Alan Pardew – Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before
With Newcastle United involved in a relegation fight it is little wonder that everybody is looking at what has gone wrong.
Fans, pundits and the press are all analysing what mistakes have been made and who is to blame. Unsurprisingly, as manager, Alan Pardew is at the heart of a lot of these debates.
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His biggest failing isn’t his (football) decision making, in my opinion, it is the unhealthy relationship he has with Mike Ashley and by association, Derek Llambias.
For a manager to have any chance of success they have to be given X amount of freedom to make the changes they feel are necessary, without interference from anyone. This is where Newcastle United have fallen down and the breakthrough season with a fifth place, has been massively wasted.
One small (big!) illustration
Alan Pardew has this week said a real priority is to add height to the team so Newcastle are more effective on corners and free-kicks, plus of course defending set-pieces as well, where United have conceded a fair number of goals this season.
Hang on though…cast your mind back to last summer and when interviewed on Radio Newcastle, Alan Pardew stated as fact that he was going to bring in a commanding centre-back who would help strengthen the defence and almost as importantly, score a decent number of goals at the other end.
In addition, he said he was going to buy an attacking full-back (Debuchy) and that another priority was that he was looking to bring in a specialist coach to work on set-pieces.
None of these things happened of course.
When the transfer window close last August, it became obvious that for whatever reason, Mike Ashley hadn’t allocated any transfer funds and the departures of players such as Smith, Lovenkrands, Best and Forster paid for the small scale transfer activity, with only Anita costing a significant transfer fee.
My belief is that the purse strings are so tightly controlled, Alan Pardew didn’t even have the freedom to employ this part-time set-piece coach and was knocked back.
Fast forward eight months and still no goals from corners, plus hardly any from free-kicks apart from the ones where the likes of Cabaye have scored direct.
Once again Newcastle have been almost totally reliant on Ba and Cisse to score the vast majority of goals and then we’ve lost one of them!
If Debuchy, a dominant centre-back and somebody to inject a fresh set-piece strategy, had been recruited last summer then I honestly believe we would be at the very least in the top half and relegation wouldn’t even be a discussion point.
Instead we have a one dimensional team with very limited ways of scoring goals…basically get the ball to Cisse in the box.
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