Saturday March 1st, where to start? A fantastic three points away at Hull secure in the bank (another away win) and back to back victories recorded. It doesn’t matter how they come apparently.. .
However, forgotten are the three points, the four goals from a stuttering attack, the Tim Krul double save, all attention goes away from the plus points. Accentuate the negative and eliminate the positive, I think is how the song goes?
Cue Newcastle United to once again point gun at foot and usurp itself as headline makers extraordinaire. This time in the guise of Alan Pardew. Had the incident in question been a player, we would have rightly been slapping our own foreheads in the form of Homer J Simpson, looking to the skies and mentally playing Travis’ ‘Why does it Always Rain on Me’ in our heads.
Original reaction from the KC Stadium was vague, with David Meyler escaping censure (aside from a yellow card) and since then, the reaction from the media has been damning from all sides, condemning Alan Pardew. And rightly so. Talk of the sack for Pardew justifiable, but never likely – the evidence on show is that he hits Mike Ashley’s targets better than opposing players.
David Meyler started the handbags and should have walked for his part in events, the antics of Steve Bruce in praising the player for not going down and ‘rolling around’ hardly washes. But whilst I’ve defended Pardew in the past with the line ‘doing a difficult job under difficult circumstances’, punishment must (and will) be heavy. Talk of seeing out the season in the stands (10 game ban) has been mentioned and would be considered by me as a huge let-off with the season as good as over.
Giving the media reasons to hammer the club seems to be the remit around these parts. Under these circumstances, it’s hard to argue.
If you want to find out how instant and eager people are to mock and jump in, you should have seen Jeff Stelling’s cringeworthy reaction on Sky Sports Live on Saturday afternoon.
Akin to the events at St James’ Park in 2005, when Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer created their own headlines, punishments then were hefty fines and a ban from the FA and the same will befall Alan Pardew. At least back then we had UEFA CUP and FA Cup latter stages to look forward to. My how times have changed.
Like Lee Bowyer and Keiron Dyer, Alan Pardew has form. Pushing linesmen, calling opposing managers (very) nasty names and now head butting players, will give the FA carte blanche to do pretty much as they please. Never mind what the club (Mike Ashley) has imposed, the FA will be an altogether different animal.
Since Mike Ashley took control of the club in 2007, the club has lurched from one joke to another, and there have been many. They started a long time ago, before he bought the club, but the intensity, regularity and severity seems to increase every time.
Quite what Alan Pardew writes in his notebook on matchdays is something I’ve often wondered at. ‘Nut an opposition player’ wasn’t something I’d ever contemplated.
What happens next, after FA sanctions, is anyone’s guess.