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I do, which is why I made it. I just think if you make a snide remark about a person/community you should be ready to take one back as well. Thats never the case though is it. No disrespect meant.

 

I made no snide remark. Suggesting Islam is a heterogeneous community is highly racist and wrong. Just ask this Shia's in Pakistan murdered by the Taliban last week.

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I made no snide remark. Suggesting Islam is a heterogeneous community is highly racist and wrong. Just ask this Shia's in Pakistan murdered by the Taliban last week.

 

Ok.

 

Taliban eh? :lol: I wonder what we havent blamed on them yet. The fact is mate, even the supposed cultured parties that have the backing of the Western world for promoting "democracy" have fully armed militant wings that make the Taliban look like boy scouts. They are the ones responsible for a large portion of the violence in the major cities such as Karachi.

 

Anyway no point getting into another Taliban debate, especially in this forum. But the sooner people realise they have fuck all to do with religion the better.

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From Sky. So stats do support Pards' 'excuses' to an extent

 

 

Everyone loves a strike partnership. Number 10s are one thing but the thought of two out-and-out strikers battering defences is irresistible. Just think of the maths. If you have two forwards each capable of scoring 30 goals a season then you'll be fine won't you? But it's clear the equation is not that simple.

 

At Newcastle the fact that Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse are both from Senegal appeared to add its own lustre to the prospect of the pairing. But the statistics are emphatic. Demba Ba scored 15 in 19 before the arrival of his compatriot. After scoring in Cisse's debut game, Ba failed to find the net in the next 14 matches.

 

 

When the goals did start flowing again for the former West Ham man, somebody turned the tap off at chez Cisse. The January signing from Freiburg scored 13 in first 12 games for the Magpies but managed just one fortunate goal in the next dozen.

 

To an extent there is no mystery here. Ba was shifted out wide shortly after Cisse's arrival and could not be expected to produce the same goal return from his new position. "How could you put your best striker with full confidence on the left wing?" came the rhetoric from Alex Gontran, Ba's agent.

 

"The choice to put Demba on the left last season was good for the club, because Cisse scored 13 goals. But there was a lack of recognition for Demba. It is more difficult to play well when you don't have the confidence of your staff."

 

Ba's ego had been pricked but the rumoured summer exit did not emerge. And manager Alan Pardewappears to have hoped the break would somehow solve the riddle when the new season began in August. Under pressure to accommodate his star names, the perception is that Pardew's solution has been to switch to a 4-4-2 formation.

 

 

 

Not that the manager himself sees it that way. "We have not changed the system," he told reporters. "Demba played many games defensively out there but then Demba would join him as a pair during the games. I don't think that's it. I think Cheick has had this disjointed season. Cabaye has a groin problem and that has meant he has not been at full capacity, so that's been a big thing behind Cisse.

 

"Last year, we coped no problem with having two in midfield. We could play two strikers. Sometimes we asked one of the strikers to defend the full-back when the opposition had possession. We coped with three central midfielders with Cheick and Cabaye. And quite rightly because they are world-class players. This year though, the midfield is an area where we haven't controlled it."

 

Perhaps mindful of Ba's discontent, Pardew has occasionally asked Cisse to drift to the right flank in much the same manner as his countryman was asked to occupy the left wing towards the end of last season. In the defeat to Manchester United in October, Cisse received the ball 19 times and only one of those occurrences was on the left side of the pitch - that was the kick-off. It has seldom been an authentic double act.

 

As for the midfield issue, there is some evidence to support Pardew's praise of his key duo. Although different in style, Tiote and Cabaye were among the top 10 midfielders in the Premier League for tackles and interceptions last season. Whatever the nuances regarding the positioning of Hatem Ben Arfa and Ba, there is a persuasive case that the midfield pair were doing the defensive work of three players.

 

 

Tackles/Interceptions (midfielders) - PL 2011/12

Player Name Team Number per game

Lee Cattermole Sunderland 7.0

Scott Parker Tottenham 6.8

Alejandro Faurlin QPR 6.8

Yohan Cabaye Newcastle 6.0

Youssouf Mulumbu WBA 5.8

Stiliyan Petrov Aston Villa 5.8

Sandro Tottenham 5.6

Michael Carrick Man Utd 5.4

Cheick Tiote Newcastle 5.3

Joe Allen Swansea 5.2

 

The front six lined up together as normal for the opening weekend triumph over Tottenham but since then Tiote and Cabaye have started just two Premier League games alongside each other - the home defeat to Manchester United and the Wear-Tyne derby in which the Ivory Coast man was sent off inside half an hour. With the Frenchman ruled out until February, they won't be reunited any time soon.

 

 

 

Newcastle have been unable to dominate the midfield and, increasingly, that has brought with it the temptation to bypass it instead. While the Magpies were unremarkable last season in terms of the amount of long balls played from the back, this campaign they top the table when it comes to the long stuff. Only West Ham, Stoke, Norwich and Reading have played fewer short passes.

 

In summary, Pardew has a point when he claims that he hasn't made dramatic tactical changes to Newcastle's formation this season. The difference in fortunes has been accentuated by the loss of key personnel. Where the manager has surely erred is in ignoring the evidence of the back end of last season that the system did not bring the best out of his players. Ba's struggles had indicated that it was never more than a fudge.

 

There were solutions available in the summer. Newcastle could have invested in a quality player who could cut in from wide positions, perhaps by selling one of their highly-prized strikers. He could even have opted to rotate his star forwards rather than the unhappy arrangement of rotating their wide duties. But without Cabaye and Tiote helping make sense of this attacking compromise, the Magpies look to be a team in regression.

 

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  • 4 months later...

I'm just going to reignite this topic as I was slammed for posting it late last year. I'm at the point where i just don't care anymore but interested to know what you think of Pardew's latest excuses as to the performances. I've heard some interviews and its just baffling to me. He never blames himself.

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Pardew has always been happy to take criticism on the chin. In addition to doing it this week he's pointed the blame at himselflot's of other times too...

 

 

After the Spurs 5 nowt last season...

 

 

 

 

and after the Wigan 4 nowt last year...

 

 

After the Reading game in January....

 

 

The buck always stops with him, but if he's never allowed to discuss the other factors that might have contributed to a loss then we're doomed to repeat them.

 

If he never said a word about the lack of squad depth or the impact of europe on having to play our championship quality back ups then people would accuse him of being an Ashley puppet, not willing to voice the problems that are blatantly clear to everyone, for fear of angering his paymaster.

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Last year, last year and January. What about the last 4 month when he has made arguably his worst decisions since he started at the club?

 

Regardless, apologies mean nowt if you keep making the same mistakes. This is the bloke who has played Shola and Sissoko on the right wing this season

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He begrudgingly slipped that in tbf. Last week he was complaining of Europe, injuries and fans being mean and nasty

 

Are you suggesting that the European campaign and missing Cabaye, Tiote, Krul, Coloccini and Ben Arfa for long spells due to injury isn't a valid reason for us dropping points?

 

If Van Persie, Carrick and De Gea had been missing from Man Utd's team for long spells, they may well have dropped a similar number of points to us.

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Last year, last year and January. What about the last 4 month when he has made arguably his worst decisions since he started at the club?

 

Regardless, apologies mean nowt if you keep making the same mistakes. This is the bloke who has played Shola and Sissoko on the right wing this season

 

Thats a fair enough claim, but one that needs a bit more looking at. If we were playing 433, who played in front of them on the right channel of the front 3?.....if we were playing whats termed 4231, isnt that just the defensive fall-back of a 433?....i.e. its a front 3 when we're attacking. So for me, theyve been playing on either side of a centre forward when we attack, and tried to drop back when defending. They haven't been picked as or played as, in any sense of the word, "wingers". The width should be provided by a combination of overlaps by the fullback and one of the nominal midfielders. Also it has to be pointed out that Shearer was the best centre forward of his generation and had no problem with getting wide, I also saw Karim Benzema do it last night after he came on. Centre forwards crossing (or attempting to cross) into the box happens all the time.

 

Sissoko has by all accounts been playing out of posistion all season since he signed. That may well be the case, but I can see why he's mostly being asked to play in behind Cisse, sort of as the first out ball of a counter attack. He usually beats his marker with ease. Its what happens after that is the problem. The pitch should open up for runners after that but too often theyre not there, which leads him to hang on to the ball too long, then lose it. Lots of attacks have broken down like this. I really dont think we'd be playing like that if Demba hadn't been sold. If we accept he wanted to leave, then either the right personnel shouldve been brought in to support Cisse correctly, i.e Sissoko wasnt the player for that posistion, or we shouldve signed a replacement for Demba. Out goal difference as we speak is worse than at any time since we came into the premier league. On reflection letting Demba go was a huge fuckin mistake.

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Was it? What options did we have, how could we have kept him? As for replacing him, who with in January? It all goes back to the summer and the fault of the board and their yes man.

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Apparently he was "only" on £20k a week basic here. Chelsea doubled that. We could afford that.

 

He was also on £20k for appearances, again Chelsea doubled it, which we could have done too.

 

Then he got a £2m loyalty bonus FROM US when the departure clause was triggered. We could have paid him that bonus to stay.

 

In total, if he played every game...for (say) 5 years under the new contract, the total cost would have been £22m.

 

To get a striker guaranteed to score as much as him you'd have to pay that before wages tbh.

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Was it? What options did we have, how could we have kept him? As for replacing him, who with in January? It all goes back to the summer and the fault of the board and their yes man.

Well am not sure about any of it.....was it the plan to play with one actual striker after Demba left?....if so its pretty much failed, perhaps because the rest of the recruitment in January was possibly of the "who can we get cheap now?" variety. Maybe missing out on Remy polaxed an effective front 3, I dont know. But Sissoko hasn't really worked up there either, but perhaps PArdew had little option but to play him there if we were going with Cisse on his own. Which, by common consent, is the best posistion for him rather than in a 442.

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Thats a fair enough claim, but one that needs a bit more looking at. If we were playing 433, who played in front of them on the right channel of the front 3?.....if we were playing whats termed 4231, isnt that just the defensive fall-back of a 433?....i.e. its a front 3 when we're attacking. So for me, theyve been playing on either side of a centre forward when we attack, and tried to drop back when defending. They haven't been picked as or played as, in any sense of the word, "wingers". The width should be provided by a combination of overlaps by the fullback and one of the nominal midfielders. Also it has to be pointed out that Shearer was the best centre forward of his generation and had no problem with getting wide, I also saw Karim Benzema do it last night after he came on. Centre forwards crossing (or attempting to cross) into the box happens all the time.

 

Sissoko has by all accounts been playing out of posistion all season since he signed. That may well be the case, but I can see why he's mostly being asked to play in behind Cisse, sort of as the first out ball of a counter attack. He usually beats his marker with ease. Its what happens after that is the problem. The pitch should open up for runners after that but too often theyre not there, which leads him to hang on to the ball too long, then lose it. Lots of attacks have broken down like this. I really dont think we'd be playing like that if Demba hadn't been sold. If we accept he wanted to leave, then either the right personnel shouldve been brought in to support Cisse correctly, i.e Sissoko wasnt the player for that posistion, or we shouldve signed a replacement for Demba. Out goal difference as we speak is worse than at any time since we came into the premier league. On reflection letting Demba go was a huge fuckin mistake.

 

Spot on about Sossoko to a tee.

We didn't "let" Demba go. We had no choice given the deal negotiated to get him here in the first place.

Was Remy not Dembas replacement? Just a shame player sold us out at the 24th hour after months of spadework.

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