Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NUFC & AP - Better together

Back in September we all witnessed and the Scottish independence referendum and saw for weeks both the Yes and No campaigners cast their visions for a better Scotland.

As we know the No campaign we successful and the United Kingdom remained in tack. 

The tag line of the No campaign was 'Better together'  - When looking at Newcastle's resurgence over the last 5 weeks couldn't this tag line be applied to Newcastle United and AP?

After a terrible 2014 AP has finally found the right formula to get his team performing to a level the fans deserve. Don't get me wrong this purple patch of form does not forgive AP for the terrible run we have had this year, rather it shows that sometime patience is the key to success. 

Everything is clicking at SJP right now and whatever AP and his staff are doing is working. To look at our squad, at our starting 11's over the last few weeks we have no right to be 5th in the PL yet this is exactly where we are. Full credit must go to AP - he has made the changes - both tactically and personnel wise and he has got it spot on.

Newcastle United right now are a great example of Aristotle's ideology stating that "The whole is more than the sum of its parts." We have no superstars - just a bunch of good players working hard together towards a common goal.

Geordies are a realistic bunch and we know this good run will come to an end, but lets all just enjoy it while we can - like always continue to back the team, but lets also show AP some Geordie love.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Tiote: A pain in the Arsenal?

So by now i'm sure most NUFC have seen the image below of our midfield enforcer Cheick Tiote wearing a Arsenal away shirt while posing with a friend.


Gooner

After a quick look on Facebook & Twitter I was shocked to see the fans reaction. I feel anyone who thinks Tiote wearing an Arsenal shirt means he is 'disloyal', 'disrespectful' or "Trying to forcing a January move to Arsenal" are being far too naive. 

To expect our players to be just like us fans is unrealistic. They are employed by NUFC not passionate NUFC supporters. They grew up like we did supporting their local clubs. Arsenal are massive in Africa - chances are Tiote grew up a fan, and he might still be. Coloccini is a San Lorenzo fan, I bet Sissoko and Cabella will follow PSG or Monaco.

My point is as long as our players give 100% on the pitch and are professional then we shouldn't care about which teams shirt they wear in the spare time. No one can claim Tiote has not been fully committed to us when he is on the pitch - one of our best signings over recent years. 

When talking about Tiote and Arsenal I prefer to remember this picture.


Tiote screamer: 4-4


The bigger concern right now is getting Tiote back on the pitch...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

January Business

So we are only a weeks away from the opening of the January transfer window - a month of business which can make or break our season.

In an ideal word we will sign two players - a centre back and a striker. If this happens and we keep our squad together then we can have a strong second half of the season.

Over the last few years we have conducted a lot of January business, probably due to Mike Ashley loving a bargain and feeling he can get the best value possible. Recently we have bought the likes of Sissoko, Gouffran, and Cisse, while also sold Ba, Cabaye, and Andy Carroll. All these deal have had a big impact on our seasons.

In terms of this season I feel if we can bring in a forward who can make a immediate impact while helping the development of Perez and Armstrong when that would be a massive plus. I am thinking of someone along the lines of Andre Pierre Gignac - a fella who we have been linked with for years. He is having a great season at Marseille where he has bagged 10 goals in 13 games. He is in the last year of his contact so could be available for a knocked down price. Andre's only downfall is that he is 28 - way over the hill in the eyes of MA.

Another forward we have been linked with is Aleksandar Mitrovic who is at the opposite end of the spectrum than Gignac. He is 20 and has fired 23 goals in 47 games for Anderlecht since 2013. The young Serb has been linked to Zlatan Ibrahimovic - which is great for the young lad. Mitrovic's star is rising fast so now might be the time make that bid before the big boys get involved.

Let me suggest another player I would like to see come in a short term loan deal - Jermaine Defoe - goals, goals, goals - JD knows our league like the back of his hand and could fire the goals and also educate our youngsters.

We recently learned after a fans forum with the club that a centre half we lined up to replace Yanga-Mbiwa would left for Roma - I believe it was Toby Alderweireld. What a shame we couldn't get him over the line as I think Toby is quality. Anyways this leads me to believe the club are ready and willing to bring in a defender this January. Before I go any further let me just say that I have been impressed with the development of Paul Dummett, however to suggest he is ready to start at centre half is premature. He is a good young lad who will learn and grow. 

We need a top centre half - one to compete with Stevie Taylor for the right to partner Coloccini. Willo is not that man, and ever will be. He should be allowed to leave the club as he deserves regular football at a lower level. 

Finding a suitable defender is a little more tricky - who could we buy that is better than ST?  For me we need a physically imposing player to compliment the classy Coloccini and with this being the case lets rule out Nemanja Nastasic who does not have the attributes to play that role. My number one choice would be Ron Vlaar although we may be trumped by Man Utd on that deal. How about the young Kurt Zouma from Chelsea? We were linked with him before he arrived a Stamford bridge where he is yet to get a look in behind the impressive Terry, Cahill & Ivanovic. He could arrive on a loan deal. Looking further a field how about Bruno Martins Indi who started at the world cup for Holland. One player a really like is Winston Reid from West Ham - he is a no nonsense defender would is easily at home in the PL.

In terms of out going deal I would lose no sleep over Mike Williamson or Vernon Anita moving on. Anita is a tidy player would uses the ball well , but has just never adapted to the PL or been able to cope with the physical demand. He is now 5th choice behind Tiote, Colback, Sissoko, and Abeid. 

Our player most attractive player to the bib clubs will be Tim Krul, Cheik Tiote, and Mousa Sissoko - they all need to say. We also need to tie down the contracts of Sammy, and Ronaldo Aarons who are having breakthrough season.

Let me through one more suggestion out there. Let bring Andy Carroll home. I grew up having Alan Shearer lead the line and lead out team and would love another big Geordie taking the team forward. Yes he had struggled with injuries and has never set the world alight since he left but at the right price, on the right deal I'd have in a flash. Haway home bonnie lad.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Are we really fickle fans?

Who could have imagine that within the span of a month NUFC have won 5 games on the bounce, climbed to 8th in the league, recorded a famous cup with away at City. Even less would imagine that Alan Pardew would be nominated for Manager of the month! 

As they often say in football - you couldn't make this up. After our win against Liverpool the Sky sports cameras panned to the crowd where two lads were holding a Banner saying 'Alan Pardew - Back from the dead' - in reality it could have read ' NUFC back from the dead'

More than any other football club out there we have had to take the rough with the smooth - things have been really rough for the last few years under Ashley's rule, and recently with our team under Pardew's guidance. There cannot be a NUFC fan who did not think AP's time at United was up. At any other club in the land AP would have been fired - truth be told her would have been fired last season after our terrible end of the season. 

With all the doom and gloom over the past year I have take the decision to live in the moment and enjoy this good spell we are currently having. Things are great right now and no matter what my thoughts are about AP I am just going to enjoy my team winning. I an realistic to know it will not last, but long may it continue.

Does that make me fickle? I wanted AP out based purely on results and performances. In all honestly I am still not convinced that he is the best long term option for us, however he is currently getting it right so I will support him and the team. He takes plenty of stick when things go wrong so isn't it only fair he gets the credit when we win?

It really does seem AP can do no right in the eyes of some fans - they really have a personal problem with him. We lose and its all his fault, we win and its all down to the players, or just pure luck.

We have the right as fans to want change, we deserve better than what AP delivered last year - but there is also nothing wrong with our continued support of the team. 'Support the team, not the regime' has appeared on banners at St James recently. If the press wants to call us fickle now that we have seen an improvement in results then so be it. In reality the national press need to realise that we will always support Black & Whites no matter who manages from the dugout.

 I have always said that a Successful AP means a successful NUFC and ultimately isn't that what we all want?

Here for the long term?






Friday, October 31, 2014

Does Pardew know our strongest 11?

Usually when a manage is accused of not knowing his strongest 11 it is meant as an insult, as a challenge to his management skills. However even though I would suggest that AP right now does not know the strongest 11 players at NUFC, but I do not see this as a bad thing at all. 

The signing of Cabella, the re-emergence of Obertan, the development of Aarons, and Sammy has really given AP options in the wide midfield areas. Last season we were lacking that cutting edge with Gouffran and Sissoko playing wide, however the influx of pace and creativity has given us a sharper edge, plus we look at better side with Sissoko playing in the middle.

There are plenty of options for AP - something it could be argued he has never had during his time at St James. These options are somewhat surprising to many fans and even to our management staff i'm sure. If someone had suggested Obertan could be looking like out best attacking option they would be laughed at. Likewise with Sammy who has always lacked consistency, and the surprise package that Rolando Aarons has been.

The spine of our team remains consistent - when fit we will always start with Krul, Coloccini, Tiote, Sissoko, and Cisse - rightly so as these lads are our most talented and experienced players. 

For me they would be joined by the following to create our current strongest 11.

Krul

Janmatt
Coloccini
Taylor
Haidara

Sissoko
Tiote
Colback

Obertan
Cisse
Aarons

I'd love to see us start this team against Liverpool and really take the game to them using the pace and power we have in our forward options.

Nothing stays the same

Its been a busy for week few and I have been unable to posting an blog updates. So to catch up on everything here are my thoughts on everything NUFC.


- Pardew was a dead man walking 3 weeks ago, but after 3 good results he is starting to turn things around. Like almost every other NUFc fan I was slating Pardew, but I've always been fair and I am loving seeing AP turn the corner - I've said all along that nothing would please me more than for AP to be a successful. A successful AP means a successful NUFC


- A key factor in the turn around of form for NUFC has been the re-emergence of Obertan and the form of Sammy, and Rolando Aarons.. Pardew take alot of stick for the loss of form of players, the termed 'Pardewed' is something I hate. So it can only be fair to praise him when a player like Obertan comes back in from the wilderness and wins us games.


- Two big wins since Taylor replaced the injured Williamson - coincidence? Maybe. For me Williamson is not the level of player we need, Taylor is not fantastic either but is the best option to partner Coloccini. Taylors is faster, strong, and has the passion of a local lad.


- After out terrible start to the season how many fans would have expected us to pick up 4 points from away games at Swansea and Spurs? Not many. Sandwiching 3 points at home against Leicester and we can say we've had a quality run. Hopefully we can continue this tomorrow against Liverpool.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Its nothing personal Alan...

Putting all the personal feeling towards Pardew aside I have listed a number of damming facts about NUFC under Pardews reign.


Newcastle's 2014 Premier League record under A.Pardew: Played 25, Won 5, Drawn 4, Lost 16, Goal Difference -28.


5 wins from 26 games.

In 26 games we have scored only 19 goals. Of those 26 games we have lost 17.

9 points out of 81 since Boxing day in Premier league.


Lost 9 out of last 14 home games.


7 without a win worst Premier league record since our relegation season.


After 6 games in 2008/9 we had 4 points and were relegated. We have 3 from 6 so far this season. 


The last time NUFC won when losing at half time in the Premier League was Dec 2006.


Emmanuel Riviere has no goals and just one shot on target in 455 minutes of Premier league football this season. 


NUFC have scored just 1 PL goal in their last 11 hours & 15 minutes of action away from home - a Skrtel own goal 


Premier League record in 2014: LLWDLLLWWLWLLLLLLWLLDDLD.



It is nothing personal Alan - you are just not up to managing NUFC. We are not fickle fans, we do not have unrealistic expectations - the true facts show it is time for you to leave our club.