AlanPardew12Alan Pardew, for reasons only he can explain, changed the team set-up from the one that proved so successful last year and somehow got us a fifth place finish, to the beautiful long ball 4-4-2 formation this year with disastrous results.

Maybe he thought a more defensive approach would take the opposition by surprise but whatever the flawed thought-process behind the decision,  it proved to be an abject failue. Whatever the reason, it didn’t sink in that we were playing rubbish and that the new system wasn’t suited or liked by the players we had on the pitch, we now find ourselves fifth from bottom and in a real relegation battle.

I’m often slagged off by many supporters about my constant criticism of Pardew but in my opinion his biggest mistake this year was persevering with a formation that clearly wasn’t working. Good managers like Mourinho would famously change tactics after 10 minutes if he saw his set-up wasn’t right during a game but Pardew stuck with this flawed formation for 17 games before he realised it wasn’t working. Then again Pardew isn’t fit to lace Mourinho’s boots so maybe a tad unfair to compare the two.

Layout 1After the QPR game Pardew must have suffered a serious blow to the head (probably by simply trying to get his big head through a standard size door because rumour has it all the doors in St James’ Park had to be widened after he got the LMA manager of the year award) and in his concussed state decided to revert to the winning formula of last year.

As we saw against Man U and Arsenal, we do in fact have the players in the team that can play football in that newfangled 4-5-1 / 4-3-3 formation that everyone else plays, and that we can in fact compete against the better teams in the Premiership. Even with all the injuries we have that the pro Pardew lobby use as a defence to our lowly league position.

Our injury ravaged team took the game to Man U and Arsenal and it was great to watch, even though we lost, because the players knew they played better that way and they much prefer playing within a 4-5-1 formation….but that’s all history so let’s move on.

So here we are in January fresh out of being humiliated yet again by a Brighton team that hadn’t won in December and we have 17 games to scrap it out for our Premiership survival.

Question is, do we attack our way to survival or try and defend our way to survival.

Number of factors to consider….

Captain Colo’s mind is knackered, we can’t rely on him to tighten up our defence so most definitely a cause for concern.

Santon is attacking very well but defending poorly.

Williamson is a disaster waiting to happen and Perch’s best position is no doubt as a defensive midfielder.

Our new signing Debuchy likes to go forward, therefore more than likely going to leave a big hole behind him when he races forward which we need to watch out for.

If any of you Pardew fans out there really do think we’ll get in any more defenders better than the ones we have now during this January transfer window then you really are living in lala land.

Good chance we’ll get a striker in but not one that has real Premiership experience and can make the same impact Ba would have if he had stayed.

So in summary we have a back four that for some reason just can’t defend this year even though they did very well last year (I wonder if Pardew has noticed this yet!) but reinforced by Debuchy, we’ve lost our main in-form striker so there’s no doubt we’re worse off in that department too, but the very good news is Cabaye looks like he’s back tomorrow and there’s no way Pardew will opt for the long ball game with him in the team, but then again who knows what goes on in Pardew’s head.

But hold on, there may be light at the end of the tunnel, there’s news we’re after a left footed left back…what a novel idea that is…pure genius…why didn’t I think of that!

Just imagine; a left footed left back, Santon at right back, Debuchy on the right side of a midfield five with Obertan sold off to France with a bit of luck, Marveaux on the left hand side of a midfield five, Cabaye, Bigi and HBA when fit as the middle 3 with Cisse as the main striker.

Does that sound like it’s a bit more balanced?

BenArfaSQ71That formation should do us when we’re playing the weaker teams that come to St James’ Park and when we play the better teams at home and for away games we could keep the same formation but change the personnel…

Debuchy right back, HBA right hand side, new left back, Jonas left hand side of middle, Perch, Cabaye and Bigi in the middle with Cisse up front.

What Pardew sometimes forgets is you need different players within the 4-5-1 formation depending on who we’re playing and where. We should be sticking to the same system so everyone knows their duties and we should revolve the team accordingly.

In my opinion with our defence being so uncertain I think we have no option but to go for the 4-5-1 set up and attack our way to premiership survival rather than try to defend it by using that pathetic 4-4-2 formation, combined with a back four that aren’t playing at all well this year…what do you think???

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DownUnderMag 5pts

I think the lure of the pot of gold at the end of the season and the new bumper TV deal will be too much temptation for Ashley and he will have one last roll of the dice.  'Arry could well be tempted to take us on for a nice bonus if he keeps us up, but could he really do anything with the current crop of players?  I doubt it, I just can't see anyone getting this lot to gel as a unit let alone fix their attitude and lack of passion.  I don't think a big spending spree will fix it either, there's just no value in that for Ashley and he will be keen to see if Carr can find another couple of it or not we are looking odds on to go down now unless we see a huge turn-around.

grantham mag
grantham mag 5pts

Great read, but Arry, his is dog short of a bob or two, bless him

GarethMarshall 5pts

Cracking read Wiz, thanks!. I hope all of it comes true, all except Arry getting the job. The guy is a dinosaur and not what we need. He is definitely better than SM, however, my little toe would do a better job than SM.

desree 5pts

Just a thought but could Redknapp be replacing Carr or Charnley? Carrs transfer deallings have been terrible since cabaye.

Charnley has taken the club to new depths, he makes JFK look good.

My guess is that the coaching staff and players have changed yet we are getting worse. Surely Mike Ashley must have little confidence that FLC has what it takes. With 25m of signings sat on the bench, Ashley must be fuming at the two of them.

Redknapp has little desire to be out on the training pitch but he loves being in front of the cameras and wheeling and dealing. Potentially lots of cuts of agents fees for him too.

RoboRat 5pts

The club is in profit and with the new sky TV deals is about to become an even bigger cash cow to the fat t**t. As long as he can keep us just above the drop zone and reap the profits, while having a free advertising platform for his Sports Direct company, he will continue to milk all the hard working supporters for all he can get from them.

It's heart breaking - but the only way we can get rid of him is to stop going to all games. So sad.

Bobbi Flekman
Bobbi Flekman 5pts

I see Rednapp as an addition to McClaren, not a replacement. The head coach will have a manager, albeit for a short time. 

toonrobbybobson 5pts

Completely agree. The article I agree with in the main but if markets crash and I do think they will he will still own newcastle, its assets (i dont mean our rubbish players), a relatively low wage bill compared to most epl clubs, its not shares he owns the club and can ride it out he has more than enough money. Anyone who thinks people wont buy sd tat are wrong just look at this 2008 crash sd went from strength to strength in that market because they sell cheap. In fact he will get away with more then because government will be so weak. With this countries debt maybe we should worry more about that than fooball, then again we willalways have our football.

Bobbi Flekman
Bobbi Flekman 5pts

@toonrobbybobson Quite, ironically, if there is another crash, we're better off in the hands of someone like MA with a very liquid asset base than in the hands of some highly geared chancer / investor.

MA has cash and he has a business that is fairly immune to recession. 

DavidDrape 5pts

great read and excellent perspective. ''Never say Never'' one thing is certain football is due another nighty crash and i wouldn't disagree regards stock market crashing again

Bobbi Flekman
Bobbi Flekman 5pts

@DavidDrape Markets will always go down at some point so the advice to sell before the crash is always going to be valid, the trick is knowing when. 

I suspect the internet telly streaming may affect NUFC's value more than a crash (whenever that may or may not happen). 

I can't see a world economic crash in the next year though unless we go into a war or something happens with China (which will happen in the next decade). UK, US and German economies are fairly stable with enough emerging markets in Africa and Asia to keep growth going. The UK is fairly well place (considering) Osbourne's cuts are seen as sensible and our businesses are not in the debt that they were in 2007. 

mactoon 5pts

The profit he will get from next years TV and sponsorship money means there is NO WAY he will sell. I think you are way off the mark in most aspects of your story

Bobbi Flekman
Bobbi Flekman 5pts

@mactoon Not really the argument, the money from TV means that the value of NUFC is at a high and fits in with the theory of selling now (or the next year or so). The TV money also fits in with the  idea that there will be more takers now than when / if the football bubble bursts or that internet tv kills the TV deals. 

mactoon 5pts

@Bobbi Flekman @mactoon  it makes money for Ashley but doesn't for a potential buyer who also has to pay Ashley a deficit of 129 million which he has invested to keep the club in the black.

ourlad 5pts

Wellcome to the house of fun Harry.

Goodbuy Ashley.

St.James as it used to more Tic Tack boards around this great stadium.

If only.

magpiefifer 5pts

Redknapp is NOT the answer!

Ashley's speciality is hiring out-of-work managers - and how often does it work!?

Bishbosh11 5pts

What a load of claptrap!

Do you see Ashley selling off millions of his shares at present? No! So how is he gambling on a stock market crash? How could a stock market crash possibly help MA? A very large proportion of his wealth is invested in shares.

Also, if he feels he has had his fingers burnt by acquiring NUFC, why would he then go out and buy Rangers (or at least attempt to)?

Cripes 5pts

@Bishbosh11  Despite the fact I am calling myself Cripes, Bishbosh11, this is actually Wiz writing this reply.

No, I don't see Ashley selling off millions of his shares. He is not gambling on a stock market crash. He is afraid his investment in Newcastle will be worthless at the time of a crash. If Newcastle are still in the Premier League, this would probably not happen. If Newcastle are relegated, it could quite possibly happen. It will take Newcastle years to get out of the Championship.

Rangers are a much better bet than Newcastle in the long term. Cheaper too.

Brownale69 5pts

will he be able  to get players playing?

Paul Patterson
Paul Patterson 5pts

I'd never been a fan of his, but he/anything MUST be better than the tripe were watching.