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Pardew’s mate – ‘Young players lucky because he gives them a chance’…but is it true?

6 years ago

Goalkeeping coach and big mate mate of the manager, Andy Woodman, says that we are all very lucky because Alan Pardew ‘plays young footballers’.

Woodman was referring to Jak Alnwick getting his chance now in goal and about Newcastle’s young players in general.

So is Andy Woodman right?

This is what he had to say;

“He (Jak Alnwick) is like a lot of young English players, bags of talent and good character but it is all about getting the chance and as a goalkeeper, it is even harder to be given that chance.

‘We are very lucky here at Newcastle to have a manager who plays young footballers.”

However, isn’t the case of Jak Alnwick simply proving the point that Alan Pardew doesn’t, as a rule, give young players much of a chance, if at all?

If it hadn’t been for both Krul and Elliot being injured, do you honestly think that we would ever have seen Jak Alnwick in the first team?

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Yes young players have had their chance this season but just like the case of Jak Alnwick, is it not also the case that Alan Pardew has been forced into it by a combination of injuries and dismal long-term form of players such as Anita and Gouffran?

Last season (2013/14), Massadio Haidara was the only player under the age of 22 who got a game in the Premier League for Newcastle, even then he only made three league starts. Adam Armstrong, Rolando Aarons, Sammy Ameobi and so on, didn’t get a single start between them in the league while soon to be out of contract players like Gosling and Shola were given matches – crazy.

2012/13 – The only young players that started in the Premier League were Haidara (2), Bigirimana (3), Sammy (1), Ferguson (4) and once again that was mainly desperation as injuries and fear of relegation led Pardew to try something different instead of the failing established players. Even then it was only 10 PL starts between the younger players. Davide Santon also played of course but as a big money buy you are hardly going to be classing him as a typical young player coming through the ranks.

2011/12 – Once again it is a dispiriting story, with only Sammy Ameobi(1) and Haris Vuckic (2) making the Premier League starting 11 for Newcastle.

Alternatively, look at what Alan Pardew picked for the opening game of this season, surely what he saw as his best eleven apart from the likes of the injured De Jong, Santon and Ryan Taylor.

The ages (at the time of the match) are in brackets of the players who faced Manchester City at St.James’ Park;

Krul (26)

Janmaat (25)

Williamson (30)

Coloccini (32)

Dummett (22)

Colback (24)

Anita (25)

Sissoko (25)

Cabella (24)

Gouffran (28)

Riviere (24)

Paul Dummett the youngest at 22 and indeed the only player not to have been brought in from another club.

Newcastle have got some great young players but I just can’t see how you can be giving Alan Pardew the credit for them doing well this season.

Surely when you look at what has happened in the previous years and take in the overall picture, you have to think that the Newcastle manager has been holding our young talent back.

I am over the moon that due to circumstances the young talent have been strutting their stuff but it is they who deserve all the praise, rather than being a case of thanking their lucky stars that they have got.Alan Pardew.


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