However, is this miserly attitude just as damaging in terms of the coaching expertise available to Alan Pardew?
In the summer for example, the manager stated that he was looking to bring in some specialist coaching help to assist with set-pieces, nothing was ever heard of this again so we can only assume it wasn’t sanctioned by the owner/chairman.
Today we face Manchester United and not including other set-pieces, this season the Mancs have scored ten goals from corners already. It is obviously not all about height either, as Evra has already scored twice from corners, including at St.James’ park, and he is their smallest player.
In comparison you have to go back to October 1st 2011 when Newcastle last performed this miracle, Demba Ba heading in Cabaye’s corner against Wolves.
By definition Man.Utd are clearly doing something right, while Newcastle clearly must be doing something wrong.
When it comes to corners then working on them in training should be relatively straightforward. After all, you know where they are taken from and you’ll have a good idea how your next opposition try to defend them, so where is the problem?
To try and succeed you obviously need the right delivery into the box, then you need the right movement from players and of course the desire to get there and put the ball into the net.
Apart from the odd time when the ball has been played to Coloccini on the edge of the box, the rest of the time the ‘plan’ appears to be to chip the ball into the box, or aim it for Mike Williamson beyond the far post to head it back across goal.
A barren fifteen months tells us this ‘plan’ is not working.
I don’t question the desire of our players overall but when it comes to set-pieces I certainly don’t think the players look like they have a real belief they are going to score.
On top of the atrocious record on corners, this season Newcastle are the only Premier League team who haven’t scored from any set-piece.
This can’t be allowed to continue and I just hope that as well as allowing spending on essential playing recruits, Mike Ashley gives Alan Pardew all the right tools he needs in his coaching set-up to get the most out of our players.
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