I’d Take Gok Wan and Jimmy Krankie Over Alan Pardew
Only Newcastle United could sign nine new players and still look like they’re facing a major struggle to retain their top flight status.
However, the way that Mike Ashley operates, it feels exactly like that.
The club has stood still for so long that even with the new recruits, we all know that we’re still two or three quality, senior players short of what I feel is the minimum that is required to compete at Premier League level.
I’m not tipping us for relegation just yet. There are worse teams, right? Yet we are going into the autumn and winter with just three senior central defenders. Oh, the folly. Whoever signed that decision off up at SJP clearly likes a challenge, is incredibly naïve, or, at worst, is bordering on the incompetent.
We have also allowed one of the most technically gifted footballers seen in a black a white shirt – Hatem Ben Arfa – to walk out the door and join Hull City, thus strengthening what could well become a rival club during the run in. Ben Arfa has the box of tricks which make going to watch football a joy. He can get you off your seat.
Yet he goes because Pardew can’t work with him. Shocking. Pardew would do well to take note that the Sir Bobby Robson would have got the lad back on track. This situation has shades of Souness with Bellamy, as well as the Dalglish & Ginola fallout. The club suffered after both departures. Is history going to repeat itself?
The Ben Arfa argument does require some balance though. Here is a player that has fallen out with managers and players at every club he’s been at. It’s well established fact that he can’t track back in tight games. He can vanish in games too, and often run down blind alleys trying to beat one too many markers. He often has an attitude problem that maybe drives his fellow professionals mad. Yet, he can win games at a stroke and would be even better with clever coaching and management, something he’d not had at NUFC for a while now.
(To feature like Leazes Park ender, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])
This brings us to the future of Alan Pardew. This is a manager with a track record of touchline bust-ups, woeful tactics and on-the-hoof comments to the media that often defy belief. The man should have been jettisoned in May 2013, when he only just kept a team of internationals out of relegation.
My view, quite simply: Pardew has to be sacked. Most fans dislike Ashley’s decisions, and fear we could get someone worse than Pards. I think it’s time for change, as one friend put it, ‘I’d take Gok Wan and Jimmy Krankie over Pardew’.
It’s only just September and it feels like the problems are mounting. Injuries to key players, no wins, simmering fan unrest after the transfer window debacle and an alarming lack of goals. The more things change, the more they stay the same!
You can follow the author on Twittter @DavePunton
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]