The vitriol and sarcasm initially aimed at Alan Pardew from the travelling Newcastle fans, turned instead towards John Carver in the final stages of Wednesday night’s match.

A game that was even worse on the eye than Sunday’s encounter with Stoke, then had the cherry put on the top with Carver’s three substitutions.

With Palace levelling in the 71st minute, Carver’s response was to:

Replace our centre-forward (Cisse) with a defensive midfielder (Abeid)

Followed by taking off the most creative player and putting on a centre-back (Dummett)

Then for good measure he made a third and pointless one to waste time in the dying seconds, taking off our last remaining attacking player on the pitch (Perez) and putting on Riviere.

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The match was bad enough without these cowardly and soul destroying substitutions.

Like most of you, when I saw the team selection and (supposed) formation I was pleasantly surprised. At face value it looked like it had attacking intent…

Newcastle lined up with the following in a 4-2-3-1 formation, according to the club;

Krul: Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, Haidara: Sissoko, Colback: Gouffran, Cabella, Perez: Cisse

Watching the game last night, whatever I’d thought was the case at face value was irrelevant. I’m not totally sure where everybody ended up playing but what I do know is that we had Cisse isolated around twenty yards or more further forward than the rest of the team. His chasing players down was pointless as Carver had everybody else sitting deep and trying to nullify Pardew’s Palace.

No wonder we had such a terrible match, with Janmaat and Cisse’s role in the goal sticking out like a sore thumb.

The look on Cisse’s face was priceless as he realised it was he who was going off, he looked incredulous that pointless players such as Gouffran were staying on and he was being hauled off. He had been Newcastle’s best player, holding the ball up well and laying it off when his teammates eventually got up near him, plus of course he’d scored the goal.

Reports are unconfirmed as to whether Papiss Cisse was joining in at the end with the Newcastle fans chanting at John Carver: ‘Are you Pardew in disguise?’



  • Hez

    Yes, that’s why he has got the job and will keep the job, say what the bosses want to hear and get the points to stabilise mid table, happy days for all except fans

  • Hughie

    Appalling display by both teams. The pitch was to blame– really? Like the Stoke game our incompetent defence cost us two points. As the article rightly says, the best means of defence, particularly when your defence is dire, is attack. Stupid substitutions, negative thinking. Mike Williamson has made the most of non PL ability by sheer effort and guts. I don’t think I have seen any other PL player who is so uncomfortable on the ball. He is now adding an inability to mark properly to his repertoire. He should have been marking Crouch for the Stoke goal, and was ball watching for the Palace goal. Not entirely his fault because in each case the cross was preventable. The defence continues to make exactly the same errors under Carver as they did before– perhaps it is what many of us have known for years– the defenders are not good enough and the coaching is rubbish. Once again all our dead ball delivery was non league standard.  Sorry JC and co, but will the club please bring in a coaching team and a few defenders who are competent.

  • Pulse33

    To be fair Pardew never made as horrid substitutions as that. At least he didnt take off attacking players for Left backs just other left backs. It was disgraceful and I honestly cant see us winning to many with this attitude. Manchester City will rip us to pieces if we try any of that.

  • DownUnderMag

    Pulse33 such negative tactics, I couldn’t believe this is the same man talking up how much he learned from the great Sir Bobby Robson….not sure he would ever have made a backwards step let alone pulling off an attacking winger for a left-back.

  • Nicolaus Copernicus

    Have they ever been seen together in the same room? We need to be told.