Once again Alan Pardew has come in for criticism following a defeat, this time against Manchester City.
Granted it wasn’t so much the defeat which annoyed me, it was more the manner of the defeat with players seemingly disinterested, perhaps with an eye on Benfica on Thursday.
You do that at a side which has a good record against us anyway, with the talent they have at their disposal, on a ground which is notoriously tough to get a result at and you end up travelling home with your tail between your legs in much the same way we had to do following the 4-0 defeat on Saturday.
Now you can blame the way we approached the game on Alan Pardew of course. It’s his job to motivate the players and set them out in a way he believes will obtain the optimum result for us. He may have got it wrong, in fact he probably did get it wrong, but it happens. Football is not an exact science and has any number of variables which some seem to forget.
It’s like this steadfast belief some of our fans hold. They seem to think that tactics are the ultimate tool to win a football match. It’s wrong, again they are just a variable which can inevitably be undone by any number of other variables on the day.
This is not me sticking up for Alan Pardew here. I did think he called things wrong on Saturday and has called other stuff wrong also, like all managers, but I also feel he is carrying a rather large percentage of the can for the defeat. The players, once again, seemingly do no wrong and get away with half-hearted attempts at everything for some as yet unknown reason.
However, as the saying goes, once players are over the white line when do they start becoming responsible for their own actions? At which point does poor performance start to be shouldered by those actually performing poorly?
There is no excuse for players putting in less than 100% effort and tactics can’t legislate for a player who is unable to pass a ball ten yards to a colleague when normally he can do this with no problem at all. Yet it’s always the manager who seems to carry the can. Why is this?
The players need to take their fair share of the blame also. They also let us down although going by the reaction of some fans you wouldn’t believe that they did.
Anyone else agree?