Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Success Beckons Without Alan Pardew’s Favourite Four

8 years ago

Will results change the way we think about the situation regarding Newcastle United?

For many the obvious answer is yes. It’s not unnatural and certainly shouldn’t be frowned upon as it is just a fact of life, you are less likely to complain when you’re happy! But after two wins, where in particular Ben Arfa has been unplayable, we shouldn’t let it paint over the cracks that are still gaping wide.

Firstly, the amount of praise that has been drawn towards our 4-3-3 formation is truly hilarious.

Now I know I’m not the only fan that for over a year couldn’t get my head round why we stopped playing this formation in the first place but that’s irrelevant now. The key issue for me is that it has almost been by accident that we have stumbled upon our best team against Villa.

Now I don’t want to express how I’ve lost all faith in Pardew and how his constantly negativity has made me stop watching the likes of MOTD and SSN.  However, it is no coincidence that we play one of our best performances in the last year and we don’t have 4 of Pardew’s favourites, who are quite simply liabilities in the team.

The first of these is Steven Taylor.

Now I’m sure this will be controversial for many fans but Taylor is perhaps the biggest overrated player in the Newcastle squad. His sending off on the opening day was something I would expect for a 10 year old. While he may play with his heart on his sleeve I’m afraid it’s not enough. His positioning is abysmal, his ability to read the game and potential dangers is non-existent and his fitness is often desperate. People talk about Rooney being out of shape but look at Taylor next time he comes back for pre-season or an injury layoff and he is looks two stone overweight.

The second is Tiote.

Never in my life have I seen a player with such horrendous passing ability. Tiote can often get himself out of trouble with his pace and strength but it doesn’t happen enough. He resembles very much a bull in a china shop running around with no control or idea what he is doing. Now I blame the fans as much as Tiote for his constant intolerable 30 yard strikes which are often closer to the Strawberry than the goal. Yes he did score a great goal against Arsenal but I’m afraid it was one in a million.

The next is Jonas.

Now anyone who’s ever seen him play cannot fault his work ethic but he can’t cross, can’t pass and can’t tackle. Now this isn’t what you need in a team looking for a bit of creativity and inspiration on a weekly basis, never mind being our most played outfield player in the Pardew era.

Finally,  Shola…I don’t need to describe to you who is the biggest joke in football, it makes me angry just thinking that this guy has picked up a pay cheque for over 15 years. Now I’m not a big fan of Steve Harper but went to pay my tribute to him recently and thank him for 20 years. However, he played less than 200 games for us and Shola is close to 300, with probably another 5 years left and we wonder why we haven’t won anything! Roll on his testimonial eh?

The problem I have is one good weekend won’t change what is the inevitable carnage to come. Forget all the problems at boardroom level as we can’t do anything about that but unless Pardew has learnt his lessons and changed for the better, then the not so expected collapse and awful football will return. I’m not being negative for the sake of it, I’m just telling it how it is!

Keep Pardew’s awful four away and we have a chance for improvement!

New Hatem Ben Arfa inspired issue of The Mag out now, available from any north east newsagents, or order single copies & subscriptions online.



If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2021 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks