Whenever somebody like myself criticises Pardew the main ‘counter attack’ his supporters use is ‘well we finished 5th last season’.
Yes, this is true. NUFC finished 5th last season under Alan Pardew’s leadership and received the manager of the year award for his achievement. No one is denying the good work overall AP did last year. However, even last year myself and others found ourselves frustrated at times.
Which seems crazy now given how awful this season is but as great as last year was, we didn’t actually have that many performances you could genuinely say were impressive. Looking back you could count them using both hands and not be in danger of running out of fingers.
The stand out performances from last year were as follows:
Stoke (a) 3-1, Man U 3-0, West Brom (a) 3-1, Liverpool 2-0, Stoke 3-0.
We also had some very proud results away at Sunderland, Chelsea and Man Utd to look back on without actually playing outstandingly well. You may have one or two of your own favourite games to add to this list but no more.
So on a very generous day you could say we had ten impressive performances to our name as a football club in our overall impressive season last year. That isn’t a lot when you consider we play 38 league games and have a few cup games thrown on top. That’s a ratio of around one in four.
Plus to every impressive performance comes a horror show. Last season wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Some of us like to forget when our club gets absolutely hammered or puts in a shameful performance never to be spoken of ever again.
In the interest of fairness and harsh reality last season also included the following:
Norwich (a) 2-4, Fulham (a) 2-5, Spurs (a) 0-5, Wigan 0-4, Brighton (a) FA Cup 0-1.
So for the five stand out impressive performances I picked out, you find five car crash performances to counter balance it. The above games weren’t just defeats, they were indefensible nightmares.
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