Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Where did it all go right?

With the international break now upon us, it gives a quick opportunity to round up the suffusion of articles that emerged last week with journalists desperate to put their finger on the secret of our success.

First up is TBW in the Guardian who points to a recruitment policy with a strong Gallic focus, our current style of play which has seen us put greater emphasis on ball retention, the hard work put in on the training ground coupled with the strong influence of Sideshow Bob and the fact that, generally speaking, ours is a team comprising players in form.

In the Telegraph, Luke Edwards has picked out Pardew's attention to detail (which again manifests itself on the training ground) and the self-belief which is currently coursing through the team. He also puts great stock in the presence of HBA, who appears in his eyes to be single-handedly raising everyone's game just by sitting in the room. He also notes the spine of Geordie staff which the club (and particularly Pardew) has to call upon, with John Carver and Steve Stone both to the fore, while the influence of Graham Carr has been heralded by all and sundry for some time now. Last, and by no means least, is the harmony throughout the club, with the team, management and ownership all seemingly pulling together to make the good ship Newcastle Utd travel smoothly.

Sticking in the UK for a second, tonight sees the BBC wade in to the discussion, with The Turnaround Of The Toon being broadcast tonight at 8.30pm and featuring our very own Saylor (presumably without his plastic mask).

Moving further afield, The Wall Street Journal has also had a bash at putting its finger on the secrets of our success, and are very firmly of the belief that it stems from our French recruitment policy (even if their conclusions are slightly undermined by the assertion that Mr T is French).

Finally, sticking with the foreign press, this little beauty in the New York Times caught my eye:

"The crowd is cheering because the team’s position is higher than many expected, and higher than most have experienced in their lives. More than that, they are witnessing players from Argentina, from Africa, from European lands they scarcely knew existed, playing in their famed black and white stripes."

Essentially the author thinks we're all about 12 years old and from Durham and have barely heard of France or Holland; which just goes to show what a New Zealand-based reporter writing in the New York Times knows about life on Tyneside.

Compared to that article, TBW's conclusion that our success is based on good cheap players working hard and keeping the ball looks positively insightful.




Blogger Ben said...

I find Edwards' comment about HBA a bit odd - he's yet to really perform to his capabilities when coming on as a sub, and it's hard to estimate his influence behind the scenes. To add to TBW's point about our players generally being in superb form (take Guthrie, for example, who's been very good since filling in for Mr T) you could add that we've been very fortunate with injuries. Up until recently, eight of our first-teamers had played every game - which means consistency and familiarity. Now, with the injuries to Mr T, Dreamboat, Obertan Kenobi, Marveaux and O'Best, we might potentially start to struggle.

6:28 am  

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