The Three Up, Three down
This blog looks at the winners and losers of the Premier League’s weekend action. We talk about each club on the tf weekly podcast which is out every Monday by 10PM.
Agree or disagree on what’s been said then let us know on twitter – @TFweeklypod
FFS. Palace hadn’t scored from open play since August and were staring down the barrel of all their early good work going to waste as a mid-table league position beckoned. They were playing a vibrant, unbeaten Liverpool side, under the new gaffer who was fresh from a win in midweek and a storming win at Chelsea. What could go right for Pardew’s men?
As it turned out, most things. Palace were very good. Pardew did his best to steal the limelight on the touchline, but his team were fantastic – a constant threat. They defended well and realistically Wayne Hennessey didn’t ‘keep’ Palace in the game. Pardew thrives when the pressure is off – when he doesn’t have to take the game to the opposition. In his whole time at NUFC while he was in charge for a full season I can’t remember a single game where we were expected to win, and followed it up with a convincing win. That’s why Palace are so good as an away side. The struggles of Swansea and the inconsistency of Everton mean the top 10 is there for the taking for Palace.
Fair play Alan Pardew and Crystal Palace. A good win to end to a bad run.
Aston Villa’s new manager managed to stop the endless defeats (6 before yesterday) and pick up a point against tough opposition. This performance was a world away from the Sherwood inspired confusion amongst the Vile ranks. Everyone knew their job and the midfield worked incredibly hard to deny City’s skilful players space. Vile provided no attacking threat whatsoever, but the important thing was to take a point from a fixture many expected to lose. Garde seems like an astute tactical manager and he managed to sufficiently motivate his players to get a great point.
I hope it’s their last (ever) but credit where it’s due – they’ll improve pretty quickly on this evidence.
A massive win for Norwich City. No wins and 4 defeats in their previous 6 games had seen them slide from 8th in the league in Spetember to a perilous position above the bottom three. With United’s cracking win at Bournemouth things looked bleak for Alex’s Neil’s men.
The manager has been accused of tactical naivety and being far too open. Not against a Swansea side who dominated possession. They were tight, worked hard and happily ceded possession to the men from South Wales. Norwich looked a genuine threat going forward and with the next two games being a relegation 6 pointer with Chelsea (lol) and a game with Arsenal – anything other than a win here would be problematic.
A massive win.
There are times when I take in the media bullshit and start to question whether we really too harsh on Allardyce. I can remember going to Reading away and not having a shot, playing games at home where we didn’t get the opposition half and then had to listen to Allardyce bemoan ‘one mistake’ which ‘cost us the game’. He would totally ignore the fact the opposition dominated us for 90 minutes, have all of the chances and seemingly be delighted with a 0 0. Maybe this isn’t how he was with other clubs but it’s what he was like at United.
“They [our defence] kept us in the game until we gave away the stupid penalty. Until we start cutting out silly mistakes like that, we’ll be fighting at the wrong end of the table. Yes, Southampton were the better team and had the better chances, but we’ve got to stop gifting games to the opposition. The game was 0-0 at that point, and who knows, we might have broken up the other end and nicked a winner. If we came in at 0-0, I’d have been very happy today based on the performance we gave”
Allardyce is unconcerned that Southampton created numerous chances to win the game, instead concentrating on the penalty (which to be fair was mental from the mackem player). Maybe he is concerned, but we’ve heard it all before as NUFC fans and have been ridiculed for years for not accepting paying money to go to a game your manager had no intention of winning.
From what I’ve seen SAFC have been terrible in all 4 of Allardyce’s matches in charge. Maybe it’s for the greater good. But Sunderland under O’Neil, Poyet and then Advocaat have been poor for a long time and relied on sitting deep against teams. Allardyce appears to be wanting to follow the same plan.
It’s not working.
The ‘future England manager’ was left frustrated as his Bournemouth side dominated possession and chances at home to a shocking NUFC side. Poor finishing isn’t just the answer. Bournemouth peppered the crosses in all game. Most chances, particularly at 1 0 down were shots from distance or from crosses.
It won’t work in the Premier League. You have to be patient and work through and behind teams. Without wanting to talk up McClaren too much, our performance the weak before against Stoke was far more likely to achieve results when trying to break down a stubborn, deep lying away side in the Premier League. Jack Butland was excellent, so was Rob Elliot this week. I would still have expected Elliot to save everything Bournemouth threw at him this weekend.
Bournemouth look doomed.
On the balance of play and chances Chelsea deserved something from the game. The problem is that all of Chelsea’s chances and play came after they’d gone a goal down. There’s no urgency in their play. Mourinho doesn’t change formation, ever. Why not play with two up front. NUFC managed to do it against Stoke, why not Chelsea?
Everything that needs to be said, has been said about Chelsea. Mourinho needs to go – the players aren’t playing for him.
ALEX HURST – Follow Alex on @TFweeklypod
This is the new issue of true faith (TF122) covering November / December 2015. It is available in digital format and it is absolutely FREE. It is over 90 pages of some of the best fanzine writing in the country. We are pretty confident that this fanzine is the most widely read fans publication in the country. Since 1999 true faith has been part of the Newcastle United furniture and we have been providing the alternative view on life at our club and the world around it for all that time.
More than 50% of our readers have accessed this fanzine via smart-phones and tablets (plus i-pads). But it is perfectly fine on any device you care to mention i.e. laptops and PCs.
Just click on it to get access. We really hope you enjoy it.
THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Southern Comfort – 8/Nov/15 Next Post:
true faith : WEEKLY PODCAST – A Terrible Win.