Trotters in Toon! Newcastle United Vs Bolton Wanderers Match Preview

Posted on April 7th, 2012 | 61 Comments |

Bolton Fans.
Bolton Fans: Coming to SJP soon.
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle
Date: Monday, 9th April 2012
Kick-off: 3.00pm
Referee: Mike Jones
UK TV: None

Not only does the Easter break in the United Kingdom guarantee you bunny rabbits, egg shaped chocolate and poor public transport, it also guarantees you that the F.A. will try and squeeze as many games together as possible. Much like the Christmas period where most country’s take the opportunity to have a rest, the geniuses at the football association have scheduled their latest orgy of footballing fixtures, with on fire Newcastle United hosting Owen Coyle’s improving Bolton Wanderers at St James’ Park for a 3pm kick-off on Monday.

There is no scheduled UK broadcast of the match, with Sky not opting to make it five live NUFC showings in a row. So unless you’re heading to St James’, it will be time to scour the internet again for some links, unless you’d rather listen to it via BBC Radio Newcastle… Whatever floats your boat really.

Newcastle are on the back of four victories in a row, a sequence which was last achieved in April 2006, when Glenn Roeder saved us from Graeme Souness’ reign of terror, and his inspired Magpies produced a late charge to finish 7th and qualify for our last European adventure via the Europa League. Actually it was the UEFA Cup back then, but sort of the same competition in theory. Newcastle are currently sitting very pretty in the table having, at the time of writing, overtaken Chelsea to take fifth place. Though as I sit here and try to predict the future, I’m going to assume we’ll be heading into this match back in 6th position, unless of course Wigan pick up an unlikely point or three at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon…

The Trotters of Bolton are currently looking over their shoulder with concern as they currently sit in 16th position, one point away from the dreaded red zone of the Premier League. Bolton have however picked up three victories in a row, beating fellow relegation candidates QPR, Blackburn and most recently, Wolves. This sequence of vital wins landed manager, Owen Coyle, the prestigious ‘Manager of the Month’ accolade for March. On Saturday they host Fulham at home, looking to extend themselves away from the drop zone.

Magpies vs Trotters History At St James’ Park

Looking through our Premier League past, I can’t really find a match that really jumps out at me. Our 2007 – 2008 encounter which ended in a 0-0 draw, was the first match of Kevin Keegan‘s managerial return. After such high expectation of his return it seemed almost inevitable it would end as a dire stalemate! The 2008 – 2009 season, which started rather well with a draw at Old Trafford, saw Bolton travel to St James’ Park for our first home league game that season. Kevin Nolan lined up for Wanderers that day and incidentally it was he who took a penalty for Bolton but saw it saved by Shay Given. A Michael Owen header eventually secured the three points for United in a 1-0 win. Due to relegation we didn’t meet again until last season, where Kevin Nolan, now clad in black and white, scored for the Magpies with on loan Daniel Sturridge firing in the equaliser for Bolton. This match also saw Ryan Taylor sent off for a stupid lunge at Johan Elmander early in the second half.

Magpies / Trotters Connections

Focussing on the most recent players to don the colours of both teams is of course a player who captained both sides, Kevin Nolan. Current Magpie Danny Guthrie enjoyed a loan spell at Bolton from Liverpool during the 2007 – 2008 season, before signing for United the following year. The late, great Gary Speed also captained both sides, and the not so great Sam Allardyce managed both teams. Opinion on San Allardyce’s reign is still a little divided by some as a lot of fans think he wasn’t given enough time. My opinion of his time in the Magpies hot seat is likened to what it must feel like to stick your finger into your eye and twirl it around your brain. For six months.

Squads / Probable formation

Newcastle United v Bolton formation.
My possible formation / line up for Bolton match.
At the time of Writing, chief enforcer, Cheick Tioté, has ruled himself out of the game, citing it as too risky. Bearing in mind it’s a hamstring injury, it’s probably not worth risking losing him for a potential 4 weeks. Yohan Cabaye picked up a slight knock during our 2-0 victory at the Liberty Stadium, but is expected to be available for Monday. Captain, Fabricio Coloccini, could be ready to play, but along with Tioté I have my doubts that he will. Thinking logically, United have a 12 day break before our next match versus Stoke City after the Bolton game, and I’d imagine the sensible thing to do would be to allow both players to get 100% fit. Couple that thought with how brilliantly James Perch has stepped into the team alongside Mike Williamson, I wouldn’t be surprised to not see either Tioté or Coloccini until the Stoke game. The most obvious absentees for Monday are Steven Taylor, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi and Peter Lovenkrands. Danny Guthrie and Haris Vučkić are likely to remain absent, and it seems nobody has a clue what is wrong with Gabriel Obertan (fitness wise)…

Bolton still have Fabrice Muamba unavailable, but thankfully he is on the right road to recovery. Stuart Holden is absent through a knee injury, and Chung-Yong Lee is still out through a broken leg.

Newcastle (from): Tim Krul (G), Rob Elliot (G), Danny Simpson (D), Ryan Taylor (D, M), Davide Santon (D, M), James Tavernier (D), Shane Ferguson D, M), Fabricio Coloccini(D, C, ?), James Perch (D, M), Mike Williamson (D), Tamás Kádár (D), Yohan Cabaye (M), Cheick Tioté (M, ?), Danny Guthrie(M, ?), Hatem Ben Arfa (M, F), Jonas Gutierrez (M, D), Dan Gosling (M), Mehdi Abeid (M), Shola Ameobi (F), Demba Ba (F), Papiss Cisse (F).

Bolton (from): Ádám Bogdán (G), Jussi Jääskeläinen (G), Marcos Alonso (D, M), Grétar Steinsson (D), David Wheater (D), Dedryck Boyata (D), Zat Knight (D), Tim Ream (D), Michael Ricketts (F), Nigel Reo-Coker (M), Mark Davies (M), Ivan Klasnić (F), Ryo Miyaichi (F), David N’Gog (F), Martin Petrov (M), Joshua Vela (M), Chris Eagles (M), Tuncay (M, F), Kevin Davies (F), Marvin Sordell (F), Darren Pratley (M), Robbie Blake (M, F).

I should imagine that Newcastle will line up 4-3-3, but picking the personnel is slightly more tricky. I’m not going to pick a team in which I would like to see, merely who I think Pardew will pick. As I said above, I’d be surprised to see Coloccini or Tioté in the starting line up. If Coloccini does play, James Perch could be drafted into centre midfield. Danny Guthrie’s potential absence doesn’t help matters, so assuming Coloccini is out, I expect to see the back four you can see in the formation to your left. With Tioté and Guthrie likely to sit this one out, I expect that Dan Gosling will get his first start since his last one against Norwich City at Carrow Road, where he was red carded. Expect the deadly trio of Ben Arfa, Cissé and Ba to spearhead United’s attack. I can’t see us altering our game plan too much in comparison to our matches versus Liverpool, West Brom and Norwich, but it will be a lot more different than our last game against Swansea where we allowed them to keep the ball, knowing that if we stifle their route to goal, it didn’t matter how much they passed it around the middle of the park. Bolton are more physical and obviously compared to Swansea, a lot more direct in their approach, meaning this game will be a difficult test for our back line. Not only that, Bolton have picked up some vital wins lately, and with this being on paper one of our slightly less difficult matches, Pardew must keep the players focused to avoid complacency.


Anything other than a Toon win would be a massive disappointment considering the position we find ourselves in. Looking at our three remaining home fixtures, we must pick up wins against Bolton and Stoke to maintain our amazing charge for Europe. Man City make up our last home fixture with three tricky ties away from St James’ Park following at Wigan, Chelsea and Everton. Monday, in my opinion, is a must win game, as with a top six finish pretty much secured, there is still a chance we could fail to qualify for Europe if Everton defeat Liverpool and reach the F.A. Cup final next week. This would mean that the 6th place finish may not be enough to qualify for the Europa League. There is however an abundance of potential outcomes in the race for Europe pending on all kind of things that I don’t have time to get into detail. Either way this has been a terrific season, and I feel very proud of my team and staff.

So a ‘must win game’ awaits Newcastle United Monday afternoon, not only for the reasons listed above, but also because I’m attending the match! Hope you all have a great Easter.

Howay The Lads!

NUFCBlog Author: Jimbob Backpacker extraordinaire and current resident of sunny Sheffield. Loves Marmite, hates peanut butter. Sleeps twice a day, wrestles Polar Bears because he can and regards himself as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce. Jimbob has written 40 articles on this blog.

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61 Responses

  1. Chuck:

    I don’t think Pardew plays hoofball. Give the man some credit. This is the best team we have had in a long time and it is Pardew’s team too – most of Hughton’s starters are gone or don’t start now. Everybody wants to give Graham Carr all of the credit, but Pardew’s the boss.

    I have one minor complaint that Krul hoofs it a bit too often but perhaps he is not comfortable playing it to feet and his ‘keeping makes up for his (sometimes bad) distribution.

  2. GS says:
    April 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm


    I don’t think Pardew plays hoofball. Give the man some credit. This is the best team we have had in a long time and it is Pardew’s team too – most of Hughton’s starters are gone or don’t start now.”

    GS, Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson and James Perch were all signed by Hughton and most, if not all of them are likely to start tomorrow.

    For better or worse, and there’s little doubt that it’s been mostly better this season results wise, Pardew hasn’t really played what could be described as a short, passing game, he is a child of the English school of the eighties. However he is to be commended for playing Hatem Ben Arfa in the right way (at long last) in our previous two games. Benny has won.

    As I told people on this ‘blog when I watched him play for Freiburg, Cisse is one hell of a hitman and the best choice we could have made of all the targets we were linked with. Though not perhaps as “complete” as Ba, with players such as Ben Arfa and Cabaye to supply him with the service he needs, he can be absolutely devastating as fans have seen now. If you look at him very closely, you may well observe that he has crosshairs in his eyes. ;-) I can’t beleive that some have criticised him for missing the odd one, as his finishing is absolutely superb overall. If Swansea had players of the calibre of our front three, it could well have been a very different game yesterday.

  3. Alright worky you say you can’t believe some ppl have criticized cisse for missing odd one which i agree with. But wot i don’t get is the deluded fans comin on here complaining about pardew! Some ppl need t get real and look at the league table! Who would of thought it 2 year ago

  4. GS
    Was yesterdays game not enough to convince you that Pardews side,are lacking the tactical skills to hold onto the ball ?
    I counted the strings of passes put to-gether by NUFC and the most passes completed in any one attempt was six.
    Whereas Swansea had us running around untill we got too tired than we were reduced to defended in depth in our own end.
    Thats not to say, we dont have the players, with the technical skills to play a possession based passing game.
    Just that Pardew, who plays basicall a defensive game(remember, three or four days on defence, two on attack)
    A route one game, hoof it up the middle, see what happens.
    We would be as well off with BSA.
    Dont forget Swansea are a bargain basement side, but a well coached side, whereas we have talented players, but not a well coached side,yesterdays game proves that.
    The 4-3-3 is not something new being tried, it’s the result of having to include HBA because of what he brings to the side.
    He does’nt know how to employ him (he originally had him as the second striker, behind Ba.) and doesnt want to unbalance the side by playing a 4-4-2, so he leaves him up front with the two strikers, plus lets him roam, which i find a good idea actually.
    Why bring Hughton into it, dont see any relationship.
    Pardews team you say ?
    Probably more likely Carrs team, but Pardews outdated tactics.


  5. Demba
    If you have a point to make, then do it, calling others deluded is not either a point or an argument.
    Explain what it is you like, about Pardews tactical skills, thats if anyone can actually define them and how he compares with for instance, Rodgers ?

  6. Point is we top 6 pal. You tellin me pardew does not deserve credit? So all the pros other managers and media are wrong wen they say he has done a brilliant job? The fans who have sang his name in the last two games are wrong?

  7. Let me have a go…..

    Pardew’s team are 6th Rodgers Team are 11th
    Pardew has won 16 games and drawn 8 – Rodgers has won 10 and drawn 9
    Pardew has played different systems depending on the opposition – Rodgers plays only one way

    But to be honest – it’s not about Alan Pardew – it’s also about the coaches and scouting staff, who have all played a part.

    I can’t believe I’m hearing folk moaning about Pardew when you look at what the team have achieved this season.

  8. Yeah what he said :)

    Pardwho’s record this season at Fulham, Spuds, Brighton and against the Baggies and Wolves at home left a lot to be desired.

    He’s clung desperately to an outdated 4-4-2 even though we didnt have the players to fully justify that formation. He tried Obertan long enough before realising that he’s not a “chalk on the boots” wide man and cannot justify playing someone with his limited capability. Obertan was definitely a Pardwho signing, Carr had nothing to do with it.

    Now after 30 (Yes THIRTY) games he’s finally found a system that works with the players at his disposal and we look like a well balanced team.

    OK we’re up in sixth but just ponder the question – where could we have been if we’d played this team from the outset ? (Not the personnel cos Cisse only arrived in January but the style)

    CF claimed, earlier this year, he was looking for safety before he cut loose. Yeah right :)

  9. Finally someone talking sense! So basically some ppl are saying they rather play brilliant football and be in the bottom half of table than play to win the game and be in top 6! Think about it lads

  10. What happened to Swansea Town, that used to play @ Vech Field ?
    Think we got Ivor Allchurch from them and Billy Foulks, before most of you were born.

  11. AndyMac – that reminds me of the old saying about “ifs and buts”

    Where could we have been IF Stephen Taylor hadn’t been injured?
    Where could we have been if Ashley had bought the Centre Half and Left back we needed?
    Where could we have been if we hadn’t lost that goal in injury time at Arsenal?
    Where would we have been if we’d got all 3 points against Wolves after being 2-0 up?

    Pardew has done fine in my book. And some of the “squad players” have come in and done a job for him – which in itself, tells you they want to play for him and he is organising them.

    Nobody gets their job right all the time – in all walks of life. But Pardew is doing a good job.

  12. Demba
    Who said they would rather play brilliant football and be
    in the bottom half than play to win and be in the top six ?

  13. Chuck

    Think it was an interpretation of your assertion that Rodgers would be a better United manager than Pardew

  14. demba 3 says:
    April 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    “Finally someone talking sense! So basically some ppl are saying they rather play brilliant football and be in the bottom half of table than play to win the game”

    I’m afraid I don’t get that, Demba 3? It’s what’s known as a “straw man” argument, where you argue with your own distorted version of an argument, a “straw man” of your own making, rather than the actual argument itself.

    Whatever side of the fence you are on, who has written that they want Newcastle United to be in the bottom half of the table? And how does playing “brilliant football” lead to being at the bottom half of the table exactly?

  15. What i actually inferred was that Rodgers is a more all round knowledgeable manager than Pardew, playing a game that reflects the style of to-days most tactical and technical football club Barcelona.
    A bargain basement group of rejects and players from the second tier, who have been well coached and have a tactical awareness about them.
    As compared to a side of though bought for low fees is on paper worth more than twice the value of the Swansea side.
    And the comparison is between the styles and tactics, where one side (Swansea) plays a modern game, NUFC plays a style last favored in the nineties, that is both boring and passe and would love it if we traded managers.

  16. “Pardew has done fine in my book. And some of the “squad players” have come in and done a job for him – which in itself, tells you they want to play for him and he is organising them”

    Havent a problem with the players in the squad even Obertan but you’re saying that all of this is down to Pardwho and I dont buy that !

    You say “Pardew has done fine in my book” which is OK but in my book

    1. We should have played positive football earlier in the season instead of playing safety first.
    2. We should have played HBA in a front three instead of in “the hole” as Pardwho seemed to think.
    3. We shouldnt have messed about with a 4-4-2 where the two front men could often have played on a different pitch for all the service they received.

    Some games this season we were embarrassingly poor and I just cannot see how performances against West Brom, Wolves, Fulham, Spuds and Brighton were masterminded by the same man who brought us 4 wins in a row.

  17. When i said talkin sense i sent that before Andy mackem sent his post! I was talkin about utd 111. You have your opinion which is fair enough, but i support my team with a smile on my face not complaining about tactics even when we winning ha ha,

  18. Andy for one benny was not fit at start of season and two we did not have cisse, so who you playing front 3? Also seem t recall been in top 4 early in season!?

  19. Chuck: Rodgers, the “all round knowledgeable manager” was beaten by the superior tactics of the United manager. To the tune of 2-0. He was happy to let them play tippy-tappy in areas where they weren’t going to hurt us, and refused to chase them all over the park, like they wanted us to. As I said elsewhere “possession” is not the same as “pressure”.

    Andymac: We lost a lot of “established” players during the summer – and I for one don’t blame Pardew for starting off with a cautious approach. There’s nothing wrong with 4-4-2 against the right opposition. In some ways, if we don’t play 4-4-2 when it’s warranted – Ba will be off to pastures new.

  20. UTD111
    So! you buy the story that Pardew put out about we ceeded possession to them (Swansea) and it was a tactical part of the game plan ?
    First no side gives their opponents deliberate possession for over seventy minutes of any game and one would have to be very naive to think it was any managers tactical plan.
    Truth is we ran after them all during the first half,
    attempting to regain possesson.
    In the second half with a lead we stopped running and defended in depth, desperately at times,(they had over twenty shots @ goal)and we were fortunate they could’nt score.
    Look i’m as happy with the win as anyone, but not delusional enough to think we deserved it.

  21. Chuck

    I disagree. We sat back if they were tippy-tappying where they couldn’t hurt us. Pretty – but no penetration – suited us down to the ground – so why waste energy chasing them? We only chased them when they came forward, and we were disciplined, organised and cut the number of times they seriously attacked our goal down to a handful.

    Of course you can let a team have the bulk of possession if they are weaving pretty patterns in areas where they aren’t going to hurt you. It happened again today – Sunderland did it to Tottenham, and very effectively too!

    Even according to the “stats” they only had 8 shots on target in 90 minutes – and only 3 or 4 of those were even approaching “dangerous”.

    Pards tactics were spot on mate. As were Martin O’neill’s today.

  22. Comments made by users ≠ the blog itself. Blogs are here to invoke discussion and it’s a shame people can’t see that.

  23. Ha ha jj, but lets all concentrate on 3 points against bolton supporting the lads and the SILVER SUPREMO

  24. JJ says:
    April 7, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I see this pathetic blog only gets worse and worse…

    Wanky still destroying it… What an arrogant prick.

    Pardew has done a fantastic job this season.


    Anything constructive to say mate?

  25. Witters mate

    Fans are fans. We’ve all stood or sat next to people at the match who we thought were totally wrong/idiots/how can they say that???

    To me it’s just part of the fun – people will always be people! :)

  26. I think the fact that we are 6th in the league, and nicely perched to up that a bit if the three above us falter (tee-hee), is down to several factors of which Pardew’s tactics are just one. However, since he seems to be the main bone of contention, I would have to say that one of his strengths, and it is a good one, is his man-management. He’s personable and appears to be able to work with both the Board and the players in a highly positive and constructive way. Not an easy task. Regarding his tactics, I think – as has been mentioned – he’s been able to let his “flair players” do what they do best in recent weeks and that natural skill and ability has paid off handsomely, giving great momentum to the team and squad. With that said, assuming we can keep this up, his real tests as a “tactical genius?” are yet to come as we seek to maintain our high league standing and possible participation in Europe.

  27. Chuck @4:

    I have to give you the benefit of the doubt when you said we were as well off with Allerdyce, and guess that you were just exagerrating to make your point. Otherwise, I think I will need to stop reading your posts on the assumption that you have lost your mind.

    Pardew’s tactics haven’t always been spot on (Spurs) but on other occations we played just right (Man U).

    In a lot of games we have been almost there and looked on the verge of hammering a team – Wolves and Fulham for example. So I will allow that our team can be frustrating. But it is Newcastle United, so what do you expect?

    No offence, but just because Rodgers has done a great job doesn’t mean that Pardew has done a bad job. Rodgers, who according to you is the second coming of Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, was out-thought by the tactically inept Alan Pardew.

  28. Worky @2:

    I have selective memory!

    However, HBA was injured under Hughton and Perch and Williamson were not first choice for him (same as with Pardew).

    What I have found amazing is that Pardew seems to have found a role for Shola. At the risk of agreeing with Chuck, that role is to bring him on after 70 minutes and lump the ball up to him. That is a tactical change though and it has worked more often than not.

  29. And how many of Swansea’s passes were backwards or sideways? It was like watching a team full of Nicky Butts and Butch Wilkins’s except the completion rate was much higher.

  30. A. Most of ’em?

    swansea weren’t prepared for all the respect & thus, didn’t quite know what to do with all the possession.

  31. GS says:
    April 7, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    “Rodgers, who according to you is the second coming of Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, was out-thought by the tactically inept Alan Pardew.”

    To be honest GS, I don’t think it was Pardew’s gameplan to only create three or four chances in the whole game, and cede almost 80% possesssion, that would just be silly and smacks of rationalistion.

    The good bit was that we had an exceptional striker who took those few chances, and Swansea didn’t, even though they had far more.

    Jimbob, I forgot to mention – great match preview!

  32. GS says:
    April 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    “Worky @2:

    I have selective memory!”

    It’s a condition which afflicts many Toon supporters, GS. ;-)

  33. UTD111, you (and many others) said I was wrong about Chris Hughton bringing Cheick Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa and Graham Carr into the club:

    “I had brought, contrary to other things I’ve heard, Cheick Tioté into the club. I was very fortunate because I’d also brought in a chief scout, in Graham Carr, who knew him as well and he was a great support for me.

    “We had brought in Tioté and we had brought in Hatem Ben Arfa, who unfortunately broke his leg. Almost,apart from that, it was the squad that came up.”

    I won’t go on about it too much though. :lol:

  34. I really liked CH, he did some great work for the Toon & is deserving of a lot of credit.

  35. GS
    Believe it ! there are worse things than agreeing with me and having considered your opinions, theres little likelyhood of that ever happening.
    Look i admit to thinking Rodgers is an excellent coach, and on the contrary i dont think much of Pardew as a coach.
    And would dare to say that there are many who would agree with me, it’s not a case of being contrary, people on his blog should be aware by now i form my own opinions, from the information i have available.
    And to say that Pardew outfoxed Rodgers is laughable, just go look at the stats, we had i believe four shots on goal two of which scored, gave away almost eighty percent possession, were defending desperately, they probably out shot us four to one, but were unlucky.
    Well theres a problem some have,called selective amnesia and dont remember any of that, ah well not my problem.

  36. Had we not signed Cisse in January, and played Shola up front alongside Ba, it probably would have been 0-0 and not only would we not be in 6th position at this point but we would have slid down the table. Cisse – “real class” – is the reason we are even having this discussion which goes way beyond Pardew’s tactical nouse, or lack thereof. We have some great players who are currently on song. Pardew is just letting them get on with it. You can call it tactical genius, luck or common sense. Astute buying and selling is our no. 1 asset in the past 24 months. However, as mentioned above, Pardew has maintained and possibly even upped the spirits in the squad, and for that he does deserve credit.

  37. Paul,

    I think Pardew does deserve some credit. As you might know, I don’t tend to go by short term results, I prefer to see things in the long term, and in the case of leadership, whether leaders can think in the long term too. That’s what creates genuine, lasting success.

    Whatever our position has been in the Prmemiership this season, I haven’t been highly enamoured of our tactics on the pitch, or some of Pardew’s sillier comments such as those about Ben Arfa being unable to play on the wing and so on. However he has finally had the courage to admit his mistake and utilise him in a front three with Cisse as a spearhead and with Ba on the other side. It could just as easily have been Ba before Cisse’s arrival, and Ben Arfa the left footer could’ve gone on the other side too. I also agree with Pardew that Benny could also be a “trequartista” style number 10.

    Some of us have thought he could have done it earlier, but of course, when you’re there in the job, with all the pressure it entails and you are doing pretty well in the table anyway, it is a clean different thing. So he is to be commended for going back on his own rather conservative strategies and finally biting the bullet. Better late than never.

    Having said that, we were still passed all over the park in that Swansea game, and as I wrote in an earlier comment, no manager goes into a game intenionally seeking to cede almost 80% of the possession and create only three or four real chances in the whole game. Also, it wasn’t Benny or Ba who were instrumental alongside Cisse on Friday, it was actually Cabaye this time who loaded the bullets for him. But I think that the principle still stands in terms of Pardew’s volte-face. We’ll see though.

  38. workyticket says:
    “…I prefer to see things in the long term, and in the case of leadership, whether leaders can think in the long term too. That’s what creates genuine, lasting success.”

    Agreed. However, this comes down to one Mike Ashley. Is he in it for the buck and a bit of fun, including possibly some silverware along the way, or is he a great figure in the world of English football? I am presuming the former. If it is the latter, then we still have a mountain to climb.

  39. Chuck:

    I partially agree with a lot of what you say but your opinions are so strident, black or white if you will, that it is hard not to want to make the counterargument.

    Believe it or not,I am about 60-40 in favour of Pardew and we will never know what Hughton might have done with this squad. One thing that Pardew has going for him is that he is not JFK, Sam Allerdyce or Shearer. I can’t give Shearer a pass just because he was inexperienced – didn’t he hire Ian Dowie as coach?

    I still think we have the ability in this squad to really batter a team like we did West Ham last year. Hopefully tomorrow will be the day – now you can’t argue with that! (or can you?).

  40. Although the stats have never been quite as bad as 70%+ before we have been dominated by teams who are in the bottom half of the table a few times this year, and that isn’t just that they have had more possession than us, we have been under a lot of pressure. In my opinion Pardew has relied a lot on people taking their chances and we have been very fortunate that they have done this… but it might not always happen. We have the players to dominate teams, would be nice to see it a little bit more often.

    Saying that, a win is a win I suppose and to use a golfing saying, “you don’t get pictures on score-cards”

  41. Can’t see Bolton getting anything at our place.
    I smell a rout.
    Happy Easter Lads.

  42. sirjasontoon says:
    April 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    “I smell a rout.”

    We haven’t really done routs this season, SJT, 3-0 is the maximum. If we go two or three goals up, Pardew will probably shut up shop, park the bus and various other cliches.

  43. Jimbob says:
    April 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    “Think this was against Bolton in 97 – 98.”

    I still say that Temuri should come back and have a go at those Sports Direct signs, Jimbob.

  44. workyticket says:
    April 8, 2012 at 12:28 am
    UTD111, you (and many others) said I was wrong about Chris Hughton bringing Cheick Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa and Graham Carr into the club:

    Nope, that’s not true – and I’m not sure why you brought it up in this thread anyway?

    My point at the time was whether Hughton’s claims that it was all down to him and he did it all on his own were credible. Especially at a time he was working for a control freak like Ashley.

  45. 3-0 will be Routish enough for me Worky get what you are saying though and agree.

  46. Stephen C says:
    April 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    “Worky when are the prediction results going up?”

    That’s supposed to be Hugh’s department, Stephen. I’m absolutely snowed under, bank holiday or not, but I’ll have a look as soon as I can.

  47. I’m not sure about a route. I think there were a few players on the pitch looking worn out against swansea. I think players like BA, cisse and Ben arfa need to sit out training and make sure they are well rested. Tiote is definately not playing. Cabaye a doubt. Maybe its time for Vuckic.

  48. GS
    Strident is it ?
    Oh! sorry, if how i state my case offends your sensibilities.
    I will take that into consideration next time when proposing my argument.
    Look i state my case and the reason/s why at least.
    And i really don’t care much whether anyone agrees or not.
    As long as what i say causes pause for thought ?

  49. GS
    On Shola! i have never advocated bringing him on @ the seventieth minute, to field hoofballs.
    What i did say, was he is very good in the supporting second striker role.
    He holds the ball up well, and surprised me with his ability to lay on some decent passes and of course good in the area, at set pieces, plus he gets his goals.
    If that’s what you mean, then we are on the same page.

    On Nicky Butt, guess you are one of those guys who week after week knocked him.
    That is, because many just didn’t understand what he did, which was exactly what Tiote does, without the cards.
    Why do you think he was the first name penciled in on the team sheet.
    Look you don’t have a career at Man. U. by being a poor player.

  50. chuck says:

    “GS Strident is it ?
    Oh! sorry, if how i state my case offends your sensibilities”

    Careful Chuck you’re running the risk of nicking my title of “Bete Noir – NUFCBlog” :)

    Not sure about the formation you’re proposing Jimbob, all the duckeggs (who know feck all about football) seem to want 4-4-2 again :)

  51. Andymac
    Yeah i know, guess i should just accept the slings and arrows, without complaint.

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