United stars deny rumours of players unrest

Players are ready to fight, says Tiote

Players are ready to fight, says Tiote Newcastle United have released a piece of news/sort of statement regarding the recent rumours of divisions in the dressing room.

In a brief piece posted on the club website, stars such as Papiss Cisse and Cheik Tiote along with Managing Director Derek Llambias have responded to claims made by Luke Edwards in the Daily Telegraph earlier on in the week.

You can view the article from Edwards which has caused all of this by clicking here, but the fallout from it is perhaps the most interesting thing. Generally speaking I take everything, positive and negative, written in the press with a liberal sprinkling of salt, but the way United have reacted to this situation has left me asking more questions and has made me wonder now if there is something in these rumours.

The club sent a letter via a solicitor to The Telegraph stating that if the article wasn’t removed then Luke Edwards, and The Daily/Sunday Telegraph in general, would be banned from attending matches at St James’ Park, pre-match press conferences and player interviews. The Telegraph have responded by sticking to their guns and insist their sources are correct in an article which you can read here.

United then had another retort lined up and released an article on the official club website featuring quotes which you can read below. Essentially they all centre around these rumours and dismiss the validity of them. First Papiss Cisse had his say:



“Every player is together. We are totally focussed on Saturday’s game at West Ham and the two games after that. We have a strong bond and we want the best for our Club, our manager and our wonderful fans,” said Cisse.

He added: “We are not happy about recent results. Nobody is happy when they lose, but this has only made us stronger as a group and we will come through this together. There is no divide in the team.”

His words were backed up by Cheik Tiote who insisted that everyone is in this together and that the players must, and will, fight to get out of the situation they currently find themselves in.

The Ivory Coast midfielder said: “We want to let the fans know that all of the players are committed and we are in this together. We will fight to get out of this problem and we know our fans will help us to do that. They are incredible.”

Meanwhile Derek Llambias also used this chance to take a swipe, presumably at The Telegraph, claiming that false rumours are just an attempt to distract the team.

“The Club is determined to turn things around and everyone is working together to secure that goal. It is not helpful when people try and distract the team and the manager with false rumours,” said Llambias.

A lot has been written about unrest in the dressing room, not just by Edwards, so why the heavy-handed approach to the claims? Why not just ignore them? Or even better, why not use them as motivation rather than reacting so publicly? Where is the manager? Where is the Captain? Vice-Captain? Even the stand-in Captain?

At the end of the day these rumours have only gained momentum due to performances on the pitch. If they weren’t so terrible then perhaps they wouldn’t have even surfaced in the first place? Indeed it is only on the pitch where these rumours can be put to bed, and if I was Alan Pardew or the players, I’d be using all of the words questioning commitment and quality of players as inspiration for our game on Saturday.

In fact you could print them out, show the players what people are saying about them – how the French aren’t prepared for a fight, how Colo isn’t bothered, how Cisse is suddenly rubbish – and use it as a team-talk prior to the match at Upton Park.

Just a thought…

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

144 thoughts on “United stars deny rumours of players unrest

  1. Say we stay up looking at the last few games can anyone see Cabaye, Marveux and Ben Arfa wearing our colours next season. I can’t. After going out the europa league Cabaye did a lap of the ground applauding the fans. A wonderful gesture but that to me was a signal I’m out of here

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  2. That should read who can we count on above of course. 😳 Spot on Big Dave. I’m tired of us sitting back and waiting to see what happens. Let’s make something happen up front, put the Hammers on their heels and keep them there.

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  3. I can see Marveaux staying Toby but not so sure about either Cabaye or Benny sad to say. Ben Arfa’s frustration must be huge after this season. Can he ever stay fit consistently? It’s the same with Vuckic. It looks less and less likely for both of them. I think Cabaye can be replaced but it will cost 6-8 M pounds which we should get for him. If we don’t get another striker and replace Pardew properly next season could be just as painful.

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  4. TLR when we secure our Prem status I cant see Cabakye looking out more so after talking his best mate to come and join him.
    But Benny is a different matter I wouldn’t be surprised if he does go as im sure he is getting a bit fuked of with Pards, as he has said he would like to play a no10 role and Pards did say thats the role he had in mind for him. But he keeps getting tasked with being a winger/defender πŸ™„ so unless there is a major shake up I can’t see him sticking around

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  5. It’s going to be important for Ashley to act quickly once the season ends. Pardew must go and the new manager brought in quickly. The new man will need the entire summer especially if we do have a few players wanting to leave as we seem to. Colo to go first? I would think so followed by Cabaye and possibly Benny. A striker to sign, a CB, and a new midfielder. We also need to move a few other players out like Obertan, Gosling, Simpson, and possibly Willo. It will be a huge challenge but also a chance to remake the team and improve our play drastically.

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  6. Big Dave you could be right about Cabaye mate but he might also leave if Pardew stays which could only unsettle Debuchy. I hope this is not the case as we have enough problems to deal with. This is where a good managing director would come in handy as well instead of Llambias.

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  7. Are either Ashley or Llambias up to the challenge of the summer to come? I have strong doubts based on our previous experience. Ashley just doesn’t seem to have the right mind set for an owner other than looking at the bottom line and making sure expenditures don’t get out of hand. That’s not nearly enough in football. Like him or not Wenger has kept Arsenal competitive year after year while his owner sold his best players. We have Pardew. Can he do the same for us? No, but it’s up to Ashley to realize that and look for a much higher quality manager and pay properly for him. As time goes by it seems less and less likely that Ashley will make our club the team we want them to be. Another big test coming next season Mike and Derek.

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  8. Geordietwo I have been saying for yrs that a new Footie MD would be the best thing Jabba could do. I honestly believe that Lambastad has caused us lots of problems

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  9. Aye Big Dave @84 you don’t have to convince me of that mate. Llambias is one of our biggest problems. He can do nothing to help with the football side of things as he knows nothing. We have Carr to handle incoming along with the manager but we need someone of integrity as MD. What does Llambias actually do on a daily basis for the club? Does anyone including Ashley know?

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  10. I’ve said enough from my point of view (or more than enough I hear you all say πŸ˜† ) so I’ll just enjoy all your comments for a while and watch the Chelsea match on the side. And they think they have problems with Benitez. πŸ˜₯

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  11. Basel look up for the fight. That’s the attitude we need. No sitting back, just go out and attack. Good passing and a great finish. Woops I’m supposed to be reading others comments aren’t I? 😳

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  12. Don’t know who the Basel coach is but they play good attacking football and seem to make a good effort over the big European clubs. Wouldn’t mind him if Pards was to go.

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  13. If Llambias deserves criticism, which I believe he does, then Ashley who appointed him and are buddies sitting at at the match together, then Ashley deserves exactly the same flak.

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  14. Moses goal sinks Basel, 4-2 aggregate. But I do like the Basel approach to the game. Their manager has done well with them. David Luis has scored also. Chelsea charging into the final now.

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  15. Andy – to be fair mate, people used to rave about the football Blackpool played when they were in the PL, but it didn’t keep them there.
    I’ve said before and I’ll keep saying it, I’m not bothered about attractive attacking football, I just want us to win more games than we loose in all honesty.
    Chelsea don’t always play attractive football, and they aren’t always dominating games, but they know how to win. That’s the balance we need to find – with or without Pardew.

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  16. There is gonna be an empty press box at the Arsenal game at this rate. The club now taking action against The Sun. Somebody tell them the pen is mightier than the sword

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  17. With a bit of nouce and a bit of luck we would be getting in shape to face Chelsea in the Europe League final.
    I still say the Benfica tie was there for the winning πŸ™ and Fenerbache would have held no fears for us…

    It may have cost us our EPL status though …

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  18. Andy – that’s one of the reasons why I wouldn’t mind if we did get Rafa. Had that been us going in 1-0 down at half time (2-2 agg) Pardews arse would have dropped and he would have went on for fuck it up, making silly changes and trying to go defensive to hold on to the away goal advantage. Where Rafa has stuck to HIS game plan, kept faith in his players and has gone on to win the 2nd half. Something we never do.

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  19. MM – you may be right mate, but to be honest I’m not sure we would have benefit from a game tonight then needing a win against WHU on the Sunday. I’m much happier with the idea of the players having a full week to rest and prepare for the weekend.

    TLR – what are they going after the Sun for like mate?

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  20. Just look at Chelsea’s goals, a luiz wonder goal and then two tap ins courtesy of havoc from long shots. This is what we should be aiming for in the next three fixtures because our players can’t pass and move for shite and we won’t fix that in three weeks..

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  21. Sharpy 17

    On wednesday the rag ran some story about Benny visiting a gym wearing inappropriate clothing. PSG top. Somebody help me out if i am wrong as it is a newspaper I don’t purchase

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  22. Fecking Chelsea ,shouldn’t even be in the Europa cup imo. Mess up in the CL ,too bad that’s yer lot. How can it be right to get a by into another competition that other teams have already started . πŸ‘Ώ

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  23. TLR – oh aye, that story. Good I hope they do try and take a bit of a stance against bull shit stories.
    Mind I wish we were as quick to take the fight to our opponents on the field like!! πŸ™„

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  24. I’m really pleased that the club is hitting back at newspapers. I think an aggressive response is a much better strategy. Certainly better than their previous policy of silence.

    Of course all it will mean to some people is that they have something to hide. Ah, well, if you’re determined enough you can see anything you want.

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  25. Actually really irritated that two CL dropouts now meet in the Europa league final. It makes a complete mockery of the competition which is primarily for smaller less wealthy clubs who don’t stand much chance of qualifying for the CL. No wonder a lot of clubs would rather avoid it what with the volume of games you play and little monetary gain you make .

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  26. @KIMTOON

    you’re right there.

    I think they should stop the entry for champions league drop-outs to the Europa cup..

    what grinds me more.. if it wasnt for a stupid backpass and a retarded handball we might of been in the final v Chelsea πŸ˜•

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  27. “I’m really pleased that the club is hitting back at newspapers. I think an aggressive response is a much better strategy”

    I can’t argue with that, but what I find curious is why the club have acted so aggressively towards the Telegraph, yet: appear to have made no response to a virtually identical article written by Simon Bird in the Mirror:
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/newcastle-boss-alan-pardew-facing-1860202

    The solicitor’s letter that was sent to the Telegraph stated that their article was deemed to be factually incorrect and without any merit and that it amounted to flagrant misrepresentation etc:
    https://twitter.com/indykaila/status/329608749847298048/photo/1/large

    and yet the Mirror article was telling exactly the same story, so why didn’t they get a solicitor’s letter as well? The only real difference I can see between the two articles is that the one in the Telegraph doesn’t name any individuals involved in the alleged dressing room split, but simply refers to them as a group, ie:

    “The tension is believed to be down to the fact some individuals have been more interested in complaining about tactics and worrying about their own personal agendas rather than helping the club to survive in the Premier League……… Telegraph Sport understands that there is concern that the large French contingent on Tyneside do not care as much about the team’s demise and have failed to grasp what is needed to succeed in English football.”

    Because no players were actually named it makes it easier for the club to claim that the whole story is untrue. It’s a bit more tricky with the article in the Mirror because it named Cabaye as the “chief whinger” and stated that he “has made his discontent clear to team-mates.” The fact that Cabaye himself hasn’t come out to deny the story (or that his team-mates haven’t come out to say that he’s never expressed his discontent to them) suggests to me that the story is probably true. And the fact that the club haven’t made such a fuss over the Mirror article simply reinforces that view – there’s no point getting solicitors involved in cases of alleged misrepresentation if what the person is saying is absolutely true.

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  28. Does anyone know how Marveaux is doing? He’d definitely be in my starting line up for West Ham if he is fit.

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  29. Jill @110 ,He’s not fit for tommorow and Haidara has a hammy problem and is also out too. Our injury jinx is the gift that keeps on giving πŸ™„ .

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  30. [email protected] Knob indeed, a pathetic attempt to make light of their outright attempt to unsettle the club at a very tense time. I hate the fact that they hide under the fact that they are doing it in the interest of the fans who they think should know this stuff πŸ™„ . Why not leave it until season end ,what purpose does it serve now ,it only undermines the club and just really serves as a tool for them to sell more papers . Personally I wouldn’t wipe my arse in that fecking rag.

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  31. Great article in the Northern Echo this morning regards the transfer blue print of Mike Ashley. Although it has it’s obvious merits, is the fact that there are so many foreign players who don’t actually speak English having a detrimental effect on the performance? Also where are the leaders? We only buy players under 26 – not many leaders in that bracket.

    The question is, do they need to be more flexible in their approach? They said Pardew wanted to buy a couple of experienced players in the summer but the board said no – wonder if they’re regretting that now…

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  32. We should have kept Shefki Kuqi, he was a leader, he would have cracked some skulls together.

    Our injuries are doing my head in now, I guess it has to be Jonas at left back? Only he and anita can play there but I wouldn’t risk Anita against the physicality of wham…even if Jonas is just as likely to get smashed off the ball.

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  33. When was the last time we had the same starting 11 for 3 games straight?
    Pardew out!! His shit tactics have damaged so many hammies. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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  34. Aussie , All jokes aside ,it is very worrying the amount of Hammy injuries our squad pick up .Can’t help feeling there are questions over our fitness training regime , something is very wrong somewhere . πŸ˜•

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  35. True Kim, our players are dropping like flies.. We really haven’t had a settled starting 11 this season.. it is a factor in our poor form.

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  36. Aussie ,Agree mate, in that respect I have sympathy for Pards but still think he has failed to take the game to the opposition on too many occasions.

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  37. Yep have to agree.. I recall when Pardz took over, he really did get the team to push forward and attack in ever game. Even if we lost, we still took it to the other team..Pardews cautious approach to games is not working so we need to go all out..

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  38. Kim I belielve that Pards is shit scared on getting hammered and has this weired idea if he plays with caution it will keep the hammering down.
    But I do know he can be more attacking than what we have seen this season, if only he would change his mind set and get a bit of confidence to go for it

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  39. @Aussie
    I watched last seasons review the other day. Think it was the same defensive 7 (incl Cabaye and Tiote) for 7 games straight, same back 5 for 11 games in a row!
    There’s no denying that it has had a big impact on us this year.

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  40. SOLANOSTRUMPET
    May 3, 2013 at 10:29

    It does have a major impact on the results I am sure of it, however every other team suffers injuries. They just didn’t have to rely on a load of kids to replace them like we did.

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  41. Dave ,frankly at this stage he has nowt to lose. He has to ask himself 2 questions now . 1 .has the cautious approach worked for me ?
    2. What’s the worst that can happen if we all out attack?

    The answers are possibly the same but at least with the latter we can say well we had a right go at staying up imo. Not one fan imo will have a go at him if we lose so long as we really push forward in an attempt to remain in the PL. To go out with a wimper with no attempts on goal and everybody sitting back to scared pass the ball and hoofing it left right and centre is not an option at this stage. We have 3 games to ensure survival ,time for a change in mindset.

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  42. Another point on all the “French players don’t have the bottle” chat. How many French players do we actually have that we can apply that to?
    Cabaye. That is it.
    Last few games we’ve been playing – Debuchy/Mbiwa/Haidera/Gouffran/Sissoko, maybe it’s not their nationality, but the fact they arrived in the Prem 3 months ago, haven’t had time to adapt, and yet are ALL starting in some of the most important games in the clubs history.
    It’s nuts. Imagine if we hadn’t signed them, fcking hell we’d have been dead and buried. It would have been: Tav/Willo/Perch at lb/Sameobi/Gosling or Shola in their place.

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  43. @Stuart79
    True, but especially defensively, there is always a pattern that stability is closely related to improved displays. No doubt it hindered us even more though.

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  44. I think Pards still suffers from that 4-0 defeat against Wigan which basically scuffed our hopes of a CL place..

    Kim-the other question is, if I’m going to get sacked in the summer anyway, why bother?.. πŸ˜•

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  45. [email protected] Cabaye has been gash all season bar two games I would say. Presumably he has been upset with 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 formations. Get a grip and man up and play some bloody football.

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  46. Newkie there is that but he could think we’ll if im going to get sacked then I can show other teams that I could do a job for them ?

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  47. @Newkie
    Have you noticed one of the current trends that has started popping up – that we need someone up next to Cisse πŸ™„
    This is despite when we resorted to 4-4-2 for a couple of games towards the end of last year people ranting that we were doing it to accommodate Ba and that 4-2-3-1 was best suited to Cisse. Fast forward a few months and it is no longer the system fans feel works for him πŸ˜•
    It’s so easy to blame formations.

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  48. @Newkie 126
    No, for all his flaws, I think he actually cares about the club. you can see the stress it’s putting him through.

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  49. ST – agree he looks stressed and has done for a while which is what led to the Fulham dive into the crowd. However I believe that ‘stress’ is simply because he’s totally out of his depth without a clue about how to improve which led to that awful, players out of position, crap formation 0-6.
    He just has to go.

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  50. Dave-chances are though he will only ever get hired by a yoyo club regardless of what happens to us. He’ll have a payout and wait until QPR sack arry or something.

    Solano-I have mate and it has made me laugh quite a bit πŸ˜€ Agree completely. Fickle eh.
    @130..He likes his job with us certainly, but as Toonsy said the other day no manager has ever survived us when the fans have gone against him. Bobby and Hoots and possibly Roeder are probably the only ones with 50% on side and they still got the knife. He’ll want to win as I think he’s still a professional but if the players can sense his fear/resignation it will spread through the lot of them.

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  51. That’s right Newkie – once fear creeps into the camp it infects everyone including the fans.

    I’ve been all doom and gloom this week but something has lifted. Dunno what but I now think all will be OK. Probably just the sun being out yesterday.

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  52. Georgio-Yeah I hate it πŸ˜• it’s infectious. Am hopeful of a result though, hopefully the hammers will write us off and we can’t possibly be as bad as last week. Really hopeful for a reaction.

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  53. Re the 442 thing , just because it didn’t work for Cisse & Ba doesn’t mean it won’t work for a Cisse & Goofy pairing. The trouble with Ba and Cisse they constantly went for the same ball they didn’t compliment each other what so ever. Goofy is a very different player to Ba imo ,If you take our game against Fulham he linked up very well with Cisse and we were in a 442 formation then for much of the first half when we were dominating ,it was only changed because of an injury to Santon and straight away we looked weaker in attack and in the end Cisse got that injury time winner thank god or else we be on 34 now. 😳 . I agree it can be simplistic to blame formations as obviously team spirit ,injuries and so on play a huge part but if you have the personel and are able to execute a formation that is more attack minded then why wouldn’t you ,especially given our precarious position.

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  54. Kim-I have said goofy up top with Cisse and Benny behind them and I said the same about Ba Cisse and Benny, imo we didn’t give them enough of a chance to work together via experimentation which should have happened in pre season. Me and Solano aren’t picking on you though, it’s just the general trend of opinion. If you had said earlier in the season “we were in a 442 formation then for much of the first half when we were dominating ” people (not necessarily regular or intelligent posters) would have spat their dummies out at you in rage.

    Regardless of what people say, our 4-2-3-1 formation isn’t that much different to last years 4-3-3. It’s by and large because the results aren’t coming our way. Cabaye was ahead of two defensive midfielders, exactly the same as we tried so unsuccessfully vs liverpool. They say the wingers are too far back but Benny used to be in our half all the time when under pressure. Just look at all the counter attacks we scored from them. Now pards is being more cautious, but the players will always be more cautious themselves when they are off form and under pressure, just as when we were winning last year they were all running, shooting and passing with confidence. You always need to look at the big picture and some people just don’t seem to.

    When pards first arrived he was slated for his 4-4-2 philosophy, particularly on another blog. Be interesting to see if the same things are still being said..

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  55. I have always thought Dowd was one of the better refs, particularly when he gave us two pens vs Arsenal in the 4-4 :mrgreen:

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  56. Oh how people cried for a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 😳

    4-4-2 is dead 😳

    Match preview up in five minutes πŸ™‚

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  57. The reason most sensible people wanted to change from 442 last season is because after our initial spell using it, which was based mainly on a fairly strong defence and grabbing breakaway goals, we started to look a bit gash.
    We were having serious trouble getting crosses in and our general play looked poor using that system. Players looked uncomfortable in the roles they were being asked to play. Benny came back and we got Cisse and most fans wanted us to try.some variation of 433 using a more attack minded philosophy. Pardew eventually changed his approach and guess what?
    Our general play improved and we started to look better.

    I notice some of the supposed ‘more intelligent’ posters are the ones who were slating others for being critical of our ridiculous lack of investment.
    They are also the ones who were slating other fans for being critical of Pardews awful negative tactics and telling them that we should slavishly offer support for something that clearly isn’t working.
    Hmm. On reflection I think someone might be getting their supposed higher intelligence mixed up with unthinking, unquestioning obedience.

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  58. Sigh. It isn’t just the numbers of the formation that matter. Surely you MUST realise that?
    Its how they are set up to play and the philosophy they adopt too. It also matters that you have people in positions they are comfortable playing.
    Our 442 failed because our wide men were set up to hang back and spend most of their time helping out the fullbacks. When they did get forward they lacked the ability to provide decent crosses.

    Our current formations are failing because we are generally playing far too deep. Cisse is often isolated and when he is the only goal threat we have you can afford to isolate him as it dangerously reduces our supply.
    Pardew insists on playing players who are badly out of form and often exacerbating the situation by playing them in positions they aren’t particularly strong in. Our philosophy has been horribly negative too.

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