Alan Pardew was asked by one reported at yesterday’s press conference whether he was changing the way we do out set plays, because from something like 200 corners this season, Newcastle have scored only a single goal.
Demba Ba at Reading – I put that one in with this hand
And that goal was the one Demba Ba used his hand to put the ball into the back of the net at Reading in our 2-2 draw, but Alan thanked the reporter for bringing that particular statistic to his attention.
But the Newcastle manager did say that he was changing the way we do out set plays, simply because what we are doing this season has not worked.
The set plays seem to be to put a high ball into the box, and hope big Mike Williamson can become for one fleeting moment an Andy Carroll, and either head the ball down for somebody to knock the ball into the back of the net, as Kevin Nolan used to do when he was still at Newcastle.
Or the other option is for Mike to head the ball home, but big Mike still has to score his first goal for Newcastle after 88 appearances in the black and white shirt.
This is what Alan said about set-plays:
“We’ve changed our whole outlook on set-plays just this week and we’ve had to change it once already this season because we’re just not getting enough success.” “There’s no point in sitting on your hands and going ‘oh well, it’ll come good’ – you have to make changes.”
“The bottom line is we need the first contact to be won and that’s what Stoke do very well.” “They win the first contact and it always gives you a chance of scoring straight from that contact or from the second contact.” “You can only look at something and try to improve on it, and we’re going to have to try and improve on it.”
Hey – maybe he can score one at the Britannia Stadium tonight – but since Stoke are particularly good at winning the first contact – that may be difficult – as it has been for the Magpies all season.
So one thing we can look for tonight is some changes when Newcastle do get a set-play – but with both Newcastle and Stoke struggling to score goals lately, the conventional wisdom is there will not be many goals scored in the game tonight.
We’ll see, but we wouldn’t mind the score being 5-0 – for Newcastle of course.
Howay The Lads!!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org