Another Pardew Tactical Masterclass
I always remember as a young boy watching England lose to Germany in the 1970 World Cup and whilst I didn’t realise the true implications at the time, anyone who watched that game remembers the decision to bring off Bobby Charlton as the game changer. We were comfortably in the lead, Sir Alf brings off Sir Bobby and a combination of Peter Bonetti and Gerd Muller broke our hearts. At the time I just blamed Bonetti ,because everyone else did, but the real culprit was Sir Alf.
It wasn’t until maybe twenty years later I saw a re-run of some classic world cup moments, which referred to that game against Germany. The punters of today were passing comment that the 1970 team were in their opinion a much better team than the world cup winning team of 1966 and that the decision to bring off Sir Bobby was indeed the managerial decision that lost us that game and ultimately lost Sir Alf his job just 20 something games after winning the world cup, which for the record does of course rank higher than finishing fifth in the Premier League!
Fast forward 43 years to last Wednesday and the tabloid press were up in arms at Rafa’s decision to bring off Frank Lampard with the score at 2-2 against Southampton. Frank was stunned, the crowd was stunned, the commentators were stunned and even Torres looked a bit confused when he came on. The newspapers the following day hardly referred to the game despite those two very brilliant goals from Hazard and Puncheon. Instead, the headlines were all about the very strange decision to bring off Lampard as he was playing a blinder and looked the most likely and obvious candidate to go on and get the winner.
Fast forward to St James’ Park against Reading on Saturday 19th January 2013. Cabaye, our most influential player and link between midfield and attack, has already scored a great goal and is looking like his old self again.We’re one nil up, the game is a bit nip and tuck and the linesman raises his flag to signal a substitution and yet another Pardew managerial masterclass moment came to pass; Marveaux off to be replaced by Perch?????????
We’re playing a team that haven’t won away from home all year, we’re one nil up, we’re playing OK and Pardew decides after 63 minutes to close up shop and defend for half an hour in an effort to get our first victory of the calendar year. Maybe it slipped his mind we’d conceded 15 goals in four games before we sneaked that nil-nil at Norwich. I must admit I was mystified and confused by the decision but apparently in Pardew we must trust, he got us to fifth last year so he must know what he’s doing, right???
Within 6 minutes Reading equalised, thanks again to some quality defending, maybe that nil-nil against Norwich wasn’t the turning point and maybe Debuchy arriving isn’t going to magically solve our defensive woes but in Pardew we must trust, right???
Then the icing on the cake – Cabaye, our wonderfully talented playmaker and most influential player on the park replaced by Bigi, our Tiote mini-me, who although a great little player for his age has about as much playmaking talent as Vinnie Jones. The St James’ park crowd are up in arms at yet another Pardew managerial master-class but in Pardew we must trust, right???
As you all know we lost 2-1 but it’s not just the substitutions that worry me, it’s reverting back to 4-4-2 when we gave the 4-3-3 formation such a good run out against Man U and Arsenal. We played without fear in those two games and had we approached this game with the same mentality then there’s no way if we had scored 3 or 4 at home that we would have lost today. The whole mindset was wrong for this game, Pardew set out his team not to lose and when you do that you’re asking for trouble but in Pardew we must trust, right????
This game was begging for the 4-3-3 formation and in my opinion we should have started with Krul, Santon, Colo, Taylor, Debuchy, Anita, Bigi, Cabaye, Marveaux on the left, Obertan on the right with Cisse down the middle.
In my opinion if Taylor was fit for the bench he was fit to start and with Marveaux and Obertan marauding down the flanks and the quality trio of Cabaye, Bigi and Anita in the middle, we could have really gone after Reading and crushed them out of sight in the first half.
Just my opinion of course!
How much more evidence do you Pardew supporters need to realise you’ve backed a lame horse. 48,000 Geordies in the ground lost their patience today, how about you?
In Pardew do you still trust????
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