Pardew got his tactics spot on agaist Stoke

A tactical masterclass from Pardew?
Newcastle ran out 3-1 winners against Stoke on Monday night in a game that was dubbed as our “first real test” of the season.

I think it is fair to say we well and truly passed that test.

During the game I noticed a number of tactics that Alan Pardew employed in order to nullify the Stoke threat. These tactics proved to be very effective for the duration of the match and helped us to take all three points on a Halloween night of horrors for the Potters fans.

The first tactic that we used last night was deployed whenever Stoke had a corner. We brought both Demba Ba and Leon Best back to defend in our penalty box in order to combat Stoke’s aerial threat. In addition to that we left Gabriel Obertan upfront whilst the corner was taken which then allowed us to clear the ball to Obertan to use his pace and put pressure on the defenders.

That tactic worked a treat on the night as several times we cleared the ball straight up to him and we ended up further up the pitch as a result. In fact Obertan was unlucky not to have scored on Monday and he had the beating of their full-back pretty much most of the night. Put simply, Stoke were afraid of his pace.

Along with this Pardew had obviously briefed Danny Simpson and Ryan Taylor to beat Stoke at their own game. How much time does Rory Delap waste when he takes a throw-in? The answer is a lot and both fullbacks employed the towel tactic, taking their time to dry the ball and then throw it on.

The result? Tony Pulis was in uproar, complaining to the fourth official about our players using the ball but I had no complaints with it. His team did the same whenever they had a throw-in, so it was fair for us to use the same tactic against them. I wonder if other teams may follow our lead on that one now?

Ryan Taylor even tried to impersonate Delap at times and it certainly worked as they were unable to deal with our threats from throws. We certainly beat them at their own game the other night and our first goal was how you would expect Stoke to come at us. A long kick from Tim Krul found Leon Best who headed on to Gabriel Obertan who then crossed for Demba Ba to nod in.

Whenever Stoke had possession of the ball, Pardew had made sure that his players were like hounds, snapping at their feet allowing them no time to move the ball. Every player was closed down very quickly, even if we didn’t win the ball it put them under a huge amount of pressure.

Whenever Jermaine Pennant gained the ball, Ryan Taylor and Jonas Gutierrez doubled up on him to stop him getting crosses into the box and in fact Gutierrez had the job of man marking Pennant and he did a sterling job of keeping him at bay although it did hinder the attacking influence of the Argentine.

Our team was also very brave, they were not afraid to put their bodies on the line to stop Stoke. Ryan Taylor went up for a defensive completeley unaware that Jonathan Walters was about to challenge him. He took a heavy knock to his head and was on the ground for a few minutes.

Thankfully he was fine but it showed that we were putting our bodies on the line. Tim Krul also demonstrated this on several occasions when he came off his line in to a crowded area to stake claim to the ball. This was another ploy that Pardew had briefed his goalie on and that too restricted the amount of opportunities that Stoke could have on our goal.

These tactics were very encouraging to see. Alan Pardew seems to have taken the time and effort to think of ways to combat Stoke and it worked very well for us. It was very encouraging to see that we had tactics like this to use against the Potters unlike when we played them last season.

It will be very interesting to see what we have lined up to combat Everton on Saturday.

About ZoΓ« Vicarage

A lifelong Newcastle fan. Currently exiled in Sunderland studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland Follow me on Twitter: @ZoeVicarage

112 thoughts on “Pardew got his tactics spot on agaist Stoke

  1. @Bris

    sometimes its best to agree to disagree, but your comment about MA having minimal impact on the pitch is like saying Cabaye has no class.. πŸ™„


  2. [email protected] 43

    You want to thank Pardew? That’s fine… but who brought Pardew in? Who made an unpopular decision to do that? Who is making the club financially stable? Who reduced season ticket prices to fill up SJP? Who had the boll8cks to get rid of a snivelling; gobby; towrag (Barton).

    Yes… maybe his reasons to do all these things is to make money for himself and promote tacky sports goods in asia but who the hell cares?

    I am a person who never bears a grudge… i may hate an unpopular decision at the time but then, once i see why it’s been put forward I can then make a decision whether it was good or bad.

    List of unpopular decisions that have turned out good:

    – Sacking Keegan (His heart wasn’t in it)
    – Selling leaching players when we went down (Not as unpopular as other things)
    – Sacking Hughton (I don’t think we’d be sitting in 3rd with him)
    – Selling Carroll (We got rid of 1 dimensional football for Β£35m)
    – Selling Nolan (Take Cabaye over him any day)
    – Effectively sacking Barton (Like I said, snivelling, gobby towrag)

    Therefore everyone (including me) whi hated his guts for making these unpopular decisions really owes him an apology as they were wrong.

    The team may now crumble and we go on a massive losing streak but it doesn’t look like happening.

    We should not become childish, immature ‘throw me toys out me pram and hate the fat man till the day he dies’ idiots – we should wait till the end of the season, see what happens and if we qualify for Europa league….

    Apologise and say thankyou.


  3. No, Bris. I’m asking you to take the word of an actual first team player.

    The Mail just happened to be the top answer on Google. I can post links to the Times, Telegraph, Journal, Chronicle etc. if you prefer?


  4. @TC

    It’s clear the regime are slowly learning and putting things right. For me, it appears Pardew has been instrumental in changing their tactics.

    Pardew came out of patsy role by openly criticising the board over the lack of activity in signing a striker and paying the players bonuses which was dividing the camp last season.

    They then come out and offer fans a fantastic season ticket offer. I put that decision solely down to me and the reality train campaign. πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

    Three cheers for me and Pards! πŸ˜›

    I will always forgive Ashley if he continues to change his ways and has clearly been seeing the light lately. πŸ˜›


  5. And to think, I’ve been called an Ashley lover by people on this blog in the past. Obviously nuance is not a forte of some people.

    Anyway, can’t hang around here all night …


  6. What makes me laugh is the same lads who constantly slated our chances this year and said we were going to get relegated have gone missing…..
    Great article zoe was going to write something similar; he seems to have the tactics right and when he doesnt he is the first to admit; a sign of a good manager.

    My next real fear is the jan transfer window seeing as how well we have done its imperative not to lose anyone other that ranger or loverman who sounds like might be leaving


  7. Personally with our tails up I think we will cope through to January. We then have the transfer window, African CN, and the lack of a winter break to affect the new foreign signings. Our 1st team, the new invincibles have thrived on each new test put in front of them. The new year will test the strength of the squad. The focus on tactics and everyone playing their role will help standard premiership players who are too often derided, eg perch, step up the way Guthrie has the last two games, and Raylor all season.


  8. Premandup

    i don’t expect us to get through the next month unbeaten BUT, at the same time, if we do manage to scrape draws in manchester i wouldn’t be bowled over with surprise, simply because of the squads work ethic.

    If we’re still in the top 4 come january… is it totally off the mark to fight for a top 4 finish? IF we’re still 4th in january i think the only way we can stay around there is if we get some depth in the transfer window.

    I’m not deluded… i say this all with skepticism. πŸ˜‰


  9. I’m not suggesting we will win our next 4 games, but I don’t expect to be blown away either. I think that January will present a different set of challenges which will test our squad depth. So far injuries etc mean that we have played much the same team throughout. So 1st team proved itself, squad depth still to be tested.

    Newcastle Villa 4th feb & Spurs NUFC the next game will give give the answers. Are we best of the rest or serious europe contenders.


  10. “It’s clear the regime are slowly learning and putting things right.”…..Or alternatively there are an increasing number of less cerebrally challenged Toon fans who now realise that a football club can be run as a business and there really isn’t fairies at the bottom of the garden in the guise of premiership footballers who would walk on hot coals to play for Newcastle, not matter what the wages and how much abuse they get from numpty fans when things aren’t going quite right. Soem of us also realise that owners are not bottomless money pits who ‘because they love the Toon’ are prepared to bankrupt themselves to appease the very same fans who wouldn’t p*ss on them if they were on fire! ….It would appear though that there are still some in our ranks who have a little bit of growing up still to do!


  11. All credit to Pardew for the team performance the other night, I was genuinely surprised as to how well disciplined and organised the team were against a Stoke team very hard to beat at home. Although, before we start singing the praises of Mike Ashley for picking Pardew out of obsecurity as he knew that he was a tactical genius and we would be in 3rd at this point of the season is a bit hard to believe. I should imagine Ashley saw a ‘yes’ man in Pardew, a manager who would get the job done and secure mid table positions year after year, if Ashley had any ambition O’Neil or Jol would have been snapped up last december. However, before I start being accused of being of not being behind the team it is a pleasant surprise how well Pardew has got this team to play but I think we should remember that the position we are in now is not down to Ashley and his superior knowledge of the game to forsee Pardew as doing so well more as a result of wanting to get someone in to make his life easier


  12. Must say, just read through this thread as I’m on my break. Some cracking points and counter points going on. Brilliant stuff πŸ™‚


  13. @ Joesoap – I wonder how long it will be before Graham Carr has competitors though? Surely other club owners will see the formula being used and will try to copy?

    Is this a serious point ? I dont think having a scouting network is a ground breaking innovation Ashley has come up with Joe. Yes our scouts have started to bear fruit picking out some gems in Tiote and Cabaye but just look at Arsenal this is a tactic they have been employing since the last 90’s. Who had heard of Viera , Petit or Henry before they came to England. In fact this a formula that Ashley has only got wise to in recent seasons, any one remember Dennis Wise our Director of football who scouted youtube for new signings. I think this tactic has started paying off due to we have a quality scout who recognises a talented played in Carr .


  14. @John 98……Take your point, and of course I realise that scouting players has always been the mainstay of any decent football club. It just seems odd that Graham Carr and Newcastle are able to pick up these relatively unknown gems for small fees, and so called bigger clubs are going for the expensive finished articles. Also clubs like Aston Villa & even the mackems can only survive if they can emulate surely?…They can’t compete with ManU Citeh Liverfool etc for players so must be scouring the same continental leagues that we are. My point was that they will compete for signatures and Carr may not find it so easy in future to sign players such as Tiote & Cabaye as these other clubs will be sniffing around also.


  15. @ JoeSoap
    You make a valid point in regards to Newcastle not being able to pick up these gems for the small fees that we have been doing. However, surely this must be the case already, Villa and Sunderland will surely have established scouting networks such as the one we now have in place. However, it must come down to the quality of the scout, for instance I read how Carr had followed Tiote for 5 years even before Carr was brought to Newcastle. We will aloways face competition for signatures and I am sure this was the case for cabaye, a player who is a French International and won the league with Lille. Also he was playing in the same team as Hazard who is under the radar of many top European clubs and even Gervinho who Arsenal signed so he cant have gone unnoticed. I think you must bring into the equation the draw of Newcastle and even in this case that of Pardew, Cabaye spoke very highly of him and the discussions they held prior to him signing. You also have to remember that their was probably alot of players that Newcaslte missed out on this summer that went elsewhere for small fees that we dont know about, to show that competition for players already exists.


  16. If other clubs get a ‘graham carr’ that’s fine by me as it turns football back into what it’s supposed to be…. competition. Not a hard working club going out and finding talent only for some billionaire arab to throw money at us and poach players.

    To John at @ 96

    On the contary I believe that’s exactly what Ashley has done. He did not pick Pardew out of a hat or expected him to be just a yes man. Hughton didn’t get a contract extension a year ago when we slayed the filth 5-1. Already Ashley had it in his head that he wanted someone else and I’m sure the decision was not taken lightly to bring Pardew in

    I said about a month ago that I know (almost for a fact but admittedly it is 2nd hand information) that Pardew was brought in to win cups (probably to promote the club abroad) pardew has good experience in cup runs, hughton always played a weak team in cups… the answer was simple.. replace hughton with someone who’ll take us far in a cup.

    Now admittedly the carling cup went tits up but you have to say that that last cup game was always winnable and we were just unlucky not to progress to the next round.

    This ‘never say die’ cup attitude has spilled out onto the premier league and its effecting our results as a bi-product. happy days :mrgreen:


  17. @joesoap

    It doesn’t need the recent upturn in the toons performances on and off the pitch to realise that football clubs can make a profit and achieve champions league football.

    Arsenal have done it for years.

    To be fair, I thought Arsene
    Wenger was unique but maybe Pardew the Toon are the new arsenal. 😯


  18. It’s interesting times in footy at the moment. We’ve got a bit of a fight back from a few clubs who maybe aren’t meekly going to lie down and allow the likes of our 3 super rich clubs and Real Madrid, Barcelona etc just stroll up and walk off with their best players….although quite how they’ll go about doing this is a bit of a puzzler to me. I guess it’s always going to come down to if a player is offered double salary at a ‘big’ club they will just up sticks and go, but like with Fabregas at Arsenal are they all willing to sell their integrity and sit on the bench so they can earn 10 million a year instead of 5? Sometimes it might come down to something other than money!!!![Hopefully]


  19. I am inclined to agree with Nobby on the Ashley issue, although one does need to remember that he did lie over the Keegan issue. However, there is no doubt that MA and DL have got NUFC onto a very strong footing that has resulted in the best feel-good factor we have had in years, and with the potential for this to continue and even improve. I also think that MA and DL would acknowledge that they too made mistakes, if only through poor or even no communication with the fans; and so – apart from success making all sides feel good – what really needs to happen is apologies all round followed by handshakes, remembering that what we all want – which is what we are now seeing – is success for a team and a club we passionately support. If such mutual pardons and respect can be given, it can only make us even stronger and encourage MA to not just stay the course but really put the club in a very strong and stable condition for the future. HWTL.



    Be all and end all is… relationships breakdown through lack of communication.

    Us and ashley
    On the pitch
    me and the ex mrs πŸ˜†


  21. Really pleased with how it’s going so far. The spirit is looking ridiculously strong. See for example how Obertan has changed in a few games from losing the ball and watching players waltz past him to chasing and pressurising a la Jonas. Impressed with him vs Stoke, he’s bought into the work ethic evidently. Guthrie too, to me has always been prone to being half asleep, turning into opposing players losing the ball and also letting people stride through him in midfield. Even he looked sharp and dogged in determination. I really think that level of pressure should be our standard now for the season, there’s no excuse for dropping below it. It must be difficult to come into this team and not give everything, you’d feel like quite the fool. I hope HBA, Santon and Maiga, if he comes, buy into this too. Not worried about Marveaux, he looks a terrier to me. I do also remember HBA sticking the boot in a bit last season.

    As an aside we have to be patient with him, this is still effectively his first season in the PL, think he’ll need the season to get used to it and for us to find the best system including him. Really excited about our potential going forward with him, Cabaye, Marveaux, Santon, Jonas, Obertan, Ba etc etc. There’s a lot of pace and guile there, hope we get the balance between our defensive shape and letting that lot play. πŸ™‚

    One other thing, lets not get too ahead of ourselves with the expectations or the praise for the planning and performance of the board/management. We are woefully short of cover across the back four. An injury to Colo or Saylor could ruin everything. Pulling out of the Pieters deal looks to me a big mistake. Cover at LB and CB would put us in a much more comfortable position. It’s for sure something I’m worried about.

    Fantastic performance on Monday, the highlights of us chasing Stoke down was immense. Everton will not be easy, hoping for a win, 1-0 or 2-1 I think. Fancy a result vs Chelsea too, not so confident about the Mancs. Either way, bring it on, what a season!


  22. I’ve managed to get the tortoise revived and back in it’s shell the right way round! 😯

    Does anyone know how to tell the difference between a tortoise and a turtle?

    I’ve put him in the bath to test him but he just sunk. There’s bubbles coung from his nose.
    But I suppose a turtle will do the same. I will give him 5 mins to do a proper test. Standby for the results. 😯


  23. @EPP re Obertan…completely agree. If Pard’s had merely dropped him after previous lack-lustre performances, I reckon he’d of been the type to withdraw into a shell [bit like Troy’s tortoise maybe!], but good ‘man-management’ by the coaching staff has made him realise what he needed to do and come back stronger…long may it continue!


  24. If Obertan or any of the players should withdraw into their shell, it looks like dropping them in a bath of water for 5 minutes should make all the difference!


  25. @ EPP

    “It must be difficult to come into this team and not give everything, you’d feel like quite the fool.”

    I didn’t even look at it like that but that is a completely valid point 😎

    Anyone not pulling their weight would start to feel a bit of a black sheep. if anyone starts to not pull their weight that to me would look like a player unhappy and doesn’t want to play for the club. They would need to go or whatever gripe they have would need resolving.


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