Alan Pardew – ‘He Has A Burning Desire To Do Well For Newcastle United’
Love or hate derby matches, what’s Joe Kinnear’s job, Alan Pardew, favourite derby goals and matches, what’s the state of Newcastle United?
We asked some of our regular contributors to answer a few questions of the day, next up is Mag columnist, Jamie Hardesty.
Which three players are crucial to Newcastle’s season?
I’d be surprised if most fans didn’t agree with me here when I include Yohan Cabaye, we’re a different team with him in the side. Perhaps when he isn’t in the team we realise how good he actually is, we miss him that much. He may not win games on his own like Ben Arfa does, but his playmaking ability in the opposition half brings us up a level. When he isn’t in the team we look creatively limited as the likes of Anita, Tiote and Sissoko do not possess the same attacking intent that can punish teams like Yohan does.
Last season we had a major problem in scoring enough goals. Loic Remy looks to have dislodged Cisse as the favoured centre forward following an impressive early haul of 5 premier league goals. I’d say Remy is now one of our most crucial players. Since Ba left and Cisse’s goals dried up, Newcastle United have been a goalscorer away from a really good first 11. Maybe Remy is the missing part of the puzzle.
Rather controversially, and despite me being a huge HBA fan, I’m actually going to give Coloccini the final place in the 3. As I mentioned, Ben Arfa singlehandedly wins games but despite him being technically our best player, I don’t think he is one of the three most crucial. Benny is a luxury and sometimes a luxury we can’t afford to have in the side. We can still win games without him, Cardiff away being an example. Without Colo the defence can go to pieces and the other centre-backs in the squad are nowhere near his level.
So I’m going Cabaye, Remy, Colo.
What do you think of the state of Newcastle United on the pitch this season?
We lack consistency. We have shown flashes of brilliance and moments of madness, the Liverpool game typified that. Like it or not, we have shown all the signs of a mid-table Premier League team. We’re better than relegation as we have the individual moments of sheer class, though we aren’t European challengers as we lack the team coherence.
What do you think of the state of NUFC off the pitch at the moment?
Miserable. The relationship between the owner and fans is almost non-existent and the shirt sponsor has brought great shame on the city. There seems to be a saddening irony walking around the town and seeing the chavs in their Wonga tops. Mike Ashley may have saved the club from extinction, yet there remains a lingering uncertainty about the infamous interest free loan owed to him and the conservative attitude towards transfer spending, which removes a great deal of excitement as a fan.
Is Alan Pardew part of the problem or part of the solution?
I have strong views on this and I honestly believe Pardew is part of the solution. We do not live in an ideal world. Rather we have to be pragmatic and weigh up the situation. Pardew is far from the best manager in the world but there is no realistic, better alternative out there to replace him. Many people believe he’s keeping Kinnear out of the hotseat. Although a lot of people fail to look at Pardew himself. He genuinely has a burning desire to do well for Newcastle United. He really does seem to hold ambition and I for one wish him success. I’m a sucker for the passion and the fist pump…
What three separate words would you use to describe a derby match?
Well, we’ve only lost against the mackems 4 times in my lifetime so I’d have to say: special, memorable, triumphant.
Which is your favourite derby goal?
The Emre free-kick to make it 3-2. It was almost dream-like.
Favourite derby match and why?
That’s an easy one, the 5-1 Halloween destruction. We were brilliant. Our captain scored a hat trick, Bramble got sent off and Shola scored a brilliant controlled finish to add insult to injury. Everything went right for us and prior to the game Sunderland were in decent form, with many believing they’d get a result!
Sunderland in same division and derby matches, or the mackems relegated to the Conference?
Same division: it brings so much excitement.
What job do you think Mike Ashley has hired Joe Kinnear to do?
I honestly don’t know! I know Mike isn’t a football thinking man but I don’t believe he hired JFK to be an effective director of football. I don’t think Mike is that naïve. Surely, there is an ulterior motive. People say it’s to put pressure on Pardew but I don’t think Kinnear’s presence brings any more out of Pards. Others say it’s because Kinnear is Ashley’s mate but would a so called business genius put sentiment ahead of productivity? I doubt it. There is also the conspiracy theory that Kinnear undermines Pardew, therefore Pardew walks and Ashley doesn’t owe Pards a penny in compensation. I think that’s a load of rubbish too.
Maybe it was to get a reaction from the fans after all. He probably thinks I’ve saved this club and I get no thanks in return (not that I’m advocating saying he should) and this will get a reaction and show I’m boss. Just because he is powerful and rich he isn’t exempt from being petty. I don’t think he cares what Kinnear does, perhaps he has laid down a marker. It’s illogical but I see no logical conclusion to make over the Kinnear appointment.
As things stand now, what needs to happen in the January transfer window?
Cabaye needs to stay. He is performing on the pitch, albeit that may only be because it’s a world cup year, thankfully he seems to have gotten out of his sulk. What he does in the middle of the pitch nobody else in the squad can do. He’s such a huge miss out of the team. Any signings would of course be a bonus but I’m not holding my breath…
Hand on heart, where do you think United will finish this season?
9th. We aren’t going to finish ahead of Utd, City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs or L’pool. 7th would be a realistic aim but with teams like Everton looking superior and our lack of consistency I can’t see us challenging. I feel we are better suited than last year however and I don’t predict another flirt with relegation. I think top ten is doable, certainly if we manage to keep the squad together in January and maybe make an addition. Like everyone else, I’m praying for a cup run!
You can follow Jamie on Twitter @jamiehardesty
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