It seems a lifetime since signings like Michael Owen and Mark Viduka wore the black and white. Declining, injury prone and nearly always overpriced; these marquee players from the Shepherd era were one of the main reasons we were relegated at the beginning of Ashley’s reign.
On massive wages and having already achieved something notable in their careers, they didn’t seem like they were hungry enough to care about the current club’s situation enough to save us from the drop. Going down to the championship a few years ago turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to the club in years as we found out who was there for the team and who was just there for the money and prestige.
The new policy of signing hungry players with lower reputations and wage demands started with the signings of players such as Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez, who were the first of many similar players to come through the door with similar ambitions and experience. These were followed in subsequent seasons by the likes of Cheick Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye, plus the five recent additions to the squad last month, making this transfer policy clearly the most important reason for our fledgling success in the last three / four seasons. (more…)
It’s time for the long awaited second installment of this series looking at Alan Pardew’s role at the club, and if he know what he’s doing? (Hence the title). Because of recent events, I have decided to do a piece on his tendency to blame all and sundry other than himself for some disappointing performances this season so far.
Part II: Playing the Blame Game
Because of all the success we had last season, anything that went slightly awry, (and there were many of them, but that’s for another day/blog) became difficult to criticise. Fans seemed to soften their opinions towards the fat man and Casino Derek (or at least turn them down to avoid derision from more optimistic supporters), and why wouldn’t they? The team was doing well and we looked like we had found stability and a vision for going forward into the future. This season however has been a different story.
The optimism gained from 11/12 was slowly eroded away, even the most committed Pardew apologists have doubts in their minds and most people now feel that he has overstayed his welcome. This deterioration in confidence doesn’t only effect the fans but also the players, the owners, but most importantly the manager. In an effort to avoid coming to terms with the reasons why his Newcastle career has gone so far downhill, Pardew now almost routinely blames different elements of the organisation (or at least ones that don’t have the platform to fight back) game to game. (more…)
It’s always intrigued me how individual NUFC fans see their club’s relationship with our eternal rivals down the road.
I mean we all chant ‘we hate Sunderland’ on match days but does the rivalry mean different things to fans living where they hardly ever come across the great unwashed such as the North bank of the Tyne or in the Milan area for instance; to people like myself who live on the proverbial front line in South Tyneside?
Not only is my local area positively crawling with them, I also had the great misfortune of attending the University of Sunderland (which ironically very few Mackems attend as they have little concept of higher education) the high point being me and my mate walking across the queermouth bridge the day after the 5-1 derby with Newcastle tops on. Yes, we received a good mixture of cheers and death threats. So, as you can see I’ve had more than my fair share of exposure in recent times.
The more you interact with the other side, the more you get to see they will point to anything that indicates the Sunderland are superior to Newcastle in some way. Maybe its their endemic selective memories kicking in again or maybe, just maybe, its the fact that as of Saturday they are now 4 points ahead of us in the Premier League. My question is that while it’s obviously important to be successful as a club and attempt to win trophies; but is it also important to get ahead of and finish above Sunderland as well, or would many be happy to just take six points off them every season? (more…)
Alright, I’m “FarmerG” and this is my NUFCBlog debut post.
I’m going to start with a biggy; so big in fact that I’m going to split it up into bite size chunks for your digestion. Basically, this series of blogs will investigate NUFC head honcho Alan Scott Pardew’s role at the club, delving deep into the important issues surrounding the clubs fortunes since he took charge and pinpointing the deficiencies that have lead us to having not the best of seasons so far. This will be an attempt to put across my opinion that wor Alan doesn’t know the difference between what he does right and what he does wrong.
PART I: Transfers
Let me take you back to the end of May 2012, we’d finished 5th in the Premiership, our highest finish for 8 seasons, qualified for the Europa League, narrowly missing out on the Champions League, and our great leader had won both the Premier League “Manager of the Season” and LMA “Manager of the Year” awards. For a Newcastle United supporter their was nothing but optimism for the next campaign as we eagerly awaited the summer recruitment drive. And then the wheels began to fall off the bandwagon. (more…)