Caused by mainly two things;
a) QPR being one of the worst teams that have ever shown up at St James’ Park and
b) Our defensive starting line up.
Those two miserable things cancelled each other out into an insufferable bore fest that would kill anyone’s Christmas spirit no matter how jolly they were feeling prior to kick off.
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But this kind of performance from us on our own patch against a completely inferior side is no surprise whatsoever to all of us, or it shouldn’t be, it’s a typical Alan Pardew performance which we have come to expect in his 2 years here as manager. We didn’t exactly ‘win’ that game on Saturday afternoon but just managed to get the ball into their net on that bare minimal occasion, as the opposition had no chance of doing the same to us. QPR were hopeless. We were not much better.
If it became public that Pardew’s tactics are to strangle a game to death for 70 minutes and then try and steal it with his subs, then I would believe it. The thought of hammering a far inferior team for 90 mins making the afternoon not just more entertaining but a whole lot easier for us, doesn’t even enter his brain. We could/should have won that game by 2 or 3 goals without a problem if only Pardew had the ambition to do so. His starting line up sums him up.
Why on God’s green earth Pardew picked that starting line up against a team who have only won one game all season is one of the most baffling, negative, inexplicable team sheets I have ever seen. Having James Perch AND Cheick Tiote in the same starting line up, alongside Anita in the middle of the park, was totally unnecessary.
Was Alan Pardew THAT scared of Adel Taarabt? A player who is as consistent as the sun staying out in summer. If Taarabt played well last week, chances are he won’t be as good this week. That’s what players like him are like. Sure enough he was abysmal. He offered barely no threat to our defence, yet Tiote and Perch played for 70 mins until Cheick was withdrawn. Ridiculous.
Arguably those weren’t the most inexcusable factors of our starting line up. No, that honour goes to the decision to not just play a defender and holding midfielder together but to also play Jonas Gutierrez in the left wing position. Sweet Jesus Christ! The thought of this line up for a home game against Queens Park Strangers makes me want to burst out laughing in terrified bemusement. But Pardew actually did it! We had Jonas, Anita, Tiote and Perch as part of a front 6 with Cisse stuck out on the right wing. This is literally mind boggling considering the importance of a win and the quality of the opposition.
Playing the most defensive ‘wide player’ we have arguably had in our 120 year history in the advanced left wing position of a 4-3-3 is probably the LAST thing I would choose given the options available. I kid you not. I would rather we had played Sylvain Marveaux, Gab Obertan, Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Sammy Ameobi, Davide Santon, Shane Ferguson or Shola Ameobi in that position before Jonas Gutierrez and I am not just saying that for dramatic effect.
Yet lo and behold ‘Mr 8 year contract in the back pocket’ went and did it! Incredible. The fact the game was still 0-0 with no shots on target by the time he was dragged off was of no surprise to me or any of us whatsoever. What a waste of attacking space.
As soon as Sylvain Marveaux came on the pitch after 75 minutes of nothingness, he got himself an assist within 3 minutes. That’s THREE minutes. Just imagine what he could have done with 90 minutes to work with. He almost got himself a goal just 2 minutes after that. He literally did more in 5 minutes than Jonas Gutierrez managed to achieve in an hour. Now I am not saying Jonas is a terrible player, I am saying if you’re going to insist on playing him, then do it in a position that suits his game because he certainly isn’t a flying winger. He hasn’t been one of those since about the year 2009. Wake the hell up Pardew.
In fact, why am I even wasting my time by suggesting to Pards to wake up? It’s never going to happen. This is a man who thinks we have actually been playing well recently. He has been quoted several times using the words ‘in form’ to describe our recent games. He is a madman. He must be spending his Christmas at the head of a table wearing a mad hat, sipping tea with a white rabbit and some shrunken down blonde girl next to a vanishing cat that won’t stop grinning. Pardew is on another planet to the rest of us. When he believes things like ‘we have been playing well recently’ is when he totally unintentionally exposes his standards as a manager. Only an average manager who is used to fighting relegation every season would think that what we have been churning out over the past few games is of a decent standard.
The loss at Stoke wasn’t a good performance, we lost. We lost to two soft avoidable goals and created next to nothing in chances. Our performance at Fulham wasn’t good, we lost. We lost to two soft avoidable goals and created next to nothing in chances. Our performance against Man City was better but we lost. We lost to three soft avoidable goals (whilst being ripped apart consistently) and created next to nothing in chances. It’s a recurring theme. If that theme is the definition of ‘playing well’ and ‘being in form’ with the quality of the our squad available then you’re either lying or you’re topping yourself up at your mental tea party with Alice and the twins. Sheer madness.
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