Already, the pressure has shifted away from Pardew, after last year’s dreadful season, and on to Kinnear who has been in the job less than a week and has managed to alienate almost everyone. Perhaps this is Ashley’s master plan. Already I have warmed to Pardew like a lost child to a parent; familiar, stable, knows what day of the week it is.
If Newcastle’s win, lose and draw ratio after Europa league games was translated to all our games we would be sitting on 45 points after 37 games – more than our current 41. Perhaps we need to play more Europa League games, not less, though that is not likely happen again soon – “God willing”.
So questionable team selection – almost certainly, yes. Players underperforming – probably yes, they’re almost certainly better than they have been this last month, but also, perhaps, not really understanding what it is they have got themselves into yet and unsure how to change things. When the mind goes, the body follows.