The Newcastle manager is basically the gift that keeps on giving: not content with claiming that stats don't really matter after being a massive card-carrying statistician when his side were losing, the former Premier League Manager Of The Year has come out with another stonking comment. This time he's likened Newcastle's current model to that used so successfully by Bayern Munich, except he's reduced the Germans down to an industrious, disciplined machine and ignored everything else about them to serve the image of himself as some sort of tactical genius:
Our strengths are we have incredible discipline in the team from our offensive players. The current top model in Germany are Bayern Munich. Thats their strength, thats what we have got, and pace.A potted - and completely wrong - assessment of the current Bayern Munich tactical model there from a man who possibly hasn't actually watched them play in great detail. Luckily, when things like this are said in public, the internet and actual football knowledge help provide evidence that suggest the truth. And that is that Alan Pardew is talking utter rhubarb of the highest order. It's one thing to say that you want to emulate Bayern - that is admirable even in a team who cannot possibly hope to do so - but to say the principles are already in place while ignoring 90% of the defining characteristics of the way Munich play under Guardiola is utterly reprehensible. But again, thankfully Guardiola is always very open about the way his team play when interviewed, and even a simple look back at recent interviews puts Pardew's limp attempt to liken his team to the Germans to shame. Yes, he deserves some credit for turning things around (the jury should remain out for now though), but going to such an extreme is just silly. So to help the manager realise his errors, here are 5 things he should probably learn about Munich's style of play before he opens his mouth on them again...
5. They Press High Up The PitchIn Pardew's own words, Newcastle don't press high any more (looking back at the last 11 games, it's hard to see where it actually did happen), instead relying on discipline and restraint from offensive players, to fit in with their individual limits:
Weve gone back from pressing high, weve gone back from possession. With this group of players those things havent worked well for us."He used that qualification to specifically liken his side to Bayern Munich (linking to the initial point about discipline) - except the Germans simply do not play like that, as their manager himself confirms:
"I like to have possession(higher up the pitch) because when the ball is far away from our box I am happy, I am calm, I am not nervous, but when the ball step by step is closer to my box i start trembling."Ironically, Newcastle beat Liverpool precisely because they pressed high up the pitch - just not on the centre-halves. They limited the deeper lying midfielders, cut out the Reds' option to play through the middle and never gave them a minute on the ball: they just didn't fall for Liverpool's attempt to sucker them into attacking the centre-backs. So saying they don't press is not really the whole truth.