After the derby defeat, this Alan Pardew post match Sunderland interview with the assembled press was nothing short of astonishing.
I know many of you feel that the press give the club an easy ride much of the time but you must give full credit to them for what happened on Saturday.
The press were taking no prisoners and Luke Edwards at the Telegraph gave a full blow by blow account of what went on, including the following;
Press Officer: I think that is an unfair question to ask the manager.
Q: But it is 2 transfer windows without one now and Alan said…
Pardew: I have got no comment to make on that one.
Q: You said at the start of last week that the club can’t not replace Yohan but that is exactly what happened.
Pardew: I did not particularly say in this window though. I said, you know, we have got to get players of that class, there is no doubt about that. Don’t try and angle that for this window because I think that is unfair on me.
Q: You said ‘we need to bring somebody in, for sure. We can’t lose someone of his quality and not replace him. That would leave us vulnerable’. Do you stand by that?
Pardew: Well I’ve said it, ain’t I? But I am meaning in the long-term as well as the short-term, that it is the quality we need. And, you know, today has been a tough day for us and I don’t really want to add any more to it, to be honest.
Q: Part of the problem you have got is that if you don’t speak out against not getting a replacement it makes it look as though you are going along with the decisions the board is making and therefore you get criticism heaped on your shoulders and take the blame for that.
Pardew: Yeah, I am a professional manager. You know, if I was in charge solely of transfers, the answer might be different, but I’m not.
Q: It does feel sometimes that you are being asked to manage with your hands tied behind your back.
Press Officer: These are all quite unfair questions.
Q: Unfortunately the manager is the only person who will speak for the club.
Q: How do you lift yourself?
Pardew: I’ll be alright.
Luke and his mates might be treading on thin ice, I wouldn’t put it past Ashley to just bin all of the press apart from Sky Sports and just put out regular bulletins through them.
What Alan Pardew says, or maybe doesn’t say, illuminating all too well the absolute mess at St.James’ Park.