Blame NUFC’s Small Squad Or Pardew’s Tactics?
This is shaping up to be a very strange season, even for a club that specialises in doing things in anything but a normal way.
With the team sitting in sixth, only two points behind Chelsea, the mood around St.James’ Park isn’t what you would have expected if you’d fantasised about being top six last summer.
Despite the win plenty of people were lining up to question Alan Pardew’s team selection and the manager justified it post-match;
It created the goal, so that’s a good thing. Perchy was brilliant, and that’s what he’s all about. That tackle he did in the first four minutes set the tone.
But my man of the match today was Cabaye. He played left-midfield, right-midfield, sitting midfield player, attacking midfield player and did them all very, very well.
It’s brilliant to have a player like that.This was a game for the squad, with eight senior players missing. It was almost a crisis for us, so a win for the squad”.
I think Pardew is definitely a victim of his own success when it comes to some of our supporters. With players like Cissé, Ben Arfa and Santon still adjusting to English football, injuries to key players like Steven Taylor and Tiote leave the manager juggling what is a very small pack.
For my money Pardew gambled on this different formation and it paid off. Perch put in a hard working shift while Cabaye’s energy levels and ground covered were exceptional.
The problem comes not from formations but the players he has available and even if everybody was fit the options still aren’t brilliant in terms of changing things around.
I would have started with Santon personally but can’t argue with the different route Pardew took as the Italian defender is still having ups and downs. Even though Shola has put in a couple of decent twenty minute spells recently I certainly don’t want him starting and Gosling has done little to nothing in his limited opportunities.
We are at least four or five first team quality players short and the question has to be whether Alan Pardew and Graham Carr will be given the backing to bring in those essential payers.
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