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Dec 10 / Jamie Hardesty

The jury is out but it’s Pardew who must stand trial; not his players

I’m a fan of Alan Pardew. I love how confident he can come across, how behind the team he is and how much he genuinely seems to understand what football means to this club and the city. Last year he scooped up all the accolades, the top prizes flooded in after guiding us to fifth; he has proved his managerial credentials, no doubt.

Alan Pardew has some difficult decisions to make but changes must come sooenr than later

But the fact remains, we’ve been poor all season. Nothing short of abysmal at times even. What I can’t stand the most though is the same, repeated mistakes that let us down, week in, week out. Mistakes made by Pardew which should have been rectified by now.

In last night’s game against Fulham we performed far better than games like Stoke away or Swansea or West Hame at home, which all ended in defeats. We showed attacking intent and could have taken some points for sure but we ultimately ended with nothing, again. Leaving empty handed and wondering where did it all go wrong this time?

Pardew must shoulder a lot of this blame. I’m not looking for a scapegoat or running out to make a ‘Pardew Out’ banner but I do want the man to recognise where he, repeatedly, goes wrong.

Exhibit A: The Argentine ‘winger’

A bond must be broken: Jonas’s unquestioned selection must be challenged

The single biggest bone to pick I have with Pards is the unchallenged inclusion of Jonas. Gutierrez in the past three months has offered nothing to the side. Ok, you know he’s going to work his backside off for you but his contribution, going forward as a winger should, is absolutely non existent.  I don’t care if he wins 100 freekicks in a game he’s past his sell by date. How on Earth though is his place consistently guaranteed?! Marveaux should have started the game. But Jonas is his Vice Captain, he’s a favourite of the old Silver Fox’s and it looks like he’s untouchable. He shouldn’t be though, he should be dropped. Again, I don’t want such a club servant and good squad player tossed in the rubbish heap but he hasn’t performed and this needs addressing. It’s gone on too long.

Exhibit B: Poor Papiss pushed out

Cisse is an instinctive goalscorer, a poacher who is best in the around the box, looking to nick a goal for you. We saw this last season, 13 goals in 12 games thank you very much! So why o why, is he continuously being forced to play on the wing or as a wide forward, where games simply pass him by? The equivalent would be AVB telling Defoe to play in Lennon’s position at Spurs, it wouldn’t happen. It’s ridiculous in fact. We have seen it so much this season where Cisse has been a passenger. His workrate is there, it’s not his fault. He’s being used incorrectly and Pardew must account for this.

Exhibit C: 4-4-2 and hoofball

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten it, there’s no shying away because we mixed it up last night. For the majority of the season it’s been like watching what would happen if Big Sam and Tony Pulis had a secret long ball love child, as we’ve seen more hoofball in 17 Premier League games than we have in all the seasons I’ve watched us! Granted Cabaye isn’t in the side, yes Ben Arfa has missed games but even without our most creative players, we should encourage a passing game that we should be capable of producing. We have become the league’s newest long ball merchants.

There’s no doubt, the evidence is there. Team selection, approach, inability to start a first half as well as a second, even an inability to come anywhere near close to scoring a corner! We are seeing repeated mistakes and no atonement for these errors.

This week Pardew said we would be different, we were supposedly getting back to our best. However, this isn’t going to happen if we don’t change our mind-set. Last night we made a start, the formation was a lot more positive but the personnel didn’t match.

The next step should be to try Cisse in the middle again, with Ba going back on the left in a 4-3-3. If he isn’t happy then so be it. We need to bring the best out of the team. We are Newcastle United not the Demba Ba Golden Boot Club.

Over and over we see the same mistakes made, Welcome to Groundhog Day folks

I have faith in the players and of course I want Pardew to succeed. He is in charge of this team and must make decisions to better our fortunes, no matter how difficult those decisions may be. I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, please Alan show us something different and let me have my happy ending.


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  1. Toma / Dec 10 2012

    Agreed with all, especially the fact Pards is shit scared of Ba. Whatever happened to no player is bigger than the club? Don’t care how many he’s scored he’s a bad egg and needs flogging in Jan.

    • Jamie Hardesty / Dec 10 2012

      The root of the season’s problems in my opinion. Obviously Ba kicked up a fuss over the summer. As you say no one is bigger than the club. If Cisse plays games through the middles the goals will come. Yeah we would miss Ba to an extent if he left in Jan, his record for us has been incredible. But we are a better TEAM with him on the left and that is the most important thing at the end of the day.

  2. Bry / Dec 11 2012

    Hi Jamie, I tend to agree with your thoughts and would add that there seems to be a lack of “oomph” in midfield.
    Tiote will not trespass over the centre line, Jonas has lost Enrique so the left hand side overlap isn’t there anymore, Santon tries sometimes but it doesn’t seem to gel as well.
    Ben Arfa likes to attack but he seems to blow hot and cold these days – you either get a good game out of him or he appears not to be bothered.
    Cabaye tries but if the others around him are not on song then he’s overwhelmed in midfield.
    Anita – lasses name, plays like a lass… sorry, but I don’t rate him at all.
    Bigi – thrown into the first team because we have such a small squad.
    Sami – see above.
    I don’t think Mike (C)Ashley is prepared to flesh out the squad so when a few are injured or red carded then we are very thin on the ground. I think Ba is being treated with kid gloves because if he goes then he won’t be replaced with someone of the same quality as that would cost too much.
    We’ve played with lead boots for most of this season and now we’re due to play Man City, Utd and Arsenal – how’s that for a Christmas present when you’re down on your luck. I think it’s up to the Fat Controller to dig deep before the season of goodwill turns into a relegation battle.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Jamie Hardesty / Dec 12 2012

      I have this article on the Mag website and it seems to have rattled a few cages. I think the point about Jonas having a positive effect on Santon is definitely true.
      Ashley of course has to be held accountable and I don’t think I like this idea of the first 11 being the ‘purple players’ and everyone else looks to break in to the team… we should have strengthened in the summer with some quality additions. Instead we only got Anita and a couple of youngsters, who apart from Bigi aren’t showing much.
      Have to say though, Anita has emerged of late, showed in the past three games a lot more than earlier in his career so far. I think he’ll turn out well if used properly and in a position that best suits him, rather than being put here and there in different weeks.
      Roll on Man City ey

  3. Gary / Dec 12 2012

    To improve the team we should have bought in the Summer but we now must buy in January. However once Cabaye is back we are only lacking in a few areas. Full backs need to offer an attacking threat & if you look at the amount of times promising positions are squandered by Simpson we must buy Debuchy.
    I agree about Jonas & we need to give Marveaux a run.
    The balance of the side never seems right when both Ba & Cisse both play, it maybe best just to pick one up top & give Ben arfa a free role rather than sticking him on the wing.
    If Ba was to leave it maybe for the best if we can use the funds wisely & bring in a couple of more players. Lets hope Graham Carr & his team can unearth a couple more gems. No doubt the pressure will be cranked up further given our run of upcoming games but lets keep the faith & if we buy well in January the second half of the season can hopefully see us put a run together.

    • Jamie Hardesty / Dec 12 2012

      Great comment, thanks. Spot on here. Having Benny in the number 10 role would be great to see and I hope Pardew tries more of it. We could be in a really scray position when January comes around and who we bring in could be vital.
      Over to the Fat Controller…

  4. Bry / Dec 13 2012

    I like the additional comments but I get this déjà vu feeling and I’m harking back to the Joke Kinnear era…. If the Fat Controller doesn’t learn from recent history and keeps his hands in his pockets then al could be doom and gloom again very quickly.
    I don’t have to remind you that he put Big Alan in charge for the last 8 games requiring a few points and we blew it, or rather, daft Duff blew it…..

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