NUFC have taken one step forward then two steps back under Pardew

Alan Pardew with Newcastle United shirt.

A bright new dawn for NUFC?

Many thanks to “ToonBano” from the Toon blog www.toonbano.com for his second guest blog here – wt.

Today is the two year anniversary of Alan Pardew’s very first game as NUFC manager, when we defeated Liverpool 3-1 thanks to goals from Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and Andy Carroll. Just looking at the goal scorers that evening and the impressive overall performance, compared to who we have in our team now after another defeat at the hands of Fulham Monday Night, it’s safe to say things have changed a lot over that period of time.

Most people were confused and concerned as to why Alan Pardew was even in the dugout that night two years ago as Chris Hughton was doing a sterling job in our first season back in the Premier League after the ultimate humiliation of relegation. Which of course was thanks to him for rescuing this club from certain doom by getting us promoted at the first time of asking, even though he had no previous managerial experience at that point of his life. Most fans thought he was unfairly sacked and I was one of them.

It’s two years later and NUFC sit four points off the relegation zone, with only one win in seven league games and with Man City, Man United and Arsenal to come in three of our next four games. Come the end of these fixtures it will most likely be a case that Newcastle United football club will be in another relegation battle which nobody could be in any doubt over. Not even the sheep that like to bury their heads in the sand when things don’t go to plan could possibly ignore that or try desperately to put a positive spin on the situation.

In between the first season back in the Premier League and the one we are currently drowning in was a season of resounding success, specifically in the league as the cup competitions were a non-event. We finished 5th and managed to qualify for Europe for the first time since 2007. It was an incredible achievement considering the overturn of key players for fresh new ones. All the goal scorers from Pardew’s very first game had all moved on to other clubs and had been replaced at a fraction of the cost. The football club as a whole had seemed to have moved on a step from a stable Premier League team, to a club that would consistently compete for the European qualification spots in and around the Top 6.

Andy Carroll after scoring for Newcastle United. However as we speak we find ourselves in 14th position looking over our shoulders at the relegation zone, with an incredibly tough fixture list to come and with hardly a decent performance to shout about all season long. It would seem as the club made a step forward last season, we have took two steps back this season. It can’t be ignored I am afraid. In our first season we were never in any real danger of a relegation scrap as Carroll, Nolan, Barton and co fought for every point on the board. A mid table finish was the reward. This season we would give anything to finish in the exact same position as the thought of relegation is a terrifying one. A mid-table also ran club seems like a nice place to be right now.

Whenever somebody like myself criticises Pardew the main ‘counter attack’ his supporters use is ‘well we finished 5th last season’. Yes, this is true. NUFC finished 5th last season under Alan Pardew’s leadership and received the manager of the year award for his achievement. No one is denying the good work overall AP did last year. However, even last year myself and others found ourselves frustrated at times. Which seems crazy now given how awful this season is but as great as last year was, we didn’t actually have that many performances you could genuinely say were impressive. Looking back you could count them using both hands and not be in danger of running out of fingers.

The stand out performances from last year were as follows: Stoke (a) 3-1, Man U 3-0, West Brom (a) 3-1, Liverpool 2-0, Stoke 3-0. We also had some very proud results away at Sunderland, Chelsea and Man Utd to look back on without actually playing outstandingly well. You may have one or two of your own favourite games to add to this list but no more. So on a very generous day you could say we had ten impressive performances to our name as a football club in our overall impressive season last year. That isn’t a lot when you consider we play 38 league games and have a few cup games thrown on top. That’s a ratio of around one in four.

Tottenham v Newcastle United. Plus to every impressive performance comes a horror show. Last season wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Some of us like to forget when our club gets absolutely hammered or puts in a shameful performance never to be spoken of ever again. But in the interest of fairness and harsh reality last season also included the following: Norwich (a) 2-4, Fulham (a) 2-5, Spurs (a) 0-5, Wigan 0-4, Brighton (a) FA Cup 0-1. So for the five stand out impressive performances I picked out in the previous paragraph you find five car crash performances to counter balance it. The above games weren’t just defeats, they were indefensible nightmares.

In the season prior to last year we had our fair share of ups and downs as well after Pardew took over from Hughton. For every West Ham 5-0 we had a Stoke (a) 0-4, for every Wolves 4-1 we had a Stevenage (a) FA Cup 1-3, for the second half of scoring four uninterrupted goals vs Arsenal we had a first half of conceding four interrupted goals in the epic 4-4. In fact looking back at Pardew’s record after taking over from Hughton at the end of that season you will see that amazingly we only won 3 out of the final 17 league games and were dumped out of the FA Cup by Stevenage. That is abysmal to say the least.

This season has been dire with nothing really to shout apart from qualifying from our not very difficult Europa League group and even that died a slow death in the end. We gained 7 points from our first 3 games then fell over into the last 32 with 2 points from the final 3 games. Looking at the Europa League we failed to beat Maritimo home or away even though our under 21 side would probably beat them given the chance. We went 2-0 down away in Bruges and were lucky to come away with a result and even in the home game they had to miss an open goal to help us get a 1-0 victory. The Bordeaux fixtures were chalk and cheese. For the impressive 3-0 home win, we had a gutless 0-2 defeat in the return game.

Sammy and Cisse. The league season has been dreadful overall with only the Wigan 3-0 victory to look upon with any pride. We did not deserve to beat Spurs in the first game of the season even though it’s always nice to get one over on them. How we won the West Brom game is anyone’s guess. Having to thank Papiss Cisse’s backside pretty much sums that one up. The Norwich victory was unspectacular to say the least. It was the kind of victory last season was mainly built on. Keep a clean sheet and stumble our way to a win. I complained at these type of performances last season versus inferior opposition as they aren’t the type of victories you can hang your hat on. This season is proving my point.

We built our season last year on a) being solid in defence and hopefully keeping a clean sheet, b) individual brilliance to score goals and c) that little bit of luck when we need it. This season we are failing at the very first hurdle of this 3 pronged strategy making us up against it in almost every game. That is the most simplest way of working out how our season has gone tits up. We concede soft, basic, avoidable goals and only have two clean sheets this season in 16 games. The individual brilliance is still there at times, but instead of it winning us games it is saving us from losing games, or in some cases being completely in vain all together as we still go on to lose. Just look at some our positive results this season:

Ben Arfa shoots! Spurs’s victory was down to two pieces of individual brilliance from Ba and Ben Arfa. The Villa draw was gained because of Ben Arfa scoring goal of the month, we would have lost that otherwise. Everton draw was down to Demba trying his luck with a left foot strike outside the area that crept in the net, he then rescued a point from a direct flick on from Shola. We could only manage a draw at Reading because of Demba Ba’s unbelievable over the shoulder volley. Cabaye scored a worldy at Anfield to help us get a point. Plus the forever never ending saves of Tim Krul which has won us more points then anything else this season. Without these individual pieces of magic which have nothing to do with how the team actually played, we would definitely be in the bottom three already.

We can’t really complain at a lack of luck either. Papiss Cisse gained two extra points against West Brom with his backside. Everton had two perfectly good goals not awarded as we stole a point from them. Demba Ba’s handball sneaking a point from Reading. The referee awarding a penalty in the Wigan game which could have easily have not been given and Wigan would not have gone down to ten men. Even Ben Arfa’s wonder strike in our latest defeat at Fulham took a deflection as it found a way past Schwarzer. However, we have also had our fair share of bad luck at times with the mackems taking two points of us via Demba Ba’s face but mainly our back luck has come through injuries.

Until we stop conceding these soft goals we are going to struggle to turn this season around. What’s the point in Ben Arfa smashing one in from 25 yards if we go and concede from a basic free kick 10 mins later like at Fulham Monday night? When Alan Pardew first came to NUFC many fans said the one thing he brought was defensive solidity. Last season was proof of that (ignoring the odd hammering) as we had the joint highest clean sheet record in the league with 12. He needs to get back to basics and get the team hard to beat as it is far too easy to score against us at the moment. We should have seen out the game at Stoke and arguably at Fulham. Instead we lost them both by conceding soft, pathetic goals. We weren’t doing that last season.

A disappointed Pardew. It’s in my opinion that looking back over the two years that Alan Pardew has been the manager at our football club we took a step forward with him but then two steps back. The league position, performances and results of the team since he arrived and where we are now show it. When he joined we were a solid mid table Premier League team. Last season we took that step forward into the top 6. This season we have dropped massively back into a relegation scrap as the top 6 is nothing but a distant memory. His philosophy of try and take the lead and hold onto to what we have is a dangerous one. I have never agreed with. The fact he has never managed to turn around a losing position to a winning one in his two year tenure also speaks volumes of his negativity.

His inability to sort out our set pieces, or to even work out what his best team is at this stage of the season is a damning insight into his abilities as a manager. Neither of these factors are exactly a surprise to him are they? He knew full well the set pieces last season were abysmal as he said as much and said he would work to fix it. He has failed. As regards to not knowing his best team, the playing personnel is almost exactly the same as last season with actually a few additions and more options. So it’s not like he has lost key players from last season and is figuring out how to rework the team. I have literally lost count the amount of times he has changed the system or personnel he started with during the game. Sometimes at half time or even as soon as mid through the first half like at Fulham Monday night. It’s staggering really.

Vurnon Anita. You can blame injuries, lack of investment in the summer or the Europa League, but the facts are our squad of players that we have at our disposal should not be anywhere near the relegation zone. The only circumstances that could possibly justify it is if we had an outbreak of a virus that wiped out our first choice eleven, we didn’t buy Anita or Bigirimana in the summer and sold a few first team players making us weaker and our Europa league away trips were to Russia, Ukraine and the furthest island in Greece that humanly possible. The reality is none of those things has happened.

We have only had 2 or 3 injuries to players that actually matter at any given time. We have a strong enough squad to tackle the league and Europe as we have a first team replacement for every first choice player unavailable. Ben Arfa > Marveaux/Obertan, Cabaye > Anita, Saylor >Willo/Perch, Tiote > Bigirimana/Perch, Ba > Cisse/Shola, Krul > Harper/Elliot etc. We also have had a very favourable Europa league schedule as trips to France, Belgium and Portugal are the best any club could hope for given the alternative. Just ask Liverpool if they enjoyed travelling to Russia or Spurs going down to Greece. As far as travelling goes, we got off lightly.

The players aren’t blameless in all of this because they are. Cheik Tiote, Papiss Cisse and even Yohan Cabaye have been shadows of themselves this season. Even Coloccini has had his fair share of shockers. The usual suspects in Mike Williamson and Jonas Gutierrez continue to frustrate the living hell out of you. Seriously, what in God’s name is Jonas? Is he now a full back? Has he gone from flying winger, to holding midfielder to full back in a year? In my eyes his next step should be the bench. Santon has proved to be a better attacker than him and offers more of a threat even from left back position, never mind the wing. The man is an embarrassment. If working hard, offering no positive play whatsoever and getting fouled every 5 minutes is good enough to warrant an indispensable first team place, then I am coming out of retirement. Sign me up!

John Carver and Alan Pardew. Other issues have also contributed to us going backwards as a team and a club with Pardew’s lack of a strategy, within pre-historic tactics, with the wrong line up. I am not going to go into detail with this one it has all been said before. Although he has started the team in a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 line up in the past two games which is encouraging. Unfortunately he has abandoned it at half time and after 27 minutes on both occasions. Even within the formation he has picked the wrong players to pick up certain positions. Like Ben Arfa should have been in the hole away at Fulham for example and not out on the left. It was obvious. Well to everyone except Pardew. When he did switch Benny to the right it was within a 4-4-2 formation which defied the object.

Do you see what I mean with one step forward then two steps back? It’s never ending with this man. Are we really going to have 8 more years of this? Is having a whole decade of taking baby steps forward to then take a giant leap back the object of stability? I thought the idea of stability was for a team to grow and to continuously improve. Well look at where we are now to when Pardew first took over. Not only have we not improved, we are worse. The fact we took a major step forward in between only compounds the situation we find ourselves in. It doesn’t defend it.

Mid-table > Top 6 > Bottom 6. Really? Let’s hope the next step forward is a huge one because the next two steps backwards could be catastrophic.

Poll

avatar NUFCBlog Author: ToonBano Author of ToonBano Blog @ http://www.toonbano.com. Also write and contribute to The Mag, NUFCFans.co.uk, NUFCBlog.co.uk and here! ToonBano has written 6 articles on this blog.

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78 Responses to “NUFC have taken one step forward then two steps back under Pardew”

  1. 1
    avatar GeordieDan says:

    Decent article and I see most of your points. To quickly sum up how I feel:

    1) I agree that at this moment in time we are in a relegation battle and there’s a lot of work to be done before we get out of it.

    2) I strongly believe that Mike Ashley WILL allow us the funds to sign at least 3 good players in January because purely from an investors point of view he must realise that a relatively small outlay could stop us missing out on around £70 million just in TV money if we did get relegated.

    3) If I am right and we sign the players we need then I think we’ll be absolutely fine as Cabaye etc start coming back from injuries as well and we should start picking up points quickly.

    4) If I’m wrong and Ashley(again) completely misses the opportunity to strengthen our team for the sake of saving a few quid in his ridiculous penny-pinching ploys then I think we are in BIG trouble as not only will our squad implode under injuries and tiredness from extra games but the players themselves will just think that they are on a sinking ship that not even the owner can be bothered to help and that situation would be almost impossible to recover from.

    SURELY Mike won’t miss the big picture this time. Right?

  2. 2
    avatar sampdiago says:

    Not sure mike will release funds,he wont pay the only player close to van persies goals 90 grand a week,so expect jans new signings to be pile ranger on a new contract,to replace ba and robbie savage and neil ruddock for minimal fees.

  3. 3
    avatar sampdiago says:

    Oh,and them filthy scummers are 1 point beneath us….

  4. 4
    avatar ToonBano says:

    I also think Mike Ashley will try and ‘buy’ his way out of trouble. Unfortunately Demba Ba will leave which will cost us a guaranteed goalscorer.

    January is going to make or break our season.

  5. 5
    avatar tunyc says:

    Nice post.

    Another thing is that we are consistently starting slowly and teams are clearly aware of this. We seem to go down a goal in the first 20 minutes, every game. To me this fits in with the AP narrative at other clubs where he loses the dressing room after a time. It’s also why I worry that Ba and possibly others could leave in January.

    Also, I’d say we have a diabolical 6-match run coming. Not only the games against the top sides but the match against QPR will also be intense and I’m not looking forward to Everton either. Then there’s the cup match perfectly timed to potentially bestow the coup de grace on the squad’s morale. And then we’re into the window and ACON.

    Next 5-6 weeks are decisive.

    I’m worried.

  6. 6
    avatar tunyc says:

    Oh, and I don’t think Ashley will spend unless a player is available for nothing, next to nothing or at least well below market value. It was just as obvious in the summer as it is now that we need more depth (injuries happen to every club, every season) and he didn’t open his wallet then.

  7. 7
    avatar sampdiago says:

    So,in line with christmas,we will be getting stuffed….

  8. 8
    avatar Michael12 says:

    I really don’t get why people call for funds. Pardew is not analytical and does not know who he needs to solve what problem. Give him money he would probably try to sign Carroll who has not been dangerous in 2 years.

    Pardew had this to say “We’ve got the Man City and QPR games – they loom large. There’s no reason why we can’t win both of those”

    Come Saturday evening he will have numerous reasons why we lost.

    I fear Sat is going to be a blood bath something like 4 or 5 past our direction-less side.

  9. 9
    avatar workyticket says:

    If more fans had taken the trouble to study Pardew’s previous record when he was appointed, not to mention Laurel and Hardy, perhaps they wouldn’t be so shocked at our present plight.

    If he does have a fleeting brush with success, then his head expands to the size of a planet, the wheels come off his wagon and things start to go horribly wrong.

    This idea that buying more players will sort things out is desperation as we already have about the best side outside the top six. Blaming the players, especially individuals, doesn’t become us.

  10. 10
    avatar workyticket says:

    Pardew in a few seconds.

    To set the scene, Millwall and Pardew’s Southampton are playing each other with both challenging for promotion from League One in the 2009/10 season. The one where we were in the Championship, poised to rise like a Phoenix from the ashes under the Cockney messiah.

    In the last knockings of the game, Southampton score form a deflected Rickie Lambert free kick. The Alan Pardew show kicks off big time. He takes his eye off the ball and starts fist pumping and doing his victory dance all over the place in an arrogant and embarrassing display when he should be bellowing at his team to keep their heads. By the time he’d finished his crowing, Millwall had pulled one back to level the game at 1-1 and Pardew was left standing like a statue as all the colour drained out of him and he is left ashen faced.

    By the end of that season, Millwall came third and were promoted via the playoffs, Southampton came seventh and didn’t make the playoffs.

  11. 11
    avatar Chuck says:

    I’m sure it’s a great article Toonbano, but just cant read any more war and piece sized rants.
    In a nut-shell, we need both a manager and a general manager, as the two present fools are nowhere near competent enough.
    And the squad needs more quality, especially the defense.
    Plus Ashley has to realize he has’nt discovered the way to run a football club on a shoestring.
    He aughtta either start spending some money or sell the club to some outfit that will, as most of the fans detest him anyway.
    But he’s got this plan it seems where a mid table spot without spending and hopefully getting big figure fees for people he paid nothing for, plus a free advertising board for Sports Direct.
    There’s talk of Chelsea paying twenty million for Tiote,
    if they are foolish enough i would grab it in a heartbeat, but it’s bullshit, never gonna happen.
    I’d like to know who plants these story’s ?
    It will be interesting to see what happens between now and the closing of the winter window, will the supreme leader spend to make, or risk loosing the rewards of EPL membership, wonder what odds Llambias is offering?

  12. 12
    avatar GS says:

    “war and piece”

  13. 13
    avatar Chuck says:

    Michael 12

    Actually, i dont believe Pardew has that much to do with selecting recruits to the side, so you can probably relax on that.
    I tend to believe Carr probably presents a list of what or who’s needed and a brains trust of Carr, Pardew and Ashley (maybe a couple more) sit down and decide who to desabilize, plus what kind of a lowball offer they should attempt.
    Have to say i would prefer Carr to make the choices than Pardew.
    Though i dont know who brought in Amalfitano or Obertan.
    dont even mention Workys favorite defender Williamson.

  14. 14
    avatar Chuck says:

    Yeah a piece of this and a piece of that, never heard that one before ?

  15. 15
    avatar workyticket says:

    GS says:
    December 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    “war and piece”

    Sounds like an American remake of the Tolstoy classic in a gangland setting.

  16. 16
    avatar GS says:

    Worky: my recollection is that people were annoyed when the (Irish) Cockney Messiah got sacked. Pardew then did OK for the rest of the season and was therefore cut some slack.

    I don’t think anybody was being lazy by not looking up Pardew’s previous management efforts. All they would have to do is come on here.

    For me, I chose to believe some of his bullsh*t out of a real hope that the team would do well. It was probably naïve but that is part of supporting a club like Newcastle. We had fleeting success under Keegan but that was 18 years ago. I should be used to it by now, but I keep getting suckered into believing.

  17. 17
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck says:
    December 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    “Michael 12

    Actually, i dont believe Pardew has that much to do with selecting recruits to the side, so you can probably relax on that.”

    Chuck, I think that Pardew claimed Ba and Obertan as “his” signings.

  18. 18
    avatar GS says:

    You gotta luv it when people critize grammer and seplling.

  19. 19
    avatar workyticket says:

    GS says:
    December 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    “You gotta luv it when people critize grammer and seplling.”

    Usually I hate that sort of thing because of my mother, but Chuck’s fair game after his lecture to Trojan Joe Hawkins on his on his “grammer.” :-)

  20. 20
    avatar GS says:

    I know Worky @19, that’s why I said it. Glass houses and stuff.

    I do have a question though, are the fixtures randomly generated? If so, what sort of demonic computer gave us Man U away on boxing day?

  21. 21
    avatar workyticket says:

    GS says:
    December 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    “We had fleeting success under Keegan but that was 18 years ago.”

    Success for a club the size of Newcastle should be a few trophies. However, the psychology of the whole club is locked in a psychological cycle of failure which existed before Ashley came along. In some ways, Llambias with his lies, his sacking of Hughton and his stupid and hubristic claims that he and Ashley are showing a whole new way to run a successful football club, as well as Pardew with his “crash and burn” past are perfect for us.

  22. 22
    avatar workyticket says:

    GS says:
    December 12, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    “I do have a question though, are the fixtures randomly generated? If so, what sort of demonic computer gave us Man U away on boxing day?”

    I don’t know all the ins and outs of it GS, but I do know that it a far more complex process than that. They have to consult local constabularies, TV and go through all kinds of things before they figure it all out. It starts as soon as playoff winners are decided and goes on on a fair while I think?

  23. 23
    avatar joe hawkins says:

    i was devestated when i found out alan pardew was to be appointed newcastle coach.
    i saw what unfolded at west ham, and his other appointments.
    i remember me and mate of mine commenting, on how we felt sorry for any football club, that had him thrust upon him.

    i was at a low ebb with this corrupt regime, after their handling of “keegangate”, and the sacking of chris hughton was bang out of order.
    when i look back now, i think it’s doubtful, it was for football reasons, rather his solidarity stand with the “toonpuddle martyrs”, and the bonus sheet incident.

    there were rumours flying around newcastle, about two months before chris was sacked, that they were saying he was too soft, and pardew’s name was being linked.
    i thought it was just a rumour though, and thought they wouldn’t be that stupid?, would they…
    fair enough, if they thought chris didn’t have enough experience, and they wanted someone with more experience.
    when they appointed that knobhead though, i felt like walking away from the clug, for good.

    i cannot stand the bloke personally, with his try hard attempts to ingratiate himself with the tyneside public, and his over the top praise for the lowrachy, and his all round smarminess.
    you dont have to like him though, and it’s a results business.

    what i have seen from him so far is, he is no step up from chris hughton, in any way shape or form.
    he come in and rode on the back of the shirt tails of what chris had fostered, and got by on that, in the early days.
    he blew a top ten finish that season, when coasting 3-0 against the baggies, he makes changes that dont need to be made, and ends up drawing the last game 3-3.

    very little investment was made during the pre season, and fans phone in’s were packed with fans wanting to know what was going on, culminating in him being invited on, to give his, “let me mark the fans card speech”.
    then the disasterous tour of the states, where half the squad didn’t go.
    pitch invasions at darlington, and derek llambias being grabbed around the throat.

    he got the lucky win at sunderland, and demba ba’s goals, pulled him out of a crisis, which might have seen him go on to get sacked last season.
    he got his luck, then starting acting the big man, but i’ll give him credit for his 5th place finish, albeit carrying luck of man utd proportions.

    the same gamble was taken by the lowrachy, in the summer, they obviously thought, they were going to get away with it again.
    personally i dont think this team is doing anything different, to what it has done before, apart from they rode their luck more, and things went for them.
    them were regularly outplayed, but got by with demba ba’s goals, and cisses, in the second half of the seaon.

    it seems everyone apart from ashley, llambias and pardew, could see that would be the absolute pinnicle, of that teams achievement, and only adding to it, was going to have them repeating their previous endeavours.
    there were signs last season that they were starting to srtuggle, and i commented that the team was outgrowing pardew’s long ball style.

    pardew was never the answer for newcastle, from day one, and they could sack him tomorrow, for me, because i wouldn’t miss him.
    the problem is though, this regime would do precious little to replace him, and if they did, it would be some other failed desperado.
    we are stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, and if we are honest, historically pardew has a poor track record, for turning things around.
    alan pardew is a classic case of, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.

  24. 24
    avatar GS says:

    Who could we get to replace Pardew Joe? I don’t trust Carver.

    Chuck’s guy Martinez might work. He commented on the World Cup over here and sounded really knowledgeable. Then again, if we got him we would never hear the last of it from Chuck.

  25. 25
    avatar GS says:

    The other thing about Martinez is that it would stroke Ashley’s ego with him thinking he had got one over on Whelan.

  26. 26
    avatar joe hawkins says:

    sorry for the typos, i’m going to have to start checking my spelling, you just get carried away, and start whacking the keys.
    worky, it’s a shame the vid doesn’t show his gimp fist, then his face drain of colour, when he gets a mug made out of him.
    i saw that with him the other night, and numerous other times, when he looks completely desperate, standing on the touchline.

  27. 27
    avatar stewpot says:

    @joe hawkins i agree with every word you’ve written. my sentiments exactly.

    i can’t get my head around people a hving a dig at cisse, cabaye and tiote for their dips in form… can’t people see a pattern here? good players don’t become bad players over night.

    cisse played in formation that worked last season and he worked very hard without the ball. it’s been clear from the spurs game that he and and ba can’t play up top together. playing badly yes, bad player certainly not.

    cabaye, in my opinion is the best player at the club and my guess is his dip in form is probably to do with a bit of disillusionment at the lack of investment in the summer, in particular the phantom bids for his mate from lille. he could walk into most first teams in the champions league and i can’t see him wasting his time with this shower of shite much longer.

    tiote, hasn’t been the same since he was sent off and roundly criticised against the mackems. i believe he’s had his edge coached out of him.

  28. 28
    avatar stewpot says:

    @worky i too wanted to see the colour drain. while i take no pleasure in our current predicament the one consolation is that the silver bullshitter has had the smug smirk wiped off his face.

  29. 29
    avatar GS says:

    How do we get through this? I never want us to lose, but if we do well the silver gobshyte will get even more smug and Dekka will go on one of his “we told you so, we know more than you” tirades.

    It is possible we will have lost 8 games out of 10 come the new year. Merry Christmas :)

  30. 30
    avatar tunyc says:

    Exactly stewpot. These players just don’t try much under AP. When they do, they’re hindered by his “tactics”. It’s clear to me that the whole squad expected ambition from our front office last summer and were left rudderless when it never happened. They’ve probably asked themselves the same rhetorical question several here have posted. Is this as good as it gets? You work your ass off to finish waaaaaay above where anyone thought you would. You get into the second-tier European competition. The front office makes no further investment and in fact trim the size of the first team. The manager picks squads for our EL matches that scream: I don’t give one crap about this competition. Basically: WTF? Then they realize they’re checks are gonna clear either way, and voila: you get the performances we’ve seen.

    In other news, sounds like our former boy Danny is being a real peach at Reading…frankly, I’d take him back at this point!

  31. 31
    avatar GS says:

    It is 12-12-12, that is double the number of the beast, so can Dekka AND Pardew go to hell.

  32. 32
    avatar tunyc says:

    “their checks” – dammit. I hate that one. I’ll commit sepuku now…

  33. 33
    avatar tunyc says:

    GS @ 31: whey aye!

  34. 34
    avatar tunyc says:

    In other other news Bradford won’t be bounced from the FA Cup for fielding our bairn, Good.

    “Good” for them…

    *dodges rotten vegetables*

  35. 35
    avatar workyticket says:

    GS says:
    December 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    “It is 12-12-12, that is double the number of the beast, so can Dekka AND Pardew go to hell.”

    GS, the real “number of the beast” is actually 6-1-6. It was originally read as “6-6-6.” However Biblical scholars subsequently found that it was 6-1-6, but the old one has stuck. Hence “double the number of the beast” would be 12-2-12.

    Iron Maiden had obviously not been informed about this development when they wrote their little ditty about it, which has only made things worse.

  36. 36
    avatar ToonBano says:

    Chuck 11 – I am not going to mention the war and piece… :/

    Also this talk you’ve heard about Cheik Tiote was pretty much started from……me! : D http://www.toonbano.com/2012/12/cheik-tiote-to-chelsea-for-20million.html

    I get around a bit.

  37. 37
    avatar GS says:

    ToonBano: is that you that gets published in the letters page of football365? In between the millions of letters about Liverpool and Man U and that little in-love-with-himself w@nk Jack17.

  38. 38
    avatar ToonBano says:

    GS Tis me. I am a faint voice amongst overwhelming scouse and cockney waffle!

    Not been on for a while. Bored of it.

  39. 39
    avatar tunyc says:

    Toonbano: read your article. Would have commented there but the site is giving my browser (here at work lol) fits for some reason. I’ll be on in the future though.

    For now-you’re right about Cheik’s passing. It’s dismal this season. Last season he attempted more passes in our squad than anyone but Cabaye, and had the highest pass completion percentage in the team. (I’m not so worried about passing forward. He just needs to find an outlet in a less dangerous area of the pitch.) As for his disciplinary record-he gets bookings that aren’t given to anyone else (except Alan Smith or maybe Cattermole). Same game: Larsson puts his boot in Shola’s CHEST and isn’t booked. C’mon. The refs have a special set of “Tiote rules” and it’s not his fault. And I’m usually first in line to defend refs.

  40. 40
    avatar workyticket says:

    A comment from the Fulham highlights blog on here:

    “WBD says:
    December 12, 2012 at 7:18 am

    I think it’s time we ready our pennies trained on our players to let them know exactly how poorly we think of them now, and that how much higher they need to pull their socks up.”

    Sadly, it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.

  41. 41
    avatar stewpot says:

    is that a suggestion that we coin our own players?

  42. 42
    avatar workyticket says:

    The Chieck Tiote to Chelsea for £20 million has been dusted down and recycled many times, as well as one or two other clubs such as Arsenal and Manchester United being linked for similar fees.

    The conspiracy theorist in me wouldn’t be shocked if Ashley’s minions start some of these to start a bidding war. I know that journalists have managed to make up this kind of guff for many years without much help, but there was something really fishy about that one with Andy Carroll gannin’ to ‘Spurs, just before Liverpool piled in with their ridiculous offers for the big lump (I’m tapping my nose over here).

  43. 43
    avatar workyticket says:

    stewpot says:
    December 12, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    “is that a suggestion that we coin our own players?”

    I’m sure you can work that one out for yourself stewpot. ;-)

  44. 44
    avatar stewpot says:

    @worky

    i genuinely wasn’t sure, the syntax is a bit confusing.

    i can think of a more worthy target but please, no coins, those things hurt like f*ck… rotten fruit by all means.

  45. 45
    avatar stewpot says:

    i agree tiote has been dreadful this season but i still maintain he is a quality footballer and when he signs for a quality team with a quality manager he’ll show the world just how good he is.

    £20m, it’s not really a case of whether the fans would take it, more if the management would and i don’t think there’s any doubt they’d snap whoever’s hand off.

  46. 46
    avatar tunyc says:

    It really ain’t the players though. They’re pretty much the same as last season. We rode our luck a bit to 5th, sure. But we weren’t that deceived: this is not a squad that is so bad it’s doomed to relegation battles. They’re clearly not motivated.

  47. 47
    avatar workyticket says:

    tunyc says:
    December 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    “For now-you’re right about Cheik’s passing. It’s dismal this season. Last season he attempted more passes in our squad than anyone but Cabaye, and had the highest pass completion percentage in the team.”

    Aye, I remember that tunyc. But according to OPTA, Tiote made the second highest amount of passes last season (1402) behind Cabaye (1451). Tiote’s 83% pass completion percentage was also just pipped by Captian Coloccini, Davide Santon and Sylvain Marveaux (who hardly played) with 84%.

    For this season so far, Tiote’s pass completion percentage is only down by 1% on last season’s though at 82%, however this is beaten by Steven Taylor and Shane Ferguson on 90%, Fabricio Coloccini and Sylvain Marveaux on 89%, James Perch and Ryan Taylor on 88%, Davide Santon, Jonas Gutierrez and Gael Bigirinmana on 84% and finally, Danny Simpson on 83%.

    Not that I’m being a stats geek or anything like that.

  48. 48
    avatar workyticket says:

    tunyc says:
    December 12, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    “In other news, sounds like our former boy Danny is being a real peach at Reading…frankly, I’d take him back at this point!”

    And Wayne “not good enough for Noocarssel” Routledge at Swansea tunyc. 4 goals and 6 assists so far.

  49. 49
    avatar GS says:

    Aarrhhh: Isn’t that weird that we have so many players with really good passing % numbers and yet we are statistically a long ball team. Must be Krul and Williamson.

  50. 50
    avatar workyticket says:

    GS says:
    December 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    “Aarrhhh: Isn’t that weird that we have so many players with really good passing % numbers and yet we are statistically a long ball team. Must be Krul and Williamson.”

    I suspect you’re joking there but of our outfield players (goalies usually make the most long passes for obvious reasons), Cabaye (94) and Tiote (80) have played the most long balls this season. James Perch and Gael Bigirimana are the best at them though, with an impressive 81% accuracy percentage for all their passes over 25 yards.

  51. 51
    avatar joe hawkins says:

    funny how everyone used to say scott parker, turned in a pirouette, well chiek tiote turns in a square, then gets the ball taken off him, just a he’s making his last corner, inconsiderate barstewards eh!

  52. 52
    avatar GS says:

    Worky: you have access to more of these stats than me and it is actually quite interesting. The stats show that we are OK at passing so it must be us sitting back and passing in areas where we do no damage. Or, we are missing the legendary final ball. After all we have only scored 18 goals this season.

    Stoke have only scored 14 goals and have 23 points. That is sort of amazing.

  53. 53
    avatar AndyMac says:

    Great article TB brings a lot of NUFC’s problems into sharp focus.

    I’ve never been a fan of Pardwho (shock horror, quelle surprise) and unfortunately this term has shown us all that his first season in charge (4 wins from 20 odd games ?) was the real barometer of his abilities.

    However what worries me specifically right now is

    1. Too many fans saying “we’re too good to go down”.
    2. Fans like Geordie Dan believing that buying our way out of trouble is the answer.
    3. How the mass of NUFC fans seem to have been brainwashed into believing that no other decent manager “worth his salt” would ever take the job under the Fatman’s reign !

    As for the “too good to go down” statement, remember why we got relegated ? It wasnt just because of four different managers (although it didnt help) in one season, it wasnt just because we couldnt score enough goals (although we could have done with a few more) it was mainly due to the players low morale and their lack of self belief/confidence hence little or no commitment. I see those same elements in this side now.

    With Pardwho in charge and team morale at an all time low, how the hell will new players make any difference to the teams performances and why would players want to come to a team struggling in the bottom four (which is where we’ll be by the time January arrives)?

    Despite this terrible administration the club is still a high profile entity and decent coaches/managers would be lining up to replace the Clueless One providing the two tw@ts accept they cannot expect to achieve success on the pitch with sycophantic, r’s licking, nomarks in charge of team affairs.

    God help us all if Pardwho is allowed to remain in charge until the end of this season, as we’ll go down (no doubt in my mind nor should there be in yours). He wont be able to pick up the pieces (as Hughton did) because the same players (those that are left) will still not want to play for the train wreck that is NUFC.

  54. 54
    avatar workyticket says:

    GS says:
    December 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    “Worky: you have access to more of these stats than me and it is actually quite interesting. The stats show that we are OK at passing so it must be us sitting back and passing in areas where we do no damage. Or, we are missing the legendary final ball. After all we have only scored 18 goals this season.”

    Basically GS, Pardew’s awful tactics are not creating enough chances. Everton’s Leighton Baines has created 57 Premiership scoring chances on his own. The whole of the Newcastle team has only created 165. On Premiership assists, Wayne Rooney has made 7 on his own, the whole of the Newcastle team combined has only managed 9. What has saved us from the relegation zone so far (apart from a bit of luck), is that Demba Ba has been very good indeed at converting the tiny scraps he has had to feed on.

  55. 55
    avatar stewpot says:

    @andy agreed…

    very little has been made of the former ‘team spirit’ that seemed very important post-leyton orient but has long since disappeared.

    most of the big personalities from that period have gone and there doesn’t seem to be anybody in the current crop who has the galvanizing qualities of nolan or even barton.

    it looks to me like pardew has, to use a hackneyed term, lost the dressing room, if he ever had it.

    i doubt the internationals in our squad who play with better players and work with or have worked with better managers are in the least bit impressed with pardew’s tactics, motivational qualities and lack of clout in the transfer market. a lot of heads are down at the minute and it seems like there’s a been a slow, dawning realisation since the summer that things aren’t all they were cracked up to be when those players joined.

    it still baffles me that pardew has been indulged by the fans a great deal more than allerdyce was neglecting the fact that he’s “ashley’s man”. i was no fan of fat sam but i see nothing in pardew to make me think he a better option.

    you hear a lot of fans from other clubs saying their boss has “taken them as far as he can”. in terms of up the table this is definitely true of pardew however i don’t want to find out how far he can take us in the other direction.

  56. 56
    avatar workyticket says:

    AndyMac says:
    December 12, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    “Despite this terrible administration the club is still a high profile entity and decent coaches/managers would be lining up to replace the Clueless One providing the two tw@ts accept they cannot expect to achieve success on the pitch with sycophantic, r’s licking, nomarks in charge of team affairs.”

    Andy, Premiership managers are the rarest of breeds and they talk to each other. What do you think managers / ex managers such as Big Sam, Keegan, Hughton, Shearer and even ‘Arry (who only took a quick look and said he smelled a rat almost immediately) have to say to their fellow managers and ex managers about working with the likes of Ashley and Llambias? Keegan painted a very pretty picture about the dishonesty and the frustration. It’s not as if there is any financial incentive either as the wages on offer are more like a Championship manager’s wages.

    Big Ron’s still only 73 and Jim Smith’s only 72. I’ve just looked them up. :-)

    Uncle Joe will be fighting fit after his bypass too.

  57. 57
    avatar workyticket says:

    stewpot says:
    December 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    “@worky i too wanted to see the colour drain.”

    Aye, I forgot to reply to that one. I must confess that I’m relying on a Millwall mate down here in the smoke for that piece of colour as he was there.

  58. 58
    avatar sirjasontoon says:

    Never liked Pardew or the regime – deceitful bunch that has taken most of the fun out of the club….been a born and bred supporter all my life and never have I felt so alienated and cast aside as under this bunch.
    All I ever wanted was a team to be proud of,a manager that was seemingly on the fans side and a team that played decent football with a bit of pace,passion and technique.
    We have non of the above.

    Pardew is a front and like his employers hates NUFC just as much.

  59. 59
    avatar sampdiago says:

    I wish the team good luck for saturdays game,with citys game first,them chasing the red lot,and a chance to see who really has the pride to fight for something.

  60. 60
    avatar sirjasontoon says:

    Newcastle United 0
    Manchester City 4
    Partridge Sacked,
    JK back in the Hot seat for next week…

    with Big Ron upstairs as Director of Culture and Football.

  61. 61
    avatar workyticket says:

    SJT, you’re off your heed man!

    If he sacks Pardew, he’ll do the same as he’s done before and bring in another NUFC legend like Keegan or Shearer to keep the fans happy.

    This time it will be Jim “Bald Eagle” Smith.

  62. 62
    avatar Nutmag says:

    AS the “Gruesome Twosome” know sweet Felicity Arkwright about football I would hate to see their manager short list.If its like you suggest Worky past legends Gazza will be in there somewhere.I just pray Bill McGarry is still not around

  63. 63
    avatar joe hawkins says:

    and in today’s riveting edition of the chronic, lee ryder is doing his bit for the propaganda machine.
    it’s that time again, as the new year comes around, it’s non transfer window time!.
    the usual names names are being bandied around, and i bet even the biggest halfwit, in the history of halfwits, without looking, can say who the usual suspects, will be.

  64. 64
    avatar workyticket says:

    joe hawkins says:
    December 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    “and in today’s riveting edition of the chronic, lee ryder is doing his bit for the propaganda machine.”

    Joe, about half of the comments in his stories are just pure derision at his guff now. Like Pardew, he needs to change his patter.

  65. 65
    avatar stewpot says:

    @joe & worky

    worryingly, i know a fair few toon fans who hang on his every word.

    the article us utter toss. listing players who clearly will never come within a million miles of us and a couple of usual suspects. does he actually get paid for this crap?

    and suggesting lille ‘moved the goalposts’, LOSC should sue his ass for defamation.

  66. 66
    avatar stewpot says:

    @nutmag

    gazza is literally ‘mad’ enough to take the job.

  67. 67
    avatar Chuck says:

    Worky sez
    Premier managers are the rarest of breeds and they talk to one another…….

    Managers are no different from you and i and i would think their primary concern is finding and keeping a job.
    After all where can someone like Pardew and others like him, command such incomes, other than as a football manager
    I’m sure they speak to one another when playing against each other, but to say they discuss their job, boss, etc is no more than speculation.
    In regard to the managers job at NUFC, if it were to become available in the near future (lets hope) they would, i believe, be lining up with their CV’s in hand.

    There are plenty of ex players and retreads we know, who would jump at the opportunity, not to mention i believe some fairly decent people, who would be interested.
    The exposure alone as an EPL manager would be worthwhile, after all it really did’nt hurt Hughtons career.
    I mean where would he be to-day, probably still coaching.
    The point is, even having to deal with, Ashley and Sancho Panza and not being paid the same as Ferguson, is better than a place in the unemployment line.
    Face it as far as players and managers are concerned, it’s all about the money and every job has it’s drawbacks.
    Hell i would’nt be surprised to see Wenger get the boot if he does’nt improve Arsenals lot, who’d a thunk it?

  68. 68
    avatar sampdiago says:

    Parpoo is the number one yes man.Now he wants us to believe that it was his choice not to buy any more players,when he said straight after the everton loss at the end of last season,we needed at least 3 or 4 players,then afer he had been told to shut up when we didnt make any solid bids for players with a week of the transfer window closing,he said we only need 1 more,anita not included,nothing much happened and after we started losing players to injury,he still did his yes man bit,repeating the poker chips rubbish,after we fluked a victory at west brom,and the kids got us qualified for the europa knock outs,parpoo said we were fine until jan,now he is saying he decided not to buy any back up,and it was a mistake,that he will fix in january.No,he will fix himself a sandwich,with his flask of tea at the allotments,cause e is getting the sack,and he will say it was his idea for the board to sack him,and he wont fight for any compo.

  69. 69
    avatar sirjasontoon says:

    Worky “The Bald Eagle” totally slipped under my Radar!
    I think Big Mick would Baulk at his wage demands though :lol:

  70. 70
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck says:
    December 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    “After all where can someone like Pardew and others like him, command such incomes, other than as a football manager”

    Chuck, Gary Lineker earns £2 million a year as “Match of the Day” presenter for the BBC and his sidekick, Alan Hansen earned £1.5 million per year until recently for sitting on a sofa and saying “that was very poor defending. Shocking in fact!” every few minutes. That’s far more than Pardew can even dream about at Noocarrssel. The likes of Alan Shearer, Lee Dixon and Mark Lawrenson are also considerably more well paid than the Silver Supremo himself. Plus they can also earn even more writing newspaper columns and such, which most of them do. Lineker also used to earn more millions encouraging children to become obese and rot their teeth eating Walker’s crisps and Hansen has advertised supermarkets too.

    “There are plenty of ex players and retreads we know, who would jump at the opportunity, not to mention i believe some fairly decent people, who would be interested.
    The exposure alone as an EPL manager would be worthwhile, after all it really did’nt hurt Hughtons career.”

    Do you have any examples then, Chuck?

  71. 71
    avatar workyticket says:

    stewpot says:
    December 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    “and suggesting lille ‘moved the goalposts’, LOSC should sue his ass for defamation.”

    Ryder wasn’t very careful when he first started spreading that lie around stewpot. Initially he wrote about Lille “reneging” on a deal. However his terminolgy soon became far more cautious and suggestive with “moved the goalposts” as you write. Llambias was far circumspect in his choice of words from the start, but he still got the message across.

  72. 72
    avatar workyticket says:

    There’s a new poll up now.

    It would be great to get your responses to see how well it correlates with the results when the same question was asked in the Chronic in it’s recent Toon questionnaire.

  73. 73
    avatar chuck says:

    Worky
    Of course not, i have no more examples of who decent would want the job, any more than you can give examples of who would’nt.

    But i’m sure there would be plenty of takers for the kind of money paid even by a cheapass owner like Ashley.

    As for where would the likes of Pardew and those in the same boat, get the kind of money paid to EPL managers.
    You give a few examples, of pundits, but how many of those jobs are there available for ex football players?

    I’m afraid most players have to make the big bucks during their playing career, then get a job.
    Unless they are very highly compensated.

  74. 74
    avatar workyticket says:

    chuck says:
    December 13, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    “Worky
    Of course not, i have no more examples of who decent would want the job, any more than you can give examples of who would’nt.

    But i’m sure there would be plenty of takers for the kind of money paid even by a cheapass owner like Ashley.”

    Of course there would Chuck, but would they probably wouldn’t be top class managers. As for my “eveidence” just look at the way things have gone in the past.

    Joe Kinnear (though unlike many fans I actually do have some respect for his abilties after what he did at Wimbledon).

    Iain Dowie with Alan Shearer acting as some kind of figurehead in a somewhat bizarre arrangement.

    Then there’s Alan Pardew.

    Somewhere in the middle of that was NUFC’s moment of serendipity – Chris Hughton. Someone who had extensive experience in being a first team coach and assistant manager, but none as a full manager and hence was willing to do the job for a relatively small salary, and take Llambias’s BS when a more illustrious name woulldn’t. Luckily, Hughton turned out to be an excellent manager who laid some strong foundations at the club, but it would be foolhardy to expect lightning to strike twice like that though.

  75. 75
    avatar chuck says:

    Worky
    Yeah ! guess it depends on what he’s willing to pay, “get what you pay for” most of the time.

    Kinda shows you how much he knew when he hired a total rookie “Shearer” and his sidekick.
    Who had the cojones to ask for big bucks for an extension,following his pathetic performance, resulting in relegation.

    Though i was aware of Hughtons abilities as a coach (usually a sign he may also be a decent manager)i was unsure of how he would work out, following his promotion.
    I assumed it was a stop gap measure.
    However following the second tier season, i was convinced, he was the real deal (too bad Ashley did’nt)
    So your preaching to the choir about Hughton, who continues to convince me with his subsequent spells at other clubs.
    Of course my groans may have been heared all the way to Tyneside with the appointment of Pardew.
    like i said above, get what you pay for.

  76. 76
    avatar tunyc says:

    chuck-example of who wouldn’t take the job: Redknapp. He explicitly said that something isn’t right here. Or Keegan-who not too long ago was willing to come out of a comfortable retirement to manage us.

    I still think we could get Di Matteo. We also offer PL status. Someone up & coming but down the divisions might take a flyer. I’d hope for Gus Poyet, personally. Or perhaps a foreigner more used to working with an assertive front office. But then you never know what those guys are actually capable of: see Ramos, Juande.

    The problem I think, even more than the wages or the meddling, is that Dekka doesn’t want to hire anyone who will tell him how little he knows about football.

  77. 77
    avatar chuck says:

    tunyc
    Yeah, that’s obvious there are those that would’nt take the job and some, obviously those who were fired would’nt be offered it.
    Arry ?
    i dont know ? not now obviously, as he’s gotta gig in Lahnden, but had he been offered it a few weeks ago, who knows.
    If in fact Ashley realises we are going no-where with the grey gadgie and realises he can with a bit of investment make some money with this club.
    It should begin with a decent manager, a serious search for the right person, on the same scale Carr searches for players.
    A bitta investment, a bitta success, an expansion of the brand name and a more profitable club.
    I would also dump that Kna nowt GM, another waste of space.
    Two yes men, he and Pardew, who you have to constantly oversee.
    Better to hire a GM who knows the ropes and a quality manager, who can explain whats needed or not.
    Than listen to those two winging it.
    But they are the perfect yes men, if thats what’s needed.
    But then….

  78. 78
    avatar Jack says:

    F*** off Bano

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