Accentuate The Positives At Newcastle United
Welcome back everyone.
It doesn’t seem like three months since Liverpool away in May, time flashes by.
It also doesn’t seem like 5 years since my heart sank watching Sky News, hearing the words ‘Sir Bobby Robson . .’ and not needing to hear the rest of the sentence, because I half knew what was coming. It’s hard to believe that it’s twelve years since the man himself was guiding Newcastle United to the Champions League.
You know it’s strange. Three short years ago, Newcastle United started the season on a great unbeaten run, great results and performances followed throughout the season and the club were a couple of results away from the same position that Sir Bobby got the club to a decade earlier. Whisper it if you like, Alan Pardew could have been a Champions League manager, at Newcastle United.
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Some shocking mistakes have been made at this club, but the summer has been quite pleasing. I’m genuinely excited by Siem De Jong and Remy Cabella. Riviere looks a neat and tidy striker and getting Jack Colback (a Geordie) on board can only be a good thing. In front of Tim Krul, Coloccini and Williamson (my preferred pair) are adequate enough despite their detractors and with Janmaat I think we have a very good right back. The only concern I still have is at left back.
A long season requires depth and with Santon, Sissoko, Gouffran, Ferreyra, Cisse, Anita, Abeid, Obertan, Perez, Armstrong, Aarons and Satka, I honestly think we have enough players to cope with fixtures, with the option to put the younger ones in to give them their chance if things are going well.
I, like a lot of fans, have reservations about the manager. There has been a lot of waffle and lies told in the past. There has also been a lot of decisions taken out of his hands, the blame for that lies at the door of Mike Ashley.
However, actions this summer have placed the onus on one man- Alan Pardew. For me he can no longer hide behind a lack of squad depth, or players being sold without his say so without replacements coming in. For me the squad is there. It’s good enough for top 10 without a doubt. It was good enough last season, before Yohan Cabaye was sold and the club went on that horrendous run after Christmas. We could have ended up in Europe with a bit of investment. What affect would that have had on the mood of supporters?
There has been a lot of negativity on The Mag over the summer, some correct. However, a lot of it seems to exist purely because people fancy a moan. This is unacceptable. People still slate the club for the sale of Yohan Cabaye, a player who wanted to leave and even went on strike to force the issue. Get over it. Some people still laud Andy Carroll and would like to see him back. Why? Get over it.
I have a worry. Picture the scene against Manchester City, Newcastle go a goal down. The reaction of the supporters will be a telling one. Will they chant ‘Pardew Out’ simply because Newcastle are a goal down? That would hardly be fair, but I could see it happening. Some supporters are like that. Manchester City was always a bad fixture to start the season, but what happens if Newcastle actually draw, or heaven forbid WIN the game? Will Alan Pardew be praised? Will the doom mongers trudge out of St James’ saying ‘Bugger, who do I slag off now?’
Looking at the fixtures, if the club don’t have above 15 points by November, things may start to look sticky. Much less in the same period would be a disaster, as we have a rotten set of December fixtures and I couldn’t envisage Alan Pardew being manager in 2015. Mike Ashley will be forced to replace him. I’m in no doubt that some people out there even want a bad start just to be rid of him. Absolutely ridiculous. What happens if we actually start off well? Negotiate our way through Christmas and we’re laughing.
One ingredient is required from the start- support. Provide that and if the club struggles, it’s everyone’s right to boo and criticise players/manager/owner.
Supporters can be very important and powerful, especially in this region. This summer has shown that to be the case over the tragic events of Flight MH17, with a magnificent reaction of unity from our own and rival fans, one which I’m sure will continue with the visit of Manchester City, where my thoughts will be with the families of Liam Sweeney and John Alder.
Now, let’s get it right for football reasons. Accentuate the positives and all that…
Howay The Lads!
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