Everton v Newcastle: Time To Make Pardew Eat His Words...
Everton’s second home game in this season’s Premier League is the second under the famous Goodison floodlights - the spotlight however won’t so much be on the players as they are on the managers.
Alan Pardew is never far from controversy, so much so, he will be watching the game from the stands after pushing assistant referee, Peter Kirkup, in the opening game of the season. And it was Pardew’s big mouth which got him in Everton’s bad books late last season when he described Newcastle as 'operating in a different league' to Everton and it is those words that will appear in every match report before and after the game.
It was a flippant comment from the Newcastle gaffer which he claims was taken wrongly by the blue half of Merseyside and he no doubt regretted it after the final game of last season when Everton outclassed an unimpressive Newcastle team.
The comment came during an incredible season for the Magpies, a season which many, including Everton’s Phil Jagielka, would argue was an overachievement and, although it’s very early days, balancing the demands of both European and domestic football could prove too much to handle, with Pardew claiming Newcastle are hoping to kickstart their season with a win at Goodison Park.
With players of a high quality such as Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa, they are not a team to be reckoned with and, with the absence of Darron Gibson, they could prove the trickiest opposition so far this season.
I would expect Everton to play a 4-5-1 formation with Marouane Fellaini going back to his natural defensive midfield role in Darron Gibson’s absence. Kevin Mirallas should be looking at a starting place to fill the void left by Fellaini.
David Moyes has four wins out of seven meetings against Alan Pardew and will hope to follow up on a very impressive final game of last season.
With Naismith and Pienaar, if passed fit, on each wing and Osman filling the middle, the Everton team will definitely be more offensive than the defensive team known in the past. The three have been able to pair up well so far this season, each possessing quick footwork and complementing each other with slick pass and move football.
Everton not only have the home advantage, but they have a tactical advantage over most other teams this season. With the loss of some players and gain of others, there has been a massive shift in tactics, something that can change with different players coming in and out. The often predictable 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 of yesteryears has been replaced with a burst of energy and attacking football. Suddenly opposition managers are having to rethink the old tactics they’d have set in stone when playing Everton. It is something that Newcastle advantaged from last year, but could be their downfall this season as people begin to suss them out a little.
David Moyes has four wins out of seven meetings against Alan Pardew and will hope to follow up on a very impressive final game of last season. I expect each team to play for the win, they will match each other in midfield and with prolific, natural goal scorers at both ends, there could be plenty of goals. Everton’s have scored 19 goals in their six home matches and Newcastle are always a threat in front of goal.
A draw would be a good result for either side but I doubt neither the managers, fans nor players would like to go in to the game hoping for that. I suspect that Sky have chosen this game for a good reason and the neutral should be in for a fast paced, exciting game with plenty of talking points, no doubt one of them being Pardew again.
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