This season has been a stark contrast to the back slapping, congratulatory messages that were regularly received from the nation’s media for Alan Pardew and the lads last season. A run of 11 defeats in 13 has left fans questioning whether Pardew is the man to lead us forward.
In the pub before the Manchester City match, the consensus was that Alan Pardew had maybe written the Manchester City match off and was looking after Hatem Ben Arfa to make sure he was ok for the QPR match next Saturday.
Yohan Cabaye; “Surgery went smoothly. It was done in two steps as the surgeon told me, on Monday night the right side and on Tuesday the left. Being back in competition early in February? That is the objective”.
Alan Pardew, “We are probably looking at February 1st for both him (Cabaye) and Steven (Taylor), so we might as well get the bad news out of the way, because that’s what it is, and just focus on what is important and that’s what we have got left”.
So why didn’t Ashley get out his cheque book in the summer and sign De Jong, Debuchy or Douglas? Only he knows the answer. I thought it was a fairly clear situation, more tough games in a season means more injuries, more suspensions and more fatigue,
The manager was obviously looking for his team to put on a decisive display, get the game won early on and bring the likes of Ben Arfa and Cisse off for an early bath…at least part of the plan came together.
Alan Pardew, “Whenever they are in the team they will be stronger, whether you play 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, three at the back or whatever system you want to play. Last year we did not have the problems with injuries and we were playing all sorts of systems and winning, nobody seemed to notice then”.