Sometimes you need to go back in history to understand what is happening today and I came across this Alan Pardew quote, not from this season obviously, but ironically only months before arriving at Newcastle United.
This is from March 2010, five months before Pardew got the sack at Southampton, with him bizarrely landing the Newcastle job two divisions higher, just over three months later;
“We have attacked every game just to build up a winning mentality.
“It has been proved today because on the big stage we turned up, we delivered a disciplined winning performance, that was the criteria today.”
The quote from Alan Pardew is in the aftermath of him and his team lifting the Johnstone’s Paints Trophy,
At the time Southampton were desperately trying to get out of League One and if Pardew had played under strength teams in this minor cup competition then nobody would have been shocked. However, as he says himself, attacking every game and playing your full strength team, builds up a winning mentality and gets you the rewards. That Southampton trip to Wembley also saw over forty four thousand Saints fans have a great day out and see their team win something.
The fact Pardew arrived at Newcastle only months after this Cup success and then instantly adopted a totally different approach to the Cups, must surely tell you that it is on Ashley’s orders that the Cups are pushed to one side as being of no interest, with weakened teams put out every time.
In fact, looking back we had an instant idea of what was to happen in the Cups under the Ashley/Pardew partnership, as after only 30 days Alan Pardew put out a weakened side as United were humiliated by Stevenage 3-1, then later that month Newcastle sold Andy Carroll despite Pardew repeatedly saying there was no way he would be leaving in that window.