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The Blame Game

8 years ago
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So then ladies and gents, who do we blame?

That’s apparently what we all want isn’t it? Someone to point the finger at.

The players? The manager? The tactics? Or the man at the top of the pile?

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I don’t want Alan Pardew sacked and to an extent he shouldn’t take much of the blame,  I like him as a bloke too. I’d like to have a beer with him, in fact were I single, I’d like to have a night on the tiles with him. I’m sure he knows how to charm a girl or two.

Most importantly though, I think he’s a good football manager. He’s not the best and he’s not the top man we’ve had at St. James’ Park in my lifetime, nor has he come close to that accolade. He is though, good enough to get us out of our current disappointing spell, despite the fact he’s made a few odd tactical decisions of late though he is currently missing the spine of his team. Steven Taylor would start every week were he fit. The same goes for Cabaye, Ben Arfa and Ba had he not had to sell the latter through no fault of his own. His biggest flaw at present is his post match comments which do appear baffling at times.

This lengthening injury list was always going to happen though. Last season we got bucketfuls of good fortune and things falling our way with injuries. The players we least want to get injured have all fallen foul at the same time. I’m hopeful that when they return that Pardew will be able to play the side he’s wanted to and been working towards, so as a consequence the results will improve.

The players we do have however are not performing to a good enough standard. Some of the defending against Manchester United and Arsenal was poor but we had the excuse of being up against ‘the best’, against Everton we weren’t. We were up against bully boys who were simply bigger and stronger than we were. I just felt they wanted it more than us. The lack of quality at times was frightening, where James Perch was for their second goal is a mystery. By the same token, only Davide Santon will know how he allowed a lumbering oaf like Anichebe to evade him. The lack of pressure on the ball through large parts of the game worried me most of all. Was it tiredness? A lack of desire? Lack of organisation? The gaps between midfield and defence lead me to believe it was a shocking combination of all three. Coloccini looked lost at times and goodness only knows what Mike Williamson was doing for large chunks of the game. He’s good in the air and I like the way he attacks the ball. With the ball near his or an opponent’s feet however, he looks like Bambi on ice.

The referee didn’t help us a great deal either, however he wasn’t the reason we lost this game. Missed chances and shoddy defending are the reason we lost this game. Before anyone mentions the penalty shout too, and it should have been a spot kick by the way, may I remind you all of the good fortune against the same team last season? With the score at 2 – 1 Everton should have had a penalty for a handball which the officials missed. What’s that old adage about things balancing themselves out?

It’s relatively easy to place the blame at the players’ feet though, as they are the faces so to speak, of our team. The ones we see and can voice our opinions towards. At the moment they have nowhere to hide, especially with a paper-thin squad not allowing for any loss of form. We don’t see training sessions to know what they do, or listen to Pardew’s team talks to understand the depth of his tactical analysis. The person we see and hear least from is the person to point fingers at here.

I’d love to know what was going through Mike Ashley’s head during the summer. Not a lot probably. Which is the exact reason we’re in the mess we’re in now. Even the most optimistic Newcastle fan knew we needed reinforcements during the summer. Defensively especially. What did we do? Not a lot. Anita is turning into a very astute signing but one that justifies spending very little money elsewhere? I don’t think so. Until the results start to turn, which I think they will once Cabaye et al return, don’t boo the players, chant for Pardew’s head or blame officials as many did on Wednesday night. Blame Mr Michael Ashley.

Dai also has his own excellent blog which you can visit here and you can follow him on twitter @senor_sapo

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