Start At West Ham Could Be Key To The Game – Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew has held an inquest with his players, in an attempt to try to find out what’s going on, and why the team is playing their worst football all season, at the business end of the season, when relegation is finally decided.

alan pardew after cisse goal

Alan Pardew – in happier times

But Alan has a balancing act to perform, because you don’t want to come down so hard on a player (even if he deserves it), if that will completely drain their confidence, and confidence is a huge thing in sports – and in football.

Alan probably held his inquest after Mike Ashley and Derek LLambias had conduced their own inquest on Alan earlier in the week, after he had led the side to two simply embarrassing and humiliating home performances, when we leaked 9 goals and scored zippo.

This is what Alan told the press:

“Of course I am angry but I have to channel that anger in the right way.” “The only way I can get that right is in the next game and make sure I have a team that enters the pitch at West Ham confident it is going to win and that is very very important.”

“The start at West Ham is going to be a key part of our game because if we start like we did against Liverpool we are going to find ourselves in a lot of trouble.” “The players are very much aware of the situation that we are in and I don’t think they need a lot of telling.”

“We need to make sure when we work really hard to show this city that we have the fight for it.” “My teams are renowned for being organised and being on the front foot. I will take responsibility for it.” “Liverpool was probably the heaviest defeat I have had as a manager.”

“There were a lot of times when I didn’t like what I saw but I will make sure we put it right. And that started straight after the game in that dressing room.” “Our record isn’t good enough away from home. We know that. It’s got to improve dramatically if we’re going to stay up.”

“The away fans have been absolutely terrific, vital to us all year. We have had phenomenal support at home with sell-out crowds.” “I know they won’t turn on us – they love the club so much. We need to make sure we give them something back.”

The start is going to be important because you can bet your life Sam Allardyce will tell his players to throw everything they have at Newcastle very early in the game, in the hope that our lads will crumble, as they did so alarmingly against Liverpool.

It’s important that the lads play somewhere near their best on Saturday, but Alan and the players have also lost some credibility, because they were saying all the same things before the Liverpool game, that they would make it up to the fans and all that good stuff against Liverpool.

They didn’t and it turned out to be an even bigger humiliation than the Sunderland game – and that’s a massive statement.

We’re going to try to ignore all these pre-match comments this week in case we get too confident, as we were on Saturday when we lost that game in the first 20 minutes, with an alarmingly inept performance that sent shudders through Newcastle fans.

It’s simply up to each and every player to fight like hell on Saturday and fight until they drop for the Newcastle cause.

That should do it.

What do you think?

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72 comments so far

  • JackButler

    May 2, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Comment #1

    Talk is cheap Pardew and it’s all you’ve done all season long, it’s time to back it up with a performance thats going to get us the points we need to stay up

  • t00ntime

    May 2, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    Comment #2

    I’m hoping this has made AP want to go for it and prove there is nothing wrong. I think the players will.
    Not my favorite line up but I wouldn’t mind AP fielding:


    If Marv is fit enough for bench you can bring him on at HT for more attacking threat if needed.

    elliot- no other real option.(Harper isnt good enough imo)

    Simmo- I like him more than Anita/Perch at RB. Definitely after his EL performances.

    Colo- If fit he is 100% our best CB

    Staylor- Him and Mbiwa have both been quite bad recently but AP will opt with Staylor imo for his passion+He knows what it means to go down and why we need to avoid it.

    Haidara- Only option again.

    Tiote- This is a tougher one but imo we need at least 1 strong and defensive minded CDM, seen so so many attacking players are fielded. He will help the back 4 when sissoko is attacking. Anita is to weak for me and I feel it would be better to put perch on when we are ahead and Tiote is on a yellow. Imo Tiote hasn’t been great but he hasnt been as bad as people say. (I would tell Tiote to stay back ALL THE TIME. He adds nothing offensively so why waste his energy?)

    Sissoko- He has had 1/2 good games as CAM but. its quite obvious he isnt good there. As a CDM he can play as the box to box midfielder using strength and a bit of pace to get forward as Tiote defends and also be able to help out defensively when we are under the cosh.

    HBA- Even when not fit. one of our best players and certainly the most creative offensive player. Just the sight of him on the field gets the fans excited and seems to get the players going (Benfica game). He may need to come off in the latter stages but hopefully by then we have our lead and can bring perch on (hopefully by more than 1 goal)

    Cabaye- Hasn’t been the best lately, but he plays to far back to influence the game imo. His eye, and passing ability on his day are great and along with hba creativity wise if we are to survive he will be vital.

    Gouff- Better than jonas offensively and hopefully with tiote and 2 not too attacking full backs. our wingers will not have to think about defending too much. He isnt as Quick as obertan but has a bit of ball skills can shoot and can pass so our best winger left (HBA right. and marv injured/unfit)

    Cisse- having some trouble scoring and imo thats cause there is no one pushing him. Once Ba left Cisse is an automatic choice. Shola is nowhere near as good. We need a striker in the summer to push cisse if not replace him (aub/remy/bony etc) Any way back to the point even during his drought he has 5 in 9 games. 6in9 if you include the ‘offside’ goal vs mackems. He is doing better with the offsides and I think he can score the goals needed.

    Thats my AP team. What do you think?

  • Blofal

    May 2, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    Comment #3

    “my teams are renowned for being organised and on the front foot”

    U’hm not from what I’ve been looking at. We have played defensively from the get go. Maybe this all means he will attack for a change instead of playing players out of position in a defensive display.

    Most of us Newcastle fans would find the position we are in easier to take if we were here despite our never say die attacking play.

  • Jarra

    May 2, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    Comment #4


    interesting team and one if I saw named before the match would make me think at last we are going to go for it.
    Sadly as we all know Pardew is a spin doctor and tells us all what we want to hear, ask yourself what impact is that having on you?
    Are you motivated and confident, then the next question is so if you are a player and hearing the same thing week in week out, yet the tactics don’t fit the talk are you on board or thinking yeah rite mate.
    Sadly he mentions we need to be on the front foot and have a good start, that good start is in the selection and your tactics.
    I think this week he will be so scared to lose which I obviously understand that he will be desperate and try to hold out for a nil nil draw.
    A valuable point yes but with the worst defence how do you suddenly feel confident of West Ham not scoring?
    That is why I am so angry that he did not play the team such as Toontime presented obviously with the French lad in place of Simpson and the tactics to attack at home as I thought Liverpool was our last hope of 3 points.

  • p

    May 2, 2013 at 5:30 AM

    Comment #5

    Aye, if we go down going for it (a la benfica at home) i don’t think people will mind as much.

    If we go down trying not to concede but fail, there will be serious hell to pay and pardew will experience considerable animosity.

  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    May 2, 2013 at 5:51 AM

    Comment #6

    Personally I don’t think we are going to get anything out of the game if he is sticking to the same 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2!

    …Pardew needs to reinvent himself or at least reinvent the 4-3-3 that worked so well for us last season.

    And most importantly he need to start the best side one the day within this tactic – not those players he likes the best. This one is going to be the real trial for him I think!

    Plus nomore negative approach from the start of the game. We are here to win and play football – then play football 🙂

  • Ben3arfa

    May 2, 2013 at 6:18 AM

    Comment #7

    I would gladly take a draw at West Ham if I’m honest ..

  • 89Norcal

    May 2, 2013 at 6:27 AM

    Comment #8

    t00ntime I like your picks, but I have to plead the case for Tiote’s absence from the starting XI. His passing has been very poor and he hasn’t offered his usual tenacious defense since coming back. Not to mention he’s 50/50 on conceding FK’s in dangerous positions. Play Perch to cope with AC and Nolan.

    Sissoko should definitely play deeper again, Get Cabaye up where he can inject some invention, rather than sending a nice long ball out to the wing.

  • peaco1980

    May 2, 2013 at 6:31 AM

    Comment #9

    “Of course I am angry ..”

    Forgive me but what frickin right has Pardew got to be angry – he’s the useless berk who is supposed to motivate the players and come up with the tactics.

    Another case of the greasy, odious, slopey shoulders tw*t trying to distance himself from blame. Well it doesn’t work Percy! Your words are almost as tired as your brand of football. Do the decent thing and resign; you’re not up to it and you never will be.

  • ilovetoon8788

    May 2, 2013 at 6:50 AM

    Comment #10

    I’m surprised nobody talked about debuchy tackle for the red against Liverpool as much as I would like to have seen.

    That tackle for the red was done purely on purpose to get the red. He didn’t want to be on the pitch anymore. To me, it was disgraceful. But it showed to me just how much Pardew has lost the players.

    He has completely lost the command of the players who have simply lost interest in playing under him. That tackle by debuchy showed it all.

    Even if we win all our remaining games, we need a change in manager. Someone who can command respect instantly. Not another pardwho? Or unknown. We have team of internationals.

    We need a big name like Benitez or Blanc to come in.

  • Santon03

    May 2, 2013 at 7:11 AM

    Comment #11

    since we don’t have our 1st choice fb/wb, I would think the best options should be 3-6-1 or 3-5-2. Saylor-Colo/Perch-Mbiwa with Colo/Perch acting as sweeper.
    Anita-Tiote-Jonas in front of cb and acting as wb, since Tiote & Jonas are irreplacable for pardw. HBA-Cabaye-Marveaux/Sissoko playing behind striker Cisse/Gouf no need to go too deep helping def.
    forget about playing wide players since they can’t cross right nor we have a good targetman. Just jam packed midfield and give extra cover for gk, so if we have the ball back we already have 4 players at attacking position and hopefully can avoid offside. But being pardew as manager we could forget it and probably same formation, players, tactic again as vs Liverpool

  • dmac

    May 2, 2013 at 7:23 AM

    Comment #12

    No body in their right mind would adopt a sweeper. There job is to lie deeper than the defence. Therefore consistently playing people onside and leaving themselves open to having to chase back against players probably faster than we would have in defence. Would be suicidal to even think about adopting that tactic.

    There is a reason the sweeper has died a horrible death.

  • Santon03

    May 2, 2013 at 7:35 AM

    Comment #13

    I think you have different understanding about sweeper and it’s still being used outside England. They are more like cover for cb(s) but not the last man.

  • Indian Magpie (HD_07 on Twitter)

    May 2, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    Comment #14

    When a team plays 2 CBs

    My understanding is one is a sweeper, the other is marker

  • Indian Magpie (HD_07 on Twitter)

    May 2, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    Comment #15

    Why are ppl putting Jonas in their line ups, he is garbage.

    We need ANITA

  • Santon03

    May 2, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    Comment #16

    persisting with flat 4 at the back with weak fb or not real fb is insane, especially with big targetman. One v one is suicide, 2v1 still have good chance especially with our available current back 4

  • firebug666

    May 2, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    Comment #17

    I would like to see us put out a more attacking side, I don’t agree with using a sweeper either don’t think it would help this team. Would like to see something like this:


    Taylor Colloccini Mbiwa

    Anita Haidara

    Cabaye Sissoko Gouffran

    Ben Arfa

    Keep Carrol quiet up front with our three CB’s and have enough in midfield to control the match, with Benny weaving his magic for Cisse and himself.

  • BigKirky

    May 2, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    Comment #18

    “There were a lot of times when I didn’t like what I saw but I will make sure we put it right.”

    Alan, the weeks are endless when we have seen things we don’t like. Playing players out of position, defending for half an hour and entire 45mins. Playing a system which just does not suit our high level of player.

    As soon as we saw the starting line-up against Liverpool we knew we were’nt going to win as you can’t epect to play 4 DM plus Jonas, leaving Cisse isolated and expect to outscore the opposition. You are just inviting pressure. The players know this and are sick of your 80’s direct football.

    If eveyone else can see that, why can’t you Alan? That’s because you have no clue how to play a system which is calculated and planned round a passing and offensive game.

  • Santon03

    May 2, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    Comment #19

    2 markers 1 sweeper would be safer, right?

    As for Jonas, do you think pardew will leave out Jonas or Tiote against westham?

  • jimmysmith

    May 2, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    Comment #20

    I think with 2 Cb’s they most often will zonal mark as opposed to man mark in open play, staying reasonably close and passing a player on or picking up a player when he leaves or enters their zone or space.

    It’s difficult to switch easily from 2 to 3 centre backs successfully, although it does seem a plausable way to get our 3 good centre backs on the pitch, but only as a flat 3 and even then it would be hard to carry off effectively without much practice

    I think employing a sweeper, really is courting disaster in this league and doubly so without being practiced at it. The game is played at far too high a tempo and attackers would simply break through at pace and in numbers.

    It’s a problem picking an effective 11 and setting them up for these 3 games but I think this has been a really significant problem all season, picking the 11 best players in their preferred positions. We’ve always lacked balance.


    May 2, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    Comment #21

    I’ve been thinking the same. That was a tackle based on “i’m fed up with this sh|t”. Poor character showing by Debuchy, but again i blame Pardew. He has in no way managed the club, team, players or press in an acceptable way.
    I feel so so sorry for the players joining us in january, and i feel for the tricky players like Ben Arfa and Marvaux. They are set a couple of years back by Pardew.

  • Ian Toon

    May 2, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    Comment #22

    Good Morning
    Above all else what we need is:
    Tsunki – Cheer up and put thoughts
    of another Journey around the
    Championship away were going to
    be OK.

  • Indian Magpie (HD_07 on Twitter)

    May 2, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    Comment #23


    This is wht i will play

    Simpson Colo (if fit, else, saylor) Mbiwa Haidara
    Anita Sissoko
    Cabaye Benny Gouff

    Can’t say the same for wor ALAN

  • Santon03

    May 2, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    Comment #24

    I have no idea what his gameplan is when I saw the lineup, I knew that there is a big chance we were going to lose that game but that much. When Benny started warming up, I thought he was going to make a change right away, but no. So I have no idea what was the point he was warming up. I’m really confused with pardew’s intentions or gameplan until this day, it’s most likely that he will put on the same thing against westham. I’m 90% certain that we will lose again.

  • jimmysmith

    May 2, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    Comment #25

    I imagine these 5 French signings easily might not have realized the league and our situation would be so combative.

    The club would have though, and they took a big gamble. In hindsight they might have chosen to introduce fewer.

  • Transfer Sage

    May 2, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    Comment #26

    think we will bounce back with a win to west ham. We will take it to them for 90 mins like we did the first 45 at norwich.

    come on the toon

  • catchy in norway

    May 2, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    Comment #27


    but i would be playing 3 5 2

    benny would be my other fowrad, this way he gets involved

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 2, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Comment #28

    Football has evolved, so the traditional role of a sweeper is virtually obsolete. However, with a lot of teams now choosing to play a lone central forward that allow 1 centre half to mark/challenge for the ball, while the second “sweeps” or covers behind him. If you play 3 at the back against West Ham, you are effectively playing 2 covering defenders or sweeping defenders which takes a man away from a more relevant position when countering their formation. It would be better to have Colo stting in front of the back four if you want to play the 3 centre backs. From here Colo can stop balls into Carrols body and feet, as well as being more effective in picking up Nolan. Obviously this role doesn’t haveto be Colo, but it is a role he is more than capable of playing. It also gives a calm link option between midfield and defence.

    This would allow Sissoko/Anita/Cabaye to occupy the central roles in front of Colo, giving them more freedom. There will be a lot of play in wide positions from West Ham, looking to angle the ball into Carroll, so for that reason I would choose Jonas on the Left, and then play Goofy/HBA on the other side. This isn’t ideal, as neither are wingers, and Goofy is better on the left, but I feel Simpson is more solid defensively than Haidara, so will need less covering from the man in front.

  • Santon03

    May 2, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    Comment #29


    High tempo in this league especially westham means long balls to targetman ala big sam. High tempo could be controlled by midfield especially using 2 dm to stop opponent midfield controling their tempo some might use dirty tactic to stop it, our dm are a bit too naive imo. It has nothing to do with using sweeper or not.

  • catchy in norway

    May 2, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    Comment #30


    you could look at it this way,

    or it could be they have just sank to pardews level like the rest of the team,,,

    as i have always said, results covered up how poor the football was last year,,

    groups form in every club, regardless of where they come from, or what language they speak, young or old, i guess its the same with most work places,,

    in any job, we are all a reflection on the guidlines set out for us to follow, if there is a good structure to follow,, there normally successful, we do not have good structure

  • Santon03

    May 2, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #31

    that is if we have 4 good back four, reality is we have 3 cb available, 2 not so good fb. Of course if we 4 in form back 4, no point using sweeper or 3 cb. Our current defense right now only depending on 2 cb with our fb going forward and I have no idea what our dm jobs supposed to be, they definitely not covering our 2 cb.

  • jimmysmith

    May 2, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #32

    When I say high tempo, I mean in this situation specifcally, the attacking side breaking at pace and in numbers.

    I think 2nd defender or cover is a better term than sweep. Because sweep suggests playing your last man deeper and as a result not a high line defensively. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sweeper in English football.

  • tunearmy

    May 2, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    Comment #33

    I sort of feel that the players don’t like Parcels tactics and have been playing sh1t to show him its not working or get him fired.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 2, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #34

    A Defensive midfielders role isn’t to cover the centre backs, it is to plug holes when a defender goes forward, be that a full back or centre back, and also to break up play and possession in midfield. Our defence aren’t as bad as you make out, it is collectively that has led to our awful defensive record. We looked better defensively with Simpson and Willo in, but they were made scapegoats by large numbers of fans.

    With only Carroll up front, playing a flat back 3, or with a sweeper means we have 2 players marking no one, or, if they pull wide to mark West Hams attacking wide players, then it leaves gaping holes for Nolan to exploit. Flat back 4 with Colo playing on Carrolls toes and watching for Nolans run works against all these issues and still allows 1 centre back to be spare to cover any slips or errors.

  • stuart no9

    May 2, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #35

    the odds are really stacked up against pardew for the west ham game.
    There are so many reasons why west ham will want to pummell us – we all know what they are, can pardew overcome all the obstacles that are going to be in his way , to get even a point ? i dont think he can.
    We have got to do so many things different to what we have been doing all season, ontop of that we have to get 11 players motivated to play football, nevermind go for the win, then we have carroll, nolan, allardyce the west ham support who, lets say would love to see pardew relegated again.
    These are the times a manager earns his crust, but i think this game has got a footballing drubbing written all over it.
    Unless pardew can perform some sort of miracle , i predict 3-o. ,however , even if we get a point credit where credit is due , pards would have done well. still want him sacked though.

  • jimmysmith

    May 2, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #36

    Actually I think Colo reads the game so well he naturally gets into covering positions whereas Taylor is more effective getting in the 1st challenge. Mbiwa seems to rely mostly on real pace.

    It’s hard to pick your best pairing, but Colo definitely is part of it.

  • corkypants85

    May 2, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #37

    ———-ben arfa—————

    or anita instead of tiote or marveax on in moussas spot ant moussa threw middle

    think this formation would look better with debuchy and santon in wing bk positions

    just thought summet different for people to consider instead

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 2, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #38

    I agree, the high tempo in the English game has never favoured a traditional sweeper. It worked very well for Italian teams in their domestic league as it was played at a more patient speed. However even the Italian teams due to opposition playing less up front have adopted a deeper lying midfielder instead. They still use it differently, as it is a role they generally have a player with a great passing range such as Pirlo. I reckon that was Pardews inspiration for Cabaye playing deeper, but Cabaye isn’t best suited to it.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 2, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #39

    Move Colo in front of Taylor and Mbiwa, drop Tiote and bring Goofy up top with Cisse. However, I still feel it would leave us exposed out wide, where they will look to angle balls in towards Carroll. Personally I’d want wide men in to harry their full backs.

  • Transfer Sage

    May 2, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #40


    plenty reasons for us to do well too.

    -pride in the players, wont like losing
    – need points to survive
    – want to show critics they are pros and not just throwing a game

    So hopefully these boys will turn it around. Maybe the whole cabaye/pardew bust up will have just been an argument about our best way to play and if a lot agreed with him Pardew might let them express themselves a bit. Especially seeing as QPR will be the game he is targeting for points he might see this as a game where he can try cabaye’s approach.


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