From Sir Bobby To…Alan Pardew
Back in November ‘Pards’ became the first Newcastle manager to be awarded manager of the month since Sir Bobby Robson way back in October 2003. Looking back at the fixtures and the results in November, he definitely deserved it.
That excellent 2-0 home win over Mourinho´s Chelsea, a game in which even the most diehard anti-Pardew fan would have to admit, he got his tactics spot on against the Special One.
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Then came Tim Krul´s performance against Tottenham and two 2-1 home wins against Norwich and West Brom. On the first of December we sat 5th in the table, 1 point ahead of Man City and 1 point behind Chelsea and Liverpool.
Fast forward to April and well, we all know what has happened. Looking at the run of games since the turn of the year, any argument that existed to support Pardew now seems fruitless. I am not going to go into the facts and figures of the games from the last few months, simply because it’s too depressing.
Some try to argue that it´s Ashley´s fault for selling Cabaye and Kinnear´s fault for not having a replacement ready, even though he knew since August that it was very possible that Cabaye would leave in January.
That’s all very good and it can´t be denied that it has definitely affected the team and the system we were playing. But some of Pardew’s tactics since Cabaye left have simply been baffling.
In the second half at Southampton we had all three left backs; Dummett, Santon and Haidara on the pitch at the same time.
Since when is Anita a right wing-back and why doesn´t he give Gouffran a chance to play through the middle instead of sticking with Cisse, De Jong or Ameobi.
Why does he refuse to use Ben Arfa as a number 10?
The worst of all are the performances, the team has no fight, no will to win and no interest in playing at the moment, and it is this that is the most damning criticism that no pro-Pardew fan or Alan Pardew himself, can hide from.
We all know that if any of us Newcastle fans were given just one chance, maybe even half a chance, to play one game for Newcastle, there would be no need for a motivational speech before the game for us to give 150% effort.
We would all look like junior school kids, running and chasing the ball all over the pitch. There would be no shying away from sliding tackles and after 20 minutes most of us would curl over in a heap, but at least we would give it our all while we were playing.
The fact of the matter is that Moussa Sissoko is from Le Blanc-Mesnil, Davide Santon is from Portomaggiore and Luuk De Jong is from Aigle. The cold truth is, the reason they play for Newcastle United is because the money´s good.
They have no emotional attachment to the club and so it falls to the manager to wind them up, get them ready and willing to play and fight for every game.
That is simply not happening and as long as it continues it’s going to be very hard indeed for the fans to support Alan Pardew.
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