The vitriol and sarcasm initially aimed at Alan Pardew from the travelling Newcastle fans, turned instead towards John Carver in the final stages of Wednesday night’s match.
A game that was even worse on the eye than Sunday’s encounter with Stoke, then had the cherry put on the top with Carver’s three substitutions.
With Palace levelling in the 71st minute, Carver’s response was to:
Replace our centre-forward (Cisse) with a defensive midfielder (Abeid)
Followed by taking off the most creative player and putting on a centre-back (Dummett)
Then for good measure he made a third and pointless one to waste time in the dying seconds, taking off our last remaining attacking player on the pitch (Perez) and putting on Riviere.
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The match was bad enough without these cowardly and soul destroying substitutions.
Like most of you, when I saw the team selection and (supposed) formation I was pleasantly surprised. At face value it looked like it had attacking intent…
Newcastle lined up with the following in a 4-2-3-1 formation, according to the club;
Krul: Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, Haidara: Sissoko, Colback: Gouffran, Cabella, Perez: Cisse
Watching the game last night, whatever I’d thought was the case at face value was irrelevant. I’m not totally sure where everybody ended up playing but what I do know is that we had Cisse isolated around twenty yards or more further forward than the rest of the team. His chasing players down was pointless as Carver had everybody else sitting deep and trying to nullify Pardew’s Palace.
No wonder we had such a terrible match, with Janmaat and Cisse’s role in the goal sticking out like a sore thumb.
The look on Cisse’s face was priceless as he realised it was he who was going off, he looked incredulous that pointless players such as Gouffran were staying on and he was being hauled off. He had been Newcastle’s best player, holding the ball up well and laying it off when his teammates eventually got up near him, plus of course he’d scored the goal.
Reports are unconfirmed as to whether Papiss Cisse was joining in at the end with the Newcastle fans chanting at John Carver: ‘Are you Pardew in disguise?’