The Newcastle United Blog

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

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!



We’ve Been Terrific In The Second Half Of The Year

1:13 pm, Monday, December 30th, 2013 by Ed Harrison · 7 Comments

In a year when Newcastle fans were more than fearful  in case we were relegated for the second time in four years, this season has been a return to how we did two years ago when we finished 5th, and if we do as well as did in the first half of the season, then  we’ll end up with 66 points, which is one point more than we had two years ago.

alan pardew dejected

Alan Pardew and the fans went through some tough times earlier this year
But we managed to stay in the Premier League and now we are doing great


With the year ending tomorrow, and then a game at the Hawthorns on Wednesday afternoon against West Brom, Alan Pardew has looked back on the year of ups and downs in the local press today:

“We have had the quarter-finals of the Europa League which I thought we should have won.” “We had a sticky time in the league. Yet in the second half of the year we have not had the pressure of the Europa League and we have been terrific.”

“I could not have asked for any more from the players than what they have given me. They have given me absolutely everything.” “I feel for them after this defeat because they deserved something, the ones who were out there.”

“We just have to try and do the best we can and 33 points at this stage is a great effort – but we can replicate that.” “We have sprinkling of fantastic players here and we need them all fit and that has been probably the secret to where we are now.”

It really has been a remarkable turnaround for Newcastle this season, and while it’s not popular to praise the Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, the Londoner has gone through hell and high water at Newcastle this year – yet he’s finished the year with one of the best starts we’ve had in the league since Bobby Robson was the manager back in 2003, and that cannot be bad.

And whatever you think of Alan’s coaching abilities, and Alan had his detractors with some of the Newcastle fan base,  one thing that cannot be argued with,  is this man is as tough as nails mentally.

And since we even struggled at the start of this season, there’s some logic to say we could do even better than the 33 points we picked up in the first 19 games of the season, since the side is now settled and playing well, and what is certain is that things are looking up at Newcastle.

Now we need Joe Kinnear and Mike Ashley to bring in two top players (at least) in the January transfer window – they need to do their part and help the manager.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and +1 on us on Google+



Tags: Coaching · Europa League · European Competition · Newcastle News · Premier League





7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 santonthenewmaldini // Dec 30, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    @voice of reason

    I agree with your HBA points but putting Taylor in midfield would be a horrific idea last time he scored pretty sure the Romans were in power …

    But yeah we do need a goal scoring midfielder even Gosling would have been a better idea to bring off the bench than Haidara cause no one was gambling on Shola’s knockdowns at least Gosling would have got on the end of one of them Cabaye does not burst into the box enough we need someone who can do that from midfield Siem De Jong etc

    It is a bit worrying that we are pretty much full strength and we dont really have options on the bench to make an impact to change a game we need at least 2 attackers in this window one beast and one speed demon

  • 2 Blofal // Dec 30, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    My team vs WBA

    Debuchy-Mbiwa-Willo-Haidara/Dummett
    Santon-Tiote-Cabaye-Sissoko
    ——Ameobi–Cisse——-

    Gouffran and Remy need a rest. Just maybe putting Santon out on the right was an experiment to see whether it could work next game.

  • 3 LEROI // Dec 30, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    AP played Santon on the right wing in the closing minutes of yesterday’s game & mad italian was still cutting inside to cross the ball that being said i’d love to see a second experiment performed in the Santon as a right winger field for a longer period of the wba game.

  • 4 Ultra Mag-ness // Dec 30, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Team selection yesterday was spot on – that was our best 11 and the majority of players were brilliant. The names that have been mentioned as under performing yesterday were Anita, Sissoko, Gouffran and Remy. The final three were not playing football in England last Christmas and aren’t used to playing at this time. They would be resting had they remained in France – I think this is one of the factors why Pardew wanted more English players. Anita is in a similar position as he has only just been given a regular run out so I feel the criticism of these players is a little harsh. Saying that Debuchy was a different Gravy yesterday (and has been consistently good this year) and he wasn’t playing here last December.

    The problem we had yesterday was we tried too many launch balls forward and Mertesecker was always going to win the Ariel battles. The only ariel balls that worked were the ones for Debuchy to run onto or when Shola was put on. Cisse would have made no difference as he would have been owned by Mertesecker and Koscielny so Shola was the right call.

    We should have had a point yesterday but I feel Collocini should have picked up Giroud (Williamson was on Mertesecker and was still the one to try and stop Giroud) and Ben Arfa was very selfish and wasteful.

    All in all proud of the lads

  • 5 Shadow_Shearer // Dec 30, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    There are 19 games left, which is 57 points up for grabs. If we can get about 40 out of the 57 surely we can qualify for champions league. Which mite be a big ask, but like Ed said, we struggled at the begining, now everything is settled we could have done better. Let’s not give up hope over this 1 result, we more than deserved a draw. If we can bring in another couple of players in jan, I believe we can achieve champions league next season. Possibly keep hold of Cabaye. C’mon ppl we can do this, it’s not out of our reach!!

  • 6 Rotonda heights // Dec 30, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    As impressive as our recent run has been there was something rather inevitable about yesterday’s outcome.

    It is matches like at Swansea when they had no strikers and had played 3 games in 6 days and yesterday against an Arsenal side without Ozil and Ramsay and us coming off a game against only 9 player where we crucially stumble and ultimately fail, undoing all the positivity of beating Manu away etc.

    Pardew has improved but if the criteria for Hughton being sacked was that he had taken us as far as he could where is Pardew’s glass ceiling I wonder?

    Realistically Pardew does not nor never will have the smarts to match up to a Wenger / Pellegrini,/ Rodgers / Mourinho / , even if he had superior players.

    So what is the ambition now? Is 7-10 the aim? That being the case we have a squad eminently capable of that somewhat modest goal who could achieve that in spite of Pardew, not because of him.

    Yesterday I found it sad that the last 15 mins apart, which in fairness was just hopeful hoofball, albeit in the opposition half, was solely about containment, little else. League leaders yes but at home I think we had 3 shots in 94 mins!

    I guess this will always be Pardew’s style. Extreme caution and hope for moments of inspiration to sneak something here or there. Sure it will work now and again and has done significantly in the majority of the last 10 gmaes

  • 7 rwpoynter // Dec 30, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    There is always a lot of criticism on this blog about Mike Ashley. Whereas I think he has made mistakes (expecting Keegan, an icon at this club, to accept being told what to do by Dennis Wise, and frankly, the appointment recently of Joe Kinnear, I cannot get my head around at all), he has also done a lot of good things which we are only too willing to overlook.. He has invested in improving the training ground and in the academy. He has made it clear, quite correctly in my opinion that he is not going to be a cash cow like the owners of Chelsea, Manchester City and last year QPR. Neither will he give in to greedy agents (the plague of this game) or pay over the odds for players (unlike his predecessor) or pay excessive wages to players who at this club in the past have simply not justified it. Also a contract is a contract, not something players can think they can walk away from halfway through it for a bigger paycheque somewhere else. If he puts a high price on players if other clubs come bidding then that is fine ( and the episode of Andy Carroll has proved him to be one 100% right there. Allardyce and Dalglish must have rued the day they ever forked out the ludicrous sums for purchase and wages they did and it will probably cost Allardyce his job at West Ham as it did Dalglish at Liverpool. As for Alan Pardew, I will admit he didn’t excite me much when he came, but he seems to be getting it right now and that probably proves the point that Ferguson and Wenger have been successful because somebody gave them time and didn’t expect an’ instant fix’. Maybe Pardew can join this club. I will be the first to congratulate him for having proved me wrong if he does. As for Mike Ashley, I think with a bit of clever buying in the next 12 months he might surprise us all.




previous post: Two Wins In Our Next Two Games Now Vital

next post: Time For Joe Kinnear To Step Up To The Plate For Newcastle