Newcastle’s defensive record at the moment is the best of all the 92 football league clubs.
Alan Pardew – showing excellent man-management skills
Newcastle have conceded just three league goals in their six games and have restricted the opposition to just 18 shots on goal in those six games.
One other record the Newcastle defense has, is they have cleared off the goal-line more than any other team – and that’s five goal line clearances the lads have made.
And that may be why Alan Pardew is keen to keep an unchanged defense tomorrow, even when Italian International Davide Santon now seems ready to play at left back, since he was brought in to replace Jose Enrique.
And it also explains why goalkeeper Tim Krul and defenders Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini have also started every league game this season, and they have all been in good form, and there is also an excellent understanding between all five defenders.
This is what Alan Pardew said today:
“I don’t think any of us thought Ryan Taylor would be playing left-back for this period of games. But it just gives proof and hope to everyone else in the squad that if they play well, they stay in the team and he has played well. That unit has been the backbone for what we have done.”
That’s excellent man management by Alan Pardew, because it sends a message to all the players in the squad, that if they come in and play well then they will stay in the side, and Alan will pick the team based on who has played well, and not on who the player is.
And it also sends a good message to all the Newcastle youngsters, that with Alan Pardew, if you are good enough you are old enough, and that’s a little different from the way some past Newcastle managers have selected the side.
A player who has probably not fully received the accolades he deserves is Dutch International goalkeeper Tim Krul, who has shown excellent form for Newcastle in the six games he’s played this season, and of course the 23 year-old is still improving.
Alan talked about Tim Krul today:
“I’m pleased with him,” “We had a tough choice at the start of the season – a nice choice because we had three top goalies.” “He has followed it through with some really solid performances.”
Tim is on International duty for Holland following the game tomorrow, although it now looks like he’s the number two goalkeeper in the squad, behind 29 year-old Maarten Stekelenburg, who is now at Roma.