Good News For Newcastle Is No Europa League To Distract…?
The first game of the season couldn’t have been much worse. Pardew’s side were woefully inept at dealing with one of the league’s classiest opponents.
However, a final score of 4-0 (which arguably flattered us) is disheartening regardless of the opposition. For me the real first game of the season is against West Ham.
Even the most optimistic amongst those who travelled to the Etihad last Monday could not have been expecting anything better than a low defeat. The worse outcome of those painful 90 minutes was not the shoreline but the senseless red card for Stephen Taylor and Gutierrez’s injury.
With almost no positive news to come for Newcastle regarding transfers this year, the apparent fallout between Pardew and Wenger will baffle may. Why shouldn’t Arsenal submit a bid for Cabaye hours before the game against Man City. Was it not Alan Pardew himself who said that rumours of transfer interest would, “improve his confidence”.
So what’s behind this sudden turn around, has Alan Pardew seen the articles showing he’s the bookies’ favourite to be sacked.
Nevertheless, if the Toon do lose against the Hammers on Saturday, with a potential banana skin in an away trip to Morecombe in the Capital One Cup, Pardew will be feeling the pressure. Then there is the Joe Kinnear factor, which from a footballing perspective looks a strange appointment.
However, if as is the opinion of many, that the appointment of Kinnear is a political one designed to bring the manager back into line, then Pardews’ record of being the 2nd longest serving premier league manager may end sooner rather than later.
Last season was the opposite of the previous year’s campaign. Where in 2011/2012 players performed to their best of their abilities, last season the vast majority of the squad’s performance dipped markedly.
Whilst the Europa League undoubtedly took its toll, there can be no excuse for how we ended the season. In the last 3 games at St James Park we have conceded 10 goals without reply. Considering only one of those teams will be playing European football (Arsenal) that is nothing short of abysmal.
Another worry has to be indiscipline, in pre-season games we have conceded penalties galore and were fortunate not to concede one against Man City.
Fortunately for Mike Ashley and co, West Ham will be without Andy Carroll, yet former player Kevin Nolan could easily have a say on the encounter. The Hammers also have the luxury of being able to field a player acquired during the transfer window.
Newcastle’s only signing Loic Remy (a season-long loan) will not be available until what looks like mid-September at the earliest, then there is the issue of Remy’s court appearance to contend with.
Rest assured there is no shortage of reasons to be pessimistic for this season but a win against West Ham is a must to help us see a little bit of blue sky.
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