Pardew Wants To See Improvement In Set Plays

Alan Pardew has today praised the efforts in the last few games, of Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands, as they have stepped in for the injured Shola Ameobi and the departed Andy Carroll.

Leon Best – after scoring with great header at Birmingham

It’s likely that Alan will start the same side at home to Bolton on Saturday, that rather easily beat Birmingham away last Tuesday night, and we fully expect Best and Lovenkrands to start that game, even though Shola Ameobi should be fit enough to play in his protective mask this Saturday.

Both lads scored early in each half last Tuesday evening and both goals were excellent opportunist efforts from the two strikers.

Manager Alan Pardew seems to be very pleased with the way Peter and Leon have gone about the business, and they have certainly worked their socks off for the side in the last couple of games.

Alan Pardew spoke to the Evening Chronicle today:

“You can’t argue with their work-rate – it has been phenomenal.” “That’s all I can ask for as a manager.”

“In some games there haven’t been too many chances created for them. Perhaps at times they haven’t created one or two for themselves. But they work hard.”

“If they keep on doing that the moments will happen in front of goal.” “That’s what we want at home.”

“You look at the West Ham game when we won 5-0 and the moments happened. They benefited from some great service on the night.”

“They just have to stay strong and, as a manager, you have to stay patient with strikers. And you have to stay patient with the team.”

Pardew also believes that an area of improvement for Newcastle is with their set plays,  where most of their goals have come from this season.

But the two goals last week were from open play on the left, with Argentine Jonas Gutierrez producing two excellent crosses to lay on the chances for the strikers.

Pardew added:

“We haven’t been at our best from set plays, even though the balls have been coming in. It’s an area we can improve on.”

“We’ve got most of our goals from set plays this season, so it’s something we have to get back to doing well in.”

With Pardew having around 11 days to prepare the team for the home game against Bolton Wanderers come Saturday, you have to think they have practiced those set play again and again …. and again.

And with Bolton just one point above Newcastle,  it’s important for the lads to get all 3 points on Saturday, which will take the side up to at least 8th position in the league come Saturday evening.

In the last two seasons 7th position has got that team into the Europa League (Liverpool last season and Fulham in the previous season), so it’s a definite possibility if Newcastle can keep up their decent form of this year.

But of course we’ll be happy enough just to stay in Premier League, but at least the Europa league is something big to strive for through the end of this season.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

51 comments so far

  • king123

    Feb 21, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #1


  • z4

    Feb 21, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #2


  • mattnufc

    Feb 21, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #3


  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 21, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #4

    A worrisome like of creativity from set plays. Most teams have several variations on corners. We lump it into the middle even against teams with massive defenders. What about short corners? Would like to know our strike rate from corners versus other teams. Is there any statistical web site available which gives this kind of information?

  • GeordieGerman

    Feb 21, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #5

    mattnufc, just can’t make people happy. When there was nowt coming out of the club people were moaning. Now that the manager is talking people are moaning. Scratching head.

  • carrollsinger

    Feb 21, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #6

    If we win our next 2 home games Europe is possible we have alot of winnerble games coming up Bolton everton wolves brom all home

  • Stuart

    Feb 21, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #7


    What about the corner set play where collocini runs in the box late, totally unmarked and gets a free header/shot?

  • BiffBaffBoff

    Feb 21, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #8

    GeordieTwo – We have variation in our corners, look at sunderland game – Collocini blocked off their player, allowed ameobi to get a free header to set up Nolan for his hat trick and more recently we’ve been pulling all of our players towards their goal making the edge of their area empty allowing Collocini to make the late run and hes been so unlucky with those runs. The first time he hit the bar (forgot who it was against?) and the second time vs Blackburn we hit a magnificent volley but Robinson saved it.

  • GeordieGerman

    Feb 21, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #10

    Stuart, that was some effin corner. We won’t be able to try it again though. At least not for awhile.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 21, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #11

    Stuart, yes I remember that but in the last 4 or 5 games have we tried anything novel? I’m trying to remember, maybe there was one pass from the corner to outside the box, but the Fulham game was an example of our lack of creativity. Hangeland just ate up almost all of the crosses even though most of them were decent efforts from Joey. I would just like to see a few more variations each game if we get a decent number of set pieces.

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Feb 21, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #12

    We’ve scored most of our goals from set plays this season. Especially when Carroll was here.

  • nightfa11

    Feb 21, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #13

    the best cheap replacement for carroll would have to be Tim Matavz from groningen..

    i’m a slovenina so i know a lot about this kid..last year he was groningens top scorer with 13 goals..this year he already have 15 to his name.. and also 3 fro national team (he played 5 matches i think for slovenia)..

    he’s only 21 y. o…big, good with his head & can score with foot too 😉 ;D gut he’d need to gain some weight for EPL (im sure this can be fixed)

    anyway..i didnt mention him before cos he was supposed to sign for napoli this winter – there was verbal agreement, but then napoli offered less money so he’s still up for grabs..

    oh..groningen want 7 mio euros for him – trust me..he’s worth more then 7..

    ashely..sign this guy! =)

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Feb 21, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #14

    Geordie Two Fulham was a bad game but the Arsenal 2nd half, Sh*teland, Spurs and Birmingham games we played really well

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 21, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #15

    Also Stuart and others, do any of you know if we have an official salary cap? I can’t find any official statement that specifies this. If there is one I fear we will lose Jose in the summer. Contracts are worthless now, look how Rooney held ManU up for ransom and they paid whereas we wouldn’t give in and give Carroll yet another contract.

  • nightfa11

    Feb 21, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #16
  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 21, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #17

    Geordiedoonsooth yes I remember out set plays with Carroll, but he was a challenge to any defender with his height and power but I’m thinking about our present lineup. Maybe we could use Jose more often for longer set pieces. He has a powerful shot and it could free Joey up for a pass instead of a direct strike.

  • gorskino10

    Feb 21, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #18


    I prefer from Erdivisie Bjorn Vleminckx, but Tim is a good player good thing about the league is players from lower teams like Gronigan/NEC you can get some great talent (like Tiote) for reasonable prices and most players from Holland or Erdivisie adapt well over here.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Feb 21, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #19

    We do have variations to our corners. Although I have to agree we hardly ever play a short ground ball. I prefer to lump it in where it hurts for corners and hope for a Newcastle player to knock it in. I have noticed that when Barton raises one hand in the air it was for a normal ball in the centre of the 6 yard box but when he raises both hands as he’s takin it he sends it near post. We also have the decoy move and the Colo sprint in the area.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 21, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #20

    I hope other teams aren’t as observant as you JP. I was just hoping to spur some thought about our set pieces. I agree we are not totally hopeless but good teams constantly try new approaches so I hope that is what Pardew will do. We are begining to let Jose take a bigger role in the team now as he should with his pace and power. His runs really unsettle teams now and I think he could be more useful on free kicks as well. All the best!

  • free giveaways

    Feb 21, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #21

    I know he’s a bit older than the players we are trying to sign and but I think this guy would be fantastic alongside Collo.

  • alip123

    Feb 21, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #22

    nightfa11 – he’s agreed to join Napoli in the summer

  • gorskino10

    Feb 21, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #23

    he he hasnt Alip123 it was agreed in prinicple but Napoli have kinda pulled out but still tracking him.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Feb 21, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    Comment #24

    Williamson has been one of the bargains of the season. What a great buy by Hoots. Another that is now proving his worth is Best, another good Pardew signing. Both are better players now for their involvement with the first team in the Premiership this season.

    Ed – I have mentioned it many times before but I have always said that S.Taylor at RB would make our defense even stronger. I know Simpson has been playing well and improving rapidly but Taylor should be our first choice RB and if Williamson or Coloccini have an off day or get injured only then will I move S.Taylor to CB and Simpson back at RB. This way Simpson will push even harder to improve his game and get a starting spot ahead of S.Taylor. The times Saylor has has played there he has looked very strong and exciting when going forward. He’s not a bad crosser of the ball either.

    ——————- Best —– Ranger —————-

    ——————– Nolan or Ireland —————–

    Ben Arfa ———————————- Barton


    Enrique —– Colo —– Willo —– S.Taylor

    ———————– Harper ————————

    Subs: Forster or Krul , Raylor , Simpson , Gosling , Gutierrez, Loven, Ameobi (hopefully replaced by a quality striker that’s not injury prone!)


    The Bench needs beefing up a bit. Just more depth in quality and we’re sorted! 😀

    I can’t wait to see that team out. What do you guys think??

  • Thump

    Feb 21, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Comment #25

    I’d bring Milito here any day tbh. Great player and he’s got bucketloads of experience. Come the summer, Sol will have gone, S. Taylor will probably be moving to Arsenal again and Kadar will, once again, not get a sniff of a game – bring him in.

    I’ve just started writing for clean sheets all round… bloody hell is it difficult to put a positive spin on this club 🙁

  • Sinner

    Feb 21, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #26

    nightfa11 // Feb 21, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    Mevlüt Erdinç=Better option. 😉
    Tim Matavz is a good prospect but he is unproven Premier league.
    And yeah i know Erdinç is also unproven,but at such a young age but being able to achieve player of the year for Paris St-Germain is something to be proud.
    Im sure he would be around the 8m.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Feb 21, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #27

    * I meant Best being another good ‘Hoots’ signing.

  • nightfa11

    Feb 21, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    Comment #28

    Sinner, gorskino10 & alip123

    yes those options are good as well, i’m just saying..if carroll is 35 mio, matavz is 20 easely =)

    alpin..i heard the clubs made an agreement for napoli to sign him in january & loan him back to groningen until the end of the season.. then for summer transfer..& then napoli offered less then they said they will & i read a quote on friday from groningen manager (in slovenian sports magazine) & he said that the deal fell through cos of the money & that he wants matavz to lead is front line for the next few seasons..
    so i think that the right offer could bring him here..

  • Alinufc

    Feb 21, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    Comment #29

    could this be pardew taking a cheap shot at Barton??? cos he didnt seem happy the other day at Bartons statement bout “monkeys for peanuts”??
    I think pardew is totally right in the matter tho :/

  • BiffBaffBoff

    Feb 21, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Comment #30

    Thump – You need a positive spin on this club – How about that we’re 8 points clear of the relegation zone, 5th highest goal scorers, best goal difference outside the top 5 and currently in with a fighting chance of a European place – all in our FIRST season since promotion, in a season where everyone predicted us to finish 20th, 19th or 18th. I’m sure if Blackpool or WBA were in our position everyone would be mentioning how great they are…

    Oh did i mention the fantastic team spirit in the squad?

    Oh did i mention we THUMPed (Get it?) our local rivals 5-1?

  • BiffBaffBoff

    Feb 21, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    Comment #31

    Alinufc – Nope its not a dig at Barton, read the quote again, he said the balls have been going in (ie the delivery has been good).

  • Alinufc

    Feb 21, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    Comment #32

    oh thanks 😛 altho admittedly bartons deliveries from free kicks havnt seemed as good as before, altho not bad still :/ just alot of long balls

  • Robby Bobson

    Feb 21, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #33

    I like the one player hide behind the other….when Carroll/Ameobi always hid behind Colocinni….or Colo doing some blocking off.

    Watch Nolans 3rd goal vs Sunderland….fantastic set play with Colo blocking sholas marker off and shola getting a free heaer at front post.

    Our main target is Williamson who doesnt shoot at goal but more heads it down into the mixer, so I think abit more sophistication and the lieks of Best and Williamson can still do some smart set playes, with nolan winding everyone up in the six yard box.

  • gorskino10

    Feb 21, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    Comment #34

    But i know why Barton said that he has worries about us spending the money which Pardew is trying to cover it up by saying we dont need to spend it, he knows deep down he wont get even 50% of that fee we got for Judas, what ammont do you reckon we will spend? my thinking is about £12/14 Million MAX, also how long will it be before Pardew blames the “Window” like he did in Jan and also say “Cause they know we have 35 Million it hard to find anyone without inflated prices blah blah blah” i just hope we use the money wisely take notes from the top scouts and get players who can adapt QUICK to the EPL we need proven goal scorer or 2 and a winger and cm if we get rid of Smith (which i prey for)
    This is how the window MAY pan out.

    Marvoeux – FREE
    Max Gradel – Trade Smith and a lil bit of cash
    Elmander – FREE (altho he better be backup isnt good enough for starter his goal ratio is shocking)
    Taiwo – FREE
    Wickham – £12 Million

    Then if we need another playmaker i reckon Juan Albin who wud be cheap like £2.5 Mill MAX.

  • dave 1961

    Feb 21, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Comment #35

    For all those who constantly moan about negative posting, my opinion on this is we need these to stop us having a love affair with our imaginations, to help us keep our feet on the ground but most of all to point in the direction of areas we need to improve, negativity can be a prevention, for delusion, this season once we have hit 45 points then we go on to the next goal to finish as high as we can in the league, this then gives us our target for next season i.e. to finish as high or greater. If we are in Europe then great, we prepare for this in the summer; our targets should be constant improvement. This is Pardews last big job in football I could just see him do the impossible. But one job at a time and I would guess I’m now 51-49 for and against him, I have my season ticket renewal pack sitting on top of the shredder, and can’t decide if I go with my heart or my head. but I have done a lot of searching and I can’t find anyone showing an interest, but with all the unrest we see in the middle east we could get a few of the deposed family’s looking for new empires to rule over, and could spark an interest in the next few weeks. I do read the financial papers and would expect to see hints of interest. If I spot anything of interest I will post it but I am not in a position of trust anywhere so it would just be guesswork. I just feel that Ashley is damaged goods and is to much a figure of ridicule & division. one thing I do know is there is never a Wright or wrong time to do well, and some good post tonight with less flaming of opinions of others keep it up as we all want the same, that the thing we have in common. So have a good night & I’m sure one day we will remember what we did when we were c**p.

  • G

    Feb 21, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    Comment #36

    Some fair points there dave1961. Do keep us informed, even guesswork is good, after all, that’s what blogging is all about, opinion, and guesswork? Nightfa11, Tim Matavz’s name rang a bell, isn’t that the bloke the Mail linked us with last Sept / Oct time? Still can’t remember seeing the guy play like.

  • baro

    Feb 21, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    Comment #37

    Right now most of our 1st team players like Best, Lovenkrands, Williamson, and some more players that are key to our squad at the moment were all 3rd or 4th in line for their spot on the lineup. But, now they have stuck with us waited for their turn and look at them. JUST AMAZING! Each cost less than about a 1million. A great deal. We have a bunch of players that have passion for the game of football. There is no money wanting people currently on the team. Its all about passion in Newcastle. That is what is beautiful about this club. Everybody wants to show what they can do as a team in front of 52,000 Geordies. Its unbelievable!

  • supermacnumber9

    Feb 21, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    Comment #38

    good to read all these +ve thoughts
    not long ago most fans said we would “do a Leeds”
    now Leeds are praying they can “do a newcastle”!
    tbh I’d be happy to end were we are now – with a realy good base to build on

  • supermacnumber9

    Feb 21, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    Comment #39

    well said baro – I agree 100%

  • Oba

    Feb 21, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    Comment #40

    £12m on Wickham!?!?

    You have to be kidding me.


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