The original Premier League manager to be given the nickname ‘Tinkerman’ was Claudio Ranieri, who as manager of Chelsea was perceived to chop and change his starting eleven too much by the English media….so from that I’d guess he did a great job, especially when reading up for this article I found out he’d got stick off Chelsea fans for getting rid of their hero – Dennis Wise!
In our case, Alan Pardew has had to juggle his players, and indeed his formations, out of necessity. The end result being that in my opinion he has been a tactical genius or a miracle worker, take your pick.
A small core of real quality players have been at the heart of Pardew and Newcastle United’s resurgence, with the manager chopping and changing his fringe players in various positions to get every last drop out of his starting elevens.
So far this season we’ve seen Simpson at right-back and centre-half, Ryan Taylor at left-back, plus right and centre midfield. Then we’ve had Demba as out and out centre-forward, behind the main striker and recently out on the left. Plus of course Alan Pardew has utilised Jonas Gutierrez at left wing, centre midfield and left-back!
I fancy we might see another Pardew shuffle to freshen things up as injuries and fatigue start to bite – my money is on Demba Ba being tucked in behind Papiss Cisse again, with a return to a more traditional 4-4-2 system.
What’s more I am convinced Demba (number one!) will be back amongst the goals today.