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Alan Pardew’s Two Year Itch

8 years ago

The two year anniversary of Alan Pardew’s very first game as NUFC manager recently passed,  when we defeated Liverpool 3-1 thanks to goals from Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and Andy Carroll.

Just looking at the goal scorers that evening and the overall impressive performance, compared to who we have in our team now after another defeat at the hands of Fulham Monday Night, it’s safe to say things have changed a lot over that period of time.

Most people were confused and concerned as to why Alan Pardew was even in the dugout that night two years ago as Chris Hughton was doing a sterling job in our first season back in the Premier League after the ultimate humiliation of relegation. Which of course was thanks to him for rescuing this club from certain doom by getting us promoted at the first time of asking, even though he had no previous managerial experience at that point of his life. Most fans thought he was unfairly sacked and I was one of them.

It’s two years later and NUFC sit two points off the relegation zone, with only one win in seven league games and with Man City, Man United and Arsenal to come in three of our next four games. Come the end of these fixtures it will most likely be a case that Newcastle United football club will be in another relegation battle which nobody could be in any doubt over. Not even the sheep that like to bury their heads in the sand when things don’t go to plan could possibly ignore that, or try desperately to put a positive spin on the situation.

In between the first season back in the Premier League, and the one we are currently drowning in, was a season of resounding success. Specifically in the league as the cup competitions were a non-event. We finished 5th and managed to qualify for Europe for the first time since 2007. It was an incredible achievement considering the overturn of key players for fresh new ones.

All the goal scorers from Pardews very first game had all moved on to other clubs and had been replaced at a fraction of the cost. The football club as a whole had seemed to have moved on a step from a stable Premier League team, to a club that would consistently compete for the European qualification spots in and around the Top 6.

However as we speak we find ourselves in 14th position looking over our shoulders at the relegation zone with an incredibly tough fixture list to come with hardly a decent performance to shout about all season long. It would seem as the club made a step forward last season, we have took two steps back this season. It can’t be ignored I am afraid. In our first season we were never in any real danger of a relegation scrap as Carroll, Nolan, Barton and co fought for every point on the board. A mid-table finish was the reward. This season we would give anything to finish in the exact same position as the thought of relegation is a terrifying one. A mid-table also ran club seems like a nice place to be right now.

Follow me on Twitter @ToonBano


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