The situation facing Alan Pardew at Newcastle is not unlike that which greeted Graeme Souness, when he replaced Sir Bobby Robson just over six years ago.
Alan Pardew – will play attractive football
Pardew knows he was an unpopular choice to replace Chris Hughton, just as Graeme was an unpopular choice to replace Bobby, but Alan seems to have started his career at Newcastle saying all the right things.
We’ll have to wait and see if the Newcastle fans will ever take to Alan, because they never really took to Graeme at all, and the dour Scot lasted only a short 16 months in the job.
Pardew seems to have made a big effort to quickly learn all about the Tyneside club’s history, and he knows he’s got to take his chance quickly, in the biggest job he’ll ever have in football.
And Alan has again come out and said he will play attractive open football:
“If I didn’t do that I’d be doing the club a disservice,” “But you need to win games. I need to do my most important work on the training ground but that work needs to reflect the history of the club.”
“The way we play needs to represent Newcastle in the manner that it should be.” “The crowd wants the Newcastle team to play a brand of football to get them on their feet.”
“But that ain’t going to happen all the time. I’d love a few 1-0 wins, there’s nothing would give me more pleasure.”
“If we can play a game where we retain possession enough to hurt the opposition, rather than not hurting them or keeping turning the ball over, then somewhere in there is my style.”
One area that Alan will know he needs to improve is the Newcastle defense.
As usual, the facts tell the story, and we’ve scored 27 goals but have conceded 26, and that’s too many.
Newcastle have only 3 clean sheets this season in the 17 league games, with those coming against Aston Villa, Everton and Fulham, and we need a lot more of those as the season progresses.
The fact that Coloccini and Williamson are again available after suspension will certainly help – and we hope that Steven Taylor, who has looked solid in the last three games, will sign his new contract and stay on Tyneside.
If he doesn’t Alan has already said he will need to bring in a replacement in January – David Wheater of Middlesbrough perhaps?
And Newcastle’s players have been given a couple of days off, after the Birmingham game was cancelled, since the next game is on Sunday at home to Manchester City, who take on Everton this afternoon at Eastlands, and with a win will be top of the league by Christmas.
At least one of our readers is saying a number of the Newcastle players are now in Dublin for their Christmas celebrations – and if that’s true keep Joey away from any alcohol – please.
Let’s hope Man City can win this afternoon and go top of the table, and then we’ll bring them right down to earth next Sunday afternoon, which will be an important game for both Newcastle United and Alan Pardew, and starts a run of 4 games in a short 10 days.
Come to think of it, it’s been a while since we’ve beaten the Premier League leaders.