How Alan Pardew’s return to route one is saving Newcastle United’s season

Posted on November 3rd, 2014 | 155 Comments |

NUFC - Route One.
NUFC: Riding the Route One road to success.
You don’t even have to be a Newcastle United fan to notice that Alan Pardew and Newcastle United have done very well in their last four games, all wins with three against top sides Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool.

Credit where credit is due, Pardew and the team have gone some way at least to answering their critics in terms of results after a dismal start to the season. However, in studying the stats there is one fact which might cause a dilemma for some fans who advocate that Newcastle United should adopt a more passing style like the top clubs. The fact is that Pardew’s lighting fast turn of fortune rests on the exact opposite. What I mean is that after an effort to play like a modern passing side, an effort which brought him no wins in his first eight Premier League games, the Silver Fox has now found salvation through abruptly returning to his ‘route one’ roots, as you will be able to see in the evidence below.

First, to give some perspective, I will include the long ball percentage scale I devised a few years ago when I wrote a series of pieces revealing and monitoring Pardew’s long ball tactics at Newcastle. The references might be a little out of date as this was from the time when David Moyes was the manager of Everton and Tony Pulis was at Stoke.

The NUFC Blog long ball scale ©™

07% – 12% – Arsene Wenger. A tippy-tappy passing side who more or less completely reject the long ball game.

12% – 15% – David Moyes. A mixed side who are somewhere in the middle.

15% – 25% – Tony Pulis and Fat Sam on a mortar firing range. A full on long ball side who positively embrace “route one” football.

Returning to look for signs of Newcastle United’s route one football after visual evidence from watching the Leicester and Tottenham games, it seems that this season Pardew has indeed had a route one relapse. Though statistics have shown that it is not a formula for long term, sustained success, there is no doubt it has worked so far in pulling the Magpies out of their recent early season crisis.
Pardew is not the only one either. Another manager who has been punching above his considerable weight using long balls so far is West Ham’s ‘Fat’ Sam Allardyce. In one of his Premier League games this season he even went way beyond the limits of my long ball scale (25%), with a huge 29.3% of West Ham’s passes against Manchester City being long balls. At the other extreme, Arsenal had a figure of only 3.6% long balls against Hull this season, which is one of the lowest I’ve ever seen.

Below I have looked at the percentage figures for long balls in the League games of Newcastle United and their opponents this season so far. Long balls are defined as over 25 yards and the stats are from OPTA. Measuring the percentage of long balls played over a few games gives the far more accurate picture of how direct a team is than merely counting the amount of long passes. This is because long ball teams pass the ball far less, hence a more passing side might make the same amount, or even more long passes than a ‘long ball’ side. However, their long passes will probably be around 7-12% of their total passes whereas a long ball side’s percentage will probably be somewhere between 15-25% on average.

Now as a Magpies fan, I welcome the recent results, not to mention the rise of the bairns as much as anyone. However it is what it is. The team have done it with old Stoke style blood and guts direct football rather than elegant one touch short passing. As I’ve already mentioned, this might create a dilemma for those who espouse that Newcastle should join the big sides, and even clubs like Swansea and Southampton in playing a shorter passing style. Of course though, the philosophy which usually dominates when a team is winning for obvious reasons is ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’ so things will almost certainly continue as they are. For now let’s just ride the wave until it crashes again.

A snapshot of Pardew’s long balls
Newcastle Utd vs Man City
Team Pss LBs LB%
Newcastle Utd 460 57 12.4%
Man City 593 49 8.1%
Aston Villa vs Newcastle Utd
Team Pss LBs LB%
Aston Villa 348 55 15.8%
Newcastle Utd 535 63 11.8%
Newcastle Utd vs Crystal Palace
Team Pss LBs LB%
Newcastle Utd 477 41 8.6%
Crystal Palace 268 58 21.6%
Southampton vs Newcastle Utd
Team Pss LBs LB%
Southampton 552 68 12.3%
Newcastle Utd 544 58 10.7%
Newcastle Utd vs Hull City
Team Pss LBs LB%
Newcastle Utd 577 54 9.4%
Hull City 342 62 18.1%
Stoke City vs Newcastle Utd
Team Pss LBs LB%
Stoke City 344 55 16%
Newcastle Utd 422 59 14%
Swansea City vs Newcastle Utd
Team Pss LBs LB%
Swansea City 627 59 9.4%
Newcastle Utd 347 64 18.4%
Newcastle Utd vs Leicester City
Team Pss LBs LB%
Newcastle Utd 379 76 20.1%
Leicester City 374 73 19.5%
Tottenham vs Newcastle Utd
Team Pss LBs LB%
Tottenham 556 75 13.5%
Newcastle Utd 277 67 24.2%
Newcastle Utd vs Liverpool
Team Pss LBs LB%
Newcastle Utd 307 19.5%
Liverpool 582 9.1%
Pss – Passes
LBs – Long Balls,
LB% – Long Ball Percentage.
NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1093 articles on this blog.

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155 Responses

  1. Sure there’s a correlation between winning and losing, in regard to the style of football played.

    But then following our time stuck with this Neanderthal playing a direct style of football, last seen in the eighties, interspaced with short periods of attempting to introduce more modern lineups like a 4-2-3-1, it became obvious he had no clue and neither did those he penciled in for those particular games.

    Following an initial start to the season, which was to say the least uninspiring, collecting mostly losses and draws, there came a last desperate attempt, a return to direct football.

    The only real tactical style understood by this loser, we came away with wins over Citeh, Pool and Spurs, who are by no means bad sides.

    Plus there was a certain amount of luck involved and the fact that those teams mentioned are not exactly living up to expectations this season, makes one wonder what’s going on within the league.

    Some claim, it has to do with the improvement of PL sides in general, following the enormous windfall of TV revenues received.

    However there’s really no reflection of that, when one measures the results of PL sides against continental clubs, in the two big European cups, where the top PL sides are presently struggling.

    One thing for sure is, I have yet to watch a game that really had my full attention,

    There’s very little flair or entertainment value, the game becoming cynical and the points essential, with Jose Mourinho, leading the way along with Citeh, BSA’s W/Ham and others.

    Unfortunately there are more sides than NUFC playing, this cynical style, such has been the affect of money on the EPL, instead of introducing the worlds best players, to entertain us, we have been treated to something not unlike the catenaccio system of “Seria A” years ago, which resulted on games so boring, the fans staying away in droves.

    Pardewed is a term fairly commonly used by NUFC fans, but it’s also happening in more clubs than not, such are the pressures on clubs and managers throughout the PL.

    In which case the present revenues received could be more detrimental than not, as clubs regardless of success are no wealthier, everyone having to spend in order to stay in place, if they want to belong to the EPL and collect.

    Of course most of this has yet to be understood by fans, but it certainly hasn’t escaped the present managers, who for the most part are under extreme pressure to succeed.

    Play an entertaining style of football ?

    Sorry we are playing for money and it’s points that count, regardless of the style of play.

  2. had old email workey so i had to try a few times to get in but they all me lol great news about jonas

  3. Idiots are turning tragedy into farce now and I wish they would just stop. A minutes silence then a minutes applause, then stand up and applaud again after ever so many minutes, hold a chicken in the air, stick a deckchair up your nose etc. It’s not “showing respect,” it’s total disrespect which is making tragedy seem as trivial and banal as the half time entertainment.

    November 3, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    “had old email workey so i had to try a few times to get in”

    Toon, you don’t really have to login if you are stuck. If you just fill out the details requested above the comments box when you aren’t logged in you should be ok and your computer should just save so you don’t have to type them out next time you have to make a comment.

  5. Jonas back ?
    Unless we are looking for a defensive left winger I see no reason for it to happen.

    If anyone remembers, he didn’t contributed much as an attacking winger, other than fulfilling Pardews expectations, by tracking back and covering for wingbacks Santon & Enrique.

    That and winning non existent fouls by feigning trips to the ground as he headed up-field, head down, before cutting inside and running into traffic.

    I believe wingers are expected to score the occasional goal, exactly how many did Jonas contribute in his time at St. James” Park.

    The recent “Man o’ the match” award given to R. Taylor, was IMO nothing more than an emotional response, the guy came here as a specialist set piece taker, in a make weight transfer deal.

    And was never anything special, more of a Mike Williamson type, who was used in different roles, none of which he filled adequately.

    Anyone notice the recent defensive improvement due to Williamsons being out injured.

    Nah ! time to get rid of the dross, that would be
    the two mentioned, but unless there’s a big improvement in Anita’s game, we could also let him go, he being a bit lightweight and can never replace Cabaye.

    Obertans injury could keep him out of the side for a while, no great loss IMO strange situation, the guy has pace, technique yet except for a few occasions, has never really produced an outstanding performance.

    As for Ferreyra, Cisse and Riviere, sorry none are in anyway impressive and should be replaced, shooting down the “In Carr we trust” emblem.
    Perhaps Ashley should increase his (Carr’s) travel allowance to include counties other than France and Holland.

    I kinda like the idea of buying pacey players, as it has it’s effect on the opposition and is reflected in Pardews recent tactical approach, of soaking up attacks and hitting on the break, which scares the hell outta most opposition and was the prime reason for our recent successes.

    Where we need help is at central defense, Colo. approaching his sell by date and Taylor throwing his body around has resulted in his being out injured a lot.
    Yeah two quality center backs are needed badly.

    The full back roles are adequate, with Santon able to play RB, if required, with an improving Haidarra and Dummett filling the LB role.

    Up front needs addressing, with the recent refusals by Ashley to pay the going rate for quality strikers, which gives credence to my theory that certain players (Ba and
    Remy) preferring to play in the capital as opposed to the remote north east.

    But the fact is our present strikers are inadequate with the possible exception of our youngster Perez, who is hardly expected to carry such a load.

    The good news is the breakthrough of some of our youngsters and the fact just about everyone has decent pace, think of how our squad could perform with a manager who could use their skills and pace as opposed to the present fraud in charge.

  6. chuck says:
    November 5, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    “…which gives credence to my theory that certain players (Ba and Remy) preferring to play in the capital as opposed to the remote north east.”

    They prefer to playing with a Champions League club, Chuck. If it had been Manchester United or City instead of Chelsea, they would have gone there too

    chuck says:
    November 5, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    “Perhaps Ashley should increase his (Carr’s) travel allowance to include counties other than France and Holland.”

    Well the thing is that there were actually some great players in the Netherlands Carr didn’t seem to be interested in. Little Vurn was just one of my B listers along with the likes of Oussama Assaidi (now Liverpool) and Adam Maher (still at PSV). On the A-listers I watched players like Vertonghen, Wilf Bony, Memphis Depaye (another one still at PSV) etc in the Eredivisie and gushed about them on here but there were loads more. Tadic and Pelle at Southampton were another two and that was just the start, that’s why I used to go on about Eredivisie players so much though alot of the Eredivisie clubs are really getting picked clean now.

  7. The Chuckster is making a bit of sense apart from everybody wanting to play in London. Do I have to list the World Class players not playing in the Capital recently, again?

    De Gea

    Money talks, they all have a shelf life and want to play for successful teams that win things. They can all retire to the Italian Lake district when they are thirty f@cking five years old – so who cares if they have to put up with the Manchester rain and arrogant Mancunians for a couple of years?

  8. GS, the Manchester rain thing is an interesting example of how bollocks can become ‘fact’ if it’s repeated often enough. According to the Met office, Manchester is actually one of the driest cities as they go. The authorites wanted to stop uncontrolled growth in the Manchester area in the 1920s so they told everyone it rained all the time there. Never believe anyone without checking what they say first, especially if they are in authority. Human beings cannot be trusted.

    1920s council planners helped start rainy Manchester myth:

  9. Worky: I am going on evidence of watching premier league football when it always seems to rain. My personal experience has been in the nearby Lake District where they seemed to have four seasons in one day, every day.

    I have tried to convince quite a few Yanks that it is a myth that it always rains in London, but they won’t have it.

    I suppose it is years of listening to The Smiths that has me thinking Manchester is miserable – great band, but a bit melancholy.

    You would have liked the trailer they had over here for the Manchester derby. I think they hired actors but they were stalking around the terraced house streets of Manchester in City and United scarves, crossing their arms and looking dead into the camera like they were Gallaghers. Giving it the Manchester “attitude” and acting like street thugs. I thought it was funny because the only time I have been to Manchester, that’s the way the locals came off in the city centre on a Saturday afternoon. They even banned baseball caps in a couple of pubs I went to.

  10. Funny that. When I was in Manchester there was an Oasis concert and it was Gay Pride week or something. There was a strange atmosphere with all that added to the locals. I had a bit of jet lag and went to the hotel lobby at 4am and it was full of people in floppy hats, cans of Stella and singing what I thought were Beatles songs but turned out to be Oasis :)

  11. Yes of course most foreign players arriving in the UK, would prefer to be joining a large club, with a large salary to boot.

    In regard to which city they play in is a totally different matter, but if anyone believes many would prefer to play in one of the northern rust belt cities as opposed to the capital, then I question their sanity.

    The very fact, Remy has chosen to play for a crap side like QPR rather than NUFC & Ba now plays in Russia, what does that say about NUFC, who wanted to keep both ?

    It just happens that certain clubs in the northwest, Liverpool, M.U., & Citeh, just happen to be either onetime perennial league winners, or have enormous funding, ergo able to pay considerably higher wages than most other clubs north of Potters Bar.
    There are exceptions to almost any rule.

  12. Chuck: from the pictures of Roy Keane, Gerrard and Balotelli I think most of the players live in Cheshire which is quite a nice area and has few inner city type problems. If given the choice, I would probably choose London because I have lived there. However there are many other factors, the main one being MONEY. Their greedy agents will send them to the places where their cut is the biggest, including Russia, Turkey and the Middle East. Who was that Sunderland player Gyan? who sold his career for middle east cash?

    Look at the USA, not everybody wants to live in New York. It has cool clubs for some people but others might prefer LA or Miami or God forbid Chicago.

    And c’mon isn’t Hull the next UK City of Culture :) I have never been to Hull but thanks for all the fish. (Worky, I think you said to me sometime before that Hull is a decent place).

  13. One of the other major benefits of NOT living in London is that you might not bump into Neil Ashton and Martin Samuel as much.

  14. GS says:
    November 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    “Funny that. When I was in Manchester there was an Oasis concert and it was Gay Pride week or something. There was a strange atmosphere with all that added to the locals.”

    GS, Manchester is very gay nowadays, it’s the Northern Gay capital and your average Mancunian will probably look like one of the Village People. Everything sounds gay up there, the local newspaper is called the M.E.N. and the local clubs are called Man United and Man City.

  15. I have said this before, but not every footballer will appreciate the bright lights and big city lifestyle of London. Some of the African players are from very poor backgrounds. Craig Bellamy grew up in Splott. When you see some of the French players coming from Paris, they were in the housing estates on the outskirts where there was possibly a lot of drugs and gangs.

    Chuck thinks London is all Harrods, night clubs, Bentley dealers and Opera and that is what the average football player wants. Some do, but others have kids and want a family life.

    Tiote for example, he has two families and a mistress to support. And Ryan Giggs. He has his brother’s wife to look after.

  16. GS says:
    November 6, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    “And c’mon isn’t Hull the next UK City of Culture :) I have never been to Hull but thanks for all the fish. (Worky, I think you said to me sometime before that Hull is a decent place).”

    Did I? It’s a bit out of the way and isolated for a fairly large provincial city so it’s a bit different in some ways. Cream phone boxes instead of red was one example. It was a long time ago when I used to go down there. It was so long ago that there was a bit of a music scene in Hull with bands like Everything but the Girl, the Housemartins, the Fine Young Cannibals and such before they were famous. Do you remember those bands? That was the f@cking eighties. Shit.

  17. I am sure it was you Worky. The only other person I know who has even been to Hull was Mark from ‘Ull who went to my school. Bright lad, he had “f*ck off” tattooed on the inside of his lower lip.

  18. chuck says:
    November 6, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    “The very fact, Remy has chosen to play for a crap side like QPR rather than NUFC & Ba now plays in Russia, what does that say about NUFC, who wanted to keep both ?”

    Because QPR paid Remy alot more, that’s Ashley the billionaire scrooge, not necessarily Newcastle.

    Ba doesn’t play in Russia, he plays for Besiktas in Istanbul. They’re a Champions League side who have Slaven Bilic as a manager. Mancini’s over there as well with Galatasaray. Lots of really big players and coaches go over to play on Turkey, though the really big players are usually mature vintage. It’s a big league though.

    Besiktas also have an arrangement with Chelsea when it comes to players and that had something to do with Ba’s move too. I don’t think he’d want to go back to all that who plays in the middle stuff with Cisse either. If Newcastle United was like Manchester United, the City of Newcastle wouldn’t put them off at all.

  19. Erm ! yeah i’m well aware of the Instanbull clubs and have attended games at both the old “Ali Sammy Yen” stadium, “Welcome to Hell”, that and Basiktas’ “BJK Inonu” stadium.

    You forgot to mention the fact (Besiktas), that they and NUFC wear the same home strip.

    Fortunately the games I attended were not derby’s, which I can hardly imagine, being these were by far the ugliest fans I have ever encountered, with the Galatasaray visit just edging their rivals for pure violence.

    Neither being places I would recommend, though it was quite an experience.

    And yes, the Instabull clubs have a history of signing big stars during their waning years, Drogba having had a spell at Galatasaray.

    And the same rule applies there, with most non Turks playing in Instanbull as opposed to the clubs located across the Bosphorus.

    London vs rustbelt = Istanbull vs Anatolia, gedit !

    Though im not saying there are no nice cities in Anatolia, the large and picturesque city of Izmir comes to mind, the former mainly Greek city of Smyrna.

  20. Forgot to mention our own former manager’s infamous act of planting the Galatasaray club flag in the middle of the center circle.

    Talking about Graham Souness.

    I would imagine managing either of these sides would take, a considerable set of cojones, or be desperate,

  21. Well Ben Arfa seems to be settling in well at Hull anyway, and he’s been defending. As Bruce himself said on Ben Arfa when Hull drew with Arsenal

    “We didn’t see a lot of him in attacking areas because he spent most of his energies working for the team.”

    It’s amazing how you can make idiots believe complete and utter bollocks.

  22. chuck says:
    November 7, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    “Forgot to mention our own former manager’s infamous act of planting the Galatasaray club flag in the middle of the center circle.”

    And they’re still doing tributes to him now. Souness fitted in perfectly at Galatasaray, he even had the Scouse / Turkish style dead mouse on his top lip already so he looked just like one of them.

  23. I am going to get on my high horse about commentators again. I am absolutely sick of their 20 minute intros (during the match) when they try to tell you every f@cking boring fact about the teams. They have a list of facts that they are absolutely intent on telling us, regardless of what is going on in the match itself. Arlo White is the worst. I have to turn the sound down on him for the first 20 minutes.

    Instead of telling us who is doing what, what is going on and why this is meaningful – they talk about 1925, head to head since 1890, Dixie Dean, only zero point six miles across Stanley Park etc. I would tell you stuff that was said today but after 30 seconds I couldn’t bear to listen to another word Arlo f@cking White said.

  24. Yes, John Terry has the same birthday as the Queen you know, which is interesting this being poppy week… Well, technically he doesn’t have the same birthday because the Queen has an official Birthday that she celebrates at Balmoral Castle, which is in Scotland – Thank you Arlo F@cking White.

  25. @30: Arlo White sisn’t really say that, it is just an example of the things he says and why I turn off the sound.

  26. I know you’ve mentioned Arlo White before. I can’t remember ever having the pleasure of his trivia over here but I think he used to be on Radio Five Live a bit.

  27. Pardew just jinxed Steven Taylor by mentioning for England. Funny how he played Williamson ahead of this potential England international at the tail end of last season. He might have a short memory but fans don’t. He didn’t take Obertan to New zealand and then acts like he knew he would come good all along.

    Still, I enjoy the games much more when we are winning and we have some talented individuals if Pardew will play them. He is also capable of going on a good run of form, but with the worry that it will all come crashing down when he out-thinks himself.

    I am still not sure if there are many goals in this team unless Cisse goes on one of his tears. Maybe Armstrong? I doubt he will get much playing time though.

    Just be glad you don’t get Arlo White. He has to mention every stat on the cheat sheet his researchers give him, whether relevant or not. The pr!ck has also got himself a footballer’s haircut, closely cropped on the sides with a little razor cut quiff on the top – a sad 40+ year old trying to bizarrely imitate the kids half his age. You never saw Barry Davies get a perm back in the day :) (or Brian Moore :) )

  28. Good luck to the Heed today. First ever team supported by me at the Old Redeugh Stadium. Love to see them get to the 3rd round and play the Toon. Wouldn’t know who to support though. :)

  29. GS says:
    November 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    “You never saw Barry Davies get a perm back in the day :) (or Brian Moore :) )”

    GS, some people with people with long hair would go as bald as as that though, but still keep the long hair. That was about even more bemusing than the comb over.

  30. GS, on Sky over here they had an interview with Bellamy on before the game to get the fans radged again. He was doing the usual routine about deluded Newcastle fans who think the club is bigger than Liverpool when it isn’t.

  31. Aye, good to be back Worky. Been looking in. Have also been busy writing.
    Ayose brilliant finish. Sammy been a bit hopeless so far not through lack of effort though. Both teams so equal I was thinking it would take a touch of skill and I think we have looked the best option to do it.

  32. Happy with Dummett. He looks good in the middle. I always thought he lacked pace as a fullback but he proved me wrong so far this year as well. In this case I am very happy to be proved wrong and I might not be as quick to judge in the future.

  33. Been writing anything good, Grumpy?

    I didn’t see that touch coming, it was very good. Pardew and Fat Sam can’t seem to do any wrong at the moment.

  34. Awfull game, two English managers, both playing hoofball.

    Not much for the spectator, two sides who simply wellie the ball into the oppositions end and hope for the best, not my idea of football.

    Seen better football from pub teams of the fifties.
    But why are we playing this kind of football fifty tears on, ugly and in no way entertaining.

  35. chuck says:
    November 9, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    “Awfull game, two English managers, both playing hoofball.”

    Chuck, you are half right about the hoofball. Newcastle won with 17% hoofs (15%+ is long ball). West Brom were only a moderate 11.9%. They lost though.

    7th! And we’re still in the League Cup. We’ve got to support Arsenal against Swansea now though because if Swansea win, they will overtake us.

  36. A helter skelter game, one more often seen in the second tier, not one for the purists.

    At least the Newcastle singing section were in good voice and three points are always welcome.

    Who played well? obviously Pardew has been concentrating on defense (what’s new) and the back line was decent with Dummett showing a bit of versatility stepping into the CD role.

    Both Janmaat and Colo having good games, Janmaat appears to be a good buy, every bit as good as Debuchy.

    Of course Sissoko was outstanding again, reminds me of Viera, what an engine!

    Young Perez certainly appears to have been a good buy and hopefully when DeJong returns will get adequate service up front, his positional sense is outstanding.

    Colback is having a good season and does a lot of the hard work, Another decent buy.

    Though why Pardew ever got rid of HBA, Marveaux and Yanga M’Biwa, baffles me, probably boils down to personality clashes and face it they didn’t actually fit into his archaic hoofball tactics, resulting in his not knowing how to best utilize their talents.

  37. Worky: does that long ball index include keeper clearances and crosses by wingers? The cross for the second goal would have been a long ball if it does.

  38. I am baffled by Pardew. Just when it seems he hasn’t got a clue he goes on a good run. Second half of last season he just played the same way and expected a different result. Now he has changed tactics a bit and we get results. He should have been sacked in the summer but is now probably in line for November Manager of the Month with a couple of decent results. Is it just good luck? Our thrashings last year were not bad luck, they were bad planning and team selection. As I said, I am baffled.

  39. GS, here’s a bit on passes from OPTA


    An intentional played ball from one player to another.

    Opta adds a whole range of qualifiers to each pass event, so that various things can be measured

    Chipped pass – a lofted ball where there is a clear intended recipient
    Headed pass – a header where there is a clear intended recipient
    Launch – a long high ball into space or into an area for players to chase or challenge for the ball
    Cross – a pass from a wide position into a specific area in front of the goal
    Flick-on – a glancing pass with head or foot onto a team mate where the ball is helped on in the same general direction
    Pull back – a pass inside the penalty area which is pulled back from the goal-line to the centre of the penalty area
    Lay-off – a ball returned back to where it came from (usually by a forward) with one touch
    Through Ball – a pass splitting the defence for a team-mate to run on to.
    Each pass is logged with X and Y co-ordinates for its point of origin and destination. This allows Opta to log the following:
    Passes broken down area of the pitch for example by own half/opposition half or defensive/middle/final third or left/right/centre
    Passes broken down by half, for example short/long, short medium/long
    Pass direction, for example backwards/sideways/forwards.

    Of course, the event based nature of the data is such that you can calculate any combination such as chipped passes over 20 yards in the final third that go sideways.

    Opta also logs whether the pass is from open play or a dead ball situation such as a corner, a free kick, a throw or goalkeeper distribution from hands or goal kicks.

  40. GS says:
    November 9, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    “Now he has changed tactics a bit”

    He has changed tactics alot. As I’ve already said, there’s only one Alan Pardew and he can baffle with these runs, a bit like Cisse. Maybe he’s random and he baffles other managers for a while?

  41. Wow ! anyone catch the late game between Arsenal and Swansea ?

    Great game, in contrast to the Newcastle game, modern football vs old time hoofball.

    With Swansea coming from behind to win it.

    Ironic our one time target Bafetimbi Gomis, scoring the winner almost immediately after coming on late.

    Apparently he signed as a free agent for Swansea (eat your heart out Ashley) and was inserted for an ineffectual Boney.

    Gary Monk who many believed was a stopgap for former Danish star Laudrup, by playing an entertaining and modern game, may in fact last longer in the role than his heralded predecessor, if he continues to be successful.

    We should be so lucky.

  42. Strange how things are developing in the PL.
    Clubs with apparently good managers and players are having a difficult time living up to expectations.

    Liverpool who splurged on players, but lost their talisman striker, along with his injured partner, are really struggling, certainly in regard to scoring, even with the addition of Ballotelli.

    Spurs, who also splurged using the windfall from Real Madrid, from the Bale sale, are also struggling, even with the addition of Pochettino, who had established himself as manager of last seasons fairly successful Southampton.

    Whereas, As mentioned above Gary Monk is having a decent run with Swansea

    And Koeman, despite inheriting a side that had lost many of their best players, have surprised most sides and don’t look out of place in the top level.

    A tribute to the strength of their youth movement.

    Everton, who are building a good side and with a highly regarded manager, are also struggling, having been rated as a top six contender.

    One wonders about Arsene Wenger, who following early success at Arsenal and now that the new stadium is paid for, has all the money he needs, just cant seem to put a winning side together.

    Anyone with the talent of Man. Citeh, should be a walk in the park, winning the title, what’s up there and I believe we will see once again a new manager during the coming season.

    We cant finish without mentioning Man. U., who’s present manager with all the money in the world (well whatever the Glazers can afford) to spend, are now in a desperate position, with sponsors looking at them with a jaundiced eye, not to mention their stock market value on the decline, as the fail to qualify for champions league football and it’s WW exposure.

    Van Gaal asserting it will take more cash and time (three years) to get back to being a top side in Europe.

    Then there’s Mourinho, cruising to another league title
    with a good Chelsea side.
    Strange one of the few managers who never played as a professional, yet constantly outfoxes his opponents.

    Go figure.

  43. Worky

    Sorry for delayed reply wanted to see how the Heed got on. Also was roped in by my son to collect a bed for my Granddaughter. He’s got a bigger car than me but can’t get as much in as I can in my Peugeot 206.

    Don’t know if you would consider my writing efforts good, I certainly enjoyed completing my first novel. If you want it check it out it’s available as an ebook from Amazon and other ebook stores.

    Its titled “The Norway Mission” and it’s a WW2 horror story. What may be of interest to Geordies and Toon fans is that it has as one of it’s main characters a Toon loving Geordie loosely and unashamedly based on Oz from Aufwedershein (think I have got that wrong)Pet.

    Anyway what a cracking win for us. Janmaat, voted man of match but it could easily have gone to Krul,Collo, Colback or Dummett. Hate to jinx them but our defence for is looking bl**dy good now first time in years.

  44. Chuck: I’ll tell you what is wrong with Liverpool shall I? With the loss of Suarez and Sturridde the quickness of thought has gone out of the team. Other teams were scared because those two could create something out of nothing and would shoot on sight, aiding Rodgers’ high pressing game immensely. Now they are doing the tippy tappy with no outlet. In the game against us they just ran out of ideas.

    Rodgers also often uses his fullbacks as wingbacks which is very dangerous if there isn’t outlet as they are left upfield, and Johnson can’t defend anyway.

    Of course Stevie Me is another year older and another yard slower. I think he has only scored like one goal in two years from open play.

    Lovren hasn’t settled yet and they don’t seem to know what to do with Lallana, Balotelli and Markovic – that’s 60 million looking to see where they fit.

    I actually think Rodgers is a smart manager and this will change when he makes Gerrard a bit player, sits Glen Johnson and gets Sturridge back.

    Oh, and Stevie G has too much influence at that club. I can’t believe someone with Brendan’s ego defers as much to his captain.

  45. Now Spurs, Man U and Man City I have no idea about. The money they have all spent they should be playing much better football even if some players haven’t settled yet. They should be tonking the likes of Stoke, Hull and us.

  46. I reckon Rodgers is possibly now regretting selling Andy. He is way better than Lambert and Balotelli, never rated either of them.

  47. Here’s a stat for you Chuck: Suarez and Sturridge scored 52 premier league goals between them last year, our whole team scored 43.

  48. chuck says:
    November 9, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    “And Koeman, despite inheriting a side that had lost many of their best players, have surprised most sides and don’t look out of place in the top level.”

    Koeman bought some very good players to fill the gaps. Pelle’s been been scoring and Tadic is another very good player indeed from the Netherlands. That’s not all either. We should have gone Dutch but some of the bairns seem to be coming good now anyway.

    “A tribute to the strength of their youth movement.”

    You making them sound more like the Third Reich than a football team by the sea, Chuck.

  49. Grumpy Old Toon says:
    November 9, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    “Don’t know if you would consider my writing efforts good, I certainly enjoyed completing my first novel. If you want it check it out it’s available as an ebook from Amazon and other ebook stores.

    “Its titled “The Norway Mission” and it’s a WW2 horror story. What may be of interest to Geordies and Toon fans is that it has as one of it’s main characters a Toon loving Geordie loosely and unashamedly based on Oz from Aufwedershein (think I have got that wrong)Pet.”

    Norway mission? Does it involve WW2, the bomb and heavy water, Grumpy? That’s what comes into my mind with the ‘Norway mission’.

  50. Worky

    D^mn I composed an answer but lost my network connection, keeps doing that, think it’s a BT fault.

    So I’ll try again.

    Yes and no, that is one of the premises of the story but it is more than that. it is heavily based on a horror RPG game I have been running with a bunch of friends for about 10 years.
    It is fairly tongue in cheek and if you want to get a flavour of it then look it up on Amazon. You can read the first one and a half chapters free of charge.

  51. There have been a lot of changes made to the team but our upturn in form has coincided with injuries to Tiote and Williamson. Can we afford an enforcer who mainly lays off the ball to others to provide attacking impetus? I am not sure we can given the inexperience/quality of our other players.

    I know Colback has only played 11 games and Abeid 2, but they do not seem to be only holding midfielders. Colback gets forward whilst doing a lot of tackling and running and I watched Abeid on Sunday and he sprayed a few passes whilst also putting in a Tiote like shift.

    I had thought Tiote was our best player in the games he had played but now I am beginning to think he might be holding us back because of his lack of ability to make anything other than a short or sideways pass.

    It should be interesting to see if Tiote gets back in the team when fit. He is vice captain so I expect he will.

    The fact Abeid has only played two games should make the choice a no-brainer but I bet there will be many fans who disagree. Most have very selective memories and only remember the last few games. Just look at the comments in the Chronicle etc and it is like the second half of last season didn’t happen for many :)

  52. GS says:
    November 10, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    “Most have very selective memories and only remember the last few games.”

    Well memory is the difference between intelligence and stupidity.

  53. Worky

    Yes that’s the one. GS has already given you one option but it is available on Kobo and Nook. To name but two. Also I believe you can read it on a PC via an e-reader, I downloaded Adobe Digital Editions 4.0 which is a free one when I had to check my proof copy. Although I have missed a couple of typos I’m afraid. :(

    Football wise, I see that the injury list doesn’t on the face of it look to horrendous. Although I am a little puzzled as to what a knock is and what comes under that umbrella term. Still with 2 weeks to get people unknocked we should be ok!!

  54. Grumpy, I think a ‘knock’ is just a rough term for a bruise or something being a bit sore and affecting performance slightly, but not a pull or a tear or something like that which is a proper injury.

    I think I’ll get one of those apps, readers or whatever.

  55. Soh ! what’s going on with former Newcastle players.

    With both Yanga M’Biwa getting a call for the French team and DeJong being called back into the Dutch side ?

    Because he cant help scoring, strange he couldn’t score when here on loan, summat to do with tactics, perhaps Pardew wanted him to defend, come to think about it the same applies to the others, no defence = no playing time.

    On the other hand, those sold are not faring well, Cabaye mostly sits on the bench and may be sold in either of the coming windows.

    Debuchy is out injured, but looks like we have an equally good replacement in Janmaat, though Colback is not quite the passer or deadball kicker Cabaye is, he sticks his foot in and is not that far behind all round.

    Aparently Marveaux is playing well at Guingamp but will probably not return to NUFC.

    Nor will HBA, also in good form for Hull.

    Who makes these decisions FFS ?

    From Yanga M’Biwa’s recent interview, he was not quite the happy chappy @ Newcastle, not particularly a fan of the City itself and reading between the lines glad to be away.

    So much for the continual claims of a happy dressing room, with a great tactician managing, which if you believe that, I gotta bridge for sale, going cheap.

    What’s the story with young Bigirimana, I thought he played well when he was given the opportunity, he played a similar game to Tiote defensively, the difference being he looked for the pass upon winning the ball and
    could if given the time and played more, become a better player than Tiote.

    Is Abied better at that role ?

    It seems young Ferguson will probably not be back either, that’s the guy Joe Kinnear wanted to sign, not realizing he was only at Brum. on loan from us.

    I don’t see anyone who can do the job he did on the left wing and could also cover Santon’s incursions forward, being a converted LB.

    But who knows what goes on in our master tactician’s heed, I mean has he not revived hoofball and raised it to a new level.

    It’s ten men behind the ball, with the occasional fast break attempted, nothing complicated, perhaps he should ask BSA how to score from set pieces, as we continue to waste chances week after week, due to an inability to take advantage of those opportunities.

    So it’s back to the air punching routine, have you ever saw a smugger looking asshole, bit of a change from hiding in the dugout, ah well!

  56. Chuck
    I’m not sure that the ‘Hoofball’ we are seeing now is quite the same as it was.

    If you have accurate long balls up to fast breaking and skillfull attackers then it is a valid tactic.

    Admittedly it is not an ideal constant line of attack and being able to pass the ball forward to retain possession should be in the mix. I do think the team and Mr Lazarus are trying to do that (hopefully) more.

    We will see as the season progresses if there is indeed a renaissance, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  57. Winning the League Cup will be our best chance of a cup for quite a long time. Just three games to glory and we could do that on a Pardew run of form.

  58. Gateshead v Warrington, on paper The Heed are favourites and yes I know they don’t play on paper but I really fancy their chances of making the third round.

    And as the presenter said a big NE derby for Hartlepool v Blyth. I’d put my money on Blyth.

  59. Grumpy Old Toon says:
    November 11, 2014 at 1:22 am

    “Gateshead v Warrington, on paper The Heed are favourites”

    On grass Warrington are giant killers though, they slew the mighty Exeter City in the last round.

  60. Chuck, I think the Cabaye thing is a bit exagerrated and just the media trying to stir up resentful Geordies who always want to say ‘I told you so’ when players leave. The truth is somewhere in the middle. He hasn’t been told he could leave Paris St Germain and since he left for there, he’s made 41 appearences, playing 1740 minutes of first team football. Admittedly he’s made alot of substitute appearences but that’s the way it is at a big club like that unless you are Ibrahimovic or or someone like that. He’s competing with the likes of Matuidi, Verratti, Pastore etc.

  61. I see Brendan is blaming location for Liverpool’s transfer woes. There is a grain of truth to it, that some players might prefer London, all things being equal. But all things are not equal. Liverpool are no longer considered one of the truly elite English clubs. Sure, they have won a lot of Cups and even the Champions League in the not too distant past. However, they do not qualify consistently for the Champions League which is where the really good players want to be seen.

    They have fallen behind the two Manchesters, Chelsea and Arsenal and that is the real reason they cannot attract the best. Rodgers says some players prefer the social scene at that London. However, they much prefer money and their agents much prefer money so they will slum it in Manchester for a few years. For every Alexis Sanchez there is a Di Maria, Falcao and Yaya Toure.

    Liverpool overpaid for some of their signings and the easy excuse is location. Reminds me of someone :)

  62. I see a few Hull fans are getting a bit antsy with Steve Bruce. They have won 3 of their last 19 games. I think Bruce is probably settling to his level but I am not sure the Hull fans have a complaint as Bruce is about exactly Hulls level – Championship or lower reaches of the Premier League. I can’t ever remember Hull being that successful before they got a bit of money and Brucie has them punching exactly their weight.

    So, that’s another one off the list as Pardew replacements along with Moyes who just went to Sociadad. Thank God we have gone on this run because if we wait much longer there will only be Pulis left. I don’t know much about emerging foreign managers. Jurgen Klinnsman would be my choice, although we know it isn’t happening now. Pardew has bought himself another year at least so we can no longer dream.

  63. Let’s compare two second tier clubs (just below Champions League Level) – Spurs and Liverpool. One in London and one in, er, Liverpool. They both attract managers just below the elite level and they both attract players just below the elite level, except when they get lucky like with Bale and Suarez. But, according to some (Brendan) it is all about London.

    I am not saying location doesn’t matter, I am saying it is only one of many factors. All things being equal I would prefer to live in Munich, Madrid or Barcelona and I have lived in London.

  64. GS says:
    November 11, 2014 at 11:24 am

    “So, that’s another one off the list as Pardew replacements along with Moyes who just went to Sociadad.”

    On a skincare note, it’s good that he’s right up in the north of Spain. That Scottish complexion of his would probably need factor 5000 if he was out training all day in the south in summer.

    Now if Steve Bruce could get Hull to punch Steve Bruce’s weight, that would be quite something!

    Gs, Falcao was living in Monaco tax free. Besides the Fair Play regualtions which sanctioned Monaco, moneybags owner, Dmitry Rybolovlev has a divorce settlement of almost £3 billion to make, that’s like Ashley’s entire wealth. Poor Riviere had to move from Monaco to Newcastle as well.

  65. Worky: Just like it is not ALL about location it is also not ALL about money for some players. Monaco is a small club that didn’t get past the small club mentality even after signing Falcao and a few others (have you seen their stadium). I am sure Man U are still paying Falcao a lot of cash though and it is only a loan, so if he wants to put cash above all else then he can go back.

    You can’t beat the location though :) For us normal people Monaco is a bit restrictive with all the walled mansions, private beaches and so on. For Falcao, he could spend all of his time on Billionaire’s Yachts and at The Hotel de Paris and his football would probably suffer. At least there’s nowt to do in the somewhat less-rainy-than-is-generally-believed North of England :)

  66. Picking up the skincare note, I think the damage is already done. He would need buckets of Oil of Ulay to fix that ploughed field of a brow. I think that other famous “Scotsman” and “Footballer” Gordon Ramsay has been giving him skincare tips.

  67. GS says:
    November 11, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    “Guess who is top scorer in France – our former target Lacazette.”

    Remember that they do just make these things up. What has really disappointed me (apart from everything else in the world) is that Graham Carr is also supposed to be a Netherlands expert. With the exception of Janmaat though, and so so with Anita, (who is a good little player but was an odd choice for defensive mid in big, brutish Pardewball). Carr’s made a bit of a pig’s ear with the DeJongs in a market which has been absolutely heaving with excellent, resonably priced talent and I’m not saying that in hindsight. It was obvious that De Jong was having a serious scoring crisis once he left the Netherlands for Germany, and that his brother was falling into chronic muscular injury problems.

    You know I’ve been more evangelical than Billy Graham about several Eredivisie players who would have made great signings for Newcastle in the past. They even would have kept Fatty happy as well as most who subsequently signed in the Premier League made an excellent impression and promptly shot up in value, often doubling. Janmaat will be like that too.

    Pelle and the excellent Tadic are just two of the latest ones at Southampton, I’ve mentioned others like Vertonghen, Bony, Memphis Depaye, along with b listers such Adam Maher and Oussama Assaidi in the past. Depaye and Maher are still playing in the Netherlands.

    Finally, on Falcao, they say that year’s loan is costing Manchester United almost £25 million with the big loan fee and the wages.

  68. workyticket says:
    November 11, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    “Now if Steve Bruce could get Hull to punch Steve Bruce’s weight, that would be quite something!”.

    I think he looks very sickly these days. A bit like he’s wearing one of those padded sumo suits you see people having mock scraps in at school fairs and jumble sales (and someone’s painted his face a sort of light lobster colour).

    I can’t say I’m overly fond of the guy, but I wouldn’t like to see him throw a six before his time.

  69. GS says:
    November 11, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    “You can’t beat the location though :) For us normal people Monaco is a bit restrictive with all the walled mansions, private beaches and so on.”

    Well it’s certainly luxiorious and wealthy, but the tax dodgers are packed in there like sardines. It would be very hard to extend the stadium there, and you can’t have too many walled mansions with grounds. It’s more like a cramped city centre full of luxury apartments. Your average multimillionaire / billionaire will have a fancy flat there overlooking the harbour, claim it is his or her main domicile and have a big mansion(s) with big gardens elsewhere for a few weeks of the year. I don’t know what the current domicile rules are though or what Falcao’s arrangements are either.

  70. DarthBroon says:
    November 11, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    “I can’t say I’m overly fond of the guy, but I wouldn’t like to see him throw a six before his time.”

    I’ve always quite liked Steve Bruce, you have to feel sorry for him with a face like that. He’s like a big cuddly teddy bear whose face has been trod on and knocked out of shape down the years, or a shite ex-boxer who took too many pastings without going down.

  71. I have seen him called Bagpuss.

    Worky: I took a day trip to Monaco. My ex-wife owns a European Travel company so we had a few tours of posh hotels. Apart from that it was all concrete walls, gates and barbwire. We had to have a drink in one of the hotels to even get a glimpse of the sea and went to the Italian bit to get a meal in one of the few regular Trattorias. I think anybody that goes there just has a beer in that square where the Casino is and ticks it off their bucket list :)

    I’d skip it unless I was a gambler or billionaire :) Or James Bond.

  72. It’s been said that Steve Bruce looks like a big, fat dinner lady as well.

    I can’t think of many top players in England who played as many games as Bruce did in recent times, just Ryan Giggs. He played almost 1000 games.

  73. Looks like Moyes has found himself a decent gig, managing the Basque side Real Sociedad, in a great town on the eastern Biscayan coast near the French border.

    San Sebastian, a gourmands delight.

    Great seafood dishes, perhaps not as good as North Shields harbor-side chippers, but decent (joking)

    Sociedad is one of a number of Basque clubs and similar in many respects to Everton in La Liga, being a solid mid table club, for the most part.

    A bit like both Everton and Newcastle, not quite enough money to be a member of the elite Spanish sides, but often known to punch above their weight.

    And like other Basque sides only allowed locals or Basques to play for the side, until they signed John Aldridge back in the day.

    Can you imagine if NUFC restricted their playing staff to only Geordies ?

    We would have ended up being Gatesheed.

  74. Me and Chuck seem to be doing geography lessons today. Perhaps Moyes can open up a scouse and haggis restaurant in San Sebastian? I have only been once and really enjoyed it. It has an old time feel and you don’t even have to go to an expensive restaurant to get great food. The bar food is some of the best I have ever had.

    Its a f@cking miracle. Me and the Chuckster agree on something.

  75. Chuck, Sociedad weren’t doing very well when Moyes went there. I think they were about 15th though they should have a better side than 15th. They bought Alfred Finbogason from Herenveen. He scored for fun in the Eredivisie last season but I thought he was a bit of a one trick pony and he hasn’t scored yet in Spain.

    On the Basque teams, that’s one of the reasons why I liked the Dutch revolution which dominated the football of the late sixties / early seventies so much. Ajax and Feyenoord weren’t like Real Madrid, they were just small teams of local lads. Ajax’s best player was the stepson of the groundsman. Could you imagine Newcastle of local lads fighting off relegation one minute, then going on to win the League, then the European Cup three times in a row, reinventing the modern game in the process? It also taught coaches like Paisley and Clough how to win in Europe too. It was like the impact of the British backstreet “garagistas” on the world of motor racing.

  76. What’s every body’s take on Ched Evans.

    My own thoughts is that he should be able to follow his trade.

    I have read the news stories about what happened and feel that there is enough of a grey area to cast some doubts that he actually committed rape.
    Give him some benefit of doubt and let him play.

    I sometimes think these online petitions become something of a kangaroo court, with a lot of sheep signing without fully understanding what they are signing.

  77. Grumpy, it’s a complex question which can’t be answered with stupid kneejerk reactions. You can’t ban ex convicts from a chance of rehabilition. That would be bad for society as well as the ex con, and it would just cause alot more crime in the long run as ex cons seeing no chance of redemption will be far more likely to become recidivists.

    If it is felt they haven’t been punished enough or are still a danger to the public, that’s a question of sentencing. They shouldn’t have been released. Once prisoners are released, the must be rehabilitated into society somehow as the consequences of not rehabilititing them will be far worse.

    I think the most salient point or question of that rape trial was whether the victim was too drunk to consent or not consent?

  78. Not familiar with the Chad Evans case, but to believe the criminal incarceration system in most western countries, gives a damn about there populations, is nonsense.
    Rehabilitation ?
    Does anyone really care?
    Recidivism ?
    Same thing, no one cares, that’s the reason there are so many jails.
    As for the conditions, awful for those without some kind of support system, but the rich and powerful end up doing easy time in most western societies.
    Jail is punishment, for breaking he law, which then demonizes the individual as a criminal for the rest of his/her life.
    On the other hand there are criminal types. who have no interest in rehabilitation (which for the most part is non existent anyway, other than as a claim by governments) working a regular job.
    Incarceration takes some off the streets, but to claim the governments involved, give a damn about rehabilitation, is no more than a lie and a cover that portrays those who run the system as some kind of do gooders.
    Even the description “Penitentiary” first used in the state of Pennsylvania, where a monstrosity was built to house criminals, with the intent of rehabilitation, through repentance.
    Designed by do-gooders, the institute actually turned out to be a more cruel form of punishment, because of individual isolation, what’s commonly known to-day as solitary confinement.
    Prison reform, it’s non existent.
    Face it incarceration is meant to be punishment and hard time is used as a deterrent.

  79. That’s the US Chuck but there’s a whole spectrum around the world. Well over ten times as many Yanks are banged up as Norwegians, 66 compared with 738 per 100,000 inhabitants. The prisons are rather different as well.

    “In summer, they can improve their backhand on the tennis court, ride a horse in the forest and hit the beach for a swim. In winter, they can go cross-country skiing or participate in the prison’s ski-jumping competition.”

  80. The incarceration rate gets brought up now and again over here, but nothing ever gets done about it. The numbers for black males are unbelievable and I am not sure if you can re-enter society with prison tattoos. It is a vicious cycle/circle where once in the system it is almost impossible to get out because of the violence in the prisons and the need for protection – anyway that’s what I know from watching a couple of episodes of Scared Straight, Lockup and The Wire :)

    Some of the prisons are for profit as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have their own lobbyists.

    It isn’t helped by criminalizing possession of small amounts of pot. I am not an expert but when they propagandarize the “War on Drugs” it gives the police and courts open season on petty offenders as well as hard core dealers. At least that is changing a little bit with the legalization of marijuana in some States.

  81. Doesn’t the USA operate a 3 strike system whereby if you commit 3 misdemeanours you end up with a very long penal sentence. Given that drug addicts or mentally handicapped people are likely to offend repeatedly it seems to be pretty harsh. Although I can see the rationale behind the policy.

  82. Grumpy, I know they have three strikes in California but I don’t think it’s the rest of the US, but of course the two Yanks will know more about it than I do. There have been lots of cases in California though where people have been given life sentences for things like stealing a slice of pizza, stealing a pair of socks and crazy stuff like that.

  83. Prison penitentiary what ever you want to call them they are Criminal Warehouses. Somewhere to store the convicted Deterrent No, Rehabilitation No. At best they keep “Them” off the streets for a while. At worst somewhere for the petty criminal to hone his skills.
    I bet my National Service was tougher!

  84. Good to see you on here again Nutmag.

    People get through prison with drugs mostly, heroin is often referred to as ‘bird killer’ inside. Hence prisoners often come out as drug dependent if they weren’t already, and thus ready to commit petty and not so petty crimes on a wholesale basis to feed their habits.

    NUtmag, The US is where more people are locked up than anywhere else and kept off the streets. Has that been a success story? Even if it stops crime in the short term, it makes it worse in the long term like your “at worst” scenario. Learning more about crime inside, getting into drugs to get through, becoming addicted and then been thrown on the street with no money and hopeless job prospects is a perfect cocktail for recidivism.

  85. I think I saw a stat that the US has 20% of the world’s prison population. It makes you think that there might be some sort of political agenda here when you look at who they are locking up, and what they are doing to (not) change it.

  86. And of course there is Guantanamo. I know it is typical of politicians, but they then go on to criticize other countries about their human rights record.

  87. GS, cheap convict labour for corparations has been a big factor in US Prison Industrial Complex, which started with Nixon’s war on drugs and the Rockerfeller drug laws of 1973. Have a look.

    Now, the private prison system is a huge network of slave camps which are a highly lucrative source of very cheap labour for American corporations. The interest of the PIC and the companies who profit from it are constant growth, more prisoners all the time and keep a hold of the ones who are already there for as long as possible. Reform and rehabilitation mean less cheap labour for the corporations so they are constantly lobbying for more prisoners.

    This perverted idea that “the market” can be beneficial to public institutions like the health service, the prison service etc is very dangerous.

  88. Probably because most of the Icelanders live in Reykjavik and the coastal fishing towns. Greenland is probably frontiersmen nomad loaners, armed for hunting and fishing and getting tanked up whenever in semi-civilization, like the old wild west.

  89. Actually I believe the US has almost 25% of the worlds incarcerated population, around 50% of which are there for drug related crimes.
    In other words, decriminalize all drugs and many present money making prisons will have to close.
    That and you take the present enormous profit from the criminals who run drug cartels, not to mention the anti-drug people hired by the Feds and States.
    There’s a lot of rice bowls involved here.
    As for the Scandinavian countries, well they have always been decades ahead of most other western countries on a social level.

  90. As if it could get any worse, here are a couple more stats:

    if you exclude children, 1 in every 100 people in the US is locked up.

    If you include parole and probation, 1 in every 32 people in the US is in the judicial system.

    I live in the US and that is f@cked up. There are some seriously f@cked up politicians here and there is a social agenda that is totally f@cked up.

  91. GS says:
    November 13, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    “As if it could get any worse, here are a couple more stats: ”

    IN 2006, one in 100 American adults was behind bars, one in 36 Hispanic adults, one in 15 black adults and one in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 34. That’s just at one time.

    People look at something which has happened somewhere else and they say it couldn’t happen here, but there is no limit to what most people will turn a blind eye to if it is normalised. Using the right kind of anodyne language helps.

  92. Evening all or for the US contingent good afternoon.

    Over in Eds blog, which I do follow but don’t comment on (to many quick fire threads)

    I see the latest rumour is Demba Ba’s possible return although I think it’s a tongue in cheek article.

    More of interest is that the U21’s are playing on Sky 2 and even though I have Sky can’t watch unless I invest more of my pension to line Mr Murdochs pockets even more and a line has to be drawn somewhere.

    I’d go elsewhere but it seems to be the most reliable provider judging from my BT/Virgin past experiences.

    So I’ll stay with the Demon Lord for the moment.

  93. Spurs have been going for a centre back we should have gone for in for 2012 when Villareal were relegated, Mateo Musacchio. I’ve been watching him with Villareal since 2012 and despite the relegation thing, he is very good.

  94. Moyes and San Sebastian ?
    Hopefully he may start a trend, where promising younger British managers, could hone their job skills on the continent.

    As it seems to be working out in the case of certain former EPL players, who have gone on loan and returned as much improved versions.

    Yanga M’Biwa, Marveaux, Abied, are examples of those who have played well, either winning Caps for their countries, or in the case of Abeid, managed to get some game time, inserted I’m sure as a last choice, due to injuries.

    My question is why did Pardew previously ignore these talented players ?

    Obviously they didn’t fit into his defensive and long ball style, plus I’m sure there were personality issues.

    Recently his successful run has brought out the fist pumping arrogance of the man, accompanied by quotes such as “I know what i’m doing”, which is debatable IMO.

    I wrote above about his failed attempts at playing a modern style game, which resulted in the obvious, he doesn’t know what he’s doing and out of desperation has returned to playing long-ball, without the well drilled set plays of a BSA or Pulis.

    Look I have no problem with long passes, I do have a problem with Hail Mary (50/50 balls) hoofed up-field.

    And is it too much to ask for a bit of flair once in a while, or are we now only interested in points, after all is football about entertainment or gaining points.

    Yeah ! I get why even though West Ham are up there in the league, the fans are not happy with Sam’s style of play, it’s a question of whether you are willing to suffer through hoof-ball, in order to survive relegation.

    Lepoards don’t change their spots, neither will those managers, presently playing that archaic style, simply because the don’t know how, a bit too complicated.

    I suppose even after all this time, Ashley has learned very little about football, hiring this Neanderthal to an unprecedented eight year deal is proof of that.

    In which case we have a side, playing in a time warp, for the foreseeable future.

    Yeah I know many fans are happy with the recent run of success, one based for the most part on hoofball and luck, which IMO, will not last, but even so, were most fans actually entertained by watching a helter skelter game, totally lacking in entertainment value.
    I would hope not.

  95. Off to the local to catch the Ireland vs Scotland game, should be good entertainment value.

    Where we have an unusual situation, where both country’s managers, previously managed Glasgow Celtic, at who’s ground the game is being played.

    Also the fact two of the Irish squad McGaidy and McArthy, are native born Scots, but apparently were first approached by Irelands selector/s, which they accepted.

    The game being played at Parkhead, it appears not all of the allotted Scot’s tickets were sold, rsulting in tickets becoming available on line to Irish fans.

    So much for the segregation policies, but hopefully we won’t see any incidents of violence, when both Ranger and Celtic fans (Ireland vs Scotland) though in different strips, sit next to one another.

    Hopefully they will behave themselves and prove that civility and perhaps a bit of banter, is a much more pleasant way to enjoy a good game of football, than
    non sensical violence.

  96. Chuck, since the days of Jackie Charlton, if you’ve had a pint of Guninness at some time, you qualify to play for R.Ireland. They say that the FAI (Football Association of Ireland) really stands for ‘Find Another Irishman.’

  97. I remember quite alot of Newcastle United fans gushing about how wonderfully Mike Ashley treated his staff and how they all got share bonuses etc. 17,000 out of 20,000 of them are on zero hour contracts and the share bonuses are for the rest as an incentive to drive them as hard as they can. Ashley really knows how to make fools out of people.

  98. I wonder if the guy’s ever done one single decent, selfless thing in his entire life, worky. I sincerely doubt it. I can’t imagine anyone more deserving of a seasonal visit from a chain-rattling former business partner with a message to change his ways.

    Milliband’s taking a shot at him, anyway. Even the Tories are starting to make the right noises abou zero hour contracts.

  99. Stewart Robson really has it in for Alan Pardew for some reason. He seems to love to go for the jugular with Pardew whenever he mentions him:

    Robson: Pardew must be sacked

    He was also the man who said of Pardew way back:

    “Alan Pardew will tell you that he tries to play good football – That’s rubbish, he plays long ball football. It’s very direct, there is no creativity in midfield, he just wants to play route one football. Every time I’ve seen his teams play, they play that way but he’ll say in the Press ‘we play good football.’ At times he can be a conman.”

  100. Darth, there’s the Newcastle United foundation but the amount the club put in is minimal (a few thousand) and gets written off anyway. Most of it is put in by others paying £500 for a game of golf or whatever. I can’t find any other signs of any charitable benevolence from Ashley.

  101. Worky: sorry to get all technical but a tax write off is still a donation because all you write off is the tax. So, for once Ashley did something that didn’t JUST benefit himself, although the publicity probably more than paid for the few grand he spent :)

  102. Aye GS, I know. On that subject, I haven’t seen Ashley pay any tax at Newcastle United yet, it’s always been deferred.

    My point was that the amount is very small. It was about £2000 one year. Ashley, the club and Wonga working with the underprivileged when they’re young get more than that out of it as a publicity ploy.

  103. Worky said:

    “I haven’t seen Ashley pay any tax at Newcastle United yet, it’s always been deferred.”

    He has to make a profit to pay tax! His “loan” to the club will mean he will not be taxed. Isn’t that part of his business plan that he makes money for Sports Direct, gets free advertising, billboards and in Newspapers and Sky and has no taxes to pay? He basically said that was the plan according to John Hall.

  104. GS says:
    November 15, 2014 at 1:54 pm (Edit)

    “He basically said that was the plan according to John Hall.”

    I remebered that Hall said he was keen to know why Ashley wanted the club and that Ashley was very honest in his reply, informing him that he wanted it as a marketing tool to sell his products in the far east. Somthing like that.

    I still don’t know if everyone realises how extensive it is yet because most of the adverts which aren’t Sports Direct are Sports Direct owned companies Ashley has taken over like Firetrap, etc.

  105. Stewart Robson, has at least shown he has the cojones to state the truth concerning our (legend in his own mind) Pardew.

    Where as the football establishment has united in backing Pardew and his like, often defending useless re-tread managers, questioning an owners right to hire and fire un-performing managers.

    But when people such as King Kevin and other respected names, get on the Pardew bandwagon, set’s one to thinking
    what the hell is it they have to gain, as they definitely know different, some even stating so in prior interviews.

    Think about it, why out of nowhere does KK suddenly come out with quotes stating Pardew is doing a good job, where was he at the end of last season, or for the first half dozen games of this season.

    Do I believe he suddenly felt Pardew was doing a great job and wanted to let the world know about it, I think not.

    Guy’s a fraud, bull-shitter and unstable, who else head-butts opposing player, verbally abuses his fellow managers and gets into situations with linesmen.

    It’s no wonder many Newcastle fans are still sitting on he fence, more than likely those who don’t really understand the game from a tactical viewpoint and rely on the opinion of pundits, like KK.

    If or when he takes over at Ibrox, he wont have the Geordie fans non commitment to deal with (more sound and fury, but no real Unity or action)

    But a hard core group, who have already sent letters to various governing bodies to get clarification of certain
    rules in regard to what constitutes the actual ownership of a club in the Scottish league.

    Yeah it would be nice to find a decent owner, hopefully someone from he US who has previous experience in owning a major sports franchise, as opposed to some Persian Gulf or Russian oligarch, who knows jack about football.

    While Ashley folds his tent and moves north, to annoy and do battle with the Glaswegians and take his ass-kissing useless cnuts with him.

  106. Reading quotes from the latest Pardew propaganda campaign where he states our latest successful run is based on a new tactical alignment, involving how the side lines up.

    His claim being he has gone to a 4-3-3 lineup, being from what I believe was the fact the side didn’t quite understand the more recent 4-2-3-1 lineup purpose.

    Now that’s just total crap, being he uses nine men behind the ball, with an isolated striker all on his lonesome, up front, regardless of what his claims are.

    One being they have no trouble ceding he ball to the opposition, what…… ?

    Plus the fact nothing has changed, other than we have hit a lucky spell, managing to score more than the opposition.

    This clown is unbelievable, going from a long losing streak which included the total last quarter of the preceding season and hiding from outraged fans in the dugout, to recently believing he has guided the side by introducing a different lineup and tactical game that cedes the ball to the opposition and doesn’t care about possession.

    I guess that’s an excuse to cover the fact the side usually end up with less possession looking at the stats.

    Not to mention, his arrogant air punching routine, a big turnaround from hiding in the dugout and is back to believing he’s the best (but most misunderstood) manager in the league, no wonder many of the fans are confused.

    One has to say the man is delusional or at least has a future in creative fiction, will the real Alan Pardew stand up, cause I have had enough of his Walter Mitty
    imitations combined with fictional nonsense, fire his useless ass!

  107. Here’s the full Stewart Robson diatribe against Pardew I took the quote from. It’s from when Pardew was appointed. He makes a classic crack about Pardew at the beginning and takes it from there. It’s a masterful summary of Pardew in just over a minute. The Silver Fox must’ve had tried to seduce Mrs. Robson at some stage or something like that. :-)

  108. I like Stewart Robson. Him and the Waddler are my favourite co-commentators. GNev gets all of the plaudits and probably rightly so.

    You might know that I have a bug up my ars* about certain commentators – mainly Arlo (f*cking) White and the rent-a-Scot crowd who I have to turn the sound down for the first 20 minutes of every game until they get all of their facts out of the way.

    The Waddler just says it like it is, he doesn’t seem to have any team or player bias whatsoever. I have never even heard him come close to mentioning “that night in Barcelona”.

  109. Interesting that S.Robson’s description exactly mirrors my own on this blog, over time.
    I cringed on hearing the announcement he was to replace a decent manager, in Chris. Hughton.
    Who had managed to get the club back to the PL, with little trouble doing all the hard work, to be replaced by this co-man.
    And to then hear he had been given an unprecedented contract for eight years, following a mediocre performance, makes me wonder how Ashley (obviously a shrewd piece of work, had bought his and the idiot who refered him Llambias’s con job)
    Ah well, birds of a feather and as the wise guys say, “it’s just business”.

  110. GS says:
    November 16, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    “You might know that I have a bug up my ars* about certain commentators – mainly Arlo (f*cking) White and the rent-a-Scot crowd”

    To be fair, the best pundit over here is the Scottish Pat Nevin.

  111. chuck says:
    November 16, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    “Interesting that S.Robson’s description exactly mirrors my own on this blog, over time.”

    I think he was slightly more brief and to the point, Chuck.

  112. There are differences between play by play and color commentators, being anyone with the vocabulary and a fair knowledge of the game can fill the first role, the secret being, not to continually overstate the obvious.

    The other annoying habit is, commenting on matters not related to the game, or failing to allow the color man to describe some of the finer points, which may have escaped the watching fans notice, after all that’s why they employ color men.

    Which runs from excellent to boring or worse, especially when one detects a bias, (a homer) in regard to one or the other side.

    One of the worst being Hudson, who though described as an English language football commentator, is what could be described as a stretch for some.

    His worst habit being he tends to go from one exaggeration to another, using such terms as magnificent and heroic.

    No simple language from this guy, though some may in fact find him humorous, he tends to dominate the discussion and succeeds only in annoying his audience.

    That is those who understand what the hell he’s on about, most others thinking they are listening to foreign language broadcast.

    As for most of to-days punsters, some of the most boring individuals one has the misfortune to listen too, who was it came up with the idea, ex-football stars make good punsters.

  113. Chuck: I agree with most of what you have said except on Ray Hudson. He has a toned down Geordie accent and is very funny. Foreign players like Christian Veira can understand him on the panels on BEIN Sports so I would expect most Yanks can as well. Ray has everybody cracking up on BEIN Sports so I think it is just you and him have a different sense of humour.

    Ray’s favourite word is magesterial. I didn’t used to like him because he has a sort of whiny Geordie accent but he grew on me because of his humour. His co-commentator Phil Shoen is the best around in my opinion, giving pertinent information but never getting anoraky.

    They should have a limit on ex-scousers. I know they were the best team for a long time but can we just have a different opinion now and again?

    Chuck, I know you get the same Premier League games as me on NBC. Next time Arlo (fucking) White is on, just listen to him cramming in all of his fact from his legal pad notes and almost ignoring the game. It is not really about football with old Arlo, it is about him explaining how clever and knowledgeable he is.

  114. Like I mentioned above, it makes little difference where the Commentator/ color commentator/ pundit, comes from, as long as he is interesting and knowledgeable, plus understandable.
    As for the Scot’s, who seem to be well represented in these particular fields (that plus management)for the most part do a decent job and I have no problem with any particular scot’s accents.
    And apart from Andy Gray “Mr know it all” not that annoying.
    Of course Ex NUFC defender warren Barton, has been prominent in the US, working for Murdock, as has McManaman, who was hired by ESPN, both doing a decent job, as opposed to some of the US ex footballing mediocrities, they were forced to share time with.
    Ah well !

  115. Oh! bye the way, there are rumors of Barca., being unhappy with Luis Enrique and replacing him with Marcelo Bielsa, currently managing Marseille.

  116. Gotta watch this-afternoons game between the Scots and the auld enemy Engerland, coming off a win over Ireland on Friday, an awful game, yes folks even more helter-skelter than last weeks NUFC vs. W/Brom. game, with the Scots looking the better side and deserving the win.

    Could this in fact be a revival of International football under the management of G.Strachan ?

    I remember those games played back in the day, called the home internationals, great entertainment, certainly for the Scots, who terrorized London, with train loads of Jock supporters who proceeded to wreak havoc wherever they went, until the tournament was eventually abandoned.

    Being there appears to be interest in reviving the series
    It would behoove the Scots fans to attempt to behave themselves if they so desire that revival.

  117. Watched both games yesterday and saw two different sides to last Fridays game.

    Talking about the Ireland/US game and the England/Scotland match.

    England were a more pacey side, playing a more direct style, same old England, have to play the national game, for the most part physical and direct.

    Whereas Scotland true to their traditions attempted to play a short passing one or two touch game, reminding me of the Pep Guardiola style played by Barca.

    In other words a big physical English side vs a bunch of five foot six Jocks, looking like the matador and the bull.

    Though he Scot’s lost (mainly because of a lack of real talent)they were by far the more entertaining side.

    It appears Strachan has done a decent job introducing a more modern version of the game and were no pushovers, compared to the sides of the last few years

    I have to say, with a not great pool of talent to choose from, he has done an excellent job, long may it continue and believe he could do a decent job at St. James” Park, were the opportunity to arise.

    Whereas never been a fan of Irish manager O’Neil, or for that matter Klinsman.

    The game was poor with he US fielding the worst side I can remember, giving Ireland (also a side lacking in talent) little trouble.

    Don’t know what that sez about all three sides, but it appears that the Bundesliga is now producing the best football and talent, for half the price of the EPL and for the most part owned by the fans.

  118. clunk says:
    November 19, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    “Whereas Scotland true to their traditions attempted to play a short passing one or two touch game, reminding me of the Pep Guardiola style played by Barca.”

    Priceless :lol:

  119. workyticket says:
    November 19, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    “Do you mean Peter Higgs, the Higgs Boson gadgie who was born in Elswick?”.

    I’ll take your word for it, worky. I was just bullsh|tting in a manner suggested by someone else’s post. No prizes etc…

  120. I have to admit I was wondering if Woy had been consulting with Sam, Tony and Mr Lazarus over tactics for the Scotland game. Couldn’t believe how LBs there were.

  121. Well he was born in Newcastle and spent a bit of his childhood being raised in Elswick. His father was a sound engineer for the BBC in Newcastle. There are alot of famous, important and influential people who are Geordies that people don’t know are Geordies. Only people like Gazza, Ant and Dec, Cheryl Tweedie or that fat lass who talks about eating about cake all the time seem to get get counted as ‘famous Geordies’ though.

  122. workyticket says:
    November 20, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    “or that fat lass who talks about eating cake all the time”.

    Are you referring to one of the cast of Geordie Shore, worky? I can honestly say I’ve never seen it.

    I daren’t watch it in case I die of embarrassment :( I spend half my working life among a load of Man U supporting Essex boys who seem to watch nothing but worthless TV sh|te like TOWIE, Valley Girls, Geordie Shore etc.

    I refuse to be a spokesman/apologist for the dregs of Tyne and Wear :)

  123. Come to think of it, I’ve not watched MTV since the nineties. Not at all.

    The last time I watched MTV, “VJ” Ray Cokes was on it (all over it, unfortunately). The very wonderful Kristiane Backer was also presenting at that time. So was Davina McCall.

  124. DarthBroon says:
    November 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    “Are you referring to one of the cast of Geordie Shore, worky? I can honestly say I’ve never seen it.”

    Sarah Millican. I don’t watch her bit every time I see a bit of her, she always seems to be talking about eating cake or chocolate. I havent seen any Geordie Shore, it’s not really my kind of thing, or the Essex thing. Writing as someone from North London who spends time in Herts and Essex, the stereotypes all belong to a southern strip of Essex really, the East London spillover. The rest is similar to Herts, Berks etc.

  125. It’s the East London spillover I’m speaking of for the most part, worky – the Chelmsford area to be more specific.

    The South East area manager of the company I work for is a mockney tosspot. He’s like an evil version of Tommy Steel. The only part of the stereotype he doesn’t live up to (down to) is jumping up in the air and clicking his heels together.

  126. Basildon might well be the spiritual home of the blonde in white high heels but there’s an honest self-deprecating ownership of the Essex chav identity here in Chelmsford as well, worky.

    And good old BazVegas is just a short car journey away.