Alan Pardew Makes Tim Krul His Playmaker
One feature of Newcastle’s game that increasingly frustrated the fans, was the increasing reliance of blasting the ball up the field in the hope/expectation(?!!) that Papiss Cisse would single-handedly bring it down out of the clouds and protect the ball, then wait for support from our midfield who were half a pitch behind him?
For my money it was a bit of both, it is an easy option to tell players to shift it and not take unnecessary risks but the end result of repeatedly using that ‘tactic’ is that you are constantly giving away possession.
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I do think that the manager bottled it to an extent in not encouraging his team to play the ball up the pitch, especially when it is obvious that Cisse is totally unsuited to hopeful long balls.
In mitigation, Newcastle are massively reliant on both Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa in terms of retention of the ball, along with Davide Santon they are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of being comfortable in possession.
With the French pair missing for long spell I can understand why the long ball would become more used but not to the extent that it did.
For the record Newcastle in the end finished only third in terms of teams who used the long ball most last season but when you consider it was Stoke and Reading ahead of us, we weren’t exactly keeping the best company.
I think Tim Krul is an outstanding keeper but not a playmaker….
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