When do the players start to take some of the blame?

Pardew under pressure
Pardew under pressure
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?

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

109 thoughts on “When do the players start to take some of the blame?

  1. Have to head off for a while again lads and lasses. Lots of brilliant chatter on here today. Hats off to all of you.

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  2. G2-Yup, guess we can’t know. Just stabilise for next season, out with a bit more deadwood, in with a few more players. No “greedy Demba” excuses, no Europa league excuses, injuries will always be a problem and that’s why we need to have a full squad of players who can take part-not people wasting space on the bench ala Obertan.

    Dave-I can see the argument for letting him go in that they obviously did well with his double leg break, I wasn’t sure if we’d ever get him back but credit to them they got him back to us and he was still at least as good. But this season it was a joke…on so many levels…I don’t know where the fault lies but it needs to be sorted out.

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  3. Haven’t been on for a while but enjoying the chat, Willo can be replaced by Celtic’s Wilson (homegrown replacement), 4m and Willo might sway them (two birds with one stone), then 10m + Obertan for PEA and put in a cheeky 6m offer for Menez. Quality of squad is improved, Willo gets more game time and we don’t spend too much money :mrgreen: .

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  4. Sharpy @ 65 He had various options available. Hindsight is a wonderful thing yeah, but a modicum of foresight would have told him what he’d get from squidward.

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  5. B&[email protected] sorry been busy tonight couldn’t respond earlier. I try to get there as much as poss but live in the Midlands and travel a lot abroad with work so usually make about 8-10 home matches and the odd away match. Not as much as I would like.

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  6. Wow!! I never knew that so many fans had insight as to what goes on at training at NUFC. So many of you on here seem to know which team to pick based only on what you see on the weekend or your favourite players. Maybe Pardew is selecting/not selecting some players based on their efforts while training. Maybe Marv doesn’t get picked as often as he does for a reason, if the bloke has a shit attitude, then he shouldn’t be picked until he lifts his game. I am all for people picking their teams that they like but it gets a bit much when they start believing they know more than Pardew and his crew.. 😕

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  7. Aussie-you know we usually agree mate, but Obertan picked on merit? I have said Marv has often looked uninterested-particularly in Europa matches, but if you saw some shite player like Obertan being picked ahead of you you probably would be fuming. Even if Obertan does look good in training, four years of PL have pretty much shown he’s not good enough imo. Although as it is I buy the injury thing, here’s hoping he’s okay for the run in…

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  8. Newkie, hows things mate? 😉

    No player can really start showing good form when they come off the bench or don’t get a consistant run of games.. I don’t think Oba is good enough personally but to be fair the lad hasn’t had a good run to prove himself.

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  9. Also the problem with Oba is that he seems to be a confidence type of player. When he is down on confidence, he struggles to show any form. And now when he starts a game everyone is watching to see how shit he is and as a result, he is deemed to be shit. poor bloke. 😆

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  10. Aussie-Not bad mate, still at work, just booked the week off so I can stalk around here at ungodly hours again…and yourself?

    As for Ober he had a long run of games last season and that was enough for me really, as soon as he stopped tracking back vs city-which was the one thing you could credit him for last year-his usefullness was minimum. I’m sure he could probably be of use if he was confident, but I have not seen any improvement in him. That goal vs Blackburn was well taken and I hoped he would kick on, but he never did and let’s face it he was always going to be out of the side as soon as Hatem got back. He should go back to france or drop a level if he wants to play regularly and save his career imo…

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  11. Newkie, I have a week off as well :mrgreen: I plan to do nothing other than relax and play a couple of games of golf….
    Agree with you about him going back to France. Oba certainly seems to lack a bit of the killer instinct if you ask me… Sammi A is the same…. I think some of these lads that have a bit of talent, just expect things to happen for them out on the park at the top level. I believe for players to succeed they need a heap of talent and a bit of mongrel in them. You need to believe you are better than the next man and to have a will to win. Take Debuchy for example, I really rate him purely for his dogged determination and will to beat his opponent. you can’t teach that kind of mentality, you have it or you don’t.

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  12. Benfica here I come! See you all on the other side!

    Although to be fair I expect a bit of a thrashing. Hopefully I’m wrong as usual and were still in it next week

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  13. I seem to remember one of Pards goals this season was to get into Europa league qtr finals and challenge for top 6 spot. One job done, the other woefully short – think he’ll be given to halfway through next season and if not in or near top six be sacked – tough to judge him in this season given injuries and lack of cover, Llambias has said himself that young players didn’t step up as they thought they would hence the spending spree in Jan – sadly Gouffran seems to have gone off the boil and we desperately need a striker to help Cisse out
    HBA actually playing some games might help as well – imagine Spurs without Bale would be well down the table

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  14. Stuart…Enjoy mate, jealous as feck. I’d loved to have gone but a couple of things on today and tomorrow I couldn’t get out of 🙁 I’ll save it for Amsterdam when we get to the final for a ticketless trip over there 😉 :mrgreen:

    Ref the thread title, Never, it’s never the players fault. Pard’s works all week in training to rob his collection of professional footballers of the ability to pass a football 5 yards to each other…the barsteward 👿 🙄

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  15. Richie I tend to agree with you 😉
    Stu as I said the other day I expect you to be our lucky mascot 😆 if we win it’s all because of you and the players, if we don’t then we can blame it on Pards

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  16. AMF @ 81 What happens on the training ground is almost irrelevant compared to what happens in a competitive match and there are are a lot of fans who are very knowledgeable (I don’t include myself) and a lot of fans who talk rubbish. There are also managers who are knowledgeable and some who are rubbish too. However we are all allowed to express an opinion.

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  17. Groucho, indeed we are all entitled to an opinion mate, that includes me and I gave mine. By the way, you lost me at the ‘What happens on a training ground is almost irrelevant’ part 🙂 🙂 why train at all then if that is the case..

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  18. Richie @89
    At the end of the day its the players that go out and perform. If there are 11 players out there that look like they can’t be bothered and play like they should be in Div 3 then we have two choices.

    1 We drop the entire lot for non performance and get rid of them at the end of the season or…

    2 We realise that our manager simply doesn’t have the ability to motivate them long term or get the best out of them in individual ability or team strategy and try find a manager who can.

    If Alex Ferguson’s players started to not give a shit and they finished a disappointing 5th in the league. Then 100% the board would decide it was time for him to go… However, he doesn’t allow his players to adopt that attitude, he uses them correctly and motivates them and gives them belief. That is what a good manager does!

    Swansea have a smaller squad or less quality. As do Norwich, Stoke, Southampton, Fulham, West Brom, and Everton are more or less on a par and have suffered with injuries as well.

    Yet the play better football, they have more points, and you don’t often see their manager belittling players in public and then expecting them to come back and give 100%.

    He is our weakest link without any doubt in my mind. When the team hits a high he has the ability to ride that high and looks decent. But when we hit a low, he seems lost, without hope, void of ideas and that transfers to the players…

    For me, relegated or not he should go at the end of the season. But I don’t think it will happen. So I can only hope for a remarkable turn around in his ability. I hope he can learn from his mistakes.

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  19. Aussie,
    So are you saying that if a player was outstanding in training yet constantly looked out of his depth on the pitch that he deserved his place?

    It doesn’t work like that…

    Its how you perform under pressure that makes players in the big time.

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  20. JJ, I am talking about attitudes mate, most of the players have the skills needed. Why the f*ck should someone not putting it all in at training start before someone who is.. sends the wrong message, look at Nani at Man U. He hasn’t been working hard enough and he has been benched..

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  21. AMF @ 92 Training is to get fit, develop skills and tactics and possibly many other things. My point is, and was possibly not well expressed, that training does not put players under the same pressure as a real match. Some players respond well to the pressure of a match some tighten up and perform at a lower level than they show in training. Watching pro golfers training they can often sink incredible puts with one hand but miss easy puts
    in matches when the pressure on. At the end of the day I think you judge a player on how he performs under pressure. Obertan may provide perhaps a good example.

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  22. Groucho, I see what saying but I think you will find that top clubs have high intensity training sessions which are designed to test players. They don’t just have a kick around and run laps. I have seen the top aussie rules teams train and it is full on to say the least. Train as you play as they say.

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  23. AMF There you have the advantage over me. I have no experience of training regimes and maybe I am putting two and two together and getting five. Judging by Newcastle’s performances this year and that they seem to lack the energy of other teams it perhaps would seem as though NUFC’s training is not as intense as it should be. Gary Lineker once said he was bad at training.

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  24. Groucho, I have to agree with you that maybe our training sessions are not intense enough.. when you look at our last effort against City, I would struggle to find one player that deserved to start based on their on field efforts. Oba seems to be bearing the brunt of the shit storm..

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  25. JJ – Good post @ 93. You say, “When the team hits a high he has the ability to ride that high and looks decent.” I dare say after a win my mother could put on a tracksuit, talk a good game, ride the high and look decent. (What’s happened to my emoticons. I really, really wanted a razz there. Is it my p.c.?)

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  26. Aussie @ 81. I was with you all the way until you used Marv as an example of something that might be happening on the training ground. If I’m more than happy with what I see from him in a match, I couldn’t care less what happens on the training ground. In fact, i’d love it if he laughs at Pards tactics on the training ground and gives him a good Eric Morecambe two handed face slap. (RAZZ)

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  27. I dare you, Marv, to tear up Pards ten page dossier on Brian Ruiz, throw it over Pards’ head, and sing “ding dong the bells are ringing”.

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  28. Aussie,
    It doesn’t help if they give their all in training and then don’t give a toss during the match.

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  29. Nothing wrong with your emoticons I see, Aussie. The satellite must be down your way at the moment.

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  30. JJ…Absolutely no idea why that post was aimed at me as I was just having a “sarcy” little dig at those who blame absolutely everything on Pards and perhaps 1 or 2 players, rather than release the vast majority if not all are to blame 😉
    I don’t think and have never said that Pards hasn’t been part of the problem, he, like the players has underperformed this season.
    In an ideal world(and money no object) you would get shot of all the underperforming players but as we all know that can’t/won’t happen so the manager always takes the fall, rightly or wrongly. I think after last season he’s maybe earned another shot and probably whether he has or not or we think he should or not auld Ashley will stick with him for now.

    Happy Birthday to the young un by the way, ya getting to see more of him now?

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