Date: 30th December 2010 at 12:10am
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You sense that Alan Pardew is winging it slightly when being interviewed post-match. That impression comes from a scary recognition that the only quality we lacked in the defeat to Spurs was in the final third.

Sorry Alan but we lacked quality all over the park. Granted James Perch was deputising for Jose Enrique at left back and Alan Smith was filling in for the suspended Kevin Nolan, but for all the bluster there wasn’t much to write home about over yesterdays performance.

Of course, ‘winging it’ was something the home side did to good effect, both their wide men contributing a goal each to prove to be the real difference between the sides. And in doing so, painfully exposed the ineffective contribution of our own wide men.

The first half was littered with bad tempered play but short of real class. Although good play from the home side saw Pavlyuchenko’s goal-bound header brilliantly saved by Tim Krul. The young Dutchman tipping the ball onto one post, only for it to bounce across the line and hit the other post.

With tempers rising ever more in the 2nd half, captain for the day, Joey Barton, led the way for United with some increasingly irritating involvement with the referee, crowd and opposition. None of which would have mattered much if it had proved effective in anything other than detracting from his ability on the ball.

Both Simpson and Perch had tough tasks on their hands in keeping Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon in check. The latter struggled more than the former but neither were particularly troubled until just before the hour. Lennon’s direct running saw him skip past Perch and drive the ball across Krul and into the bottom corner to make it 1-0. Perch’s half decent performance then began to fall away as Lennon almost reproduced the goods not longer after, the left back watching the ball not the man and leaving Lennon in acres of space. Fortunately, the winger dragged his shot wide.

The signs were ominous with the home side settling into some decent football and Modric neat and tidy in the middle. But shortly after the first goal, Younes Kaboul got himself needlessly sent off for a clear and yet pathetic head butt on Tiote, who could easily have already been off the park for several niggling fouls.

Sensing a chance to get something from the game, Pardew swapped Gutierrez for Ranger and brought on Lovenkrands to replace Tiote. And it was Lovenkrands who nearly profited from a Barton throughball, the Dane beating the offside trap. But his first touch was poor allowing the defenders to get back.

Worse was to come when he gave the ball to Andy Carroll who was hustled off the ball by four defenders. Modric picked up the loose ball and drove forward before finding Gareth Bale. And the winger needed no invitation, as he tied Steven Taylor in knots before drilling the ball expertly past Krul and into the far corner to extend the lead.

Standing with a mate after the Manchester City game, I remarked with a pained expression that I wouldn’t mind watching some of the football his team play on a regular basis. He’s a Spurs fan and they were busy turning over Aston Villa. In truth, he’s got a lot more class than a lot of other Tottenham supporters, so it wasn’t too difficult to tell him. But the truth hurts, they weren’t on great form yesterday but what we’d give to be in their position right now…


6 Replies to “Winging it!”

  • Winging it is the perfect title for Alvin. At least he is honest, in his opening press conference telling us that he had seen highlights, and more recently saying that he had seen the dvds of 3/4 of our games.

    Sadly he has yet to work out the difference in effectiveness of a 4-5-1 and 4-4-2 with our personnel, something which Hughton had already done. Perhaps the lack of knowledge was also why he played Perch at left back instead of Kadar.

    Alvin might have more experience, but his most recent Premier League experience was 3 years ago when taking Charlton down. That is perhaps why Hughton was able to get wins in London at West Ham and Arsenal while Alvin is still acclimatising.

    Winging it is also a fair assessment of our owner and Chairman. It might work in retail, or the murky world of gambling, but Alvin is starting to look like a gamble we should not have taken.

  • BowburnMag: Not a bad article, but BUT, I have to take issue. The first issue is that you lot sacked a ‘Sir Bobby’ in the making when you showed Chris the door. I just know that Ash will live to regret that decission. The second issue relates to the instructions Pardew gave to his team regarding the ‘PLAN’. My feelng would be that he said ‘Leave a foot in here and there and rough them up a bit and they won’t fancy it’. Now if that’s not what he said, then the three midfielders, Andy and your two CD’s are just thugs in everyday life and I don’t believe that. By the time kaboul got sent off you should have been down to 9 men with Smith and Tiote off and that sainted character JOEY walking a tightrope. The referee (for want of a better word was a shictster who wilfully attempted to win the game for Newcastle and only started giving Spurs any decisions after they went 2-0 up. Yeah– when it was too late for him to turn it around for your Mr Pardew.
    I have seen newcastle play some good football against bigger teams than spurs and if Chrissy was Manager he would have made the players put the ball down and play a game of football, not Australian Rules Football — SOCCER as the yanks call it.
    That wasn’t a game where you could discuss anything but the niggling and the bad taste JOEY brought to the table and Smith and Tiote.
    For your article to be non-biased it should have highlighted the unacceptable behaviour of these three GOB*****ES.

  • Yid in peace! I don’t watch too many full Newcastle games, but the impression I had when Houghton as manager was one of young(ish) team, full of confidence and attacking ability! I was genunely thinking you’d be in contention for Europa Cup places at the end of the season, but the tactic in this game seemed to be to “park the bus”, and, may I say “add agro” through Barton, Timote and Smith. The “agro” worked on Kaboul who was (as you mentioned) needless and pathetic in getting sent off (he’s since appologised to all involved), but otherwise Peardrop seemed to only want them to defend, when in all honesty so many of them are great in attack! We were genuinely worried about facing Carroll, but the negative tactics of the manager seemed to do more to keep him quiet than anything our defence did! Did you guys see it this way too, or am I on my own here?

  • You have to remember, we’re at the mercy of the imbeciles in charge of the club. The decisions you’re talking about can’t be influenced by the supporters. Despite the fallacy that we believed and wanted to be everyone’s ‘2nd team’ in the past, we’ve never been concerned about being popular. Of course, it’s nice to be appreciated because it means something is going well. But with the new breed of players, while we have commitment and desire which has been sorely lacking, we also have players treading a fine line between fair play and otherwise. And of course some of them already have a bad boy stigma attached to them. While popularity is the least of our worries, I’d prefer not to become the next Millwall or Leeds.

  • Fair assesment Bowburn! I wasn’t “complaining” about the physical side so much as questioning the new manager’s “negative football”! As a Spurs fan, everytime we try to defend a lead, we end up conceeding, as all our players were chosen for their attacking talent, not their defensive quality. Just get the impression that some of yours could be the same ie better to attack everyone than try to defend! I know the supporters can’t change that, but not sure Peardrop is playing “the Newcastle way”. Anyway, good news, looks like you’ll be signing Ben Arfa soon, and he’s top quality and much sought after, a real Coup if you sign him permanantly!

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