Has the desperation for any sort of stability at Newcastle United now seen fans willing to accept complete mediocrity out of fear that we may get even worse?
Is this how low not only the ambition of the owners but the also the supporters has fallen under the current regime? It would appear so…
There seems to be two camps forming amongst United fans after a disastrous season which sees Newcastle in serious threat of relegation with just three games to go. The first group are those who are clearly fed up with the negative tactics, awful coaching, a complete inability to look dangerous from set plays and most of all, the manager’s apparent failure to get his players fired up and fighting as a team. The second group, are made up of supporters who despite feeling severely pessimistic about the future under Alan Pardew, are even more fearful, that given owner Mike Ashley’s history, a change in manager would only see the club attain another manager with less or similar capability taking up the hot seat.
Either way, there seems to be an agreement that given the choice, in an ideal world, Pardew would not be manager of Newcastle United. Personally, I can understand managers going through a bad spell and all too often they are given boot without being giving the opportunity or time to turn things around. I don’t think this is fair and I think Newcastle United have been guilty of this in recent years and its not good for the club’s progression to have no stability at all.
However, what one does hope to see in these bad times is some indication of a turn around of poor fortune.
There needs to be something to be positive about. Something that brings hope! Whether its a decent performance despite a poor result, a defence which begins to look more solid, or an attack which begins to look more capable of scoring.
Perhaps there could be some ingenuity from set piece routines, or even trying a more positive approach. We wait for anything that tells us that weaknesses are being worked on in training and the efforts are bearing some sort of fruit.
Unfortunately I’ve seen none of these signs under the leadership of Pardew and the club seems to be sinking more rapidly by the week. Both in terms of confidence and performances. In the past 13 months, Alan Pardew’s record in both domestic league and cup fixtures reads as follows:
Games played: 41
Games won: 11 (a win ratio of 26%)
Games drawn: 7
Games lost: 23 (a loss ratio of 56%)
Goals for: 47 (we score 1.14 goals per game)
Goals against: 79 (we concede 1.92 goals per game)
Goal difference: -32
Corners without scoring: 284
I’m not certain, but I also think Pardew has the unfortunate record of never having won a game at NUFC with the side trailing at half time. Probably due to the fact that once we’ve equalised we go back on the defensive settling for a point. There are not many managers who would have been given the backing of their board for such poor performances over a period of 13 months.
What concerns me most is that it is at this stage of his reign that a manager should be starting to put his mark on the team. I fear that that may be precisely what is happening. Pardew seems to go out in each fixture, completely obsessed about the opposition’s strengths and focuses his tactics on counteract them. This is all good and well, until you realise that he fails to focus on our own team’s strengths. Strengths that potentially would cause serious concern for most opposition defences if he actually set us up to attack instead of defend.
Why is it, that a team that sets up to be defensive still has the worst defensive record in the league? How many other teams do you see, with the talent and technical ability that we have, set up at home with four defensive midfielders in front of a back four? Why blame the manager though, when it’s the players who go out and play so poorly each week?
The most important man at any club should be the manager, as it his approach and his mentality which is eventually adopted by the playing staff. Unless of course he isn’t having much of an influence on the team or their attitude, in which case he isn’t performing his managerial duties anyway. Or he simply isn’t respected enough by the playing staff for them to follow his instructions.
The fear problem amongst understandably sceptical supporters comes in with Mike Ashley’s poor track record at appointing quality managers. Will a top manager want to work under Ashley knowing the restrictions that will be placed on them, as well as the history of managers who have basically been worn down by the job? Perhaps the impatience of the supporters has a role to play in this as well. Although, personally I feel that the supporters have shown incredible support and patience this season.
There will be a massive decision for Ashley to make once the season comes to and end. He has been praised for getting NUFC back on a sound financial footing, however, much of the financial woes were self-imposed because of the previous relegation.
Relegation has now become a major threat again. It would not only shatter the growing reputation of the club but undo all the hard work done to get the club to where it currently is financially. In which case the Ashley football model, which has been praised so much over the past few years, would prove to be a complete and utter failure.
So, do we stick by him simply for the sake of stability and at the same time risk another season of negative tactics and dire football in the hope that he learns his lessons and becomes a better manager? Or do we take the risk of replacing him, with someone who may well take us to greater heights, but at the same time could crash and burn under the pressure cooker that is the Newcastle hot seat – making the position seem even more of a poisoned chalice for future candidates?
It saddens me that the club has been put in such a predicament. It boils down to a gamble, a throw of the dice, the hopes of millions of Newcastle supporters now rest with Mike Ashley making the right decision. The only power we as supporters have is to share our opinions.
Now, please have a vote below…