With Pardew now firmly in his new (well paid) position at Palace, and having seen that club go on to a 4-0 win in the F.A. Cup, (albeit against lowly opposition), it’s somewhat easier to point the finger of blame away from Pardew, given Carver’s dire showing when it came to competing in the cups on Saturday.
There is little doubt Pardew must have had to sign NDA’s before being allowed to leave, but you can’t help feel his post-match comments at Palace about the cup were firmly aimed at Ashley and NUFC. You could imagine he just wants to come out and say; ‘See, I DO like cup competitions when my hands aren’t tied!!!’.
So were we wrong to want Pardew out, have we been shown the light already? Realistically we all know he had his hands tied by the owner. No doubt the owner has been engineering these early cup exits from a financially undesirable competition all the while. Is that Pardew’s fault? Even the new appointment won’t have transfer control, Carver already spouting lines about, “now being a head coach not a manager,” as he looks to prove he is just as much of a yes man as Pardew ever was to secure the job full time.
There are the inescapable facts, Pardew’s record here was abysmal ever since the 5th place finish, but this is not what really irked the fans. His behaviour on and off the pitch, the constant ‘club fed lies’, his never ending excuses for tactical failings…this is what fans grew tired of. At least Carver came out and attempted to say the right things to the fans, rather than always deflecting it to someone else.
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We may go on a bad run and Pardew prove himself at Palace, but that doesn’t mean Pardew was the right man for the job…just that Ashley is and always has been the wrong owner for this club. Pardew has moved on and so should we – the fans of NUFC. Now more than ever it is important to stay together, make our feeling known that no matter who steps on the pitch, we expect 100% effort, 100% of the time.
Newcastle fans can take losing games, they can take not winning anything (lord knows we are getting used to that by now). What they won’t settle for is abject, listless performances, no matter who is injured/rested. If you have the Black n White shirt on then you should be good enough to step on that pitch and put the effort in.
But there is a message for the owner, actually more of a plea. Safety in the league as a priority is fine, but do not deny the fans their love affair with the Cups. Maybe Carver did have some injury concerns, but if that is true then it just highlights how painfully paper-thin our squad depth is, and how much more we should expect of Ashley in terms of providing his managers a capable squad.
A cup run sets the fans ablaze with joy and expectations. It is the owner’s responsibility to meet those expectations – not of WINNING a cup, but of at least TRYING to COMPETE in it!