Newcastle Fans Need A Reason To Believe Something More Is Possible
For too long now the club seems to have limped along from one catastrophe to another. If not a bad run of results ending in relegation (or close to it), it is some off-field drama unfolding surrounding transfer policy, with the odd on-field incident thrown in for good measure, such as our manager sticking the nut on an opposition player. It never rains, it pours at this club.
Now we find ourselves rock bottom of the Premier League table after four games and the knives are well and truly out for the manager, not just based on the current results this season but extending to the on and off-field incidents. Plus the long history of misleading statements and backing the owner against the fans, as well as a run of results that stretches as far back as January when Cabaye was sold, even earlier for some incidents.
However, I find myself having sympathy for those claiming that sacking the manager won’t help (or probably won’t happen anyway). The main concern is always going to be who would replace Pardew if he did get shown the door, and what would change when the owner still sells the manager’s best players, and fails to replace with adequate quality or quantity.
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Any manager working under that stress is always going to be fighting an uphill struggle, so what difference will a new man make? You could put ‘The Special One’ in charge and he will struggle when his best players are always snatched out from under him.
I have always backed the club policy to not spend outside its means, which is fine. However, we always seem to be one or two injuries away from a crisis, one player sale from everything unravelling and that goes beyond spending sensibly, it is penny pinching to make a profit at the expense of the on-field potential.
Selling influential players upsets other players, throws the team out of balance and sends us on an uphill climb to find a replacement, often for as cheap as possible which doesn’t always work out, like Cabaye or Tiote. This mentality is far from ideal but even worse is that it requires a manager to be able to change formation and tactics to suit the new personnel, something Pardew has shown time and again is not his strength.
So will sacking Pardew actually affect anything at the club as long as Ashley is tightening the strings for whoever gets the role? I wholeheartedly agree that therein lays the problem, as well as a big question mark over who exactly we could get to work knowingly under those conditions. There is an overwhelming sense that whoever comes in will just speak like Pardew, and act like Pardew, but have a different face. They need to tow the company line, they need to back the owner and they need to be content with less.
The big question mark over Pardew though is where does he see us going? Pardew looks lost right now, devoid of ideas on how to right a fast sinking ship when the pump seems to be broken. He has failed to change tactics or team formation since the departure of the very players that made that system work for him. Failing to replace Ba and Cabaye have left us unable to play the way that worked in the past and as mentioned above, this must be one of Pardew’s biggest failings in the NUFC dugout . Refusing or unable to change his playing style to suit the players he has available, as much as failing to improve players, seeing many go backwards as apparently any skill and flair is coached out of them in an attempt to fit them into the ‘system’.
Ashley isn’t going anywhere fast it would seem. So the big question mark is how does the club push forward under the stipulations in place? My view is that we can move forward under Ashley or under Pardew, if backed sufficiently in the market to get the players he requires…but, NOT under both, there are just too many restrictions for that to ever work. It all boils down to requiring a manager who can get the best out of his players that he has AND develop youth, rather than require ready-made players who fit precisely into the managers chosen design, or it just doesn’t work.
In terms of names, throw any number into a hat. One thing is for sure, there is still huge question marks over who we could get to replace Pardew who wouldn’t be either another struggling manager, wouldn’t be a yes man, or wouldn’t be out of here in 12 months time after proving themselves – heading to a bigger club with a broader financial picture in terms of player recruitment.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t time to breathe some fresh ideas and a new lease of life into the club, for no other reason than short-term gains to avoid relegation.
However, the right man could also see us improve for future seasons as we work with the players already here, improve the standard already at the club, and look to increase our pool of academy graduates ready for first team action.
Pardew though, for the Hull game, needs to show something, anything, to the fans – that he is able to action a positive change.
Forget the crowd booing, forget hostilities and forget excuses. We just need to see a reason to believe that something more is possible.
If that can’t happen then I’m sorry but it may be time to give someone else a chance to alter the course of this season.
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