Alan Pardew has given an interview in The People today, and he has taken responsibility for the poor attacking performance of the side last Monday night at QPR.
Alan Pardew – it was my tactics on Monday night
It seems that the manager and the coaches have reviewed the 0-0 draw at QPR, and decided it was the tactics they had used, more than anything, that kept the team looking like they would never score, even if they had played all night at Loftus Road.
Newcastle fans are only too well aware of the club’s abject failure to bring in a top striker to replace Andy Carroll in the summer, but the team played really well yesterday at Villa Park, and it was again Leon Best who came through with a goal, his third of the season in just five appearances.
As for Monday night, Pardew agreed it didn’t look like Newcastle were ever going to score a goal:
“Even I was sitting on the sideline thinking that we couldn’t threaten their goal at Queens Park Rangers on Monday night.”
“But I genuinely believe that part of that was my set-up of my team and the tactics that we employed. I take responsibility for that.
“However, no one has seen Sylvain Marveaux yet and we are getting him up to speed. He is going to create goals for us. He is finding his feet in the team and he has done some great things.”
“But there have been other times where we think he could do better and we could get more out of him.” “Demba Ba has been on Ramadan and he is going to get better.”
“And the creative flair of Hatem Ben Arfa has not been around the team since I have been here.” “So to have Ben Arfa back and to have that option of adding a new look to our front line is going to be important.”
“I think Ben Arfa can play off a big striker. I think for me he is a No.10 and he wants to play there.”
It will be good to see more of Sylvain Marveaux, who again made a late sub appearance for the side yesterday, and of course it will be just great to have Ben Arfa back.
The two central midfielders had top games yesterday, and the defense as usual was solid enough, although they were at fault for Aston Villa’s goal, scored by Gabriel Agbonlahor after 13 minutes.
As we had expected, Ryan Taylor put in a solid performance at left back, after having a hard time of it on Monday night, and we also thought that Gabriel Obertan had his moments out on the right wing, but his final pass was often poor after good build up play from him.
But hopefully Gabriel will improve and become a good player for the side, but Yohan Cabaye looked a class act already in the middle of the park, and almost scored towards the end of the game to give Newcastle all three points.
And it was good that Cheick Tiote also had an excellent game, and hopefully the Ivorian is now back to his best form, after an average start to the season.
The Tiote – Cabaye partnership could be a big winner for Newcastle this season.
We wonder if Ben Arfa will start on Tuesday night at Nottingham Forest in the Carling Cup, but it does seem certain that Pardew will play him as a withdrawn striker, and that’s where he wants to play.
That should help Newcastle get more goals too, so perhaps things are looking up for Newcastle?
We hope so, and certainly it was a very good team performance from the lads yesterday.