Pardew’s managerial maintenance

James Perch - Quality in reserve?

The Mansfield Zanetti
It’s coming up for one year since Alan Pardew took over the managerial reign of this club, and it’s fair to say that his appointment was under a cloud of controversy to say the least.

He then had to go about keeping the ship steady and to basically get the squad on his side quickly and to get them to trust in him. I think it’s pretty safe to say that he managed to do just that and it’s also worth noting that he has started to rebuild the team/squad to fit into his own work ethics. It’s still a work in progress, but there are signs that his work is starting to pay off at NUFC.

Naturally he has had his ups and downs with certain player unrest and the obvious Andy Carroll incident, plus dealing with a few ego’s, but on the whole he has managed it. With the help of his staff and also Graham Carr, he has managed to assemble a very good team to add to the quality already at his disposal. He has even managed to bring in players from the cold to slot into certain positions (due to injury or transfer) that we didn’t think could be adequately filled and yet he managed to do it with a lot more ease than we thought it would be.

The thing is…… is this by good fortune? Or is it great management in being confident a cover player can do the job and conditioning that players mind and physicality to adapt to it?

Alan Pardew appears to have the so called Midas touch, or at least foresight because everything he seems to touch at the minute turns to gold, or shall I say, every cover player he picks, steps up to the mark. The likes of Danny Guthrie come, even James Perch and also Ryan Taylor can come into the team and look much better players than we thought they were.

I believe that this club NOW compared to how it has been managed in the past with certain managers is the reason why we are moving forwards. I’m now going to have a bit of a roundabout take on the situation .

Imagine the club as being a car repair centre and the car repair centre deals with only certain makes of cars because they don’t have the expertise in their staff to deal with the more complicated makes.

Most of the mechanics in the place are quite content to continue doing the same cars as they’re easier to do and they can saunter through their day to day life doing it without the worry or the effort of fixing the more complicated type of cars.

Some mechanics though, go up to the boss and say; “If we want to be at the top of our game, we need to bring in mechanics who can allow us to take on those more complicated cars and in doing so, we can learn from them, which in turn will make us better at our jobs and we can start to compete against the rival garages”

“Good idea,” the boss says. “We will get in a manager who can hopefully bring in the right experienced mechanics for us to compete with the other garages and who can also help the other mechanics to add another level to their quality.”

Those mechanics that were happy just to saunter along the old way were shipped out for the new mechanics. And those who wanted to add another string to their bow and learn to compete against the top level mechanics, took notice and learned as the job went on and who the manager thought well capable to take over the job of more complicated cars should the experienced better quality mechanics go on holiday or sick leave.

The more complicated the cars get, the more the manager looks for the experts to come in and teach the others to gain those qualities and to up their game for fear of being left behind in a quality team of mechanics.

I did say that I go about stuff in a roundabout way…

What I’m basically saying is that the reason why players who we thought were second rate are coming in and doing an amazing job, is because of the added quality brought in that they can learn from and want to learn from to up their game so they put in the required effort and observations and benefit from it , until one day they are called upon to take the place of the quality player should he get injured and are determined to make their mark and show what they are capable of.

As time goes on, the quality builds, and the quality already here, steps up once again which, if done correctly over time, means that everyone in that squad knows without doubt that you either step up to the mark or you go down the road and that’s why I think Pardew has got this team playing as the unit it is, because no one wants to fail, unlike many a time when we have seen players who have accepted just going through the motions.

Can anyone see what I’m getting at? And if not… I tried and I can’t help it if I’m related to Eric Cantona!

64 thoughts on “Pardew’s managerial maintenance

  1. I never wanted him as boss ,,
    But. As soon as he was confirmed he has had my full support , 😈

    And Hes doing a great job too ,

    Wilf , your nuts my man . ,:-)


  2. I think one of the benefits of replacing the player-power approach with a top-down one is that, in theory, all players then become equal and all places are up to competition.

    Guthrie is a good example. The ability was always there, and we’d seen glimpses of it. But because the core players of the committee – Nolan, Smith, Barton, etc. – were seen as being senior by default, anyone else was picking off scraps, so Danny ended up on the wing as a fill-in.

    Pardew’s had the guts to rip that approach out at the roots and replace it where his vision for play sets up the positions and the players compete for them. End of. It’s more resilient, fairer, and less likely to pander to the politics and egos involved.

    The other reason it works is that it dovetails into the club’s wider strategy, which recruits to required qualities without having to consider what any of the other players think. Quite right too.


  3. Great article and I agree with you. I am very happy with him and what he is acheiving. I hope all the naysayers are now rethinking.

    On the CB issue and Jan window, if Santoon can play with Perch then great but where the hell is Kadar? Is Fergie back in contention yet?

    If Tiote is to leave for Chelski then so be it, we need the money. I would be happyto have Alex plus money for him if thats possible. Then if we can get 3 more with the Tiote money, a new spine CB, CM and ST then great. Will Ashley spend? Who knows but surely even as a businessman he can see we need only 2 players to really really push for top 7 spot


  4. Good points Whumpie! What’s bothering me and has done nearly all season is this strict rigidity with 442. For that to work you need 2 good wingers. Last time we had a good team the 2 wingers between them contributed 25 goals and 29 assists. That’s 54 goals! The four we’ve got at the moment will struggle to get 10 between them. We must look at 433 and play to the strengths we have. HBA looks totally lost trying to play the Beardsley No 10 role. However he’s one of only 2 world class players we’ve got and we’re wasting him. Look at how well Sturridge and Mata did, or Silva. Benny’s as good as that if you play him there.
    HBA, Ba or Shola, Jonas with Tiote, Cabaye and Guthrie in midfield.
    Obertan’s a waste of space and a defence with Raylor, Simpson and Perch in doesn’t bear thinking about!


  5. georgio, i believe we played 4-3-3 (or at least a 4-2-1-3) against chelsea, at least for the 1st half and we were poo – we looked a better team when HBA came off and we went back to a 4-4-2.


  6. Nobby – I saw the game too! Lover and Ober and later Sammy hugged the touchline all game. I saw Zoe mention that we’d played 433 too but bloody hell I didn’t see it. And nobody’s happy seeing HBA taken off at half time. Pardew, the fans, the players and most of all HBA. What a waste.


  7. Hes got some serious thinking between now and norwich but he’s done very well plugging gaps since arriving, Bests form last season after Carroll fucked off and Guthries form since Tiotes injury so he will more than likely find some way of getting points on the board.

    Lets hope Perch, Kadar and Santon who looks like he has the height and pace to be effective at CB (not the 5″ nowt simpson like in the fizzy) can fill in until Colo and Williamson are fit again…


  8. I hate 4-3-3, always have done as it feels wrong defensively. But that’s only my opinion.


    You’re right in saying we shouldn’t be so rigid with the 4-4-2 but if we were to deviate from this I’d prefer to flood the midfield with a 4-5-1 (if we had the players). I feel Ba is strong enough to be the loan striker as long as the service he gets is decent. I always feel a football match is lost or won in midfield (coming from my playing days as a midfielder) and the 4-5-1 and 4-4-2 are fantastic formations if you’ve got the wingers putting the work rate in.

    4-3-3 seems to make people lazy.


  9. Georgio… I love HBA – I just think he needs to wind his neck in and play on the RW!! He looks class going up the wing!


  10. Is Santon ‘ready’ yet?

    Surely he’s got to come in for our next game, if not why the fark did we buy him?? 6m for a reserve player. If he doesn’t get into the team now I doubt he ever will!!


  11. Sorry Georgio – back to the 4-3-3 thing on saturday – I did see although it was a bit lopsided to the right… as i said before it was probably a bit more of a 4-2-1-3


    This didn’t suit us as we haven’t played like this all season so maybe it was a bit much for them to come up with in a week. Maybe it was Loven being lazy and not dropping back to help out raylor that made it seem like a 4-3-3 but either way it didn’t work.


  12. …as I said, what’s wrong with Santon? He’s got to be better than Raylor. He’s a full back for a start.


  13. I thought Pardieu said Santon wasnt ready for the physicality of the prem. If so then he def wont be able to play centre half, but he must be due his chance now, after Raylors getting found out now. What about Jona at left back, didnt he play right back for the Argies in the last world cup. He has in effect been playing left back for us this season. I agree about Obertoon on satday, I,m surprised nobody has mentioned his passing, he must have given about 6 suicide pases during the game, and thats when he was passing to our players.


  14. Pardew seems to have the knack of getting the best out of what he has which is great although you can only polish a turd so much.

    Whilst I think Perch is getting unneccessary abuse from a lot of fans and gas rarely put a foot wrong since Stoke I still know he isn’t a Central defender so may well cock up.

    Nice to see some fans boo him and lovenkrands at the weekend. Great touch from some of the best fans in the land…


  15. Tamas Kadar is a centre back and he did ok a couple of seasons ago in the Championship. It’s time to test his metal.


  16. That’s a quality tackle in the picture toonsy. πŸ˜€

    Steve, yeah I’d be more than happy to see Jonas in a full back position, but I’d rather use him in midfield. My concern now though, is our back line being severely dented. I think Raylor has managed OK so far because he’s been alongside two top CBs with Jonas in front of him. This is no longer the case now though.

    Be very interesting to see the squad this weekend.


  17. I think most people at the time felt that Chris Hughton was being unfairly sacked, and I doubt pardew would have been anyone’s first choice replacement.
    But a year on and I think the vast majority believe it was definitely the right thing to do. Lambastard said in his drunken rant, that Hughton did a good job but was just too nice. I can see where he is coming from because being stuck between this board and the most passionate fans in the world, you need a man with a bit of steel about him.
    When you consider what trials Pardew has faced over the last year, I think he’s handled himself really well. Some have called him a puppet at times but every manager has to watch what they say against the board… piss them off and you can join the ever growing que at the Job centre, and believe me, hughtons strings would have been held alot tighter.
    I think, ironically he has shown so far, how good he is with transfers, dealing with egos and club politics. But almost a year in charge, it is now the first real time he will have to prove himself when it comes to team selection. With the injuries to Taylor, Colo and Tiote, it’s time to prove how well he knows his squad of players.
    He’s done brilliant up to now but if we are to continue this fantastic run and have a real go at europe qualification, then it’s Pardews and whoever he chooses to come ins time to shine.


  18. Shamrock, yeah Kadar has looked shakey at times but Pardew and his coaching staff seem to have got the best out of our defence so far, Kadar can only have improved (can’t he?).


  19. You would like to hope so Rodz. What is he doing at the club if we cant use him now when all of our senior players in that position are injured? If Pardew elects a full back to play there instead of him, then I will be baffled. Get him on the training pitch for some 1 on 1 tuition and put some trust in him, or ship him out in January… πŸ˜•


  20. Indeed Shamrock. He’s been at the club as an ‘exciting young prospect’ for 4 years now!

    …seems to have a touch of the old ‘Kazenga Syndrome’.


  21. So have we got a mountain to climb against norwich? Our CB (who ever they maybe) will have to be on the ball here because i watched the norwich game against liverpool and they get some very very VERY good crosses in. whoever their RW is is class.

    Hopefully Ba will be in his element here and pull in another hatrick. If our defense is poo we might have to do a keegan (1st time round) and have a mentality of ‘whatever you score we’ll score more’ attitude. only problem is everyone has to be able to hit the target with that attitude.


  22. How many gaffer’s yer got Nobby?

    I Spartacus comes to mind…… “I’m Nobby’s gaffer”….. I’m Nobby’s gaffer….. how many before the day’s out I wonder?



  23. In January I can see us going for Onouha on loan and probably go back in for Ridgewell because Pieters has broke his foot I think.


  24. Dear Mike ‘Santa Claus’ Ashley

    For Christmas this year I would like the following:

    – A decent Left Back
    – A decent cover for 2x CB places (even if you just lend me a couple)
    – A fast and nippy Striker
    – A screwball scramble
    – A nosh off of Cheryl Cole/Tweedy
    – And your Owl-Heed Elf to fuck off

    Cheers Fatty

    A. Pardew


  25. Rod, that’s why I think if we are going to get two defenders in January and with Maiga/a striker seemingly on there way already I think we’ll go for Ridgewell and Onouha (on loan), mainly because that will come to about Β£2 million πŸ˜†


  26. This blogs picture would be a class ‘spot the ball’ competition.

    I’m not sure even Perch knows where the ball is? πŸ˜†


  27. I think he’s mistaken it for Warnock’s head Nobby.

    Dan, I’d happily see either of them two at the club, and no doubt fatty will be targetting players of 4m and under, regardless of how much we bring in.


  28. good article Wolfie, I for 1 couldnt believe we signed Pards, I was totally gutted.

    Very impressed with him now though. He seems to get the best of of what we’ve got and is supposed to be meticulous with his preperations.

    Hopefully he understands what MA’s intends to do and doesnt get the hump when Mike sells all of his top players, don’t forget his reputation is on the line too. He’s in it to win it not make profits for MA.


  29. I think Ridgwell would be a top signing, good prem experience and would be a very reliable back up.
    Most clubs would struggle with their top 2 centre backs out injured, i doubt this will see us drastically change our jan transfer plans, whichever centre back we sign will obviously not be the standard of colo/taylor.


  30. Think the last 3 games and the injuries have cut short the dreaming, was great while it lasted.
    Now is the time to show our togetherness as a team, we are 8 points clear of 7th. Top 8 should be our aim now, wouldn’t have said that at the start of the season but we have such a head start that i would be slightly gutted to fall lower.
    The past 3 seasons has seen 51 points be enough to finish 8th
    That’s only 8 more wins, in the bag! πŸ˜‰


  31. I think the injuries are in some way related to not being able to rotate through lack of numbers. Everybody says keep a settled side but it is impossible for players to play every game. I am no medic but believe strains and the like are linked to fatigue. In the championship season Kadar looked classy but last season was written off by injury. Pardew will have seen him day to day and hasn’t included him even in carling cup ties. Still believe he could be a gem. His national side seems to think so.


  32. Didn’t Pardew say summit about Kadar having “interests outside of football” or something like that?

    Maybe its an attitude issue and not a technical one? Like Nile Ranger but not as cnuty πŸ˜•


  33. Toby, good point about Kadar in his national side. He is a full international, ao there has to be something there!

    I don’t envy Pardew for the next couple of weeks though


  34. Dan4toon, I was thinking Onouha too in January. We could apply to the premier league for an emergency loan deal but can’t see them saying yes, after they said no to QPR lately so may have to wait until January. Pieters has a broken toe and still recovering so unsure of the return date. The most likely signing sounds like Ridgewell because he’ll be cheap.


  35. The whole Kadar situation as with Santon is quite puzzling. Kadar has definitely not caught Pardew’s eye at all or he would have a squad number. He has indicated he has other interests that are important to him. Probably not the smartest thing a professional footballer has ever said. Right now it will be essential to get him up to speed. I think Tavernier’s loan is over so get him going as well. Thanks to owl head we have little choice until January. Surely Santon would be better defensively than Raylor, but now we need his height at CB. We look to have been caught completely unprepared by these injuries. I think Pardew has done an excellent job with the squad but the squad has been woefully weak at the CB position for a long time now. Why have we never replaced Campbell? It’s a pity none of the press can ask owl head what he actually does all day?


  36. Maybe owl head actually spends all day reading blogs like this with all the glowing compliments about how he does his job! πŸ˜€


  37. Good read Wolfie, I don’t think Pardew was anyones choice(fatboy apart) but he’s doing a great job under difficult circumstances. He is getting the best out of players but that’s every managers job, whether players are of “average” ability or “world class” ability….easier said than done though. πŸ˜€

    Agree with Dan and BillyB ref Onouha, canny player, nae chance on an emergency loan methinks unless it was for a Keeper.


  38. Geordie2….I think Tavernier is at Sheff Wed until Jan, unless that was cancelled for some reason and I’m behind the times……..which is very possible πŸ˜•


  39. good read wolfie,as usual something goes wrong ,and out come the ashley haters,any team would find it hard to replace 3 centrebacks,and i know fans have said they saw it coming,but to lose all 3 at once is just pure bad luck,as it happens if we had signed pieters as everyone wanted we would have had 4 out at the same time,but that would have been fine,because we had cover,also i just wish everyone wouldn’t get worked up about january,nobody knows whats going to happen,its no good fretting about it till the time comes


  40. Wolfie good read mate, I think Pards is doing a mighty fine job, and I think he done well in taking the power back that Hooters had handed over to the players, which on that did anyone else find it real strange that Carroll was named as one of the senior players of the infamous players committee ❓ ❓ I think that was a prime example of why Hooters didn’t have the Balls needed to be a good manager.
    On the subject of garages I think Pards is the one that wants to do it right, but the problem he will have while servicing cars is that Jabba will be wanting him to take the plugs out give them a good clean and stick them back in. as for the oil filter aye just give it a good clean they will never know


  41. Hows It going lads new to this blog, really enjoy the articles, well written so congrats on that.

    Im not too worried about the centre back dilemma, luckily we have 3 winnable games, can’t see norwich putting us under pressure like chelsea and united, so i think we will have enough until Jan, lets not forget colo and willo should be back by atleast Bolton. If we can create chances against norwich we will be fine in my opinion.

    what does any one think about douglas from FC Twente in jan, apparantly his contract doesnt have long left.


  42. Loved the car analogy. I actually got it straight away and I agree, working with beter players is only going to benefit the fringe players as they’ll learn more if they want to.

    It isnt deal to be without Tayls and Colo but we have to keep the faith with what we have and try not to let this great start go to waste.

    In a way this makes a mockery of the transfer window. The bigger teams can cope with this anyway but the rest of the league will struggle.


  43. Welcome Alex πŸ™‚

    That’s an Axel and now an Alex we have. Confusing πŸ˜†

    New article up by the way πŸ™‚


  44. welcome to the blog alex,have to agree with what you say,think even without our main centre backs we can win these games


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green