Alan Pardew offers up tactical issue for Newcastle's struggles

Alan Pardew

The former Newcastle United manager has revealed the reason he could not be a success on Tyneside.

Pardew left St James’ Park earlier this season to take charge at Crystal Palace, and he has told the Chronicle that there was a key weakness that held him back with Newcastle.

Since taking control of the Eagles, Pardew has won eight of 13 games, picking up an average of 1.9 points per game, and scoring 24 goals. It is early days in his reign at Selhurst Park, but he has all-but guaranteed their Premier League status and looks to be an inspired appointment as Palace embrace a new era in the club’s history.

His current points per game ratio far excels that which he picked up with Newcastle, admittedly over a much longer spell of 184 games. A return of 1.38 is an acceptable tally, but for a side of the size and ambition of the Magpies, one would expect them to be looking up the table, rather than down it.

A change in system has characterised Pardew at Palace, with the 53-year-old playing to the strengths of the existing squad. Utilising attacking wing play and set pieces, the Eagles look a threat again, something that could not be said of Newcastle.

After losing Yohan Cabaye last year, the Toon did not possess a real set-piece threat, and Pardew had to change to a less efficient, and less successful, style as no one was signed to fill the Frenchman's shoes.

Speaking to the Chronicle, it is this weakness that Pardew highlighted as being the reason for Newcastle’s struggles, along with the reluctance of the board to hire a replacement for Cabaye.

“The set play situation was a problem,” the coach said. “I kept telling the board and the scouting team that we needed to get somebody to score from set plays. Delivery was a problem after Cabaye and we struggled.

“I come to Palace and in place were two or three attackers of the ball, great delivery and a system that was in place. I’ve just kept that going. But you need players to execute and if you have aggressive centre-halves and aggressive strikers you can score goals.”

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