Archive for tag: Alan Pardew’s long balls.

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…)