HarryRedknapp3As we managed to fall over the line to a 1-0 ‘win’ over QPR its got to be said that was one of the worst games of football I have ever seen in my whole life.

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.

Flight_Simulation_Northumbria_Flying_School_The_MagWhy 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 He offered barely no threat to our defence, yet Tiote and Perch played for 70 mins until Cheick was withdrawn.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.

SylvainMarveaux4In 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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  • Results outweigh performances right now. I will take these 1-0 victories which are hard to watch. We need to strengthen in January and if we do that, we may just start to see some better football. Cabaye, Taylor and Ben Arfa coming back will improve us, too. We just need to pick up as many points as possible and keep plugging away until we can really do something about this situation.

    • its defo all about results right now. That’s why given possibly the worst team in the league a good hiding is just what the doctor ordered.

      It’s like AP aims his highest sights on the bare minimum. We have seen this kind of performance far too many times. Its as predictable as our set piece failure.

      • I do see your point and I understand but I just think negativity after winning a must-win game (which we all agree it was) is not needed. Three points is three points and when you are scrapping at the bottom, that’s all that counts. I personally thought our best performance so far this season was the second half at home to Manchester City, and while that was very different circumstances, we got absolutely nothing for that. Keep the faith mate, have a good Christmas and I hope we’re all breathing a bit easier after these next four massive fixtures.

        • I agree the win was all that really mattered. But when you are relying on Shola to produce a piece of magic, you know you’re doing some thing seriously wrong…!

          : D

  • If it wasn’t too late to change plans I’d invite you over for Christmas dinner so you could radiate joy and happiness through our home haha. It was bad, but we won. We’ve got injuries to a squad that can’t afford to compete in multiple competitions at the moment. Hopefully we can keep our heads above water until we get our creative players back (or in!), though I would like to see Marveaux used more.

    I still have faith, it is Christmas after all.

    • I would be a hell of a lot more of a laugh than AP, if he is as miserable and negative as his team.

      I’ll bring a bottle.

      (Blogfather is my twitter name btw, this is aye)

  • anyobrien

    my god we win but still its not enough……merry xmas

  • This has to be the worst article I have ever read. Your talking about our manager who guided us to 5 last season. Open your eyes you misreable git!

    • Haha and there it is. The classic solitude defence. Your honour I give you Exhibit A. I think the next part of this article that is due out could be of interest for you.

      Keep a look out! Merry Xmas.

  • What dont you lot understand about football ? The Editor is only highlighting the fact that Pardwho went into this “must win” game with a midfield three of Tiote, Anita and Perch. What else do you need to know ?

    • The Editor? Come on AMac I thought u followed my stuff relentlessly….? ; D

  • brainiac

    “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. ”

    Actually Marveaux in those 15 mins made more than Jonas in the season so far. Jonas doesn’t have a goal or assist.

  • Absolutely bang on the money.

  • Of course the god awful weather and soaking wet pitch had absolutely nothing to do with it.

    I’m sick and tired of so called fans making Pards the scapegoat for every sub par performance and loss at the moment. We had a paper thin squad before the season began and because of Cashleys penny pinching we brought in not one player that was needed apart from Anita. The squad has been decimated through injury since the back end of September and to some of our best players. Yes performances have been under par but recently they have improved from what we saw against teams like West Ham and Southampton, bearing in mind that at the time, West Ham were above us when we played them. We have a tough few games but the one thing we need to do is get behind both the players and the manager and stop critisising every thing they do. Look at how we played against Stoke compared to say Southampton, Southampton ripped us apart, we didn’t play too badly against Stoke, yes we lost to two soft goals, but when you’re in a slump these are the things you need to try and avoid. We didn’t get ripped apart by City either. If we’d have been ripped apart, we would have been demolished like Villa did today. We were playing a club who in 5 years have spent more than most of us will see our club spend in a lifetime. We didn’t play brilliantly, but what do you expect against a team like that? We may not have created many chances, but we did create some in the second half that if they had gone in may have turned the game on it’s head. The lads seem to be finally be getting out the slup, we’re playing more as a team than I’ve seen in the last month or two but we have a few games that will test us and of course we have the transfer window coming up in which we need to keep all, if not as many players as possible, not to mention signing at least two. What we need to do at the moment is to try and grind out results no matter how we play. There are worse teams below us and it needs to stay that way. There are teams that are much worse than us below us in the league, we know we have it in the players as well as a manager that took us almost to the Champions League well ahead of schedule, to get us out of the slump we’re in. We may only be 5 points clear of the relegation zone, but we’re also only 5 points away from the top half of the table. I sometimes wonder what the real agenda is when some of you turn your hand at writing for The Mag,

    • robby bobson

      The feeling the 50,000 people in the stadium gave yesterday to the team and the manager before during and after the game isnt what is represented in this article or by most comments on various blogs by 14 yr old fans watching 10inch streams of the games on their laptops.

      Atmosphere yesterday was amazing, best in a long time and even chants of pardew give us a wave.

      • To be fair I have only experienced an ‘amazing’ atmosphere in St. James’ a few times and yesterday wasn’t one of them. It certainly wasn’t bad, but people are still finding it hard to raise their voice unless we are winning. You could say that is a case of a situation where the team needs us to lift them but we also need the team to lift us. However, in the predicament we have found ourselves in, we need to be behind the team from the first whistle and I still think the crowd can raise their game a little more.

        • robby bobson

          Ok let me change that….it was amazing compared to most games this season…the point was the crowd havent lost faith in the team.

          • The crowd supporting the team, expecially is in our current mess, in a more than winnable game is the least I would expect. I wasn’t that great to be honest. Only loud in patches.

            But anyway, what has the crowd got anything to do with this article?

    • So now its the weather? Any other straws you can grasp on to?

      Just think about what you’re saying a little more will you. We played against the worst team in the league, along with Reading, and had eveyone apart from Cabaye & Benny available (that make a difference). Our first XI is quality. Our squad is good. Our youngsters are class.

      There is no agenda apart from wanting the club to succeed and the team to at least play close to their potential. Neither are happening. Main reason being the manager’s incompetence.

  • robby bobson

    Lets be honest we were a class above qpr who did nothing all game.

    Really lacked quality in the final third mainly through poor deliveries from decent areas, and why marveuax our most intelligent fit player was on the bench is beyond me.

    On the other hand we have played 442 against average swansea and west ham sides and lost as we simply didnt control the game….we did on saturday qpr never looked like doing anything other than defend.

    Another point to note, until ameobi came on, we didnt play hoof ball, in most krul played it short and we built from the back and got into good positions.

  • I think he often means he thinks the players he has to pick from are giving him there best he knows as we all do there are squad players getting an extended run due to injuries. It benefits no one to slate them we just have to hope there’s some activity next month. Pardew seems to have run short of ideas for the moment but until he gets some further options its hardly fair to condemn him.

    • But the right players needed were available to him. Most fans were screaming at Marveaux at least to start that game. He has the necessary creativity we need without HBA and Cabaye. But AP chose not to use it. The fact it was a dire 0-0 and he was the one that changed that, is no coincidence.

  • Jamie Hardesty

    Hi Bano – great article. I really enjoyed this piece as you echo my thoughts entirely. It was a ridiculous lineup and the match itself, as a spectacle, was absolutely dire.

    Obertan and Marveaux now have to be used ahead of Jonas as the winger. Yes, Jonas offers something to the team and is a great asset – though not as a left winger. Cisse too needs to be deployed differently.

    It’s refreshing to read this and have someone with the same views. Thank you.


    • Pardew has already stated he will stick with Jonas on the wing to try and get the best out of him. This is so infuriating its unbelievable. For a start, Jonas isn’t a winger anymore and we have better options available. Second, if he is playing poorly and others like Marveaux & Obertan are playing well this season, then Jonas doesn’t deserve to start ahead of them. How must those lads be feeling this season? Poor management to say the least.

      Stick with what isn’t working + Refuse to use the better option + Not brave enough to try something different and stick with it = Typical Pardew.

  • disqus_832L0x2k7X

    sorry mate, do not agree with any of this. His subs won us the game!

    • Those subs, at least one of them, should have started. We would have won that game a lot sooner and easier.

      • disqus_832L0x2k7X

        we may have lost if we had started like that, my glass is half full. I like Pardew, we have tried chopping & changing managers for 40 years and won nowt, I would like to try & build the club from the bottom up.

        • Yea, ‘we might have lost’, you keep topping that positive glass up…

          • disqus_832L0x2k7X

            who would you bring in to replace pardew?

          • Laurent Blanc…but I’m ambitious and could work with a manager like that. Laurel and Hardy couldn’t/wouldn’t so it’s not even worth talking about it. Or sacking Pardew full stop. Puppet on a string.

  • Mal

    I think pardew and the team are struggling to deal with our current situation after last year’s high. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and criticise and, whilst it was a’must win’ game it was also a game we couldn’t afford to lose and that probably influenced his selection.
    I find it strange that suddenly the likes of Marveaux and Obertan are apparently the answer to our problems. I agree both put in good stints when they came on as subs but the reality is that they have both been inconsistent this season and I don’t blame Pardew for not starting with either of them for such an important game.
    In the end we got the win and this was definitely a game where the result was more important than the performance and we really do need people to get behind the manager and the team. This site seems to be filled with articles castigating the team and the manager at the moment – I just hope that if they are reading them they don’t think it’s the view of the majority of supporters who are firmly behind the team and are urging them on to get out of the situation we are in,

    • We’re all behind the team. I feel sorry for the players. They are being strangled by the managers negative line up and football league strategy.

      No wonder Colo has fell out with him. He probably told him a few home truths, which the arrogant cockney probably took personally, instead of listening and questioning himself.

      Can you imagine AP ever questioning himself? He is the main problem we have. I like stubborn managers, but ignorance solves nothing.

  • We need to stay positive Alan Pardew can work with mike Ashley and if our youngsters are trained better and the talent keeps comming in we will be up there faster than people will realise and then we will start to hunt for glory

    • We will onlt start to rise up the table when AP picks the best players available, in the right system to give us the best chance of victory each game at a time.

      When he clearly doesn’t, it solves nothing to ignore it. Pointing out the mistakes and doing something about them is the most positive thing anyone can do.