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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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The Europa League Is Newcastle’s “Problem” This Season

2:37 pm, Sunday, November 18th, 2012 by Ed Harrison · 23 Comments

There’s not much wrong with the players Newcastle have in their squad, and as Alan Pardew often said last season, when we have out best team out we can beat any side in the Premier League, and we dare say that if we didn’t have the extra games in the Europa League this season, we would have been much better positioned in the league than we are at the present time.

Derek LLambias – didn’t give Alan Pardew the improved squad he needed

When you take a look at what’s happened this season, the extra games of the Europa League have put extreme extra pressure on our small squad, and there’s the disconnect, we didn’t bolster the squad enough in the summer with say three or four more top players, and it seems the powers that be grossly misjudged the extra pressure Europe would have on the squad.

And if we look into a crystal ball (it looks a little murky right now), we will not qualify for European competition next season, and we will bolster the squad in January and in the summer, and we could have another very good season next season in the Premier League.

The problem we have now – that Alan Pardew has now – is he just doesn’t have enough good players to participate and do well in both the leagues we are in this season.

And while we could bring in a couple of players in January, it may be too late to do too much about things this season, at least in the Premier League.

But on the bright side of things, there’s always a chance we can get our top players back and they stay fit and don’t get sent off, and we could start climbing the league table and do well before the end of the season.

But to qualify for Europe will be very difficult, and as far as the Europa league goes, it looks like we’ll qualify for the knock out stages of the tournament and maybe get as far as the last eight or even better.

But there’s no doubt European participation has been a big downer for our Premier League exploits this season.

That’s what we think – let us know your opinions on what may be wrong at Newcastle at the moment – but let’s keep the faith – the lads need our support now more than ever.

Comments and opinions always welcome.

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Tags: Europa League · European Champions League · European Competition · Newcastle News





23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 mattyNUFC // Nov 18, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    oh come on, Ed, he’s (AP) has consistently made wholesale changes to both sides. The last few games he hasn’t had the luxury b/c of injuries but it doesn’t change the fact there is no overriding ethos at this club, no mantra of style we try to play

    it has gotten progressively worse, and we had plenty of these same patches last season too where we were just luckier to get a 1-0 or hold on for dear life when we clearly didn’t deserve anything

  • 2 toonLYF // Nov 18, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    it’s an annoying one like!

    a standard straight 433 can easily turn into

    Simpson—-Taylor—-Coloccini—-Santon

    ————–^ ^————^^————-
    ————–Tiote———Anita————-

    ——————–Cabaye——————-
    Ben Arfa———————————-Ba
    ———————Cisse——————–

    arguably more defensive than a 442, and more effective than doubling up wingers due to the counter attacking prospects. All you have to do is watch WBA away last season. Ben Arfa’s goal, we went from camping in our own half waiting for possession, to a fantastic team goal, in about 20 seconds. These days it takes us that long just to take a bloody throw in!

  • 3 Ketsbaia9 // Nov 18, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    We haven’t signed enough players. That’s the problem. We’re 4 players short of having a decent squad. We need to sign these players urgently:

    Sissokho – Free
    Alderewerield – £7m
    Remy – £11m
    Debuchy – £6m

    Total – £24m

  • 4 zimtoon // Nov 18, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    How is the Europa league affecting us when we rarely field more than 3 senior players in the european games,we are just not playing well.other teams playing in the champions league are fielding almost the same team for the league and europe

  • 5 mattyNUFC // Nov 18, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Look, say what you will about MA or DL not investing, but to me it doesn’t change the fact that everyone on this blog who has an occupation has strict confines to work within. You do your damned best with what you have.

    I could tell my board ‘hey, if we got this machine it would ramp up production by 6%’ they’d look at me and say ‘well that machine costs 2mil. It’ll take too long to pay for itself’ (this is an actual scenario by the way). I’d go back and say ‘but yeah, with this machine you’re not only ramping up production but you’re negating a few needless processes that are much more costly to keep running.’ how it ended? they told me ‘you get 32 million pounds through that plant this summer (I work in the fishing industry btw) and that machine is yours.

    32 million is an unattainable goal with the fishing fleet we have. It’ll take 6-7 more years before we are able to hit that. they knew that, i knew that, and they knew in that time this particular plant would be more profitable in that time and that for the meantime we’d have to deal with the cumbersome equipment already in place. do i b!tch and moan and walk out? no, i get on with it and do the best damn job i can because that’s what’s expected of me. I don’t make excuses and never have. AP could take a cue from a lot of us people in the real world

  • 6 solano // Nov 18, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    matty…fancy a game of dominoes?

  • 7 G // Nov 18, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Team just isn’t gelling. Something has happened to them, but we struggle to put together a run of more than 2 passes, and we ain’t getting forward enough. I don’t know if we have a sense of complacency due to our better than expected finish last season, or if a lot of our top players have had their heads turned by their agents (not an unusual thing this day and age). We deffo need to work on the motivation and team ethic. On paper we still have one of the best first-choice 11′s out there. We still deffo need another 3 or 4 players to add some depth and competition though.

  • 8 bettyswallocks // Nov 18, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Les Grossman

    You can be as aggressive and dogmatic as you like but if you think we played good convincing football all last season then your knowledge of the game leaves a lot to be desired.

    Beating Man u last season was a good achievement as was finishing 5th in the league but a couple of long balls with a good flick on which helped us beat Man U. does not constitute good football.

    The people on here who understand the game rather than just being satisfied with scraping a result are all in agreement that the way forward is to create a quick passing attacking unit which so far Pardew can t achieve.

    If he ever will is open to debate. I dont think he has this concept in his make up and should look for an assistant with more modern coaching techniques.

    The cracks are appearing now as the lack of a cohesive consistant team catches up with him and the excuses about Cisse being unavailable were an insult to peoples intelligence.

    He has hardly been prolific this season. Due to a poor supply I must add.

  • 9 adwend // Nov 18, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    did the board not sell a machine for 35 million not that long ago

  • 10 Marty-Toon // Nov 18, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    We’ve changed ur team for Europe and played those on the sidelines..so I don’t understand your point of it affecting our form.
    It’s Lear we shoulda strengthened but that doesnt excuse the facts such as:
    Jonas can’t cross a ball
    Willo panics in defence
    Tiote loses the ball too often
    Obertan runs around like a headless chicken
    The team pass the ball like its hot
    Apart from Santon and Ben Arfa the rest of the team have been poor in too many games with lots of individual errors,that isn’t because of Europe or lack of options( apart from Willo).
    AP chooses players that are consistently poor on the field

  • 11 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 18, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    TS…valid point on the last thread :-)

    …completely agree…well to some extend! I was not thinking so much of tactics and formations in general terms but merely what’s not working and where it is going wrong.

    Some keep blaming injuries, lack of investments, Guti or Willo or Simmo :-) Alot is being blamed and we nor the board seem to can agree on the matter (far from).

    It was merely a thought :-)

  • 12 Munster Mag // Nov 18, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    More complete bo11ocks from a man hiding behind Cisse’s absence for being outdone by a team costing / valued at far less yesterday. Not good enough Alan, I’m losing faith.

  • 13 jasper // Nov 18, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    I’ve been skimming through the comments. i agree especially with Sav (one very pertinent one), Graeme, Bill-son and TS as to the tactical shortcomings of the current team.
    I was in the ground yesterday. Positives were increased pressing – note that we had equal possession with Swansea, something we didn’t expect. Anita was getting more involved whilst he was in midfield. We had a good period at the beginning of the second half when we were getting well in top of them and the noise went up at last. And Tiote was being much more sensible than in earlier games.
    Downside: pundits criticise some sides for being too narrow. We seem to be the first ever side to be too wide. We try to go down one or other side but never ever through the middle (at least not on the ground). And when we go down the side only two or three players participate (e.g. Santon/Fergie or HBA/Simpson. The midfield seems to vanish so options for interplay are very limited and predictable.
    This is an example of the way that the ball carrier is not supported. Our players pass and then don’t move. In this respect the contrast with WBA and Swansea’s performance was glaring. No one wants to receive the ball at a throw in and we seem to lose it more often than we retain it. Whereas the Swansea players seemed to hold on to the ball in the most unpromising situations (from their point of view) we lose it all to easily. Our players don’t seem to be able to find an outlet due to the absence of movement by their colleagues.
    The worst example of non-movement was when we regained the ball deep and I counted no fewer than seven of our outfielders WALKING up the field watching HBA, Ba and one other getting on with it.
    As a result of this we have only two strategies. One is hoofball or at least a long pass into a channel for Ba to try to run on to. The second is for either HBA, Santon or Sammy to run at the opposition. That’s it. Little evidence of interplay to release another player into space.
    The lack of coaching here was demonstrated by Ferguson’s poor display. On several occasions where was space in front of him for a pass he was back on his heels when he should have been going flat out saying pass it here. So he got the ball 20 yards + from the byline when he could have received it level with the last defender and make use of his outswinging cross. In this respect Simpson did a lot better with his movement – but then he still has to cross it effectively…….
    There seems to be a culture of taking on opponents instead of passing and moving. But when Ferguson tried it he found that he was not up against the Maritimo fullback this time and lost every time.
    As others have said the absence of a driving midfielder was driven home by Diame’s performance for West Ham. Perhaps this has been recognised and the interest in Sissoko is real? Certainly we need to do something about the perpetual absence of any player getting into the zone between the opposition midfield and defence.
    Frankly I don’t know exactly what they should do about the set pieces but when they hit the ball to Willo at the back post AGAIN I could have screamed. When will they notice it doesn’t work? This is the sort of thing that really makes me wonder if they know what they are doing.
    None of these are issues to do with formations. Other than the “Diame” requirement neither are they about new players. They are about coaching and tactics. The management team are not delivering on this at all and need to wake up big time.

  • 14 toon1707 // Nov 18, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Repost I did from earlier thread
    Sorry ed I dissagree that the squad is not big enough for europe as the team normally has up to 10 changes for europe our problem is we have 11 premier league players and if one gets injured the standard under that first 11 is championship standard at best. That is down to ashley not spending money finishing 5th was fantastic but the downside was ashley then thought we didn’t need to improve

  • 15 breno95 // Nov 18, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    What an absolute crock of shit the heading on this thread is. Blaming Europa league games as an excuse. They have only played 6 Europa games to date on top of 12 EPL games and 1 cup match (which we got knocked out).
    Squad is big enough and there is enough talent. Problem is the manager picks wrong teams and plays people in positions which don’t get the best out of them.
    End of basically.

  • 16 joeytoon // Nov 18, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    why dyu think europe has been a downer? ,its an absolute no brainer ,we do not have quality in depth,so if we qualify for the knockout stages,will they still insult us by playing kids,surely these idiots either could have seen this coming or made sure it was coming, .im talking about qualification that is ,so where is the foresight ,where is the forward planning ??
    NONE, you cannot expect kids to play 25 plus games at this level ,they simply are not ready,or good enough

  • 17 joeytoon // Nov 18, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    added to that you already have mediocrity in the squad, simpson is just not good enough,willo is the worst defender in the prem,obertan will NEVER be a prem player,

  • 18 giimps // Nov 18, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    We need defenders who can defend and play rather than panic, no surprise when Colo is playing with either Saylor or Willo, they both look Decent (ish).
    Poor defence = poor attack, basically because midfield need to nurse the poor defence so do not get forward enough to support.
    I noticed on Saturday, every time Swansea got the ball they had 3 0r 4 players making quick runs forward into space to receive the ball, the ball was passed to feet, whoever passed the ball then ran into space in case the ball came to them.
    Occasionally it looked like a poor pass by a Swansea player when in fact they passed the ball into space expecting one of their players to be running into that space ( the player who was supposed to be there was either tripped up or blocked off before the ball was played).
    In comparison, our passing is crap, only Benny < Cabaye and Ba can pass and move to receive the ball, our players are either too thick to read the game or they dont practice this in training, I think the latter, our set plays are a joke and our shooting from distance looks like the shooter has clowns shoes on as the shot invariably goes over the bar.
    The positives I am taking are, we are getting into good positions from hoofball, Shola is good at holding the ball up when hoofed in his direction, but then he messes his pass up or passes to someone (mainly Ba or Benny with 3 players around them) BA is a good striker but starved of posession up the field as is Benny, I feel so sorry for Benny as he has to either win or receive the ball 50 or 60 yards from goal, take on and beat at least 3 players before he sees anyone to support him as none of the Midfield go past the D on the half way line so his closest player is BA as Shola wont go that far from goal.
    When we leave that big a gap between the midfield and the strikers it is very easy for the opposition to defend, so easy in fact, I often wonder how we ever score a goal.
    Rant over, hurry back Colo and Guti, we need the stability, and Raylor for the free kicks and crosses

  • 19 AndyMac // Nov 18, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Ed are you trying to tell us all that without the “hindrance” of the Europa League we’d be sitting pretty in 5th place ????

    C’mon get those Pardwho coloured glasses off and see whats really happening at the club !

  • 20 aussietooner // Nov 18, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    is it me or is this team going down the tubes because AP hasn’t got it in him to admit he has it all wrong trying to play two upfront every game to try and accomodate demba ba who wasnt happy on the left. i like demba i think he is a great player but no one is bigger than the team. theres plenty of players out there who could fit into APs preferred system of last season. you see it time and time again most teams are playing 3 in midfield and running rings round a 442 team. its time to play demba outwide or rotate the two of them for the good of the club and the fans who pay good money to watch them week in week out. my preferred team ( and i dont expect everyone to agree)

    krul subs
    harper
    taylor collocini Simpson
    santon ferguson perch/williamson
    tiote bigrimana
    cabaye anita jonas
    HBA ba sammy/obertan
    cisse shola

  • 21 aussietooner // Nov 18, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    that team didnt print the way i wanted it to!!!

  • 22 aussietooner // Nov 18, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    ———————–krul————————-

    santon——-taylor——-collocini—-ferguson

    ———————-tiote—————–
    ———-cabaye————anita————
    HBA—- ———– —–Ba
    ————- cisse ————

  • 23 Brutooon // Nov 18, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    I am not going to blame Europe for our problems. It is because of the lack of squad depth

    Williamson – championship defender who at least should be no 4 or 5 at the list of centre back. He should play during capital cup or when we are leading like 5-0

    Strikers- We need one more striker to gave competition to Ba and Cisse. Ameobi is a good impact sub for us so far.




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