Newcastle Need New Leadership, Not New Players
How many more matches will Alan Pardew be allowed to send out a demotivated team before he is finally moved on? We are getting worse, not better, and a highly talented squad is becoming increasingly disjointed.
Newcastle United have been awful for over a season now, and I can’t remember the last time that we dominated a match from start to finish, even against sides that were comfortably relegated last year. Players that we have signed, like Sissoko, Santon and Yanga-Mbiwa, lack confidence and a method of play…not talent and will go on to have terrific careers if they don’t make it here. I think back to Jon Dahl Tomasson and how he was wrecked by Kenny Daglish’s insistence at playing him in an unfamiliar role, only to then see him flourish in proper football teams at AC Milan and others.
I’ve said this before but it’s clear that Pardew doesn’t believe in his players’ ability to play a possession based game, whilst also taking the game to the opposition.
Under Martinez, Everton looked a terrific football side, yet he had largely the same players inherited from Moyes, who played a more direct style. Similarly, Southampton under Mauricio Pochettino show absolutely no fear when they travel to Liverpool and Manchester United, despite playing like cloggers under their previous English manager, Nigel Adkins.
All else being equal, Newcastle would have probably won last night simply by swapping Martinez for Pardew. We have one of the best squads we’ve started a season with in many years but that is of absolutely no use if the manager doesn’t believe in a style of play that best suits the talent he has at his disposal.
Reading Twitter last night was a depressing experience as the usual calls came out for a British spine to be introduced into the team. It’s as if those tweeting simply hadn’t watched the likes of Mike Williamson and Steven Taylor play last season – they aren’t good enough at this level and, just like Simpson and Perch, are not the answer to winning Premiership matches.
We lack drive over 90 minutes and simply don’t work hard enough as a unit, that comes directly from the manager. He doesn’t really believe in his players and I’m pretty sure they don’t believe in him. Pardew would play a percentages/long ball game with Darren Bent as his lead striker if he had the chance. It’s easier than building a side that plays in a way that can challenge the best teams in the way that Diego Simeone does at Athletico Madrid, or Jorge Jesus does at Benfica – with far less money at their disposal.
Fans are concerned that, if Pardew is sacked, Joe Kinnear will take charge.
I doubt it, personally, but at least his appointment (and then subsequent sacking) would get us closer to where we need to be in terms of leadership than where we are currently. Pardew clearly isn’t the answer, and we all know that Kinnear isn’t, but I firmly believe that it would only take the right appointment as head coach to transform this squad.
Pardew looks as though he is going to throw Yanga-Mbiwa under a bus (for an admittedly awful performance) but that is typical of the man. Yanga-Mbiwa is a terrific talent, but young, and he needs to be given backing because he has had some outstanding games in the past – games that the likes of Taylor and Williamson can only dream of with their own, limited, ability.
Remember, this is someone who captained Montpelier to the Ligue 1 title as a kid – he needs to be persevered with in a way that we didn’t with Jon Dahl Tomasson or a young Sylvain Distin.
The improved second-half display against Everton should fool no one with any sense. It is easy to play better against a side that is 3-0 up and takes matters lightly after the break. The game was over and we could scarcely play worse.
Perversely, we would probably have been better off losing 8-0 if it meant that we could get a decent manager in.
Pardew has not run out of excuses, yet – he never will. We need to act quickly and move him on so he doesn’t get any more chances to use his library of bizarre explanations as to why we are becoming worse under him, week by week.
Follow Waseem on Twitter @WShak1
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