ALAN Pardew is confident there are goals in his Newcastle United team – if the service into the box improves.
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesney didn’t have a save to make in Saturday’s goalless draw at St James’s Park.
And new signing Demba Ba was sacrificed at half-time after a disappointing 45 minutes.
While Newcastle were pegged back in open play, there were opportunities from dead balls, but Yohan Cabaye, Joey Barton and Ryan Taylor couldn’t make a telling delivery, with Thomas Vermaelen dominant in the visiting back four.
“We knew that one of their weaknesses was from set plays,” Pardew told SportMail.
“Ryan had a go, Joey had a go and Yohan had a go – we couldn’t fault one player because they all tried them.
“We’ll have to work on that. We have players who can benefit from them like Steven Taylor and Shola Ameobi, but we didn’t capitalise from them.”
Pardew felt the lack of service was the main reason behind the low-key debut for Ba, signed on a free transfer this summer after a spell at West Ham United.
“Demba, bless his heart, didn’t even get a pass,” added Pardew.
“I sacrificed him tactically to get an extra midfielder on, because we were being over-run a bit.
“You couldn’t judge the forwards. Demba, especially, is the sort of player who needs balls in the box, and he didn’t get any.
“There was hardly a shot that had to be saved by either keeper.
“We had a few long range efforts, and Peter almost had a chance at the end. They had one or two little chances in the box too, as they always do.
“But we defended very well. The two centre-backs were absolutely magnificent.”
Read the full story in Monday’s Mail ...