Are we there yet?

Posted on April 26th, 2011 | No Comments |

Newcastle United: Still points to play for.
Newcastle United: Still points to play for.
So, with just 4 games to go, 2 at hyem, 2 away, it won’t be long until we know if we’ve survived in our quest to stay in the Premiership in our first season back.

After a well fought and excellent point v Man U at SJP and the converse, a lucky point away to Blackpool, it’s a virtual microcosm of our whole season in those 2 games, ie Turn up for the ‘Big’ games, let it all backslide for the ‘Lesser’ ones. Obviously no disrespect to our fellow Premiership contenders (well most of ’em!).

This season has proved that we can compete with the top ten, but find it difficult to stay focused otherwise, taking our foot off the gas and letting teams get the better of us. We could quite easily have taken more points, especially in the early part of this term at home. We seemed to think we just had to show up at SJP and ‘lesser’ teams would roll over.

Well they didn’t.

Partly because they were more up with the pace of this league and partly because we seemed to be stuck in some old belief system that teams would be afraid of our unbeaten home record from the Championship season.

Well they weren’t, were they?

Yea, suspensions and injuries to key players at key moments during the season didn’t help any. Yet another change of manager couldn’t have helped either, but to his credit Alan Pardew has come in and steadied the ship. He didn’t make too many changes and allowed what was here to get on with it. He has though, started to put his stamp on procedings and I think he tries to play an attacking style.

Some might say he employs a ‘risky’ strategy, compared with Chris Hughton’s ‘safer’one. But whatever, we’ve just about garnered enough points now to stay up regardless and while employing the 2 strategies across 2 halves of the season.

Interestingly, they (Pardew and Hughton) acrued similar points to games, wins/draws/losses. If you think back to the points we ‘threw away’ in the last minutes of games or the mountains we gave ourselves to climb to get back into games, I think you’ll agree that we could well have got a lot further, a lot quicker and could have been well clear of the scramble by now. But all things considered, bearing in mind all most of us wanted was survival, we’ve done alright.

So as we prepare to meet Liverpool at Anfield next weekend and a potential ‘reunion’ with you know who, that is if we didn’t get a clause in his contract stating he couldn’t play against us this season, it should be an interesting game to see where we’re at, albeit with a weakened front line and a slightly relaxed attitude.

A win against them would go down a treat and dent their ‘little comeback, though I’m sure most aren’t expecting any tree surgery at this point.

We still have a few points to play/fight for and as points means cash money at the end of the season, it’s got to be hammered into every players head that we want those points and that cash to splash.

Are we there yet?


Howay the Lads!

NUFCBlog Author: CLiNT FLiCK Cut me in half & it'll say Newcastle United F.C. just like a stick of Black 'n' White rock! CLiNT FLiCK has written 42 articles on this blog.

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  1. We’re not mathematically safe and disasters can happen, especially at Newcastle!! I think Pardew has made a mistake by telling players they can afford to relax. That mentality as what got us relegated last time!!! Apart from that comment I think Pardew has done very well considering we lost our number 9 and top scorer soon after he was appointed. Remember Hughton had ‘him’ at his disposal but Pardew hasn’t and still equaled Hughton’s impressive record for this season.

  2. IMO not quite there yet , another 3 points against Brum will seal it . Then all said and done we will have had a good first season back with the makings of more to come with the likes of Barton , Nolan ,Tiote, HBA , colo , Jonas and Enrique (if he stays)

  3. “ie Turn up for the ‘Big’ games, let it all backslide for the ‘Lesser’ ones.”

    Clint, I think that’s normal for a team that has just been relegated, changed a big chunk of it’s squad around, been repromoted, and also of course, one that changes it’s manager every five minutes! Even when they are heading in the right direction, they will be inconsistent, showing signs of what’s to come, yet disappointing occaisionally until hopefully, they become more and more consistent. Even Alex Ferguson had that problem in his earlier days at Manchester United and the same goes for some other great managers too.

  4. Safe!
    I would like to see Ireland play the full game on Sunday,
    along with Nolan, Barton, Tiote and Jonas.
    That’s a very strong, creative midfield with goals in it too.

  5. In comparison with Hughton, Perdew has made some tactical and team selection screwups.
    Hughton, was a bit more conservative, he knew it was suicide to play three across the back and would never have started Ranger, to his credi.
    As i said mostly a 4-5-1 or a 4-4-2, depending on the opposition.
    Pardew it seems is more of a gambler or risk taker, face it the PL is not exactly a league you can experiment in, ask Shearer!
    Hughton has been accused of playing long ball.
    Why hell yes when you have a guy like AC up front, what else do you play, Arsenal pitty patty ?
    There`s a lot of ignorance voiced on these blogs, have been since Given, “he hoofs it up the pitch” yeah ! right to the feet of one of the best hold up players in the game, Shearer.
    Poor old Butt was scoffed at for what Tiote does now, that is without the yellow card collection and committed in mostly non threatening areas of the pitch, they could`nt understand why he was pencilled in each week ?
    I have a feeling perhaps Carver may have had some subtle effect on Pardew, keeping him from any major screwups, at least i hope so.

  6. chuck says:
    April 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    “Hughton has been accused of playing long ball.
    Why hell yes when you have a guy like AC up front, what else do you play, Arsenal pitty patty ?”

    Chuck, in terms of long passing stats, Hughton’s Newcastle United was somewhere around midtable (according to a little thing on ‘Match of the Day’ some time ago) so that’s something of a myth. No prizes for guessing that Stoke and Wolves were at the top, or at the bottom depending on how you look at it.

  7. The point is managers can only play to the strengths of their teams and having a guy like Carroll, who could either hold the ball up or was going to win anything in the air, you dont revert to an Arsenal short passing game.
    I recall the Irish team playing for Jackie Charlton, they were very successful by playing long ball, even though the could have played either way, with two big guys Quinn and the English guy with the Italian name (Cascarino)in the box nodding every high ball to team mates, simple stuff.
    Then there were BSA teams, who, though awfull to watch,
    were in fact successful by playing a game based on set pieces and a well drilled disciplined game.
    Now that we have Ben Arfa, hopefully Ireland and also hopefully some decent additions, it may result in the side playing a more attractive style of football.
    As for tactics I know Carver can cope with it, question is can Pardew deliver ?
    Horses for courses applies to both teams and managers, but i just dont(based on what i have seen) have a lotta faith in our manager.

  8. We all know anything can happen in football! This season has shown that more than most other seasons. Every time you try to predict a score or your certain of a result it goes the other way! Im sure we will be ok, I think blackburn,west ham,blackpool and wolves will be the ones sweating on the final day looking at their fixtures.

    So its mission accomplished for us, and credit must go to hughton, pardew and the players. Next season will be a big one, we dont want second season syndrome so the jury will be firmly out on pardew, lets hope he is given the tools this summer to build a stronger team.

    I am praying we dont get carlton cole though!!!

  9. Ryan Giggs is illegitimate
    He ain’t got no birth certificate
    He got some sex and can’t get rid of it

    He’s a Cheating b***ard.
    He’s a Cheating b***ard.
    He’s a Cheating b***ard.

  10. not safe yet but it will depend on the teams below us as i think we have quite a hard run in. the league is so tight and has been all season if we’d had some ambition and a chairman who wanted to build at nufc this season should have seen newcastle storm back into the leauge as we have had some fantastic results and displays its a shame its going to end the way it has. im dreading the close season wihen the transfer market opens again!!!!!!

    i have also been worried by enriques seriuos lack of form the last few games his head doesnt seem to be in the game and all?????
    i now expect him to leave at the end of the season just hope he goes abroad and not to another english team.

  11. worky,
    aye mate, that’s exactly what i was thinking.
    Long term management is the answer & the only answer.

  12. Axel,
    we’ve gotta keep fighting for points to the bitter end mate.
    Points make prizes!

  13. chuck,
    CH also made tactical screw ups mate, some didn’t get with his tentative & often late subs for eg.
    AP had to play 3 at the back in that game, but it was in fact 3 plus 2 wing backs, so an interchangeable 3/5 at the back.

    One man(agers) risk, is another’s style man.

    Glad we don’t have given any more (whiner), Butt did get plenty of yellows & gave pens & free kicks away in good positions & was no where near the quality of Tiote, even in his pomp.
    Carver is a Geordie & knars the club & fan sensibility, he no doubt has a good effect, but it’s disingenuous to snatch any credit for AP & feed it to him (Carver).
    Howay man, some times managers get it wrong, sometimes it all gans reet.
    Fair’s fair.

    Other than that, a nice figured comment mate.

  14. Geordiedug,
    the teams below will all have to win at least 3 out of their last 4, not impossible, but highly improbable.


    here here mate, to every point.

  15. CLINT well written thread as i expect from the man ;)
    at the end of the day who cares at this stage what tatics we used to get there,when we see what team is put together for next season you can “talk”tactics imo,getting over the line was the main aim,i would have taken 17th for first time back

  16. Sorry CF cant be arsed to read the rest of it but I’m assuming that you’ve said we’re safe ?

    IMO we need another 3 ponts.

  17. See wolves are losing, watching it they just have no fire inside them, along with blackburn and west ham, blackpool have the will like we saw when they played us, although we didnt play great. Dont expect much from the liverpool game, or chelsea but birmingham home should be the 3 points we need.

    Chances are though we will beat liverpool and lose to birmingham!

  18. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    April 26, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    “Butt did get plenty of yellows & gave pens & free kicks away in good positions & was no where near the quality of Tiote, even in his pomp.”

    He was, Clint. Did you ever watch him in the mid to late ‘nineties with Manchester United? Or in the 2002 World Cup for that matter?

  19. “Chances are though we will beat liverpool and lose to birmingham!”

    We’re fecking toothless. We have the last three remaining strikers in the club plus the kit men and Pardwho. Yet somehow or other they’re required to take on the might of Liverpool and Chelski away and Brum plus the ever improving (under a good manager) Baggies.

    We’ll be lucky to get a point (from 12) with this hapless manager. Keep those fingers crossed.

  20. andymac you bring a lot to the blog like.
    For being toothless we done ok against manusa but then that wouldnt fit in with your pardwho tripe you muppet

  21. CLiNT FLiCK says:

    April 26, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    the teams below will all have to win at least 3 out of their last 4, not impossible, but highly improbable.

    well you should have changed your post “we are safe” then!

    all it takes is one of the teams below us to go on a run and we are back in the shit! just one team! i cant see us picking up anymore points like andymac says we are toothless up front (ameobi is disgracful! so we are 7 points clear with 12 to play for and add an extra 1 for goal difference

    i hope im wrong but we aint safe yet. i have been a toon fan long enough to know things can go tits up at any time and normally do at nufc

  22. ice,
    alreet mate & ta man.
    ;) Big D, cheers too.

    i didn’t say we were there mate, i asked if we were.
    I left it up to everyone to input their view.

    aye but Butt (lol) didn’t get totally regular games for manusa, which to me tells you what rudolph really thinks of a player. He does the same with Berbatov, owen, Butt, cole (in the beginning) & now giggs & scholes.
    He was canny in that world cup like, his pinnacle really.
    Still reckon Tiote kicks his But(t) mind.

  23. i think youll find that if the baggies and us need a point each on the last day that itll be a draw–same as Birmingham. Mission accomplished–on to the summer–try and look forward lads–too much misery on this blog

  24. Geordiedug,
    I’m definitely not saying we’re there mate, otherwise that would be the title man.
    I’ve also been following the Toon for…well, several decades, so i’m under n illusions whatsoever how shit can change too.
    But for 4 of the teams below us to now change the habit of the season & win 75% of their remaining 4 games & us not pick up any points, i guess it’s possible, like i said…

  25. toonrus says:

    April 26, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    For being toothless we done ok against manusa but then that wouldnt fit in with your pardwho tripe you muppet

    we did do well against man u but we didnt score!!!!! we would have won if we had a decent centre forward who could have taken one of the 3 good chances we had!

    that carroll fella at liverpool looks like a good goal scorer!!!!!!!!

    so as much as it pains me to say andy mac is spot on with regards to toothless up front! we are in a sorry state when we are relying on ameobi! we need to remember this is the premier league and you have to take the chances you create

    on a good note barton, nolan, colocini and tiote have had fantastic seasons. we have youth coming though like ferguson forster krul vuckic richardson airey and we have had some memorable displays and results that make being a toon fan all make sense!

  26. AndyMac….are you Hughton in disguise?? Or did Pardew sleep with your mom? Seriously get off the blog. You’re an annoying little 12 year old girl. And no dont bother to reply cause i won’t be replying or entertaining your rants anymore.