Newcastle United Have To Face The Truth
It was the month before I was born when we won the Fairs Cup. So I haven’t seen Newcastle win any trophy (of note) in my lifetime. We’ve got to finals and been hammered, we’ve let leads disappear, we’ve seen fantasy football and we’ve seen play I wouldn’t even call football.
This last season, has been right down there with the worst, but my frustration are the quotes and excuses coming from St.James and Pardew in particular.
I fear that we’re not going to improve too much next year as we’re not being honest about the issues facing us. All season long we’ve heard excuses of injuries, continuity of selection, Thursday to Sunday and the impact of the Europa league (which we did not take seriously until the quarter final…).
Bottom line is, even at the start of the season, when we had the players fit and available, we didn’t play well. Games where we’ve seen good performances this year can be counted on one hand, we’re just not playing well enough and the system does not suit the players in my opinion.
4-3-3 is the fashionable formation but I don’t feel it works with the players we select. I’ve mentioned it countless times but we don’t have wingers who can cross the ball, partly because they’re playing in a position that leads them infield on their favoured foot – well, that’s fine if they then slide rule a pass or take on a shot that leads to a goal, how often does that happen?
We have great players but just putting them all on the pitch without tactics or discipline causes lack of shape and creates gaps to exploit, I don’t think Pardew knows the best formation, tactics or player combination that works – this needs to be sorted in the pre-season.
Pre-season is not about giving the youngsters a run, it’s about shaping and conditioning the 1st team ready for the first game of the season.
I firmly think our problems have been the midfield this season – that’s the engine room for defence and attack, we haven’t found the right balance, and just chucking your best players on there doesn’t work.
We need a holding player, who patrols the area in front of the centre halves, someone disciplined who doesn’t get pulled out of position and leave a gap for the opposition. We need a box to box midfielder, someone who can get on the end of a hold up play and get shots in – a 10 goal a season player. We need wingers who put in a shift but who can also cross a ball at the right time to match the run of the strikers. We need overlapping play.
I love the effort Jonas puts into the game, but as a midfielder we need to see more end product, more assists and more goals. He’s right footed, so why does he play on the left – it doesn’t suit him. Whenever Ben Arfa or Marveaux play down the left, they get decent crosses in – play to their strengths!!
When Tiote and Cabaye play, Cabaye sits too deep, this takes away his impact and vision where it’s needed. Tiote follows the ball and doesn’t show discipline.
Sissoko had a couple of good games and faded, really because no one understood where he was supposed to be playing, he’s not a number 10!!! His strengths are bursting from midfield, not playing in advance of the ball with back to goal.
Perch is decent enough, but needs to be told to play a role and learn it – none of this utility stuff!!
Obertan is just crap and should be sold.
The strikers are thinking too much instead of playing on feel and instinct. When Cisse arrived, he just had confidence to shoot from anywhere, I think anxiety has entered his game and he’s over thinking, plus he needs to learn the offside rule…although sometimes it’s because he makes a good run but the ball is held up instead of being played first time.
Defence – we all know that this area we should have minimal change – select the strongest 4 and work, work, work – have back-ups that know the role inside and out in case of injury – but don’t swap for cup games – keep the defence steady all the way through the season in every game.
Set-pieces – get it sorted Pardew – schoolboy stuff and we’re crap – how many corners led to goals this season?
Good luck in the Summer Pardew – we’ll be watching with interest, no excuses next year and who knows, one of these years we may get to a final and turn up!!
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