There’s Nothing Wrong With Playing 4-5-1 Away From Home

Alan Pardew blamed himself after he had played an attacking  4-4-2 formation against Spurs, who were in top form on Saturday and played brilliantly in that first half.

Alan Pardew – pensive on Saturday – we’re not surprised

In fact they were so good that they have probably bridged the gap with the two Manchester clubs, but it’s going to be sad for the Tottenham fans, if they lose Harry Redknapp to England after this season.

Harry is hardly going to turn down the chance the manage his country, but it may take England some money to pry him free from Spurs, and Tottenham have every right to get ample compensation for letting Harry go.

It should be interesting to see who Spurs appoint as their new manager if Redknapp does leave.

Alan Pardew took responsibility when he talked to nufcTV immediately after the game,  when he even looked a bit shell-shocked, but  took responsibility for the defeat.

In retrospect Alan would probably have played a 4-5-1 formation which some club like the two Manchester  clubs play most of the time.

Maybe we’ll do that when we visit the Emirates next month.

This is what Alan Pardew said today:

“We have two good strikers but they didn’t have a chance at Spurs.” “Papiss isn’t going to win you the game when you’re 2-0 down after five minutes.”

“We need to be able to cope with having two strikers.” “The Press and the fans have criticised us when we have played 4-5-1 at times this year.”

“Now they understand why.” “It was a game for us that we could lose.” “The unfortunate thing is the manner of it and the scoreline, because the goals against column isn’t looking so pretty.”

“That might be crucial in 13 games time. We will have to wait and see.”

After all, we didn’t expect to get anything out of the game on Saturday, and the only thing that was bad was the 5-0 scoreline and that did our goal difference no good at all, and that could be an extra point when the season ends in mid-May.

Playing 4-5-1 against the good teams away from home,  at least allows us to stay in the game, which we couldn’t do on Saturday.

And then if we are level with about 20 minutes to go,  there’s always a chance of winning the game, especially with Ba and Cisse in the side.

And we see that Mick McCarthy has been sacked by Wolves, after yesterday’s 5-1 humiliation to West Brom in the black country derby,  so we don’t know if Wolves will have a new manager a week on Saturday,  when we meet Wolves at St. James’ Park.

We’re not sure if that will be good or bad for Newcastle, but it’s a game we have to win at St. James’ Park, that’s for sure.

Comments welcome.

58 comments so far


    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #1

    theres not and theres nothing wrong with it at home neither if youve got the right people to do it

  • Beattie25

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #2

    There is nothing wrong with playing HBA, there is nothing wrong with dropping Simmo, there is nothing wrong with bringing Obertanor Ameobi on as an impact subs, there is nothing wrong with taking a gamble on a young CB rather than playing Perch there or the slug Willo, there is nothing wrong with putting Santon RB and Fergie LB for now, there is nothing wrong with a 3 man midfield with Guthrie, Tiote and Cabaye, there is nothing wrong with dropping underperforming Guti etc…

    But there is something wrong with the shit tactics and football and there will be someting wrong if it doesn’t change.

    Someone needs to tell Pardew that the English game has evolved from the 80’s & 90’s. Evey manager has to evolve tactically to keep up with the current footballing style.

    4-4-2 long ball every game makes me so fcuking angry.

    It wasn’t the better players that Tottenham had that lost us the game, it wasn’t the complete lack of quality we had, it was the tactics pure and simple.

    We could have held our own but Pardews arrogance and stubborness has done us again and again. Against Fulham I was frightened by the lack of passion, thought it may be a blip, but if we loose the passion in the dressing room we are done for. For me it has gone.

    Why is Ba backing Pardew? Cos he has lost the dressing room a little me thinks!

  • ilovetoon8788

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #3

    @Beattie25 // Feb 13, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    I remeber most of the press, journos and footballing pundits saying at the start of the season that it would be a struggle for NUFC. The have been correct. The only thing seperating us from Wolves, Blackburn, Bolton, Wigan and QPR? A top class keeper and great CF and a whole shit load of luck

    I wonder how long before they call the Pardew fans call you an undercover Mackem. It didn’t take that long for me. lol.

    I still can’t forget the 60mins at Bolton, playing Tennis. Made Allardyce’s newcastle look like Samba football.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #4


    Remember the yellow card for Santon when it should have been red towards the end of the first half? That was a warning to Pardew to stop his high line. Did he heed it? No. And we lost. It was there for all to see his tactical ineptness.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #5

    against fulham*

  • Beattie25

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #6

    If they call me a Mackam then fine, whilst I hate them inbred bastards they are going in the opposite direction to us, and that angers me more than anything.

    I have supported Newcastle for many years and I have seen some bad managers, tactics and football.

    But this is up there with some of the worst stuff I have ever seen.

    It’s Leauge 2 stuff sometimes. Like Morcambe taking on a Premiership side in the FA Cup week after week. Yeah it is good to have passion but your not going to get to the final without quality football.

    I said it 2 weeks ago, not only did the reserves need a cull but the first team too. Sub standard players getting the nod from a sub standard manager

  • John

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #7

    I often wonder why we never which Jonas to RM during games and Obertan/HBA to LM they both are more than capable of playing those posistions, it could be far more effective than the way its been working out of late, jst a thought Jonas has the making of a top LB has the height can run with the ball he spends most of his time denfending anyway (Plays RB/LB for argentina) so why not stick him in their and move santon RB and get Simpson out the door has fast as possible. Anyone?

  • pedro

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #8

    Yes it was a terrible performance and yes we shouldn’t have played 442 but I think its laughable that despite Ba and Simpson talking about their admiration of Pardew some people on this forum seem to have a better insight into the dressing room and say Pardew has lost the players!

  • check the toastie

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #9


    Agree pretty much with Beatties post @72 from last blog, think we may have been a little better than the credit hes given in some games, A MAJOR part of our performances going down hill is the lack of a combative CB or defence,

    No Mr Nasty since Saylor got injured, performances werent great even early in the season, but committment was clearly there, Saylor has to be given great credit for this. He is a huge miss. Tiote as never played consistently since Wigan injury, and we have still been outplayed by lesser teams with him and Cabaye playing, so anybody expecting us to roll over teams when he returns maybe surprised.

    The Key to me is Pardew needs to find some Balls and stop playing defensive wingers, Switch Santon over to RB and drop Simpson, bring Fergie into LB (ashley cole/baines/lahm are no physical giants) and we then have a bit more pace in the back 4. Arfa MUST play on one of the wings, in front of santon with licence to create. Ba and Cisse will then have a field day,

    Select midfield from Tiote/Guthrie/cabaye, personally i think we could actually get top four with this team and actually start playing some decent football,

    The Frustrating thing is we have the players now but everybody knows that Pardew doesnt have the stomach to take risks, sure as shit we need to score goals as our back four aint going to keep many clean sheets between now and the end of season.

    As for this Article, totally agree nothing wrong with 451 if you dont play 9 defensive players however pardew will, 451 can be attacking and we have the players to make it work, however no perch and no simpson please and Ben Arfa would be Nice, but unlikely.

  • mrmcgee

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #10

    Beattie and Mr Ironic (ilovetoon8788), shut the fcuk up…

    We are in no way, shape or form a match for spurs. Its only because weve done so well that we are so disappointed when things go wrong. However, we have been without Ba, Cabaye and mainly Tiote, so we havent had that midfield presence and ball playing ability, no disrespect to Guthrie, who has been terrific in my opinion.

    We are 6th and one point off Champions league football, with Cabaye and Tiote back in the squad, alongside our two Dembas… who wouldnt have taken that at the start of the season??

    Get the fcuk behind your club and stop your moaning you miserable cuhnts!


  • milk or cream

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #11

    pedro // Feb 13, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    its not insight of the dressing room

    its the fact of what we watch


    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #12

    Ba is only backing his manager because he has lost the dressing room? Every manager must of lost their dressing room then as I quite often read compliments from players about their managers

  • ilovetoon8788

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #13

    @mrmcgee // Feb 13, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Welcome to the we-are-1-point-away-from-fourth-we-are-6th-and-doing-great-we-dont-have-cabaye-and-tiote-in-midfield club.

    Another broken tape recorder.

  • check the toastie

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #14

    I believe over the years we have had worse managers, however they had worse players, i think that generally Pardew is now blessed with some great Attacking Talent, however he refuses to embrace decent football most the time, however i was boyed by the first half at Fulham, thought we were super,

    wow but since then i have no idea what has happened, think Pardew has lost his Bottle, Abeid was supposed to deputise for Tiote, then Perch turns up, oh my god, never be a midfielder as long as he has a hole in his bot.

  • Beattie25

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #15

    The high line is the most incredibly bizarre thin to come out of all of this.

    We are inviting a beating.

    I am sure Ashley has said to PArds ‘Make sure we don’t finish top 7 so we don’t have to pay out all those bonuses’.

    It doesn’t make sense. It’s like playing long ball when you have creative midfielders playing… oohhh wait…. yep he does that aswell.

    It’s like playing all out defense when with a 4-3-3, it is just tactical madness.

    The only player who can play a high line and is good enough is Santon. The other 3 are too slow to even consider it.

    Simmo has the wits of a lemming and the positioning of a roundabout in the middle of a motorway.

    Colo has nice hair and good positioning but the communicationskills of a foreign call centre.

    Willo has the turn of speed that only Stephen Hawking would be proud off.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #16

    Even with Cabaye and Tiote in midfield, we were dominated by bottom half teams for a huge part of games.

  • pedro

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #17

    so from what you have seen you can claim that Pardew has lost the dressing room…interesting. We all know that some of the performances have been below par but some of the people on here go so over the top.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #18

    And no. I don’t think for once Pardew has lost the dressing room. In fact i think everyone is supportive of the manager and its a good thing. Off the field, i think we are great team and has a great spirit.

    Its matters on the field….another matter entirely.

  • Beattie25

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #19

    Mr Maggee

    My responses are in no part akin to the fact we have done so well this season.

    In fact it is much the opposite.

    As for the lost dressing room. I am not a fly on the wall but it is only logical to think that football players are as tactically aware as the manager. If my manager at work kept on giving me bizarre instructions that made no logical sense and the my performance was suffering I would loose respect. Some of my colleuages may back him publically, but not me.

  • kaddi

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #20

    Till now he only speaks about his wrong tactics. His true test will be now. Lets c how he sets up the team with all the top players back except s.taylor.

  • Beattie25

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #21

    Ok I am trolling a little with the lost dressing room opinion but it is bizarre that a player has backed the manager when there was no call for it.

    Over the top I am sometimes but I am fed up and about to start work.

  • Beattie25

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #22

    Pards Out

    McCarthey in

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • mrmcgee

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #23

    @ ilovetoon

    maybe its like a broken record because its true..

    the league table doesnt lie!

    Dont get me wrong, i know weve been worse than sh!te at times, blackburn, fulham, norwich, but what did we expect at the start of our season?

    Yes you can look at our stats from the last 10 games and say weve shifted 17 goals, but you can also say that weve kept 5 clean sheets.

    I just prefer to look on the bright side and support my club.


    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #24

    The club just suffered a big defeat and people are calling for Pards head I consider that a reason for journos to be asking about how the squad feel towards Pardew

    Though I can understand a fed up reasoning

  • Cabaye04

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #25

    I think the formation we should have for the wolves game should be a 4312:
    simpson coloccini williamson santon
    guthrie cabaye
    hatem ben arfa
    cisse ba

  • gorgonzola

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #26

    “Here are the PL results this year:

    Arsenal (H) 0-0 – Held our own
    Mackems (A) 0-1 – Scraped a win
    Fulham (H) 2-1 – Lucky to win
    QPR (A) 0-0 – Should have been stuffed
    Villa (A) 1-1 – Held our own
    Blackburn (H) 3-1 – Easily beat a poor Blackburn side
    Wolves (A) 1-2 – Very lucky to win (wouldve been lucky to draw)
    Spurs (H) 2-2 – Held our own but slightly fortuitous
    Wigan (H) 1-0 – Poor performance lucky to win
    Stoke (A) 1-3 – Great showing against poor Stoke team
    Everton (H) 2-1 – Very hard to watch at times
    Man City (A) 3-1 – Outclassed but gave a good account
    Man Utd (A) 1-1 – Outclassed, hammered but held on
    Chelsea (H) 0-3 – Matched Chelsea and unlucky to loose
    Norwich (A) 4-2 – Tactically outwitted and outplayed
    Swansea (H) 0-0 – Very poor performance
    West Brom (H) 2-3 – Terrible game and again tactically beaten
    Bolton (A) 0-2 – Poor performance, good win
    Liverpool (A) 3-1 – Shocking again
    Man Utd (H) 3-0 – Outplayed Man Utd for 90 minutes
    QPR (H) 1-0 – Lucky to win
    Fulham (A) 2-5 – Great first half, embarrising second
    Blackburn (A) 0-2 – Should’ve been stuffed
    Villa (H) 2-1 – Should have been 3-0 first half, lucky to win
    Spurs (A) 5-0 – Shocking, terrible, horrible”

    AB SOULTE BRILLIANT post I was going to write this this has to open a bit of eyes to the so called critics of the “negative” fans..

    if anybody can argue those descriptions of the games is …well….

    A LIAR….

    Also to add….

    games like Chealsea and VIlla it was unfair in Pardews a defense we could have taken a result away from Chelksi if it wasn’t for the numerous posts, plus we dominated the game vs Villa.

    The rest of the wins are HARDLY for his tactical genius or lack thereof more likely.

    The fact that having a perfectly legal and on the money critique is coming to question here is funny as hell, those fans ONLY argument is we are 6th or 7th or 5th atmo.

    We will wait and see where we will finish end year mates.
    There are games where we should have taken the opposition by the scruff of the neck and didn’t FULHAM for one…. they came back and took us apart they where truly WOEFUL first half we let it slip.

    Sorry to burst your bubble that is a TACTICAL blinder of an error. etc etc etc

    AAaaaaaalllll of wich I dont even mind so much as to the utter spitefullnes and stubborness of our manager when it comes to who to play on what position and when.

    why cant we see us play for example vs a Wolves side like this


    Santon to cover HBA with Cabaye, tight midfield to boss, Ba on the wing cause he is quick and played wider in Germany knows what it is about….?

  • pedro

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #27

    Something that has always annoyed me over the years is the press, and as a result the general public, always portraying us Newcastle fans as “delusional” and expecting far too much from our team. However, some of the people who use this forum are the types that give them the ammunition to make such accusations. Since things started going sour with Mike Ashley there is a atmosphere of waiting for things to go badly and then when anything does happen these supporters can reel of all this “i told you so” type rhetoric.
    But at times it almost feels as though these supporters would prefer for it to happen.
    Every defeat is met with criticism of Pardew’s team selection and even a win still warrants calls for certain players to be culled. I’m a hufe fan of Ben Arfa and hope he can find a place in the team but I don’t think his inclusion would have made any difference against spurs.
    It’s all very well saying that people looking at the table and saying I would have taken that at the start of the season should change the record but I think its equally true of the doom mongers who come on here and moan about everything.

  • gorgonzola

    Feb 13, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #28

    “I’m a hufe fan of Ben Arfa and hope he can find a place in the team but I don’t think his inclusion would have made any difference against spurs.”

    I think you are right but you are also wrong. Why well starting perch midfield sends the wrong message to me. It says I have 0 faith in HBA for any type of game other than small league cup or mid oppositions as of late. I gave him a chance vs United and City for a little bit he didnt win us the game so I will bin him… I dont like his ethic even though Perch is far worse at times and Obertan I will not even speak off..

    THAT is the problem pedro..

    I dont care about HBA in the team against spurs possibly its not the place….possibly it was….but to come out and say I started too offensively is absolute GARBAGE.

  • toon1986

    Feb 13, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #29

    romain amalfitano. french 21 year old played for stade de remis in french 2nd division in Newcastle for medical today

  • Lynxie

    Feb 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #30

    So in stating that it is Ok to play 4-5-1 away from home, basically Pardew is saying ‘Yeah I know that I should have set up the team in a 4-5-1 formation, because it really made sense, but I was afraid to upset the fans and some of the players, so I put out a 4-4-2 which was obviously not good enough’. Memo to Pardew: It is easier to change to 4-4-2 and go for the jugular when you have rode the storm, stifled a team, and worked your way into a tough game, than it is to come back from a 4-0 half time drubbing.

  • Tubai

    Feb 13, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #31

    Please i urge Mr Pardew sir please select Hatem Ben Arfa in the starting line up he is a real asset to us and he is completely being ignored to showcase his mercurial talents. Pardew is constantly using mediocre players but is reluctant to use ben arfa’s creativity even in tight games. I can’t imagine obertan starting continuosly on the right wing just becoz i don’t know(may b pardew does) against spurs i just can’t imagine ben arfa not used at all. May b that’s the reason why pardew has never managed a top club and will never do bcoz he doesn’t know how to utilise a gem like Ben Arfa. I just hope all our nufc fans tries to bring this in pardew’s sights and also drop the likes of simpson, williamson(when a new CB bcome avlbl)and obertan and try to bring quality talents in the summer.

  • ToonMax94

    Feb 13, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #32

    Some people are a disgrace on here. To slag Pardew off and have any complaints about this season so far is ridiculous. Yes we were awful on Saturday and we have put some poor performances in recently but for as long as we are collecting points (excluding Tottenham & Fulham) I couldn’t care less about the performances. Stop winging and just enjoy being as high as we are and above the mackems.
    It’ll be fully justified if we start dropping like a brick in the table but until then let’s stop over reacting and looking for things to have a moan about!

    The only thing i would change right now is to bring Ryan Taylor in for Simpson when he’s fit and have HBA on the wing providing he is going to do his defensive duties as well.

  • NUFC 1892

    Feb 13, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #33



  • milk or cream

    Feb 13, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #34

    32ToonMax94 // Feb 13, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    so you would pay to watch that, ?? knowing that that it would only take a few tweaks to put right??

  • Lynxie

    Feb 13, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #35

    Its fair to say that we might still have lost the game, but hey ho, Spurs are a good side, and we were not expected to get anything. However, the nature of the defeat is what is alarming. It was a surrender, and all of Spurs football was met with little or no resistance. Even a boxer getting battered puts up his gloves to protect himself, its logic. 4-5-1 may not have been a magic bullet, but Spurs would not have strolled through the game. next game v Wolves, OK go 442 or 433, because they are sh*te. Horses for courses.

  • ToonMax94

    Feb 13, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #36

    @milk or cream

    I do pay to watch it I have a season ticket.

    I understand the performances are rather poor at the moment I just think that aslong as we are in the higher parts of the table and we are collecting points then it’s fine.

  • Lynxie

    Feb 13, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #37

    I take your point, in that all of us want to see us higher up the table. However, the worrying part for me, is that more teams seem to have figured out how to get at us with ease, Villa QPR recently have created lots of chances at SJP, and from Fulham and Blackburn games, I am just glad we have so many points on the board. Tiote and cabaye cant get back quick enough, I think we will see a masive difference vs Wolves (or hope so).

  • ToonMax94

    Feb 13, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #38

    Fair comment but that’s my point, I know we played badly in those games but we won 3 of them.

    One concern I do have though is that I think we have went back to the long ball recently and there is no need to. We would be much more productive gettin Jonas, Obertan/Ben Arfa on the ball and giving the Demba’s half a chance.

    I think we will beat Wolves but I am concerned about the game against the scum. I would be fairly happy with a point out of that to be totally honest especiaully after winning the away fixture.

  • Willo

    Feb 13, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #39

    Team for Wolves
    Simmo Willo Colo Santon
    _____Tiote Cabaye_____

    Ba drops back enough so why not deploy him in midfield and give him creative license? He tracks back and is tireless so it could work. The only other option I could see is to move Ba up front and go with Guthrie for a tough Wolves side who are always difficult to break down but that leaves out Cisse. I think HBA’s days are numbered…sad to see but with Cisse in the team I just don’t see it.

  • stuart no9

    Feb 13, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #40

    Pardew has proven too often this season hs inability to change a game when he should have done ,IMO shows his lack of ” know how ” to take this club any further.- ok he has done really well to get us where we are, however when it comes to messing with the big boys, excluding man u – he is lost,by that I don’t just mean getting beat , but getting a good hiding.what I have noticed with Pards is that he puts 11 players on the pitch who he thinks can win the game,when the game is not going his way he is clueless at what to do.A manager gets paid , not for putting 11 players on the pitch who he thinks can win a game,everybody on this blog could do that, but for his awareness of the opposition strengths and changing his tactics accordingly. Mournino ,sir Alex, Harry R, are masters at it ,hence success .People say you can’t lay the blame at pardews door,they are wrong.he picks the players,the tactics,the formation,everything is his decision .When a team are not doing well, like any industry, the managers head is on the block – they get paid for making decisions .if it is proven too often he can’t make the correct ones, something has to change.Pardew has done well, however if we are looking at Europe, you only have to watch that shambles that took place on asaturday to realise that with this current squad and manager we have reached our peak .people can blame players or whoever they want ,but not buying in the window when we should have done was madness. Why did pardew think we were good enough we didn’t need to buy? Another bad decision ????????.


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