When MON took over at the SOS, all we heard from our slow-witted friends down the road was how much better he was than Pards, both tactically and on a man management level. Now that they had a “top” manager in charge the party with Marty would start and they would once again be top dogs.
10 months and two transfer windows later I fail to see how MON has outperformed Pards. Certainly not on yesterday’s showing, Pardew seems to be able to think on his feet better and is more capable of changing the team to suit the changes in the game. He also seems to be able to get into his players heads more than his counterpart at the unwashed, who seems totally devoid of any alternate ideas to his “Plan A”.
Pards got his tactics spot on yesterday. His handling of Sunderland’s wide players was excellent, getting Jonas and Santon to double up on AJ and force him to stay on his right foot completely nullified his threat and he ended up looking frustrated and disinterested. Simpson and HBA did nearly as well with McClean, forcing him inside where he had little effect. After the sending off, Pardew again got it right. Bringing on a direct replacement for Tiote was not rocket science, and the same can be said for the way he set the team up at the start of the game, but he had to make these decisions and he got them right.
MON, on the other hand, set his team up to play the counter-attacking football that everyone knew they were going to play (even though they were at home). When we went down to 10 men and started to sit back and let them try to play through us, both he and his players proved that they did not have a clue as to how to go about it. Did he immediately change his team around to exploit the extra player? No, he just persevered with the same system that his teams play every week regardless of the opposition or circumstances.
How many clear cut chances did they create against 10 men during that final hour? Even their goal was the result of a long hopeful ball lumped into the penalty area that got a lucky deflection. There were no incisive moves slicing our defense open, no slick passing that pulled our defenders our of position and created gaps that could be exploited, and no moments of inspired individual genius like the ones we have witnessed from our own HBA.
To put it bluntly, MON and his players offered absolutely nothing to suggest that they had any idea of how to exploit having an extra player. Compare this to the 2nd half at SJP last season when we forced Mignolet to make several good saves, missed a penalty and still scored without having to rely on an own goal, and I know which manager I think handled the situation better.
Yes mon did well at Leicester, but premiership football has moved on since he last won an English trophy and unless Short gives him a fortune to spend he will create a boring, but difficult to beat, mid table team.
Since Pardew has been in charge we have seen on several occasions that he has got his tactics completely wrong. But it is encouraging that he realises this and tries to change things around to remedy it. He doesn’t always manage it but at least he is flexible in his thinking, is learning from his mistakes, and is developing into a very good manager.
Pardew brought in various players at different times last season and used the squad very well. This resulted with us having that terrific run towards the end of the campaign, with the lads still looking fresh. In contrast, MON tends to stick to the same few players unless injury forces him into a change and their last few months of the season were pitiful.
Pards took over a dressing room with a fantastic spirit, but it was very different to the one that he is in charge of now. Nowadys the whole squad seem to be loving it at SJP and we have all witness Pardew get the best from fringe players like Raylor, Perch and Williamson, and handle difficult characters like HBA perfectly.
There is a real sense of togetherness about the squad which was highlighted with the team wearing the Ryan Taylor tee- shirts, and although we don’t always play to our best ability, we fans can rarely complain about the effort and desire of the players.
How many times have we heard that “Newcastle over performed last year”? Surely much of this is due to Pards getting an exta 10% out of his players.
Sunderland, on the other hand, seem to have so many of their so-called flair players underperforming since the end of last season. Sessingnon, AJ, McClean and Larson seem to be way off the pace. AJ and Sessingnon look like they would rather be anywhere else than on a football pitch.
MON has this reputation as a great man manager but I think that it says a lot when a team’s most creative players look totally disinterested. Whereas our players really went for it in that 2nd half at SJP, on Sunday, there was no-one in red and white busting a gut for their boss, apart from from Danny Rose who is only there on loan.
It was noticeable last season that as soon as his players realised that they were mathematically safe from relegation they switched off and hardly won another game. Surely this reflects on how the manager is keeping them focused on giving 100% in every game.
So you can stick your party with marty up your arse……………………….I would rather play cards with Pards!!!