Alan Pardew has  given his expert insight ahead of tonight’s Spain v Italy final, an overall very decent Euros will hopefully end with a final that will stick in teh memory for all the right reasons.

Writing in The Independent, Pardew’s observations on England’s situation (plight?!!) are well worth a read but his thinking on the relative merits and roles of Pirlo, Cabaye and Tiote make intriguing reading.

‘In coming through to the final, Italy have done what they invariably do, getting better after starting slowly. They deserved to beat Germany in Thursday’s semi-final, tactically getting it just right and showing the balance between possession and impacting on the opposition. With Pirlo’s long passes, they had a better mixture to their game than the Germans, and indeed Spain.

I know Pirlo has played that role for a long time, but using such a creative player in a deep position is one of those concepts that could catch on — if you can find the right player with the ability to dictate the pace of the game. At Newcastle we sometimes use Yohan Cabaye there: his impact gives us something different from when Cheick Tioté plays there in a more defensive role’.

 This gives us a great insight into why at times the manager plays Tiote further up the pitch than our French playmaker, something that at times may have baffled fans.

Cabaye has an excellent short and long range game but I must admit I’ve always thought it best to have as far up the pitch as possible.

I’ll certainly be watching our matches with this new information at the back of my mind, another lesson learned in the Pardew coaching master class.

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