I’m a fan of Alan Pardew. I love how confident he can come across, how behind the team he is and how much he genuinely seems to understand what football means to this club and the city. Last year he scooped up all the accolades, the top prizes flooded in after guiding us to fifth; he has proved his managerial credentials, no doubt.

The fact remains though, we’ve been poor all season. Nothing short of abysmal at times. What I can’t stand the most though is the same, repeated mistakes that let us down, week in, week out. Mistakes made by Pardew which should have been rectified by now.

In last night’s game against Fulham we performed far better than games like Stoke away or Swansea, or West Ham at home, which all ended in defeats. We showed attacking intent and could have taken some points for sure but we ultimately ended with nothing, again. Leaving empty handed and wondering where did it all go wrong this time?

Pardew must shoulder a lot of this blame. I’m not looking for a scapegoat or running out to make a ‘Pardew Out’ banner but I do want the man to recognise where he, repeatedly, goes wrong.

Exhibit A: The Argentine ‘winger’

The single biggest bone to pick I have with Pards is the unchallenged inclusion of Jonas. Gutierrez in the past three months has offered nothing to the side. Ok, you know he’s going to work his backside off for you but his contribution going forward, as a winger should, is absolutely non existent.

I don’t care if he wins 100 free-kicks in a game, he’s past his sell by date. How on Earth though is his place consistently guaranteed?! Marveaux should have started the game but Jonas is his vice captain, he’s a favourite of the old Silver Fox’s and it looks like he’s untouchable. He should be though, he should be dropped. Again, I don’t want such a club servant and good squad player tossed on the rubbish heap but he hasn’t performed and this needs addressing. It’s gone on too long.

Exhibit B: Poor Papiss pushed out

Cisse is an instinctive goalscorer, a poacher who is best in and around the box, looking to nick a goal for you. We saw this last season, 13 goals in 12 games thank you very much!

So why o why, is he continuously being forced to play on the wing or as a wide forward, where games simply pass him by? The equivalent would be AVB telling Defoe to play in Lennon’s position at Spurs, it wouldn’t happen. It’s ridiculous in fact. We have seen it so much this season where Cisse has been a passenger. His workrate is there, it’s not his fault. He’s being used incorrectly and Pardew must account for this.

Exhibit C: 4-4-2 and hoofball

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten it, there’s no shying away because we mixed it up last night. For the majority of the season it’s been like watching what would happen if Big Sam and Tony Pulis had a secret long ball love child, as we’ve seen more hoofball in Premier League gamesthis time around than we have in all the seasons I’ve watched us!

Granted Cabaye isn’t in the side, yes Ben Arfa has missed games, but even without our most creative players, we should encourage a passing game the players are capable of producing. We have become long ball merchants.

There’s no doubt, the evidence is there. Team selection, approach, inability to start a first half as well as a second, even an inability to come anywhere near close to scoring a corner! We are seeing repeated mistakes and no atonement for these errors.

This week Pardew said we would be different, we were supposedly getting back to our best. However, this isn’t going to happen if we don’t change our mindset. Last night we made a start, the formation was a lot more positive but the personnel didn’t match.

The next step should be to try Cisse in the middle again, with Ba going back on the left in a 4-3-3. If he isn’t happy then so be it. We need to bring the best out of the team. We are Newcastle United, not the Demba Ba Golden Boot Club.

I have faith in players and of course I want Pardew to succeed. He is in charge of this team and must make decisions to better our fortunes, no matter how difficult those decisions may be.

I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, please Alan show us something different and let me have my happy ending.

Jamie also has his own excellent blog which you can visit at carryingcoals.com


  • Heaton Mick

    Exhibit B: Papisse shouldn’t be playing as a wide attacker because he scored 13 in 12 last season
    Exhibit C: Ba who has scored 10 in 16 this season should be played as a wide attacker?
    Don’t understand that logic!

    I do have some sympathy with the Jonas argument, but the same could be said for all our midfield this season. Tiote & Cabaye haven’t shown much and are living on last season’s reputation. Hopefully it’s not long before Bigirimana gets a bit of a run

    • I completely understand what you’ve said here. However with Cisse offering so little to the team when pushed out wide and knowing that he will score goals in the middle, the argument is that Ba is better suited to the wider role. I would say Ba is a better all round player and is more capable, with his attributes, to play more effectively on the side of a 4-3-3 than Cisse can.
      Ba consistently played well on the left of a 4-3-3 in the second half of last season.

  • Excellent article! Totally agree on all points and have been saying the same thing for months.

  • Absolutely perfect analysis. I agree with every single word. I’d just like to add that I wish Alan would tell Tiote to stop trying so hard to avoid a yellow at any cost.

    • Cheers Rolf. And yeah, Tiote has considerably changed, we miss the old Cheick.

  • Robert Walsh

    Great article! Like you say he was more than happt to take all the plaudits last year so equally he must take responsibility when it goes bad! I’ll be honest I don’t like the man think he’s too busy trying to suck up to the media and be another Harry Redknapp! All i want is for the club to do well and play in the right way with some pride and passion. Unfortuantely this hasn’t been seen since last Janury when we beat Man Utd 3-0

    • Thanks, I do like Pardew and I don’t think he is 100% to blame for what has gone wrong this season but I wanted to bring attention some of the problems existing in the team which he must be held accountable for.

  • agree with every single point made excellant thought it was only me that seen all these things thank you

  • Jonathan

    Exhibit A is a load of garbage. Of course Jonas is worthy of a place in this team – who do you put in – Sammy, Ferguson. The implication of this kind of character assasination is that it makes us look daft. Just because he is not Ben Arfa he is useless.

    Bear in mind he has been asked to play all over the pitch this season – full back, left, right winger, central and done a decent job throughout. Santon is excellent but does neglect defensive duties an awful lot, Enrique was the same and both are a lot better with Jonas than without. Fans like yourself probably disliked Milner when he played for us as well. They add so much to the team ethic whereas a team of Ben Arfas would be a nightmare. you need a balance.

    This kind of assassination also gets Ashley off the hook – there are 2 probles to the team at the moment. Ashley gambling again and failing to invest and the 442 which puts far too much pressure on whoever is in the midfield – Tiote for example (who I love) was truly shocking yesterday because he is being asked to do too much.

    As for Pardew – rock and hard place. at the moment

    • I disagree. I’ve always, always been a fan of Jonas and he is a firm favourite. I think you miss the point here Jonathan. I’m well aware he isn’t Ben Arfa, nor do I expect him or any other to be! The point is, his role in the team has gone unquestioned and unaltered despite a string of substandard performances that have frustrated many fans. If you read the article, I don’t propose Sammy or Fergie ahead of him (although perhaps I should have) but instead I mention Marveaux, who has been a positive for us of late.

      You seem to have this preconceived notion that ‘fans like myself’ don’t understand Jonas’ role or what his pluses are. Yes he is an incredible asset but being consistently employed as a winger with nothing to offer in the final third isn’t good enough.

      I appreciate his work rate, as I did Milner’s. I agree, Ashley must too shoulder some blame, it isn’t Pardew alone. I’m highlighting what Pardew has power over and what he repeatedly gets wrong.

      Jonas as a left winger offers little and has been very poor this season.

      • Jonathan

        Sorry Jamie you have done an absolute hatchet job on Jonas as your Exhibit A and used terms such as sell by date and rubbish heap (hardly missing the point) and as well as being wrong it is out of order. None of the purples have performed well at all and I would argue cabaye, tiote and certainly cisse have been much worse.
        I must have been watching a different Marveaux if you think he adds anything to the team -on a par with Sammy and possibly worse than Fergie.
        The point with santon you do seem to have missed. Santon is half the player without Jonas, he would either have to defend and therefore lose his attacking flair or attack and we would get murdered down the left side (look at the Fulham 1st goal, there would be many more of these). As combination they work ok, he is not just a left winger, he is at least part full back.
        I agree with much of the rest of your piece but find your assasination of Jonas ridiculous and over the top, of course Pardew must keep with him for the forseeable…

        • I’m surprised by this. I mean of course, he isn’t the only player not performing the midfield and I do acknowledge what you’re saying about his defensive capabilities but he has lost a lot of his game which we once knew.

          As for Marveaux, I think he quite obviously hasn’t done a great deal yet but in his past few games he’s been better and showed signs of a bit craft and guile. He differs to Jonas in the sense he offers more in the final third.

          You make a good point re Santon. I do think Jonas brings the best out of him – as he did Enrique.

          But what I’m arguing Jonathan, is that Jonas has been poor and it’s strange to always see him in the lineup. I would prefer him in CM or possibly fullback but just not on the wing! He has lost the forward part of his game.

          Does it not frustrate you how limited his play going forward is? And I wouldn’t call it an assassination by any means, but hey just an opinion.

          • Mal

            Did you see marveax against Bordeaux away? He’s had one decent game for us so far and for most of the time he’s totally anonymous. Personally I think he has an attitude problem. Give me Jonas any day.

          • Jonathan

            Just think that the left hand side with Santon/Jonas is the least of our problems. Neither is really a winger or a full back. Clearly Jonas could do better going forward but since he joined the left hand flank has been more productive than the right.. Sum of the parts..

  • Jezza

    Pardew has been getting everything wrong this season. After the highs of last season when everything clicked into place for us, while it all went pear shaped for the teams around us, we’re now seeing the real Pardew. The results and performances of Newcastle United this season are consistent with what Pardew has produced throughout his career. Just ask supporters of West Ham or Charlton if they are surprised at the way things are going at St James’s Park now. Remember this the manager who lost 8 games on the trot with a team that included the world class talents of Tevez and Mascerano.

    He came to this club as a failed third division manager who had been turned down for several jobs in the Championship and Scotland after being sacked by Southampton. What we’re seeing now is nothing more than most of us expected when Pardew first got the job. He is a poor manager who at times in his career has got lucky when he’s had a prolific striker to work with such as Dean Ashton or Demba Ba. His only real talent is for being something of a smooth talking charmer who seems to think he can talk his way out of anything but even that is wearing thin now.

    • Don’t write him off yet Jezza – keep the faith. Let’s see what happens with some additions in Jan and the return of injured players. A consistent side in a formation that gets the best out of the players and the team as a whole is what we need.

      I believe we will be a far better side in February.

      • Jezza

        “I believe we will be a far better side in February.”

        Jamie, I really don’t think we’ll get any new signings in January not least because Pardew won’t stand up to his good mates Ashley and Llambias to get the required cash. Nevertheless if Pardew is still here by then I’ve got no doubt he’ll be spouting off some of his usual spin to try and make us think we’ve got a far better side, he’ll come out with something along the lines of:

        “We’re more balanced without Tiote, he was getting too many cards anyway, and Vurnon Anita was brought in as his long term replacement…now that Demba Ba’s gone it’ll allow Cisse to get into a more central position and get more goals…we’ll have Cabaye and Stephen Taylor back soon and they will effectively be two new signings…we’ve got Curtis Good back from loan and he’s a real prospect, we’re expecting him to break into the first team before the end of the season and Ryan Taylor’s getting fitter by the day”

        • haha! I could see that yeah…

          I do think we’ll bring in a couple – certainly not a lot though.

      • Robert Walsh

        Finally was starting to think I was the only 1 who thinks Pardews interviews are unbearable to listen for all the rubbish he spouts

  • I think playing Benny in the hole could be a master stroke. Sitting in front of Tiote and Anita. Give him license to roam where ever his genius takes him.

  • Paul

    Jonas is prob the most consistent player at the club. He is vital to the team and has a great understanding with Santon, just as he did with Enrique. ok, he doesn’t set up a load of chances with crosses into the box, but has ability to go past players, win free kicks, and link up play. then you add his work rate and defensive qualities….