It has been a while since I’ve scribbled for the Mag.
I last spoke about how the birth of my son coincided with a 4 game winning run that eventually extended to 6 games before normal service was resumed. He didn’t turn out to be the messiah after all.
He’s almost 6 months old now and NUFC has been the usual rollercoaster of disaster for the majority of that existence.
We’ve had a change of manager / head coach / patsy or whatever you want to call them and nothing has really changed. In fact it’s probably worse, if that was at all possible.
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When Pardew moved on it was an ideal opportunity to get the next appointment right, well as right as the current regime will allow. Instead we’ve decided to promote the first team coach, a man who is surely as accountable for the way we had been playing as Pardew himself. Guilty by association in my book.
He had an opportunity to prove otherwise and he started off in positive mood stating he would play his best team in the FA Cup.
Then it went downhill as he just seemed to have lied to us all and continues with utter drivel. This worryingly includes how he is planning for next season and supposedly involved in choosing players, something which the club have suggested is not the role of the manager / head coach / patsy etc etc
JC seems to be preparing us all for the worst decision possible by appointing him full-time, instead of accepting the job needs to go to someone with experience and ability (unfortunately to perform within the framework of the current set-up despite most of us not agreeing with that).
As I said, JC was a coach contributing to poor performances and seemingly going along with Pardew until he gets the top job and then starts saying he’ll do it his way. Did he ever tell Pardew he had different ideas and challenge the decisions, or did he just toe the party line?
At the last derby we came close to stopping the rot and a nil nil would have done me as I’m not a greedy man. Unfortunately, Mr Pardew thought it would be a cracking idea to go all gung ho at the end resulting in shambolic defending and another defeat. What was JC’s view that day? Did he go along with that decision or did he voice any concern that we may expose ourselves for a right old kick up the backside?
The team itself has self-inflicted wounds with ridiculous suspensions to Cisse and Coloccini to go along with a terrible injury list in an already wafer thin squad. Krul looks a shadow of his former self. We’ve got a dubious back four at the expense of losing Colback’s pressing midfield game. A midfield which may have ability but largely lacks effort and desire to put it into practice. And a lightweight strike force with a guy either low on confidence or just completely out of his depth. This leaves us with who exactly on the bench? Janmaat, Sissoko and Perez are the only bright spots if I can clutch at any positives.
The Arsenal game kind of highlighted this. The proverbial game of 2 halves if ever there was one. A performance like the first half of that game will get you nothing. A performance like the second half of that game and you might just give yourself a chance. However, the problem is being able to get that second half performance sustained for 90 minutes.
Objectively, the Mackems are surely favourites despite how annoying that is to say. I keep telling myself that O’Shea is too old and slow but we never seem to take advantage of this. Their 3 up front with 2 battering rams and a poacher against our defence is surely a worry? Adam Johnson is a thorn whether he starts or comes off the bench and Dick in charge for his first home game won’t help matters.
And as for their keeper, I’m going to give him credit for the multiple nil nil draws they’ve had. Yes we can all mock the Mackems but the fact is they have beaten us four times in a row now. They’ve also conceded less goals than us despite losing games 8-0 away and 4-0 at home and have actually lost one less game than us. Some of the highlights on MOTD show some dubious disallowed goals and penalty decisions which if they had been given could easily see them above us by turning draws into wins. I’m sure we could point to similar scenarios but I guess the point I’m making is this. Are they really worse than us – because I can’t make a claim that we are better than them?
If JC can get the team at it from the off then we might get a positive result, I’d take nil nil right now. My fear though is that the words of JC and some of the players will turn out to be the same old nonsense we have heard all too often this and many other seasons. I’m sure you will all have your favourite quotes about “what we are going to do in the next game to show the fans”…blah blah blah…followed by the apology “we’re hurting too” …blah…blah…effing blah…after it hasn’t quite gone to plan the week after.
But even if we do somehow manage to get a result, I hope it doesn’t contribute towards putting JC in the frame for a summer appointment…unless it’s somewhere else.
Yes I’ll be grateful if he stops the rotten run but that will be it.
The unthinkable alternative may be a long-term positive if our own JC is going to take one for the team and sacrifice himself for the long-term benefit of Geordie mankind. Sorry for the crucifixion JC but I’m your Doubting Thomas and this time I don’t think I’m alone.
Religion isn’t really my strong point and I favour superstition, despite how ridiculous that concept is. So with that in mind I’ve sacked my mate who has been to the last 4 derby games (the only ones he’s been too, ever) and told him in no uncertain terms to spend time with his family and stay well away from radio, TV, social media etc etc.
On Easter Sunday will JC be celebrating an unforeseen resurrection?
My heart sincerely hopes so but my head tells me I’m more likely to see the original JC rise again and I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen.