Pardew’s tired excuses don’t make sense, and here’s why…

Posted on April 24th, 2013 | 78 Comments |

Alan Pardew.
Pardew: Blaming extra games for failure.
“This was our 50th game today, which goes a little bit unnoticed. With all the travelling involved as well, that’s tough. Clubs will look at us and the impact it can have, because it’s not only the extra games but the injuries we’ve had on the back of that. There’s no doubt that our league position would be greater. We’ve had to pay a heavy penalty on the Sundays, not just for Sunderland but for previous games. Swansea are going to find that next year – it’s difficult, unless you really increase the size of your squad.” – Johnstone’s Paint trophy winner Alan Pardew after Newcastle United’s game with West Bromwich Albion.

“I know one year that Barcelona played with 19 first-team players, as well as a few younger players, and they played every three days. It is possible.” – Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, winner of 15 major trophies as a player and 5 as a manager on Swansea’s entry into European competition next season.

“We have a short squad, but it is my decision that the squad is short because I want a squad of 20 players, no more, with the risks a short squad has, but also with the good things a short squad has. The good things are that the side is competitive, everybody feels part of it. So I hope I don’t read again “Mourinho wants more players,” because I don’t want more players. I’m happy with the short squad I have, with the good things and the bad things.” – Jose Mourinho, winner of 20 major trophies as a manager and whose Real Madrid team played 58 games last season.

Tiredness from the club’s Europa League matches has been used by Alan Pardew many times this season to excuse Newcastle United’s poor form. Indeed, tiredness and injuries have been the two most common in Pardew’s considerable repetoire, which have even included blaming the tactics used by the opposition. Though blaming both tiredness AND injuries could be seen as mutually contradictory, after all, if player are injured, they will almost always be replaced by players with fresher legs, even if they are of slightly lesser abilty. That’s another ‘blog though so let’s get back to this one.

In this piece I will show that there are many teams who have had far more punishing schedules, with many of their players playing well over 40 games a season, sometimes over fifty, and in rare cases even over 60. I will do this by looking at examples of English teams in Europe from recent seasons (including this one), and how their situation compares with Newcastle United’s with the added burden of their 14 Europa League appearences this season.

Chris Hughton and Birmingham City – 2011-12 season (62 games).

Even before a ball had been kicked in the 2011-12 Championship season, Birmingham City was in tatters. Months after winning their first major domestic trophy since 1963 and for only the second time in their history, they were relegated and in financial chaos. Then, their owner Carson Yeung was arrested on suspicion of money laundering. As if that wasn’t enough, they also had the burden of Europa League competition to deal with, just as Pardew did with Newcastle this season. Fifteen of their players, mostly the best ones, departed the club after their exit from the Premiership, and many more were to follow throughout the season too.

Just as he did with Newcastle two seasons previously, Hughton came in and steadied the ship, patching up the squad mostly with loan signings and out of contract free agents. Their season consisted of constant midweek games and fixture congestions whether it was for the Championship, the Europa League or one of the other cup competitions. Eventually, Birmingham’s season added up to a total of 62 games with one of their squad, Chris Burke, making 61 appearences. In addition to this, another two further players, Curtis Davies and Captain, Steven Caldwell, both made over 50 appearences, with a further seven players making between 40 and 49 appearences throughout the season. Hughton called on a total of 24 players, or 29 if you count Academy players who only made very brief substitute appearences in one or two matches.

In a season when quite a few expected them to be fighting relegation, they almost clinched promotion instead. Despite being asked about it several times, Hughton would refuse to use tiredness as an excuse, even when they eventually fell at the last hurdle of promotion back to the Premiership in the playoffs.

Roy Hodgson and Fulham – 2019-10 season (63 games).

Another example is that of Fulham, who played 63 games in the 2009-10 season under Roy Hodgson, reaching the final of the Europa League in the process. In all competitions, even counting highly peripheral players such as Kagisho Dikgacoi (who only played 5 minutes over the whole season) he drew on a total pool of 29 players. In that season, Hodgson had 10 players who made over 40 appearences that season, with 6 making over 50 appearences and keeper, Mark Schwarzer, making 60.

Having written that, it must also be pointed that Fulham’s Premiership finish did decline five places from that of the previous season, from 7th (a record for them) to 12th, though once again, Hodgson didn’t constantly blame tiredness for the drop.

Tony Pulis and Stoke City – 2011-12 season (56 games).

Looking at a side play in the more primitive and physically demanding style of direct “route one” football favoured by Pardew, Tony Pulis’s Stoke City played in the Europa League last season through being in the FA Cup final. Despite playing total of 56 games, drawing from a total pool of only 27 players, with 9 making over 40 appearences and Jonathan Walters making 54, their League position only dropped one place from 13th to 14th.

Now, to put these examples in perspective in relation to Newcastle United’s current season so far, Pardew has called on a total of 35 players, or 36 if you include Paul Dummett’s solitary 45 minute substitute appearence against Brighton in the FA Cup. There are only two players in the whole of their squad who could finish this season having played over 40 games, Papiss Cisse and Davide Santon. If they play in the remaining four games of the season (though Santon is currently on the injury list at the time of writing) they will could make a maximum of 46 and 42 appearences respectively as their totals for the current season so far are 42 and 38 currently, Behind them, there is a gaggle of players with 35 appearences. That’s it. I could cite many other examples just from last season or this season. I have deliberately kept away from examples at the very top such as Jose Mourinho’s “short” Real Madrid squad, who played a total of 58 games, or even their big rivals, Barcelona, who played 64 games with 14 players making over 40 appearences, 6 over 50, and Lionel Messi making 60.

Looking at other English clubs who were in Europe last season and this, Chelsea played 61 games last season on their way to winning the Champions League, Manchester City played 55, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal played 54, and finally Liverpool played 52 games. This season, Chelsea have had to play another 61 games and their season isn’t over yet. Along with Newcastle United, Manchester United and Liverpool have played 50 games, with Arsenal and Tottenham one game behind on 49. Finally, we have Manchester City on only 46 so far.

For this season I have prepared a table below showing how Newcastle compares with the other teams who have been on European competition. It shows how many games they have played in all competitions, their league positions, how many players thay have used in total over the season and fianlly, how many have made over 40 appearences. It is ordered by the amount of players in each squad who have made over 40 appearences, with the the team who have the least first. If teams have the same amount of players with over 40 appearences, then they have been split by the amount of players they have used throughout the season.

English clubs in Europe, 2012-13.
# Team G LP PU 40+
1 Newcastle United. 50 16 36 1
2 Manchester United 50 1 32 2
3 Manchester City 46 2 30 2
4 Arsenal 49 3 35 4
5 Liverpool 50 7 35 4
6 Tottenham Hotspur 49 5 32 4
7 Chelsea 61 4 26 11
LP – League Position.
PU – Total amount of players used over the course of the season.
40+ – Amount of players who have made over 40 appearences.

So, in conclusion, it seems that Pardew’s prating about tiredness doesn’t quite add up when you look at the evidence of other clubs.


NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1093 articles on this blog.

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78 Responses

  1. How can these professional footballers get tired after constantly training and being at the peak of human physical fitness and only playing a 90 minute game or two a week? It boggles the mind and is no more than just an excuse.

    Then you have the big teams who play in the league, the league cups and European cups and can still manage wins and better performances than we can. I call ball shiz.

  2. Brilliant stuff worky. So many stats and facts back up why this man has to go. Any pro Pardew arguments have nothing concrete I’ve read so far. A lot seem to think it’s only because we lost the derby that many fans are fed up. Which is incorrect to say the least. He should have gone six months ago. It would be an idea to compile his quotes from pre season to Christmas till now regarding squad size etc. 9 months ago we were supposedly challenging for top 8. Then top 10. Now it’s “I don’t care, we’ll challenge for top 10 next season”

    Pretty drastic change considering the owner bought in five extra players.

    Forget it actually what am I saying. Let’s blame the players. All 30+ of them…

  3. I both agree and disagree with this article. I agree that tiredness does not have anything to do with our performances this season. I do feel that the toll has been taken on the injury front this season.

    For me NUFC have a clear best 11.
    Ben arfa
    Cisse (Ba)

    Let me honest players who have been out for over 1/3 of this years premier league campign – Krul, colo, taylor, cabaye, ben arfa, tiote (AFCON).

    i honstly believe its a training thing though. No club can be this unlucky (Not to mention all the fring players who have been injured),

    The only reason we have such a high player count it because we have used so many youth player this year to fill out games (Campbell, Ameobi, Vuckic, Dummet, Tavernier, Abeid, Amalfitano, Nile Ranger (No Danger)).

    I will however admit that we have a few squad players who are simply not good enough: Harper, Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Obertan, Ameobi,

    add in demba ba leaving – we were never ging to make top 5 again. top 10 is realistic because we have a great 11/12 players the rest arn’t good enough.


  4. you can make stats look anything ya want the top and bottom of it is you dont sack managers in season last time we did we went down

  5. <<<<< likes ya tactics though bud slip on that extra player when the ref aint looking lmao

  6. Excellent summary.On the subject of fatigue,just watched Dortmund run all over RM, just like Bayern last night.Fantastic energy,fitness,technical ability,tactical nous – light years ahead of us and the rest of the PM.The EPL needs a rethink and overhaul of its overrated football and we need a bigger overhaul than most – starting with the manager

  7. Toonarmyelite after the reading, mackem, and WBA (second half) performances i think its about our only viable option!

    robsondoc – agreed were still raving about Swansea – the tika-tak football – that has just been turned over by German football. shows how far behind the prem is! Andy Carroll to the rescue? lol

  8. speaking of andy carrol how many corners now is it we had without scoring shows how badly we need a carrol like player

  9. The NBA play a total of 82 games per nine month season, approx. 3.25 games a week.
    Each game consisting of a total of four quarters 48 minutes in total, but that’s actual playing time, as the clock stops whenever the ball is out of play.
    In football, each 45 minute half, the actual playing time is less than thirty minutes.

    Yes they platoon players in and out, but it’s IMO, a more physically demanding game than football, played on a ninety odd foot court, constantly running up and down. That, plus they are constantly on the road, playing a series of games against teams on the opposite coast and are happy to play in a game against their local rivals, which would be equal to the a tree or four hour bus trip.
    If these big guys can play that number of games, not to mention hockey players, who also have an 80 odd game season, of course this is not counting playoff competition.
    The Football players should be able to handle at least two games a week, without a problem.
    What are they a bunch of pussies?
    Another thing I don’t get is the fact a tough game like hockey (where fighting is actually allowed, have it appears less injuries than football)
    What are they a bunch of sissys ?
    Not to mention the action of those big guys in the paint, banging each other, also have fewer injuries than football players.
    what are they delicate ?
    Or has it got something to do with the physio people ?

  10. We need Andy Carroll as much as we need Pardew,
    both route one specialists.
    Sure if you want to go back to playing a game that was old twenty years ago.
    Yeah we need him like a hole in the head.

  11. Tiredness?

    I think its got more to do than just tiredness.

    It’s lifestyle. The whole being wrapped up in cotton wool since a child.

    Footballers these days are like the fat kid at school who can do no wrong. Doesn’t matter how much he eats or how greedy he gets, it’s always someone else’s fault. Fat kids parents don’t blame them selves, fat kids family don’t blame themselves. Fat kid does and eats what fat kid wants.

    No back bone, no spine. Yes they probably are genuinely tired. But tired to a footballer isn’t tired to you and me.

    When we put things into perspective, football is a part time job. 3 hours physical training 3 days per week, lunch, then an hour or two studying the opposition. Then back home to prepare.

    If you studied the life of a footballer and compared it to a floor worker working shifts of 12 hours per day where is the comparison?

    Anyone else would have to work 4 hours before 15 minute break.

    Footballers are lame, lets face it. Tiredness excuses are a poor excuse for a man.

    Personally if a footballer is tired they need to train harder to make sure they don’t get tired so quick.
    Would you see a squady walking Into the barracks and telling his superior “i can’t go to war today sir I’ve been walking for 45 minutes with a heavy bag on my back and I just can’t quite find the energy” “I’m fatigued sir I can’t physically work with 1 hour sleep”

    It’s a lame excuse nothing more nothing less.

    What players forget, and Newcastle players especially, there is a guy stood outside st. James park, every day, come rain hail or shine. Doesn’t matter how fought the wind is, or how wet or cold. If you are drunk around Newcastle you might even have a conversation with him whilst you are stood outside the strawberry. He used to work down the pit in Ashington put on his boots and have a kick about with a few mates.

    Talk about tiredness? Don’t make me laugh.

    There is no reason why a football player should be tired, there are hundreds of products on the market for recovery. There’s even an ice bath in the changing room at st. James.

    If players are tired then it is up to club doctors to find out why. Because there can’t be any reason why they could or should be tired.
    If performances were gallant and heart full since the start of the season and we had been run ragged for 90 minutes then maybe I would forgive a little sweat.
    But I haven’t seen two performances in a row I could say were worthy since the season began.

    West brom and Sunderland the player who played best pardew took off at half time. The rest of the team seemed to play like they were a man down(usually the case with shola on the pitch)

    Pardew s tactics have been dreadfull this season. No two games have been the same. We played well against Chelsea and then pardew decides to change to format. Why change a winning team.

    There is a lot of resentment around Newcastle towards pardew at the moment. But us fans are probably partly to blame. We have given them all an easy ride. Drinking in Bordeaux can have that effect. But now there is nothing to hold onto there can’t be any excuses.

    I reduction a big clear out in the summer. It wouldn’t surprise me if players like Gutierrez, collo, cabaye, tiote, hba and even cisse were shipped out to make way for a few new faces. You could get £60m for that lot and bring in some fresher players.

    Bring in players who want to play football, not players who want to sunbathe.

  12. @14 we need andy Carroll.

    We need a guvnor. We need a boss of the changing room, we need a cat amongst the pigeons.

    We need players like Nolan, Carroll and Barton making sure players answer to each other.

    IMO that’s what’s missing in the changing room. Can you see collo yelling at his mates after a loss? Can you see cabaye?

    We all know they trouble the likes of Barton can cause but they had one thing no player at the toon seems to have…….guts.

    Where is the dogged determination? Where is the fight? Gufran, sissoko, marveux, 3 I’d excuse.

    We need a captain that’s going to bit ankles and scream not one that’s going to whisp his hair and gel it up in between halfs.

    And just incase you are wondering. Kevin nolan’s legs are still there.
    And we didnt play much hoofball with Carroll. But we probably would with pardew in charge.

  13. Agreed that we need a passionate captain, but most of all we need a boss that can bring the very best out of this talented squad.

    Well done Worky on this fine article. Now all we need is for Llambias and Ashley to read it, to understand it, and to act on it.

  14. Dear me, some people have far too much time on their hands. Im sorry if that sounds disrespectful. There is four league games left where this club really needs our support, is this a really wise decision to write this? Now?

    For god sake. Everyone knows there are better managers than Pardew out there but these delusions of grandeur of some top class coach coming in are exactly that, delusions of grandeur. I’d welcome an upgrade in quality but the rubbish being spouted about and reasons wanting him out is disgraceful. Talking about jumping on the bandwagon.. Aye, he has made mistakes. Easy to look back at in hindsight. Every coach on the planet will look back at the end of the season and say yeah I got this and that wrong. Every coach.

    Every man and his dog can see why we have suffered this season, it is not down to one man, far from it. From August until January we were with a squad that was never going to be able to cope with injuries. This was proven buying five players in January. Even then they were never going to all hit the ground running, they need time, they have only been here 14 weeks or so, yet people expect fluent exciting football? Give over man. Players had to be fielded all over the place in the first 6 months.

    The 1st eleven have never had a consistent run since day one, no fluidity, no rythmn, no consistency. No settled team to build on. We have been without Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Tayls, Tiote, Colo for large parts of the season. Are best players. Mostly all at once.

    The board made a huge mistake last summer not recruiting. The back up was never good enough. Neither was the development players who they tried to bring through. Williamson, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Tavernier, Gosling. Probably more which I can’t think of right now. The confidence has been shot to bits and the pressure has been enourmous since day one on the players. There wrecked with the injuries sustained and the pressure involved with more games to be played.

    These myths of defensive football, negative tactics are just that, myths. Spanned from hatred of the manager since Novemeber when we had key players missing and went on a barron run. We have played to our strengths and for the most part played with what we have had available for much of the season. This route one football and long balls could be anything, until it’s broken down and seen perfectly to see who has played what where it’s speculation. They could be crossfield passes, Krul knocking it out, Simpson and Williamson panicking booting it forward like I’v witnessed many times, anything.

    On top of this, our top scorer jumped ships in January and wasn’t replaced by the board, Cabaye started the season suffering from depression, our captain fantastic decided to drop us in it in January. This season was a write off from day one, it was set-up for failure, it was obvious. People jumping on the bandwagon and getting on the managers back is completely useless and I have to question the quality of support from anyone who has done this.

    This is not a im a better supporter than you’s, far from it. But the quality of support has to be questioned either way. Things like this could have disastrous consequences at this point in the season.

    Pardew will be manager next season and given time up until christmas to prove his worth. He will have a fully fit squad, strength in depth and no europa league. Only then will anybody be able to truly judge this manager properly.

  15. May be Players have started believing pardew,

    They look tired! Sick and Tired of Pardon – Meow!!!!

  16. I totally disagree with you ToonArmy500 in regards to the negative football argument. That is not a myth. Every time we take the lead we drop everybody back behind the ball instead of pressing for another goal. How many points has that cost us this season? An example of this is against Sunderland away we were 1-0 up then dropped everyone behind the ball and invited pressure on ourselves which resulted in Tiote being sent off and us being lucky to come away with a point. Also Pardew stated he was happy with the squad size before the season so he can’t blame it on squad depth now. Surely he knew we were going to play extra games this season. I personally think we were very lucky last season and overachieved and this season we have massively underachieved. We should be able to achieve top 10 at least with the squad we already have. I am in two minds what we should do part of me thinks give him another year to rectify this and the other part thinks he hasn’t shown anything so far to give me the hope that things will change. I definitely don’t think he should go before the end of the season as a change of manager at this stage is disastrous. I believe we all want what is best for Newcastle but have differing opinions on this. I think you are wrong to have a go at the support. What other team in the country would fill out a 52,000 seater stadium being in 16th place? People are entitled to their opinion it doesn’t make them any worse supporters than what you are!

  17. Toonarmy5000, Are you for real?, I get sick of hearing the same old crap about, lets get behind the team.
    The fans do not need to be told that, and they will get behind their team, every game.
    It’s seems like the same propaganda, seems to be doing it’s job.
    The same patronising rubbish that comes from within the club, on a daily basis, “oh we need the fans on Saturday”.
    Are you all brainwashed by these knob heads ffs?

    Pardew is doing his usual keep quiet, when things are going against him.
    True to form, he has Steven Taylor, going in to bat for him, telling anyone who will listen, how great Mr Pardew is, and how he is the man to lead the club into a bright future.
    In fact he’ll use any of the players to spin for him, it’s been the same with Ashley & Llambias, when things are going against them, you get every tom, dick & harry, coming out of the wood work, to tell you how good of a job, they are doing.

    Bobby Moncur, has lead the cheer leading squad, over the last few years, He may have been the last skipper to lift a trophy, and the fullest respect to him, but he’s way off base, with his continual support of these cretins.

    Before all this, “it’s a squad game”, came about, a few years back.
    I always thought, that, “back in the day”, it was the clubs that used the fewest players, were the most successful, are we missing something here?
    The best teams were the ones who had the most settled line up, and did not chop and change.

    These blokes are supposed to be professional footballers, and athletes to boot, but we keep hearing about tiredness.
    What a load of rubbish!, give me fifteen grand a week, and I’ll run through brick walls.
    This squad game thing that’s bandied around, this day and age, is the perfect excuse, for p*ss poor managers, like Alan Pardew.

  18. joe hawkins says:
    April 25, 2013 at 11:29 am

    “Toonarmy5000, Are you for real?”

    “Toonarmy5000” sounds like a new robot that’s been programmed to support the Toon, Joe.

  19. Aye Worky, looks like Ashley has become some messianic figure, who has fed the TOONARMY5000 lol.

  20. Hugh, That would be a cracking idea, the only problem being, how reinforced would it have to be, to take the weight?

  21. Hmm ! gone through the usual arguments, with all the usual clichés and reasons.
    Get behind …..blah , blah, bla !
    Give him another chance, blah, bl…….
    Give him another season……
    It was the injuries…. yeah !it wouldn’t have taken a genius to predict that.
    It was the lack of quality in depth, yeah! because of Ashleys ignorance and parsimony !
    Lets (if we avoid the drop) use this as part of a learning curve, what have we actually learned.
    Well some of us have understood from day one, when that footballing genius Llambias, proposed and convinced Ashley, that Pardew was the ideal candidate for the job as manager.
    In what turned out to be the blind leading the blind.
    Sure he came cheap and sure he obediently does what he’s
    told, often acting as the buffer between top management (Ashley) and the fans.
    You don’t hear any more anti-Ashley chants, do you ?
    Problem is he’s a lousy manager and no matter how often you hear players mention, the morale in the dressing room is great, that’s when you start worrying.
    His tactical approach, is for the most part, unknown?
    Unless you take into account, when leading, he puts ten men behind the ball and attempts to defend it.
    If by now there are still those who believe he can take this club and win silverware, then they should find another sport to watch , because they obviously have little understanding of football.
    It appears following our season, in Europe, Ashley has acquired a taste for top level football.
    (it’s where the money is)
    In which case he should be willing to invest, in order to achieve it.
    That shouldn’t be a problem, as his other business interests are booming, buying up the competition then selling them off, before long there will be no competition.
    That and the fact there’s five billion quid being invested in tv revenues, split between the twenty sides of the EPL, over the next three years and that aint hay !
    From day one I thought Pardew was the wrong choice and time has proven me right.
    I believe Ashley is a pragmatist and by now should have figured all of this out, but following the lack of recruiting last summer and his subsequent admitting that he screwed up, one wonders ?
    Anyway for what it’s worth, get rid of the main impediment to any success, which is Pardew and quite possibly his coaching staff, not to mention the Physio’s.
    Or else it’s business as usual.

  22. Uve had a bad year and its down to Ur manager end of story the Germans wanted the wins more than the Spanish I don’t think that means the bundesliga is years ahead they just have extremely talented players the lower teams in either of them leagues are comparable to our championship teams tho it has been a bad year for English footy

  23. With the amount of money involved in the EPL one would think it would dominate the other leagues.
    That includes not only wages but also favorable tax rates.
    However there’s still a fairly small number of elite clubs that continue to dominate the Champions league, drawn from the top four or more teams in the few top leagues.
    Though once in a while a side like Basel comes along, or the likes of Benfica and Galatasaray, compete for silverware.
    Though like former European cup winners Celtic, who had a decent run this year, they just don’t have the income to compete with the massive tv revenues and wealth of EPL, Spanish , Italian and German clubs.
    As for the quality within those leagues, it varies from country to country.
    For the most part the bottom ten sides not being that strong and having little chance for a top spot.
    The way things are going, would it not be better to have an elite league made up with the best sides from a number of countries, who play consistently against each other, as opposed to a post season grouping like the Champions league and its, lesser valued Uefa cup competition.
    It could be either a one league or a two tier league, consisting of around forty sides drawn from the elite of the present European leagues.
    The tv revenues would be enormous, enough to level the playing field and the new fair play rules would make sure no private Oligarch money would be involved.
    Why ?
    A more level playing field, better competition.

  24. chuck says:
    April 25, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    “With the amount of money involved in the EPL one would think it would dominate the other leagues.
    That includes not only wages but also favorable tax rates.
    However there’s still a fairly small number of elite clubs that continue to dominate the Champions league, drawn from the top four or more teams in the few top leagues.”

    The top two or three teams from two or three countries more like but that’s the thing. It isn’t that English clubs like Manchester United, Man City (who haven’t got gannin’ yet in European competition), Chelsea etc are better than the likes of a handful of overseas giants like Barcelona, Bayern, Real Madrid, Dortmund and so on. They’re all top teams. It’s once you get lower down the majority of top leagues overseas where there’s a gap. One of the main things about the Premiership is that it’s almost certainly the most competitive from top to bottom.

    Anyway, it was an English team who won the Champions League last year.

    chuck says:
    April 25, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    “The way things are going, would it not be better to have an elite league made up with the best sides from a number of countries”

    Nope, bollocks to a European Super League. It wouldn’t be a “level playing field” at all. Never mind Oligarch owners, that would be an oligarchy in itself.

  25. Phisix @ 2: seconded. I have friends in their mid-30s with kids & fulltime jobs who can and do train for marathons but these guys just aren’t fit enough to play 1.5 times a week…

    That aside, so how many more matches did we play than we would have if we had, say, reached the quarter finals of the FA Cup and final of the league cup? Don’t we have one of the youngest squads in the league now?

    Excuses really do suck.

    chuck @ 13: ice hockey players don’t understand what other athletes call “injuries.” Tendonitis? The flu? Turf toe?! Steve Leach once played two playoff series with my Blues with a broken foot. Trevor Linden played all 7 games of the 1994 finals with broken ribs and a tear to the soft tissue between them. Brendan Shanahan once took a high stick in the first period of a game, got 15 stitches then came back in the second and challenged the guy who cut him to a fight-and won.

  26. I don’t know about a “super-league”, wouldn’t that involve a lot of travelling to Europe and our players would be tired :)

    As a spectacle it would be good, I think.

    Don’t Barcelona and Madrid have their own TV deals and I read Bayern make double of any other German team. I am not sure if they would want to give up their influence as they are already on the gravy train.

    The other thing is a barrier to entry. Once you are in, other teams would find it almost impossible to compete. NUFC would likely not qualify so we would be seeing only the Wigans and the West Broms week in week out. Would we really want that?

    Also, does anybody really get fired up by the group stages of the Champions League? Our judgment of whether a super league is a good idea may be skewed by two cracking performances by the Germans in the past 2 days.

    I am not disagreeing with you Chuck, just saying there are other things to consider.

  27. tunyc says:
    April 25, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    “chuck @ 13: ice hockey players don’t understand what other athletes call “injuries.”

    tunyc, Bert Trautmann played around 20 minutes of the 1956 Cup Final for Man City with a broken neck. He didn’t even realise until days afterwards, he only knew that he’d had a very nasty incident which left him unconscious for a while. A similar thing happened to me in 1999 too.

    Stuart Pearce told Bobby Robson that he would “run off” a broken leg in an England game once as well. The incident gave him his nickname, “Psycho.” They don’t make ’em like that anymore though.

    Footballers and coaches weren’t hugely different to Ice Hockey players back in the old days before you were allowed substitutes, though the Pearce thing happened long after that.

  28. My point was(though not well stated) that football is becoming a bit boring in it’s predictability.

    One can be fairly safe in predicting who will end up in the top ten of most leagues, the same goes for the Championship, it’s not brain surgery to come close to predicting most of the final sixteen clubs.

    The UEFA cup is probably the most difficult to predict, but not that many people care, considering it second rate.

    There will be a super league, it’s just too tempting.

    Plus those sides in Europe, not earning the tv revenues of the EPL, would certainly like to.

    The only answer is the group of 14#/18# who have not gone away, are very capable of organizing a super league.
    No doubt they would want EPL sides to be part of it, which those invited would be acting against their best interest in refusing.

    I’m sure we are in agreement, the European and US tv. networks would climb over each other to offer contracts.
    Leaving those not invited to the dance to scramble to arrange their own rival league/s.

    Perhaps the Atlantic League, that had been projected, consisting of the two giants of the SFA, plus, Dutch, Portuguese, the Scandanavians etc.

    Which might not in fact be a bad thing, every so often a major change is required to prevent football from withering on the vine, through predictability ,boredom and insularity.

    The distances are for the most part not much different from the present, all within a four hour flight.

  29. worky @ 35: your last comment anticipates my response. I’m talking about hockey players from the ’90s and later!

  30. LoonBrmy5000 says:

    “These myths of defensive football, negative tactics are just that, myths.”

    Unbelievable. Looks like chubs is doing a roaring trade in rose-tinted specs as well.

  31. Pardew is in the journal giving his usual excuses, and “Persecution complex”.
    Apparently the whole turning of the tide against him, is more or less a, “social network conspiracy”, and these people are in a minority ffs.
    He’s on about injuries and all the other usual guff, he continually spouts.

    When he was asked about whether the new players were hurt by the criticism, they had received recently, he said, “they are less affected, because they don’t quite yet understand how the feeling is, or can be here”.
    then why would they go out and get foreign players, when they were struggling?
    Is there not enough local lads like Taylor, Amoebi, and back room staff, like John Carver & Steve Stone, to relay exactly how important derby games, and basically the whole culture of the club, by now?

    For a second week running, Pardew has had the team training at St james’ park, because it is important for the players, to get a feel for the place, after recent games.
    Is he away with the mixer or what?, if the players cannot get a feel for the place, after the Benfica & Sunderland atmosphere’s, then frankly, they never will!
    It is just another pathetic attempt by Pardew, to try and look proactive, and try to make himself look good, in the eyes of the fans.
    I’ve looked at a lot of different blogs lately, and a lot of the pro Pardew side, were saying, “they like the passion he has”.
    Sorry!, but i’m not buying into that, from what i’ve seen, everything about him, is completely fake, and everything he does, is born out of self interest.
    Time and time again, he has only shown, how out of touch he is, with the fans, and all his running into the crowd, is a load of crap!

  32. “ALAN Pardew informs Neil Cameron he is ‘big enough and bold enough’ to deal with the vitriol emanating from his Twitter critics.

    “THE thing about social media is that it’s not particularly sociable.

    “Few people take to the various platforms to say something nice about anyone or anything. This is especially true about football fans.

    “Alan Pardew does have his supporters among the Newcastle United faithful. It’s just that few of them are on Twitter. They are, for the most part, the silent majority, and even they want to see more from their manager.

    “The tweets and messageboard comments since the derby and either side of last Saturday’s so-so draw at West Bromwich Albion have ranged from “Pardew must go” to “we are going down” with the occasional and classic “I’m not going back again” thrown in.

    “Newspapers tend to take a more balanced view of such matters. It’s the ordinary fan on the internet that moves to the extreme position.

    “We really do live in strange times.”

    So ordinary fans who use that Internet thing are “extremists” like a Geordie al-Qaeda according to Neil Cameron, and the only reasonable fans are the ones who reject it and only read newspapers like the Journal and the Chronicle. :lol:

    I’m off out to punch a horse now.

  33. Worky, I nearly fell off the chair, when he uttered that, this morning, he’s full of the brown stuff.
    I’ve heard of the, “Jarrow elvis”, but the, “Geordie al-Qaeda”, would be something to behold lol.
    “Aal ye’s infidels, ah ganna git topped”!

  34. joe hawkins says:
    April 26, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    “Geordie al-Qaeda”, would be something to behold lol.
    “Aal ye’s infidels, ah ganna git topped”!”

    Joe, you don’t remember the fundamentalist “KK Martyrs Brigade” which then evolved into “Al-Sheerah.” They fought for the establishment of a Geordie Caliphate and the banishment of all Cockneys from Geordie lands. They used to say things like that.

  35. Nice one Worky lol, I think they may have to be a resurgence, with the forming of a new group, muchrajheed or
    al-muhajitoon, to drive out the infidel, Pardew!

  36. “Silent Majority” ?

    Wow, really putting himself in nice company with that one. So Toon supporters who are fans of Pardew are like Americans who still had no problem with the Vietnam War in 1970? Uh-huh. Once again the maneuver for AP is: open mouth, change foot. Then again, his 1970s-era political sloganeering matches up with his tactical predilection, so…

    “We really do live in strange times.”

    Wow, he actually said something that’s kinda true.

    worky @ 46: a typical line from establishment media. Really just a projection of their fear that they’re being exposed as shills and largely irrelevant today. Not because they don’t have more capability than bloggers, rather because they’ve elevated seeking ad revenue and access to the top of their list of priorities.

  37. Out with him. Every dept we have failed.

    We have seen Borussia Dortmund a team on a budget use discipline to beat Madrid likewise bayern munich crush Barcelona.

    We are just not disciplined in anything under Pardew.

  38. tunyc says:
    April 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    “Silent Majority” ?

    Wow, really putting himself in nice company with that one.”

    tunyc, when Nixon used “the silent majority,” did he realise that it’s actually refers to the dead?

    I wonder if Neil Cameron knows that? :lol:

  39. tunyc says:
    April 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    “worky @ 46: a typical line from establishment media. Really just a projection of their fear that they’re being exposed as shills and largely irrelevant today.”

    tunyc, I see an effort from several sources to marginalise critics as knee jerking, horse punching, illiterate bed sheet wavers.

    This “conference” Pardew wants to have ONLY if we aren’t relegated will be an ambush. The fans chosen as representatives will be as thick as shite and completely bamboozled. They’ll be easily discredited and made to look like complete idiots.

    This is a nasty but laughable little piece on the same theme from UTD111 entitled “Some Newcastle Fans Need To Take A Long Hard Look At Themselves”

    There’s nothing more pitiful than stupid people trying to be patronising and superior.

  40. worky-re: the “conference.” This happened before and every question was a softball lobbed by an 8-year-old girl. My point about establishment media applies here but it’s a broad trend meant to protect their market share: don’t listen to those bloggers, who are just guys with keyboards. I’ve heard it in all fora, most often from those covering politics.

    I know I need to have a long, hard look at myself-but not specifically in terms of my support for NUFC. We’ve all been paragons of patience on that one. Mourinho has won 20 trophies. He was six years old when NUFC won their last trophy. FFS. Specifically, I don’t care for the way UTD111 suggests that for AP’s critics “facts aren’t allowed to get in the way” when we know he’s been here and seen the deep analysis presented by the writers of this blog. Always easier to attack straw men, I guess. Just ask those political “journalists” I refer to above…

  41. Interesting view on the Suarez incident and consequent sentence (which some including Robbie Savage, consider excessive) which, could have been due in part to the condemnation by the Prime Minister.
    Who is doing such a great job running the country, that he has now decided football needs his expertise also.
    Watch the Savage statement on the BBC sections football page.

  42. Seems wor Alan, nah! not Shearer, Pardew!
    Has reacted to the recent criticism of his expertise as a manager.

    Guess he sees a similarity to what has happened at other clubs in his career and is desperately fighting a loosing battle to hang on to his job.

    If he gets the axe here, he’s done, will be like the rest of those pretenders, the re-treads who never were good enough, but were always available.

    The PL has, over the last ten years or so, attracted not only a lot of foreign players, but also a good number of managers from various countries.

    Who knew about Morinho, prior to his winning the uefa cup, now he’s known as “the great one”
    The recent hiring of both Laudrup & Pochettino continue to show an awareness of not only foreign players, but young successful managers who play modern versions of the game.

    With certain owners having that awareness, except apparently those at NUFC, who continue since the original takeover, to hire a bunch of yes men retreads, with the possible exception of Hughton.

    If Ashley cannot understand these shifts in the game, he will continue to be the owner of a club going nowhere, without realizing why.

    Unless he’s such a control freak, he is unable to trust the running of a club to those professional’s that know what they are doing.

    IMO, his best ever moves would be to get rid of both the GM & Present manager and replace them with say Carr as the director of football, plus a young manager in the mould of a Pochettino or someone similar.

  43. Another quote on playing with small squads to go with the ones from Laudrup and Mourinho. I didn’t include in the original piece because I forgot about it, but it’s a very nice piece of typical Cruyffian logic that gets straight to the point:

    “I always wanted to work with a group of 18 players. No more. Why? Because the majority would like me and the ones who didn’t would be a minority. It’s easier that way.” – Johan Cruyff.

  44. chuck says:
    April 26, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    IMO, his best ever moves would be to get rid of both the GM & Present manager and replace them with say Carr as the director of football, plus a young manager in the mould of a Pochettino or someone similar.

    I don’t think Graham Carr’s a Director of Football, Chuck.

    Incidentally, it’s a role which was originally invented by Johan Cruyff (him again) as a canard. He wanted to be manager of Ajax but the greatest mind in football didn’t have the coaching badges, so he was unqualified to do it. Hence, as a dodge around this he invented the technical director’s role, but he was really the manager / head coach. :-)

    All the others came from that. Back in the old days when a coach was just a coach, you used to have selection committees and stuff like that.

  45. Worky: you and UTD111 have your fight. The Alex Ferguson justification is a joke though. I have seen it a million times that it took 5 years for Ferguson to win a trophy at Man U and he was one game away from the sack – and look at him now, the most successful manager, stability, stay the course … etc, etc.

    Yeah, and I have seen hundreds of managers who were sh*t to start with and were kept on and continued to be sh*t and then were sacked. We have had quite a few of these.

    There are also many cases of flash in the pan success which so far this has proven to be for Pardew because he does not have a very successful track record.

    It is really not a valid point. Usually past and present success guarantees stability, not the other way around. Ferguson was given a long time, but that was very unusual and I have seen things written that the Directors saw that he had to overhaul the whole club from the youth system up and therefore gave him time. Pardew has not attempted any such overhaul.

  46. Oh, and Ferguson is a force of nature, like Clough and Mourihno. Pardew is a bullsh*tter.

  47. Badges ?
    I prefer the retort by the Mexican bandito, played by Alfonso Bedoya (the quintessential Mexican bandito) in the film, “Treasure of the sierra Madre”

    When called upon to show their badges, by Bogarde,
    he replies.

    “Badges ! we aint got no badges, we don need no badges, I don’t have to show you no steenken badges”!

    That’s about how I feel about the rules concerning management and badges.

    In fact they have little to do with ones ability to manage.

    But the officiating bureaucrats have to be seen creating licenses and other paperwork in order to justify their existence, all nonsense of course.

    That’s the difference between SBR and Pardew, I doubt if anyone asked SBR to show his badges when he took the Managing job at NUFC.

    Management is a special skill, that everyone is not endowed with, a combination of more than one quality.
    Part father figure, psychologist, combined with experience of the game, a good technical knowledge and an understanding of the tactics involved, which is a constant learning curve.

    Those and the trust and respect of the side.

    How many of these characteristics do you think Pardew has in his locker.

  48. If you say so Worky. What was that about @55? I don’t really care but it seemed spiteful to me. Whatever.

  49. Worky
    I disagree (surprise) on Carr, as a matter of fact, I believe that he is currently the nearest thing to a director of football we have at the club.

    For instance, do you believe the five players brought in during the winter were any ones choices but Carr’s ?

    Or for that matter I would be willing to bet that most of the recent signings had nothing to do with either Llambias or Pardew.

    Yes I know, in interviews with Carr, he states it’s a joint committee who are responsible.

    He’s being diplomatic, you don’t actually expect him to say, nah! Pardew takes what I give him, the real deal is between myself and Mike!

    I believe he is the only one at the club, who really understands what he’s doing, as both Pardew and Llambias have no clue.

    plus i’m not sure our coaches do either, Why ?

    Look at a guy like Tiote, has great potential, if coached right.

    He has to improve on his distribution, that, plus pick his shots as when to lay the body on people.
    Unfortunately I have seen little change since his arrival?

    Plus I see little co-ordination between the midfielders in general, with no-one really understanding their role.

    There are times when defending high, (pressing) that there are big gaps between our back four and the rest, giving the opposition vast amounts of space to counter in.

    We are supposed to be a team that plays together, but at times we look like two groups playing two different games, all the result of a combination of both poor management and coaching.

    Look if Ashley wants to keep Llambias, that’s ok, but just keep him where he can do no harm, like taking the heat for Ashley, but make Carr a combo of Ch/Scout plus player director, who could co-operate with a real coach , if we ever decide to hire one.

  50. chuck

    mr carr is in complete control of player recruitment.

    mr pardew has no say whatsoever in these matters.

  51. HARRY CROSS, How are Ralf and Edna?
    My opinion is the same, Graham Carr is the main man, and anyone who is supposed to be the manager, will be no more than the coach, as Pardew, currently is.

  52. joe hawkins says:
    April 27, 2013 at 11:06 am

    “My opinion is the same, Graham Carr is the main man,”

    Joe, if a Director of Football is a real Director of Football, and not just someone holding some kind of meaningless title, its about more than travelling around digging up players. It’s about stuff like being a bridge between the Dressing Room and the Boardroom, overseeing the Academy, and even being involved in negotiations for players and choosing new managers. Carr is what he is, a Chief Scout who has found some decent players and that’s all he should be. The awful, spine chilling truth is that the rest is in the hands of Llambias. May God have mercy on our souls.

  53. Harry Cross, Harry Cross, he’s not a lucky bloke.
    He’s always blue, what can he do now Edna’s had a stroke?
    Harry Cross, Harry Cross, she’s always in his head,
    Now Edna’s kicked the bucket, Edna’s snuffed it, now she’s dead.

  54. Worky

    You have your opinion, I have mine, but yours carries no more weight than mine.

    What I said was he (Carr)is the nearest thing to a director of football.

    In your opinion it’s Llambias ?

    Look Llambias has the official title of GM.
    But the truth is, he has little authority.

    Ashley is in fact the last word on everything.

    IMO it’s a joint agreement between Ashley and Carr in the case of player recruitment, with even Pardew out of the loop, other than possibly they consult him on those they propose recruiting, as a diplomatic gesture.

    Llambias ? he’s the guy that delivers Ashleys offers for players, has no real role, other than voicing Ashley statements, which diverts any blame from Ashley, in other words “the fall guy”.

    All of the other stuff academy etc. runs automatically, your not suggesting that Llambias has anything to do with it , I hope.

    A guy that KK stated , knows less than nothing about football.

    In which case Carr being an obvious judge of players abilities, why not make him director of football, obviously he is not getting younger and could be someone who could weed out those in the academy, who will not make the grade, among other things.

    I’m sure he has a protégé that could continue scouting operations, using Carr as a final approver.
    But the role of GM, should be given to someone who has a vision that expands the brand name of the club, on a world wide basis, not some idiot bingo caller, just because he sez yes to ashleys every suggestion.
    Ermmm! that and a real manager please!

  55. Worky, Like chuck, I would say he’s as close as you can be to being a DOF.
    You are also right in the fact, that he is in no way involved with business side of it.
    It’s all about Ashley being a control freak, and he wouldn’t allow Carr that close.
    The Ashley way is to create as many buffers as he can, between himself, and the other members of his organisation.
    He doesn’t want a manager asking him for money, after Sam Allardyce was there.
    The whole thing is done this way to suit him, and no one else.

  56. For those who are at odds with my recent opinion that there was a general over-reaction to Suarez’ and the punishment was exceptional.
    Not to mention the outcry from others, some going as far as stating he should be banned for life.
    Even the Prime Minister, adding his ten cents FFS !

    My claim being it was for the most part based on a cultural difference, the infringement that is.
    It not being cricket.

    Biting along with such things as spitting are apparently considered to be, of a more despicable nature than the manly if not entirely acceptable infringements such as breaking legs , kicking and head butting.
    One has only to read the FA’s statement, to realize that.
    “totally disgraceful” and “an unprovoked attack alien to football”
    Over-reaction ?
    I think Robbie savage summed it up well in his piece for the BBC.