Thanks to JJ Fletcher for his first article for The Mag – Send in your letters/articles to [email protected]

We are too big to go down was the cry? Well we did, and we deserved it. Even the most blinkered of fans could see that and yet again we find ourselves looking at the wrong end of the table rather than the other end as we did for most of last season. ‘Pardew out’ has been whispered, usually by those void of thought and reason, usually fans sitting tweeting from the warmth of the front room rather than being at the games.

With, as always, the Mackems taking great pleasure in Pardew’s failure, failure? Really? As usual they are more consumed with hate for our club than supporting their own club, who I might add are so poor if anyone is going to be in a relegation scrap it will be them, but enough of the party with Marty gang.

What is going wrong at St James, injury?

Cisse losing his goal scoring touch?


I think the clear and simple answer in this case is lack of investment, just when it looks like Ashley had won over the fans, a desperately  poor summer of recruitment has hampered what should have been a season to really consolidate our position as a consistent top 6 side. We have real genuine quality in our squad and it’s easy as a supporter to think all our players are world beaters, though in the cold light of day they are far from it. However,  in Ben Arfa, Ba, Cabaye, Colo, Santon and Krul we have a real core of quality that is comparable with the top 4, however it is beyond these 6 that things begin to unravel somewhat.

Simpson and Williamson have been so consistently poor for 2 seasons it was only a matter of time before these cracks would appear and it is these two areas in particular that needed investment…it didn’t materialise.

I think it’s important we discuss Tiote (huge sigh!), we need to stop thinking in Tiote we have a footballer who we can compare to the likes of  Yaya Toure because as much as it pains me to say it, we don’t. He gives the ball away so much I have started to question what it is he offers to the team now, £20million? No chance!  But what of the young boys? Sammy? Ferguson? Bigi? All potential stars and I say that with my football head on and not my NUFC head on, however the concern is during times of struggle throwing them in and expecting them to dig us out of the mire, is not fair on them or their development.

But has it all gone wrong? And what now do we judge as success at this football club. One club I want to mention is Everton and one man in particular, David Moyes, touted as the potential successor to Fergie. There have been times when Moyes and his team have been at the wrong end of things, yet the board, to their credit, have stood by him. They’ve instilled stability into the club and built a team that many envy and do not relish facing, this is what I believe Ashley is trying to do, often long term gains need short term failure to allow them to be brought to fruition, sacking Pardew would be more pointless than a Lee Cattermole tackle. It achieves nothing.

Lets have a bit of a reality check;  yes the Europa League is rubbish, yes we are hovering above the relegation zone, yes injuries are blighting us and yes yes yes we all know we need to sign players in Jan.

Lets be realistic, until Fifa brings in financial constraints on clubs like Man City and Chelski we simply need to stick to the mantra Ashley has set us out for the long term and not just 4 games that we have lost, ask yourself would you rather have Souness or Kinnear back?

No I didn’t think so! Would you rather watch Ben Arfa or Lee Bowyer? So stop the moaning and be thankful for where the club is now.

Keep the Faith.

  • glasshalfempty

    Well I disagree with some of your comments. Simpson is a decent right back who some, like yourself, feel a need to criticise unfairly in my opinion. As for Tiote not being a Toure you are right. But then Toure cost over £20 million which we are never going to be able to get anywhere near. Tiote has been a fantastic player for us despite his recent performances not being up to his usual standard. Still the first name on the team sheet for me. Maybe he’s trying too hard because those around him aren’t pulling their weight leaving him more exposed by having to cover their mistakes. His job is to win the ball and give it to our creative players but they’re injured and the likes of Anita need time to get used to the physical game so that’s what we’re left with. Let’s have some perspective please!!

    • James Zielinski

      I agree with you. Are there better than Simpson yes. Should we have replaced him yes because he is distracted by Tulisa malarky and the fact he will be going to a new club. His determination isnt there because of it. Hes still alright at defending. Not amazing but does a job. He cant attack hes useless at it but hes a defender first and foremost and he should not be knocked for that. All defenders get caught out from time to time yet Simpson seems to get a decent amount of stick. However one player who should have been replaced or at best 4th choice is Williamson. At this level in the Premier League you have to be confident in you own ability with the ball and to that matter have some ball skills with your feet. He doesnt not to mention has a pretty poor reading of the game and positioning his body. Had we signed a replacement for him I genuinely think most fans would have accepted the transfer window gone a bit better. Debuchy would have been a cherry on the top. We have players if we didnt have injury trouble who can still slot into RB but our choices in central defence are very very limited. Anita, Santon, Perch, Tav can all go and player RB after Simpson. Then there was Ryan Taylor who unfortunately got injured and is a great squad player who gives 100% in games and training to keep other honest. If we lose Tayls (always gonna happen hes injury prone) or Colo then Willo is straight in and this is our problem. He was shown up many a time last year and probably cost us Champions League alone with his blunders. Unfair to judge Tiote. Hes having a bad season but I saw flashes against Stoke of improvement. His passing has been shocking this year but it isnt always. Alls players have a bad spell but Tiote has it in him and it will come out with games.

  • Heaton Mick

    I really don’t understand the dislike of Simpson that seems to prevail on the internet (certainly isn’t reflected by the people who sit around me in the ground)

    His main weakness is his lack of pace when faced with a speedy winger, which aren’t too common in the Premier League with most teams going 4-3-3 these days. The number of times Simpson has cost us a goal by being beaten are probably more than outweighed by the clearances & last ditch tackles he’s made.

    Look around the Premier League at the other teams and they aren’t any better anywhere else (I’d include Glen Johnson/Martin Kelly, whoever the Man Utd stand-in is this week and Carl Jenkinson)

  • Mal

    An article moaning about Simpson, Williamson, Tiote and the lack of summer investment finishes with telling us all to stop moaning. Interesting.

  • Rossy79

    Interesting to read two different articles this evening on the same player (Tiote), with two vastly differing views. My two penneth, for what it’s worth, is that he is somewhere in between – neither the main reason for our poor form nor a £20m man. Alongside decent players – Cabaye, Nolan – he is good, alongside lesser lights – Anita (for now), Gosling – he is less effective.