priests of “Route One” football, Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce, currently occupy the third and fourth places respectively with 16.2% of Stoke’s passes, and 15.1% of West Ham’s being over 25 yards. At the other extreme we also find the usual suspects, with Arsenal occuping the bottom place in the table with only 7.7% of their total passes being long balls. Behind them we then have Manchester City (8.1%), Manchester United (9.7%) and Swansea City (9.9%). (more…)

Wonga and Newcastle United: Is it worth it?

October 14th, 2012 | 48 Comments |

Alan Pardew, Derek Llambias and Wonga.
“And how the poverty of these unfortunates, among whom even thieves find nothing to steal, is exploited by the property-holding class in lawful ways.” – Frederick Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England.

It is no longer news that Internet loan shark “Wonga” will be the club’s sponsors from next season for a period of four years.

I was going to write this piece a few days ago, but on reflection, I decided to leave it for a short while to see what emerged in terms of further details about the deal itself, and also the level of opprobrium which was inevitably going to follow the announcement. The exact amount is still shrouded in secrecy, though a figure of £24 million for the four years (£6 million per year) was bandied around in the media after the announcement was made, then the Telegraph claimed that the figure is more like £8 million per year (£32 million over four years). When this was put to the Managing Director, Derek Llambias, he suggested that the £8 million figure was “not far off.” As it’s Llambias though, this may not be true, but it is all we have to go on. As well as this, it is also been claimed that Wonga will be investing a further £1.5 million in the club’s Academy.

Llambias had the following to say on the new deal: (more…)

Pardew’s eight year contract unspun…

October 2nd, 2012 | 144 Comments |

Alan Pardew, John Carver and Steve Stone.
Eight more years for the three wise monkeys.
If you have been reading Newcastle United stories in the media recently, you will probably have noticed the announcement that Mike Ashley has decided to give Alan Pardew and his backroom staff, John Carver, Steve Stone and Andy Woodman eight year contracts.

There has a recent precedent of course, with chief scout Graham Carr having already been given an eight year contract back in June. Both Derek Llambias and his Public Relations assistants in the the local (Trinity Mirror Group) media such as Lee Ryder and Mark Douglas have been getting excited to the point of tumescence about this latest round of contract extensions, with Douglas even having the impertinence to tell we fans, his readers, how we must think and behave from now on. He suggested that like all fans (and unlike Ashley and Llambias), we are simply primitive, bed sheet wielding “knee jerk” creatures of impulse, but that we must now bow down in obeisance to Ashley’s longterm plan and restrain ourselves from any form of criticism should the club have a bad run of results. (more…)

How was Newcastle United’s transfer window for you? Let us know!

September 2nd, 2012 | 47 Comments |

Vurnon Anita showing his new Newcastle shirt.
Little Vurn: NUFC's "marquee" signing in this window.
As you no doubt know only too well, the Summer transfer window ended at 11pm on Friday evening. But are you happy, or not, overall, with the comings and goings at the club?

Reviewing the ingoings and outgoings at Newcastle United during this particular window (see table below), nine players have left the club and four have come in. I have included Ryan Donaldson and Phil Airey in the nine outgoings as they both enjoyed at least one or two outings for the first team in the past, though I have omitted several other Academy players who were released by the club in the infamous “night of the long knives” at the Benton Academy, when at least seven young prospects were axed in one go, plus the slightly older Kadar.

Though the figures are approximate, the overall spend for the club seems to be a figure of around +£2.64 million to +£3.14 million. Looking at the individuals involved will always be something of a subjective thing, but having a bash at some kind of assesment, I would say that the club has lost three squad members who had been very handy for the club when the inevitable injuries occured, or when more regular choices were fulfilling international commitments in major competitions such as the Africa Cup of Nations. We also lost the all but redundant Alan Smith (and his huge wages), the talented but constantly on loan Fraser Forster, the once regarded as highly promising defender, Tamas Kadar, who never quite failed to live up to earlier expectations, as well the two bairns mentioned above. (more…)