Guest Blog: Has Alan Pardew Finally Seen the Light?

Posted on February 8th, 2013 | 48 Comments |

Pardew: Pumping his little fist once again.
Pardew: Pumping his little fist once again.
Many thanks to “ToonBano” from the Toon blog for his sixth guest blog here – wt.

As I get over the shock of actually winning a game from behind for the first time in over two years and trying to get my head around winning back to back victories for the first time this season, something amongst our latest turn in fortune has jumped out at me (apart from the new signings) and that is the system. A formation of 4-2-3-1 has been paramount throughout recent weeks and it’s about bloody time. Maybe it’s because Demba Ba is no longer in a black ‘n’ white shirt as he gets his head kicked in by Coloccini but the ‘Hoofball 4-4-2’ days seem to be over. Are they over for good?

If this is the case and we are no longer subjected to the nonsense of lumping it up to the strikers, even when we are losing, then Pardew deserves some credit for finally seeing the light. After all it’s in my opinion that it was this factor of a pre-historic style of football that was holding this club back over anything else. Not the injuries or the Europa League, but the totally cowardly non-attempt at even trying to play to our strengths and actually play some football. Our long ball stats are dropping like a stone with every game that goes by. Thank the Lord.

You just need to have a look back over some of my previous blogs to see the absolute slating Pards has received over his total lack of any strategy. Now that he has seemingly sorted this crippling factor out look at the results. They haven’t come immediately as we lost at home to Everton and Reading in recent weeks but that was mainly down to individual incompetence and baffling substitutions not because the system or style of football was ineffective. We were 2-1 down to Chelsea but we stuck at the 4-2-3-1 instead of resorting to 4-4-2 hoofball with Shola and turned it around. It works!

We even actually battered Reading in that first half and could/should have been 3 up if Cisse had his finishing boots on but Reading’s keeper decided to have a ‘worldy’ for the first and last time this season to keep his team in the game. Once Pards made his ‘mistakes’ with substitutions Reading took full advantage. Plus some awful defending to allow Le Fondre to score two avoidable goals. What I will say though about that Reading game is it was a blessing in disguise, especially as regards to reinforcements required.

I believe that shocking home defeat awoke Mike Ashley from hibernation with a straight kick in the balls and forced him to get his cheque book out as relegation was genuinely staring him in the face. Do you think Ash wants to miss out on this increased TV rights money and everything else the Premier League has to offer? No chance. So he and his sidekick got to work in bringing the players in that we actually needed in the summer. Not that the 4 new signings in as many days were knee-jerk reactions though eh Derek?

Moussa Sissoko v Chelsea. As soon as Sissoko, Gouffran, Mbiwa and Haidara were through the door, they rejuvenated our dressing room and club overall with some much needed assertiveness and impetus to take on the league, instead of laying down and dying with excuses spewing out our arses to explain what was going wrong. Excuses solve nothing. We needed action and we got it. Fair play to all for making it happen. Hopefully lessons have been learned as regards to our transfer policy sluggishness. If you stand still in football you go backwards as the saying goes and it’s true. Nobody can disagree after this season.

What Pardew also deserves credit for is who and where he has played our new signings. AP seems to have decided that 4-2-3-1 is the way forward and I am not going to disagree with him. Having Cisse up front on his own suits him down to the ground as he has a freedom he just didn’t have playing up front with Demba Ba. Plus having two wide players in advanced areas is a must. It’s a shame Jonas has took up one of those spaces but I’m not going to go into that. Benny is back soon so let’s just leave Jonas to bask in his goal.

We all expected Sissoko to slot in centre midfield allowing Cabaye or Marveaux to take up the position ‘in the hole’ but no. Pardew has recognised Sissoko as the man for the job and hasn’t it paid off? Finally I can categorically say Pardew has made a decision most people wouldn’t necessarily go with that has paid off. Moussa has been a revelation playing off Cisse with Cabaye and Perch protecting him. His power and pace along with his eye for a pass has worked perfectly. His goals against Chelsea are a handsome bonus.

Gouffran on the left has been a welcome addition to our team as this is exactly what we have been crying out for. A natural forward playing from the left in an ‘inside forward’ role with the instincts to drive at goal. This is what Demba Ba offered during the 4-3-3 days that was under appreciated. Ba may not have scored himself but this position offers balance and a constant threat across the forward line. Having Jonas constantly drop in front of our left back doesn’t stretch the opposition’s defence. Gouffran now does this and does it well.

Demba Ba with a broken nose. Once Ben Arfa is back we will have a completely balanced team and strength in every area to give any team a run for their money. Plus Chieck Tiote is back to make up a midfield trio of Sissoko, Cabaye and Tiote we’re all frothing at the mouth at. Name me a stronger midfield than that in the Premier League. Solid doesn’t even begin to describe it. I always felt that even with his goals, Demba Ba was holding us back as a team and was actually harming it with his selfishness and greed. I said as much here. Now that he is gone, it’s there for all to see.

We look like a team again. We actually pass the ball around to each other, we seem to have confidence in each other and our assertiveness to stop the opposition scoring and sticking the ball in the net ourselves is already a lot better. Yohan Cabaye coming back into the team and Coloccini deciding to stay has of course helped us massively but our turn in form is deeper than that. We have team spirit again. We had lost that this season. It is now back and hopefully for good.

Derek Llambias has been doing the rounds lately stating that Pardew is here to stay and that stability is the key for this football club. Well that’s all well and good but it is success that breeds stability not just keeping someone employed for the sake of it. Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have earned their long stays in management with the same club by being successful. If Fergie hadn’t won the FA Cup in 1990 he would have been sacked. He was even very lucky to have lasted that long. If Wenger hadn’t have been instantly successful he may also have had the chop.

The jury is still out on Pardew as to whether he is the right man to take this football club forward. He did amazingly well last season but you have to say that has been evened out by being pretty much abysmal this season. There is no way this football club should have been subjected to a relegation battle. Not with this squad. Injuries have been unwanted problems with 2/3 players out at any given time but they have not been a ‘crisis’ with 6/7 first team players out leaving us to the bare bones. Don’t believe that nonsense for a second. Have a look over the starting XI for each game this season if you doubt it here

I have been (rightly) calling Pardew up on the decisions he has been making this season and recognising his obvious failings that has contributed to this total mess of a season. But if he is adamant that a new system of 4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3 with a strategy of passing the ball to each other and using a player in the hole is the way this team is to play it’s football then maybe there is hope for us after all. If he also now has a bigger voice over bringing much needed players in then he used to have, then again, maybe Pardew as NUFC manager might just work after all.

Pardew has been nothing but a puppet up to this point of his managerial career at Newcastle Utd, used to spew the propaganda and nonsense Llambias and Ashley want to feed the fans and media alike but don’t have the balls to do it themselves. It’s no coincidence Llambias has now started doing press interviews again after we have won a couple of games. Where was he when we were dumped out the cup at Brighton? Puppet Pardew was left alone to bear the brunt.

Next season will be massive for Alan Pardew and will go a long way to decide how his career here at Newcastle will go. If we have a good season he will get the time off the fans. If he has one like this year, the fans will rightfully call for his head and give Ashley and Llambias a decision to make. If he actually manages to win something like Alex Ferguson did in his third full season, then he can stay as long as he wants.

Because like I say, it’s success that breeds stability. Nothing else.

On to White Hart Lane we go for three wins on the bounce? Howay!


NUFCBlog Author: ToonBano Author of ToonBano Blog @ Also write and contribute to The Mag,, and here! ToonBano has written 6 articles on this blog.

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48 Responses

  1. Even when we where getting the results last season my love for the silver haired haribo never blossomed.
    I rarely read or listen to his press conferences either and would happily pay his taxi fare out of SJP.

  2. And so it continues- Pardew had little to do with the success of last season, it was the players and a lot of luck whereas Pardew is totally responsible for this season’s disasters, not the diminishing confidence of the players left in the wake of our injuries. It was not the number of injuries but the fact that those injuries were to the heartbeat, the spine of our team – Collo, Ben Arfa, Taylor and the biggest influence on the team, without whom we really do not function effectively at all -Cabaye. Rarely did these players, this unit, have the opportunity to play together to create any kind of rhythm in our play. Just take a look at the starting XIs if you doubt it…… No it’s much easier to blame the manager. Not that I suggest he is totally blameless but IMO can’t be held responsible for all our woes as some would have us believe. Perhaps this season could have something to do – harking back to my first sentence re last season – by contrast, the failure of the players and a lot of bad luck …….

  3. graham carr is scouting players who are coming from a background, where they play technical football on the ground.
    alan pardew is a throw back dinosaur manager, who tries to play a long ball containment, and counter attack style of football.
    that is fair enough in the scheme of things, but carr and pardew look to be at odds with each other, so this issue will always rear it’s head.

    although the chelsea game was exciting at times, there were still a lot of elements of pardew’s long ball counter attack.
    the only difference being, some new faces have lifted the spirits, this will only have a brief effect, and then you need something different.

    i would still like to see a more modern manager, who wants to play football, in the way it should be played.
    someone like michael laudrup would fit the bill, and i think he would be accomodating to the system, at newcastle.
    it’s just a shame that carr wasn’t in the picture, when kevin keegan was around, i think we may have missed out on something, that could have been a match made in heaven.
    i think keegan would have loved to work with the players we have now, and would have got the best out of them.
    we could have had carr bringing them in, and keegan making them feel 10 ft tall, when they took the field.
    the football might have been a hark back to the entertainers days.

  4. sjt, the only downside would have been keegan’s temperament, and whether he would take the huff, or not.
    i also know worky has said keegan uses demagoguery to achieve the desired response, from the natives.
    that is true, he does use geordie jingoism, and tugs at the heart strings, and rabble rouses to a massive extent.

  5. I’ve always said a more continental manager would suit our team down to the ground. But there are so many factors to take into account. Basically all involving working with DL and MA.

    Pardew seems to be able to work with them where most managers cant. As long as he continues this formation and attempt at playing some decent stuff and playing the right players in position. It may be case of better the devil you know.

  6. Bano, don’t you think you put too much emphasis on mere formation? It isn’t that simple, the style of football a team plays is about so much more than that.

    For instance, you write that a more “continental” coach would suit our team down to the ground. How about Carlo Ancelotti? would you describe him as a pre historic 4-4-2 hoofball dinosaur? I’m sure he’d raise his eyebrow at that! :-) He’s won his last eight games at PSG using a 4-4-2, the same formation he used when he was a part of the great Milan side of Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello.

  7. Well Ashley apparently thinks that Pardew is the next Sir Alec, so I wouldn’t get too excited about potential new managers as yet.

    Toonbano, you seem to be getting very excited about our prospects, just hope it’s not yet another false Spring.

    Also, if this does turn out to be the great leap forward will we be seeing the Great Hero, Mr Ashley being granted the freedom of the city at some point. Now that would a funny old turn around, would it not?

    As I mentioned t’other day it’s nice to see we came out of the friendlies with no injuries. That could have put the kybosh on our sudden optimism.

  8. Agree Joe about Keegan..,shame cos he does have a good rapport with players but would never be Ashley and Decka’s Biatch ever :lol:

  9. Mr Wonga,Mr Wonga dot com….love that advert more and more everytime I hear it,be cool to see it on the shirts soon haha

  10. Worky. The strategy and style of football outways any formation. I have said as much all season long on my site.

    But playing with Sissoko in the hole and with Gouffran an an inside forward has given the team that much needed ‘upgrade’.

    Continental isn’t down to the managers nationality but his style of football. If an Englishman played the ball on the floor and used the most effective system that suited his players then fair do’s. If an Italian wants to lump the ball up then that’s up to him.

    Once Benny in on the right, 4-2-3-1 will see us be a lot more effective than 4-4-2 nonsense.

    ……… long is we dont resort to lumping it up to Cisse/Shola.

  11. ToonBano says:
    February 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    “and with Gouffran an an inside forward”

    Bano, you sound like Walter Winterbottom there! :-)

    “If an Italian wants to lump the ball up then that’s up to him.”

    Which Italian is “lumping the ball up?”

  12. Santon had an excellent game again Chelkski & Debuchy is getting better. There dorm will be key against Bale who may even play through the centre. If he is plated through the middle M’biwa may be needed as Colo & Saylor dont have speed to burn. Tottenham will be an excellent test for our new look midfield. If we’re don’t want to be overrun than some composure & possession will be required. What I like about our options is the defensive stability & destructive sensibility we should be able display with Sissoko, Cabaye + another (Id like to see Anita/M’biwa) who cam also carry the ball out. If Marveax & Gouffran play we could put Tottenham on the backfoot, although I expect to see Jonas start. This is a shame because I feel (even though he had his best game all season against Chelsea) his lack of incisiveness when breaking forward & generally deep positioning will unbalance the side. We still need another forward. Ps Pardew has played in the light before when his hand is forced only to return to the dark to suck the lifeblood from the club with the gruesome twosome. Viva la Revolution!

  13. Sammy J says:
    February 8, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    “If Marveax & Gouffran play we could put Tottenham on the backfoot, although I expect to see Jonas start. This is a shame because I feel (even though he had his best game all season against Chelsea) his lack of incisiveness when breaking forward & generally deep positioning will unbalance the side.”

    Sammy, Gutierrez didn’t play any deeper than Gouffran or Marveaux against Chelsea. I’d actually like to see him play more on the right hand side.

  14. ToonBano says:
    February 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    “But playing with Sissoko in the hole and with Gouffran an an inside forward has given the team that much needed ‘upgrade’.”

    Actually, Sissoko was almost like a de facto Centre Forward against Chelsea, and it was more a question of Cisse playing in HIS hole if anything. Gouffran / Marveaux, Cisse and Gutierrez were actually the three who were playing behind him for much the game.

  15. pardew is starting to look like one of the senior citizens, from the advert.
    why does ashley have a helicopter?, when him and derek can use their car, with the dragon power in the top?

  16. Toon (larty) Bano
    To say the jury is still out on judging Pardew as a manager, is nonsense.
    At least if you have the slightest understanding of football.
    You had it right first time, just dont have the courage of your own convictions, hedging your bet.
    As far as playing anyone in any particular position or whichever lineup may be prefered, there’s not a one side or one lineup that fits all.
    There’s only horses for courses and we are all frustrated tacticians as far as that’s concerned.
    Ask any fan as to who and where he would have people fit, you would get a multiple of answers.
    But thats why we have blogs like this.
    It allows us to vent!

  17. Toon tony @ 2#

    I certainly understand your argument, and yes i can’t say i blame Pardew entirely for what happened.

    That by now is well known and admitted to, by Llambias.
    I’m talking about the fact everyone knew that there would be a heavier schedule this season, plus the fact historically this side has had more than it’s share of injuries over the seasons.

    But reinforcing the side was posponed, for monatary reasons.

    A time where any self respecting manager would insist on reinforcing a side playing in two leagues, with no strength in depth.

    What was Pardews reaction ? to praise Ashley for not selling our top people, something i dont recall, was that any team actually either put in a bid or made an enquiry.

    We can get em cheaper next year, as their contracts will either be running down or ended, was the program.

    And of course injuries became a major factor, that eventually had a side expected by some to finish in as good a spot as last season, sliding down the league.

    Though others projected a mid table finish.

    Anyhow loosing streaks have a tendency to continue, due to lack of conviction and confidence, which Pardew had no answer to.

    Ashley with his eye on that five billion quid to be divvied up among those in the PL for the next three seasons, hit the panic button, and dug deep, well not so deep actually.

    So here we are with five new Frenchies and on a two game winning streak, brimming with confidence.

    With both Pardew and Llambias talking shit, when actually it was Ashley who took charge and got the deals done.

    Now if there’s anyone out there who thinks as Llambias stated just the other day, that he hopes Pardew becomes another Sir Alex, over the next twenty years at NUFC.
    C’m on face it both are no more than yes men, one is totally ignorant about football and the other is possibly the worst tactician in the EPL.
    But as long as Ashley wants yes men, they will be around, sad but true.

  18. Joe Hawkins

    I totally agree with 99% of what you say.
    There are managers out there that could fit the bill you mentioned and looking at the present side, would in fact be eager to come to NUFC.
    Yes i have heard the old record, who would want to come here, they wont pay him, the word is out, etc
    If Ashley wanted a good manager, he could have got one, but i doubt he wants anyone but a yes man, which he’s got.
    Hell we had a good manager, Chris Hughton, but a cheapass side and Ashley never trusted him, the guy had scruples.

  19. Why does everyone insist Jonas had a good game against Chelsea ?
    He had such a poor game (apart from a lucky header)that was criticised even by he color commentator.
    Look, the truth is, he cant put in a cross, from either side.
    His goal total in the years he’s been here is almost non existent.
    Yes he tracks back, but is really not a good defender, as to when he gains controll, in his own end, just puts his head down and charges down the wing.
    That is until he feels contact then hits the dirt, hell the guy should be in the Arentino Olympic diving team instead of here.

  20. We appear to have good enough players now that a monkey could manage this squad. Arn’t we jumping the gun a bit though after only one good game. We could have easily lost at Villa in the typical Pardew fashion. The really encouraging thing was that Cabaye looked the best player on the pitch against Chelsea, despite mega millions spent by the Russian.

  21. Sissoko

    I think we have found a new YaYa Toure here.
    Or for that matter looked good as a striker, certainly took his goals well, no panic.
    And got him for nowt.
    Well so far so good, Cisse looked that good for the second part of last season, so lets not get carried away.
    Cant wait to see how things shape up with, Sissoko, HBA,
    Gouffran, Cabaye and Cisse up front, with Tiote sitting in front of either Colo/Taylor and Yanga-Mbiwa, with both Santon and Debuchy bombing down their respective wings.
    Who would wanna face such a side.

  22. chuck says:
    February 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm


    I think we have found a new YaYa Toure here.”

    He’s also been called a new Viera and a new Michael Essien too Chuck. Basically I think it boils to to the fact that too many players have been described as “box-to-box” midfielders when they aren’t (quite). In Sissoko’s case however, I certainly don’t think it would be stretching things too far to describe him as a true box-to-box midfielder like the other players mentioned above.

  23. Yeah gotta laugh at the “i’m a competent manager”
    Self praise being no reccomendation.
    Of course developing the kids was also mentioned as a major part of what he wanted to do.
    That the same kids he blamed as not good enough when beaten by Brighton and threatened to get rid of.
    I mean why did he play kids in the Fcugin FA cup against a good side lke Brighton, while we are no the subject of competence.
    Interesting to note in the same article, that both M.O’N.
    and Jol were apparently in the running for the job.
    would have been happy had Jol got it, not s keen on Martin O., though he has now got Sunderland doing OK.

  24. Chuck, I thought this bit would have had you laughing so hard that you’d need to change your trousers afterwards.

    “I have always managed teams that have played attacking positive football, something I know the supporters here appreciate.”

  25. Worky

    Yes he has been described as box to box, but primarily as a defensive midfielder.
    Perhaps something to do with his Viera like build and the fact he was played as such.
    Actually also reminded me of his namesake, who played for Liverpool, who i dont to this day know why they sold him, guy was great IMO.
    I really dont know where his best position is, hell perhaps he could be a great central defender or full back, he’s just a great athlete.
    And they got him for less than two million quid and wanted to wait until the summer to get him on a free FFS.
    Actually his attacking abilities came as no surprise, because he has according to reports, been playing in a mostly attacking role for the most part this season.

  26. Worky
    yeah i got that too, what he means is, instruct the goalies and defenders to wellie it as far as they can up the field, perhaps one of our guys will end up getting it.
    And no Alan, actually if you had been reading this and other blogs, you would have found out, we are not very fond of that kinda football.

  27. Chuck, this one’s a blow by blow account of Pardew’s Coronation. It also contains “The Big Lie”

    “2:43pm: Pardew says the first he heard of the job was on Monday when his agent called him to tell him Hughton had been let go and asking whether he would be interested.”

    He really is a lying little shithouse. Someone told me late in October of 2010 exactly what was going to happen and I’m ashamed to say that I doubted them. Pardew knew that he was going to be the new Newcastle United manager over six weeks (at least) before Chris Hughton was sacked, yet he made fools out of Newcastle United fans (and Hughton and Calderwood) by saying in front of the world.

  28. The reason we are winning is because we have good players back in the team… Would the last couple of results have happened if we still had Simpson, Williamson, Bigi etc in the team rather than Debauchy, Taylor, Cabaye, Sissoko, Gouffran etc even if we had been playing 4 2 3 1 weeks ago ? I don’t think they would.

  29. Didn’t mean that post to sound critical of Bigi or even Simpson because I think Bigi has been good this season.. in fact he’s actually looked better than Tiote and I also think Simpson is a decent although not great player.

  30. Paulos says:
    February 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    “Would the last couple of results have happened if we still had Simpson, Williamson, Bigi etc in the team rather than Debauchy, Taylor, Cabaye, Sissoko, Gouffran etc”

    Debuchy was ok in the last game Paulos, but his initial performances were marred somewhat by him being like a bull in a China shop at times, picking up two yellow cards in his first two games, and giving away a needless penalty in the third. This is a trait he is bringing over from France where he has a very poor record cardwise. Hence, I think that Simpson may well have been better than Debuchy. Of course though, just as with your speculation that we would have been better, we can’t say, and we should also give Debuchy the benefit of the doubt in his first few games in a new league and all that too…

    As for Gouffran, he was very good and I’ve written about how good he was in my blog, however Marveaux was one of the few who had been getting rave reviews for his recent performances in games before the new batch of Frenchmen arrived.

    Though Cabaye was out for a while with his groin until recently, he was also part of a team which turned in some very poor performances.

  31. @worky i gonna be at the game tomorrow even worse im in the spurs stand with 3 of my pals! i dont even care im wearing my florescent yellow toon shirt! i will be in a crowd of white so look out for me :)

    hopefully we beat the yids i would fookin love it

    also on the subject of pardew i don’t personally like the guy but injuries have messed us up this season now we have a full squad and more additions he has no excuses i would personally like him to prove me wrong and actually give the club stability something that is needed look at fergie moyes and wenger they may not win titles (apart from fergie) but they have adapted and learnt the style of play of 1 manager instead of swap and change all the time sorry for the rant im prob talkin shit but feel quite pissed lol

  32. this will prob come out wrong but here is the team i want


    debuch______mbiwa______s taylor_____santon/r taylor



    _________________ben arfa___________________


    subs: anita, marv, guti, bigi, colo, haidara, shola

    need couple strikers but i think that is a good team

  33. he can sit for a while before he nods me the wink with his human eyes.

    its time for bed he indicates.