Substitutes The Difference Between Winning And Losing

We’ve been surprised at just how good Alan Pardew has been as Newcastle manager, and one of the many things that has surprised us about Alan is his ability to read a game well, and make the appropriate changes at half-time or in the second half.

Alan Pardew – a good touch-line coach

Of course that always begs the question as to why we have to do those things at half time or in the second half – maybe the tactics to start off with were not exactly the right ones.

But to be fair to Alan, more often than not he gets it right,  and he’s comfortable enough in his own ability,  that when he does get it wrong – he fesses up.

Alan talked today about using substitutes in games and just how important it can be:

“You have to get the subs coming in right, it’s crucial.” “It could be the difference between winning and losing.” “For all the preparation you make all week it might be a sub with 12 minutes to go that decides the game.”

“You have to know on the training ground who is in the right frame of mind to enter that pitch and make an impact.” “Against Man United the three I made didn’t work and that really irritates me because I pride myself on it.

“In today’s game it is massive at this level.” “You have to get the subs coming in right, it’s crucial.” “Against Man United for whatever reason they didn’t work, they aren’t bad players and they were in a decent place.

“Maybe I didn’t read the game as I should have.”

Alan certainly didn’t work out what was wrong quickly enough in our last game against the Red Devils, and the visitors completely dominated for the first 25 minutes and were quickly 2-0 up,  and it could have been a lot worse.

But that’s water under the Tyne Bridge now – and Newcastle should have three top players back for Sunday – Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul – and the three of them start full-time training today at Benton – plenty of time to prepare for the Sunderland game on Sunday.

Let’s hope that Alan gets his tactics right for Sunday’s most important game,  and uses his substitutes well – and how about Shola coming on in the second half and getting another goal against the old enemy?

Comments welcome.

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