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Archive for category: NUFC Team Spirit & Attitude.

Why Newcastle United’s last two games will be important

April 27th, 2017 | 20 Comments |

Rafa Benitez.
Benitez: Still needs to restore a bit of pride?
Before last Monday evening, a run of one point from three games had seen Newcastle fall seven points behind Brighton. A convincing and confidence boosting 4-1 victory against Preston steadied nerves, assuring automatic promotion, but as a team feted as one of the best (or most expensive) ever to find themselves in the Championship, it is hard to escape the feeling that the Magpies still have something to prove before they take the step up to the Premier League once more. That’s without the possible ramifications of the looming tax scandal of course, but that’s a whole different story!

While Chris Hughton’s Seagulls wrapped up their promotion bid early, The Magpies seemed intent on putting their fans through as much anguish as possible (a familiar feeling some Geordies might say). However, Rafa Benitez’s men can be thankful for the equally dreadful form of Huddersfield making their automatic promotion bid much easier than it could have been. Of course, that poor run was stopped against Preston last Monday evening, and Newcastle now have a chance to continue making a statement of intent in their final two games. (more…)


Dressing room rift or merely a population shift?

October 11th, 2013 | 99 Comments |

Mathieu Debuchy.
Debuchy: Rift? What rift?
What is it with Newcastle? First there is the Cabaye debacle and then there are constant mutterings about a rift in the dressing room. One of the French contingent, Mathieu Debuchy denied any rift of course, saying:

“It’s true that in the dressing room we talk a lot in French. We have a big group of French players. But we avoid always staying together, and we aim to speak in English with the other foreign players and the English ones. But it’s good. There are no issues.

“We have a big group of French players. But we avoid always staying together, and we aim to speak in English with the other foreign players and the English ones. But it’s good. There are no issues.

Besides thinking that Pardew had put a stop to that sort of thing, this strikes me as odd. It is normal to want to speak to people with whom you’re fluent. If I went to a party that consisted of 11 Mandarin-speakers and Alan Pardew, I’m afraid I’d have to speak to Pardew. I don’t think I’d enjoy that party very much.

This would not mean I had a rift with the Mandarin speakers, merely that I can’t get to the finer points of conversation with them. If fact, I couldn’t even get to “hello.” (more…)


Pardew defends “inexperienced” and “overmotivated” players

May 4th, 2013 | 12 Comments |

Alan Pardew in the dugout.
Pardew: Blaming inexperience now Europe is over
In his latest defence of his French players, this time against alleged criticism in the media, Alan Pardew’s continued with his latest “inexperience” offensive, which seems to have replaced injuries and Europa League fixtures as his main explaination for Newcastle United’s poor form, which now has the club in a relegation dogfight.

Seemingly relishing the chance to shift the the cold finger of blame from himself to the players in the guise of defending them, the silver one reacted to Luke Edwards’ Observer story which alleged a rift in the dressing room and earned the former Journal hack a ban from Press access to the club. On this he began:

“Some of the criticism of the French group has been so unfair on them.”

He then went on to explain that the latest reason for the club’s recent hammerings has been the Premier League inexperience of his January signings (Debuchy, Gouffran, Sissoko and Haidara), along with Cheick Tiote’s “overmotivation” apparently. On this, Pardew continued: (more…)


Why Shearer is right, and wrong about Ashley’s lack of investment

December 18th, 2012 | 42 Comments |

Alan Shearer.
"Spend, spend spend" says Shearer.
Writing in his column for the Sun, Alan Shearer has laid the blame squarely at the door of Mike Ashley for the Newcastle United’s current lack of form.

“Newcastle missed a huge opportunity in the summer” he began, continuing:

“Having punched above their weight last season and almost made it into the top four [sic], this was the time to spend. The club was up and running again after so many years mired in uncertainty. There was once again a feel-good factor and even Mike Ashley was enjoying it. But he needed to put his hand in his pocket and strengthen with two or three quality players. The best time to buy is when you are in a position of strength.”

Which is fair enough, especially the last sentence which is very true. “Momentum” is vital in football, something which the ex Toon hitman acknowledged himself when he continued later in the piece:

“Sadly the momentum built up by Alan Pardew last season has been lost and Saturday (Newcastle’s 1-3 defeat to Man City) was a stark example of that.” (more…)


Pardew’s double-edged “praise” for Hughton in patronising lecture to fans…

September 23rd, 2012 | 15 Comments |

Alan Pardew and Chris Hughton.
Pardew: Damning Hughton with faint praise?
With today’s game against Norwich City seeing Alan Pardew’s predecessor, Chris Hughton, returning to St James’ Park for the first time since his sacking in December 2010, there has been far more of the usual pre match words from the managers on both sides.

On the Pardew side, amongst other things, he has been anxious to remind we fans that we shouldn’t get too carried away with any kind of appreciation for the man who returned us to the Premiership, not to mention bringing former Tottenham colleague, Graham Carr, to the club as his Chief Scout in the February preceding his sacking.

As with much of what Pardew says, there was a whiff of some kind of underlying agenda in his comments. In some double-edged words of “praise,” he sought to diminish Hughton’s contribution to the club as he not so subtly reminded fans of previous smear stories which circulated about Hughton, saying that much of the credit for leading the club back to the Premiership should actually go to Joey Barton, Alan Smith, Steve Harper and Kevin Nolan as it was they who were really running the first team after Hughton’s appointment. (more…)