There Will, As Always, Be Another Time
I’ve always said it’s important whenever things don’t go your way to get perspective.
After the events of this afternoon though, that is proving more difficult than ever. In the interest of balance, I’m going to have a go.
The defeat to the mackems came quickly on the back of a hard-fought and valiant attempt to get to the Europa league semi-finals. This was a calculated gamble and the impact it may have had on some players, versus sunderland’s week of rest, would have surely been worth it if a trip to Amsterdam was still in the offing.
Secondly, Cisse’s now mandatory disallowed goal seems to have been wrongly flagged offside by the incompetent wazzick cheating from the safety of the linesman’s shirt. 1-1 at this point would surely have seen the game take a different direction.
Having said that, I would urge you to totally disregard the above.
United have lost a derby, at home, by a heavy margin. In the process of this we have been sucked back into the relegation shake up, failed to score against the mackems for the first time in premier league history and lost by more than one goal for the first time in 23 years.
This was all achieved by a failure to compete across the park, some abysmal defending and a shocking lack of recognition for the fact that the game was being played sunderland’s way and this needed to be prevented by getting the ball on the deck.
As I’ve said above, there’s nothing worse than knee-jerk reactions and I hope people can at least acknowledge that we all need to pull for the team to get the results needed to stay up from the remaining games. However, I recently heard something that concerns me for the future beyond that.
I have it from a first hand account, that a local journalist recently asked Alan Pardew about the record of failing to score from a corner for an unacceptable tally of PL matches. Pardew’s response of “Yeah, thanks for reminding me mate!” does not instil me with confidence that our manager has a desire to work on the shortcomings. In fact, this suggests an approach of “don’t mention that; it’s not working so we don’t talk about it. Where’s the easy questions? Come on, praise me for buying Sissoko!”
I would hope that Alan Pardew is given a chance to improve on this side and return to the successes of last season. I would hope more so though, that in his mind he acknowledges the recent failures, instead of resting on the laurels of 2011-12 and hiding behind the now expired excuse of Europa League exhaustion.
Losing horribly to sunderland at home is as black a mark as a manager gets round here, and this should act as an incentive for all involved in this aberration to commit to repaying some of this debt. Addressing the fact that we surrender possession and position from our own set plays should be high up that list from a coaching perspective.
From the point of view of ourselves, the fans, I would hope that humility can be exercised. The mackems are clearly reinvigorated under Di Canio and showed a desire that was sadly lacking from a stand-offish Newcastle side. The decent thing is to give them their due and embark on another undefeated decade against them.
There will, as always, be another time.
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