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A Tangled Web

8 years ago
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This season has been a stark contrast to the back slapping, congratulatory messages that were regularly received from the nation’s media for Alan Pardew and the lads last season.

A run of 11 defeats in 13 has left fans questioning whether Pardew is the man to lead us forward. Message boards such as NUFC Forum, Newcastle United Mad and NUFC Blog are full of ‘Pardew Out’ and ‘Reasons Why Pardew Should Stay’.

Firstly, our lack of signings in the summer is one of the reasons for our low league position. With Vurnon Anita as our only notable acquisition in the summer, the rest were what Pardew would regard as players for our development squad.

With a demanding European campaign in the offing, fans and press alike argued that if we were to have an injury crisis, we would struggle to cope with both our excursions onto the continent on Thursday nights and Sunday afternoon games. How right they were.

Injuries to Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Ryan Taylor, Jonas amongst others have left us fielding reserves and youth team players such as Paul Dummett and Adam Campbell, with even Remi Streete, who has impressed, having to be named as one of our substitutes.

Another reason for me for our league position is that we simply do not have any strength in depth. The Brighton game showed we only have Nile Ranger, Shola Ameobi and Adam Campbell left, while Cisse, our only class striker of note, was left out due to injury.

We had the chance in the summer to strength knowing full well we needed an extra 4 or 5 players, 2 central defenders, a central midfielder, a winger and a striker to give us cover should we have any injury. Instead, the stark reality is we could be embroiled in a relegation battle because of a lack of players at Pardew’s disposal.

Looking at past transfer windows, the only time we only spent a substantial amount on a player was Papiss Cisse last January when he was signed for £10 million. Other transfer windows show that profits had been made on player sales. The question will be whether Mike Ashley will give Pardew money to sign the players that we need, or whether they will be self-financed by further player sales.

2013 for me is one of the biggest years in Newcastle United’s recent development. If Pardew is able to secure the additions to the squad we so desperately need, we could salvage something from this season and perhaps finish in mid-table. However, if Ashley and Llambias dither and act too little too late as they did with Carroll’s late departure, then another relegation struggle could be on the cards.

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