A season of discontent

A fatal repeat?
A fatal repeat?
It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, I’ve been very busy and struggled to fit everything that I do on top of my first year of University at Sunderland.

I have managed to to attend five games this season and to say I’ve had a mixture of emotions is an understatement.

Witnessing the 6-0 mauling by Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool was the final nail in the coffin for me. Having attended my first ever Tyne-Wear derby a few weeks ago I thought that performance was the worst ever but the one against eclipsed that. I have never known there to be a smooth ride when supporting the club and perhaps the last time we sailed in calm waters was when Sir Bobby Robson was manager.

The warning signs have been there, back in November our form was worse than relegation season. How is that possible I asked myself. The Europa League papered over the cracks in our league form and allowed us to go on a very enjoyable adventure in Europe. I wouldn’t change that for the world but the reality is that Alan Pardew used that competition to keep fans of his back.

Back in November when I returned home for a weekend break my dad asked where did I think the club would finish? My reply? That we would be relegated. He was amazed that I had come to that conclusion very early on in the season. The performances had been poor and the Thursday before I travelled back we faced Maritimo; we looked toothless in attack and looked highly unlikely to score.

I stopped listening to Alan Pardew’s press conferences back then and I’m glad I did. He has made excuse after excuse about why we haven’t performed this season and I was fed up of hearing those excuses. The Coloccini saga has not helped us at all and I think that has caused us further trouble in a season which wasn’t supposed to happen after the success of the previous campaign.

Against Liverpool the players seemingly lacked any motivation to play for the manager. The silver fox as he is known was absolutely quiet on the touchline, only seeming to making notes in his little book about how his team performed. There was no shouting of instructions and it took until the 83rd minute for us to muster a shot on goal. Based on that performance I think we will be very lucky to stay up.

I have lost my love for the my beloved team and I have no idea if that love will ever return. I know you are meant to support the club through thick and thin but I’ve fallen so out of love with what’s happened that I don’t know where this leaves me.

Does anyone else feel like this?

About Zoë Vicarage

A lifelong Newcastle fan. Currently exiled in Sunderland studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland Follow me on Twitter: @ZoeVicarage

212 thoughts on “A season of discontent

  1. End of season Pardew will probably blame burnout and tiredness from a very successful last season exacerbated by Europe this year, not helped by no off season signings.



    “When Pards was given an 8 yr contract, did you support the idea of long term stability? I certainly did and I didn’t see you printing the posts above. Should we not have been bold and predicted this earlier? That is the mark of intelligent foresight. Who is right on this? If Man Utd had sacked Fergie when they almost did, would the next club he managed, sack him if he initially struggled based on Man Utds decision. It doesn’t take long for good managers to get bad records. My thoughts are, maybe Southampton and West Ham were wrong to sack him.
    Respect from players comes from knowing who is in charge. If the players know they can get rid of a manager easily by not trying then they will do so if things aren’t going well. If the Toon show loyalty to Pards and he ships a few of the lazy ones out, then the players may start and respect the manager knowing the board will back the manager and not them.”

    TO THIS:

    “I think we would be crazy not to go for Benitez.”



    Yeah but, no but, yeah but, no but … 😛


  3. Santii @ 116 😛

    A couple more:

    Pardew throws down his notebook in disgust
    Pardew is first to flee down the tunnel like a rat down a drain


  4. B&B, as usual you are probably inanely as usual having a pop at someone with your posting at 152. Good luck to you.

    Regarding your mocking of the person who made that statement at 152, to be honest regarding stability, I agree with that statement. Of course stability is only any good when you have the right bloke in charge, and that is where the problem lies. That Pardew penned an 8 year deal was a major surprise for everyone, and most people reacted with bewilderment, because the bloke just had not deserved it.

    I actually have the feeling that it means more to you to prove you’re point on this blog, whatever that is, than see the toon relegated.


  5. Munich @ 154 I wake up this morning and VICKY POLLARD now comes on with

    “I think we would be crazy not to go for Benitez.”

    The BIG SHOT HERO returns and has picked up where he left off, spouting contradictory drivel. Just a few months ago he believed in sticking with the manager and boasting, “That is the mark of intelligent foresight.” BENITEZ, I take it, is now the mark of intelligent foresight!

    You might be loving it cos he’s out of his hissy fit and made a hero’s return. If the sick bucket wasn’t still full from when he was greeted back, I’d be using it now. You crack on mate.

    @ 156 Pardew never learns and eats the same dodgy pie. What was it VICKY POLLARD was saying just the other day? Yeah but, no but, yeah but, no but …stick with him and he’ll learn from his mistakes.

    I wonder if BENITEZ is partial to a Gingsters? Yeah but, no but … 😛


  6. It’s nice to have the Aussies on in the morning with their positivity to ward off the despair 😀

    Got to love the excuses being made for Suarez because he’s from Uruguay and was poor as a child. Numerous footballers are from poor backgrounds…Did Forlan not force himself into football, not out of joy but to help provide for his paralysed sister? Also from Uruguay and I always thought a top bloke, certainly not scum like Suarez..


  7. B&[email protected]

    “You might be loving it cos he’s out of his hissy fit and made a hero’s return. ”

    I hope that insanity wasn’t aimed at me mate ? 😯

    “I think we would be crazy not to go for Benitez.” ……
    actually, I personally would have no problem if were to target Beitez. I just don’t think he would drop down to the Championship, a manager with his CV would never do something as stupid as that.


  8. Munich-Ayup. Just love the whole heat of the moment argument..right..because he was busting a gut to get into the area when he chomped on that guy when he was at ajax…wait, no..it was when all the players were huddled together.

    B+B…You sound a little jealous over the attention your bro is getting mate..I would look a little deeper into the “fanfare” of his return..You needn’t be 😛


  9. IMO the only way we would keep our best players in summer (providing we stay up) is to replace pardew. Otherwise a mass exodus could ensue.

    Bring back harry 😯 😯 😆 😆


  10. @161 😆 😆

    I assumed they were still on the piss and had managed to reach that beautiful peak where you forget everything from the last week 😉


  11. Watched the thriller in Madrilla yesterday, Madrid – Dortmund, man what a game, what a team Dortmund.

    The big difference, Dortmund pack 9 outfield players around the ball, at ALL times, so they always have passing options available. Look how long a Dortmund player spends on the ball, seldom less than 3 – 5 seconds. Of course a huge degree of technical skill is needed to play this way, which the majority of our players just do not have, because they have not been trained this way, and have no balance and movement.

    Look at how the toon play. Jonas gets the ball, does the Jonas / Harlem shuffle shuffle shuffle, looks up and the nearest toon player is sitting in the gallowgate paddock 20 metres away. It boils my pinkle that we are so devoid of tactical nous, and it is all down to our training staff.


  12. B+B I’m back onto giving your “told you so” posts the rubber ear. Pity though mate…. 🙁


  13. good to see your cracking jokes again Eminem, I feared for you yesterday, you seemed… how is a nice way to put it…. unhinged :mrgreen: 😆


  14. hey you feckers (Newkie & Eminem) We are around 7 hours in front of you guys so Vegas and I actually knew about our losses before you.. So we have had more time to get over the pain.. 😯


  15. Eminem 😆 check out the arse end of the posts on the last thread 😉


  16. Munich-I’m just desparate for next weekend tbh. Heart on heart I believe we’ll be ok but I feel like saying that will curse us. I thought we’d be safe when I watched us against Villa all those years back.

    Aussie-Think Munich was referring to it being past your bed time with the time difference, whether that was due to your wife or the Warden’s “lights out” orders i’m not sure pal.


  17. Newkie 😆 , thanks for clearing that up, you cracked a wife joke and a convict joke in one sentence, nice one. :mrgreen: . I will tell my wife what you said after she gets home from her second job and she has finished the chores that await her… 😉


  18. Aussie 😀 Try my best mate, the only thing funnier than the convict history of Australia is their war with Emus in the 1920s/30s. Ice probably remembers it like.

    A good retort from yourself. We will need to practice more of this inane banter to make up for toon fans who jump off the bridge, although the “i told you so” merchants seem to be enjoying themselves..


  19. Newkie – even with six games left I thought we’d be easy OK. Haven’t really worried about it all season. Until Sat. It wasn’t even the 6-0 that got me – it was Pardews bloody set up. Dreadful. Unbelievable. Plot lost.
    Having given Cisse the worst time of his life out on the right wing, he now does it to Sissoko. And to start Cabaye as a roaming no 10. With Benny and Gouffran on the bench. Complete madness that if continued will take us down.

    Zoe if you’re reading, you have my apologies as yesterday I was as mad as fuck. Your last para though did imply you’d love the toon when they were doing well but then didn’t when they weren’t. Maybe it wasn’t what you meant but if you’re going to write for a living . . .


  20. Newkie 😆 yes mate, you have to laugh or you will go mad following the Toon. The misery on here is as thick as Troy on occasions 😆 😆
    Sorry Troy…. I meant that 😉 :mrgreen: 😛 😛


  21. Anyone notice the maestro saying he would rely on experience for the remaining games. Step forward Shola, Jonas, Simpson and Colo. Now that really inspires me.


  22. Georgio-Aye couldn’t agree more mate, was talking to a mate pre match about the line up and I feebly suggested maybe Sissoko and Jonas would use their engines to press liverpool high and stop them playing out of defence…but it was just a mental selection.

    The silver lining may be that pards defensive mentality is shattered, for whatever reasons we know we cannot defend for our lives. He did the right thing bringing those subs on early (altho I read one blogger who said they were wrong and we should have defended 2-0 to protect the goal difference!!! bloody hindsight merchants ffs)

    So given he used them and he knows the abuse he will get if he doesn’t surely he will start with them on the wings and push sissoko back..


  23. Newkie – don’t be surprised if it’s the same team on Sat. Maybe Shola instead of Gouffran and Simmo, Colo in.

    Benny’s getting a lot of rumours and stick at the moment. The kid just loves his football (and I mean kid!) but the way Pards uses him is criminal.

    Made the mistake of watching some of SBRs team yesterday. They were amazing, really incisive and great passing all over the park. My heart sank when I realised fully what complete dross I’ve become used to watching.


  24. Aussie 😆 surely never that bad.. 😉

    Georgio-I would welcome colo back with open arms, how could he be any worse than the bramble/boumsong impersonators we have? As for Simmo well, not seen all that much defensively from Debs..Shola can use the energy he has saved over the past 5 years to blitz through three games and get a hattrick in each 😎


  25. just switched on the tele in my hotel room and they are showing a replay of our 5-3 defeat to Man U when Sir Bobby was in charge. 😈 it was great seeing Sir Bobby and the lads again but can I please watch a game where we win and we don’t concede 3 fecking goals 😯


  26. Georgio-you’re probably right mate…just don’t see why we’ve not tried goof/ciss up top with benny behind, exactly the same as what we should have done when we had Ba/Cisse, I wanted that back in pre season and still haven’t seen it!

    Ah Bobby..if only we kept him.


  27. Newkie agree… good to see in the interest to all football fans in Oz, Fox Sport are showing another classic game. Man U vs Arsenal… As you can see, the only teams worth showing here are Man U and who ever the feckers are that are playing them… piss weak 😕


  28. Aussie-your lot are obsessed with them, I watched the socceroos play vs Man U at the MCG in like, 98 I think? 😀


  29. Georgio-not while managing us…I think Shepherds knife in the back did lasting damage to his health though in all seriousness.


  30. according to physioroom.com he is due back on Saturday.
    So I doubt he will be in the starting 11


  31. From the premier league owl today:
    There’s an article which appears in The Telegraph this morning which cites a dressing-room split as a key reason for the decline in the club’s form. Supposedly, the club have banned the offending journalist – Luke Edwards – from St James’ Park in retaliation.

    I’m not a fan of clubs doing that, because it just tends to intensify any animosity between them and the media, but equally, it’s a bit of a cheap shot from Edwards.

    His information may well be correct, and he may well have a source to back up his claims that there is a division amongst the players – but simply tagging this as some kind of French player revolt is an over-simplification.

    It’s such an easy explanation for a club’s decline: blame the foreigners.

    “Telegraph Sport understands that there is concern that the large French contingent on Tyneside do not care as much about the team’s demise and have failed to grasp what is needed to succeed in English football.”

    That’s a very strong accusation, because it’s a strike right to the heart of a player’s professionalism. Also rather irritating, is the indirect insinuation that Alan Pardew is something of an innocent bystander in this situation, and is just a victim to the apathy of mercenary players.


    There are lots of issues in-play here, and blame for where Newcastle lie has to be apportioned appropriately – but that also has to be done without this sensational slant.

    The French players who have recently joined the club have been poor over the last few weeks, but isn’t that more likely to be the product of them being thrust into a new league in the middle of a season and suffering a physical decline as a result? Isn’t that more plausible than just claiming that they’re indifferent to their own side’s performance?

    “There were seven French players on the pitch when Newcastle fell apart against Liverpool and the discontent is hugely worrying for a team which still need one more win from their remaining three games to ensure they preserve their top-flight status.

    The threat of disunity and discord means the club’s much-heralded success in the French transfer market is in danger of backfiring unless Pardew can unite his team and channel the anger in a positive manner ahead of the trip to Upton Park.”

    There’s no definitive issue with Newcastle’s French-themed recruiting policy, it just happens to be the most obvious and most blamable aspect of the poor decision-making which has damaged the club this season. You can’t single these players out, and you certainly can’t do so without also acknowledging the impact Alan Pardew’s tactical failings have had on them and the team in general, and also the naive development strategy at the top of the club which led to those rushed signings in the first place.

    There are lots of people to blame at St James’ Park, let’s not go down the xenophobia road.


  32. Olivier Giroud of Arsenal has had his appeal against his red card rejected and will miss the remaining 3 matches of the season.
    So just Walcott to worry about now then. 😕
    I hope blunderland have the same outcome tomorrow with the sessignon appeal. 😛


  33. You never know, but we might just get the 3 points we need to survive at home against Arsenal.
    What a way to end the season. 😆


  34. [email protected] ,Totally agree , even if there were an element of truth to player unrest ,it doesn’t help our cause for journos to scream it from the rooftops. Glad they told him to stay away.
    Also read that apparently Ashley was fuming after the Liverpool match as apparently Ashley “Doesn’t do embarrassment ” . Well Mike the fans ain’t too keen on it either mate so sort out the manager and tell him to stop being gutless and attack .

    442 next game please Cisse & Gouffran up front Marv if fit and Benny supplying .


  35. B+B-agree the french thing is too simple. Media and twitter fools jumping on the bandwagon, just as they were quick to praise last year. Blaming the lack of spine over the fact that they might not even speak english ffs… The fault lies with literally everyone involved with the club but pardew as manager will rightly shoulder the most.

    Really hope sess is banned, he was the difference in the derby and was in form


  36. I am hoping all the flack flying about will unite the dressing room for them to put in a great performance on Saturday. Plus the fact we’re only 1 place above the drop zone I am hoping will inspire them to pull their fingers out of their arses!

    On the banning of Luke Edwards from the Telegraph, I find a bit strange. What do they gain from doing that? He has obviously been briefed by someone in the club – would they not be better finding out who that was instead?


  37. Stuart he probably got it from an agent, who may find it’s in his clients interest ,if a move away is desired 🙄 on the other hand he could of just made it up it wouldn’t be the first time like. Either way it doesn’t help us one bit.


  38. @ Aussie

    Have you finished reading the Sun fella? Or not past page 3 yet. 😯 😛


  39. @Stu

    The one thing West Ham seem to have are big characters and leaders. Carroll & Nolan will be fighting on Saturday to prove a point for sure.

    Was she one of the Nolan sisters? Carroll Nolan.

    Cabaye needs to earn his crust this weekend and step up as captain.


  40. Kim I agree with Cisse and Goofy upfront and Benny roaming behind them.

    MM up above somewhere I agree 100% about someone being more interested in proving himself right and others wrong than relegation, I have gave up and couldnt be arsed with the cheap point scoring shit anymore.

    As for the stories as I said 90% of it is total bullshit with no substance at all.


  41. Troy = part of me thinks neither Carrol or Nolan will want us to go down again. Wishful thinking? Probably. How’s the roof running? Have you seen the Chinese movie, Hidden Tiger?


  42. When they were at the toon….Carroll was often slagged off as a big daft geordie who couldn’t hit a barn door, and Nolan so freaking slow, that even if stayed at the toon he would only be there as a hugely paid bench warmer. These opinions were perhaps at the time justifiable for some fans.

    Now they are at another club suddenly they are brilliant players who will come back to haunt us. Have they suddenly become brilliant players or are we pish poor ? One or the other must be the truth ?

    West Ham have a LOT more to offer than those two ex-toon players, and will be a real tough nut to crack…


  43. [email protected], ….

    “The one thing West Ham seem to have are big characters and leaders. Carroll & Nolan will be fighting on Saturday to prove a point for sure.”…

    Yeah, but the toon side is filled to the brim with big characters and leaders too…. look at ….err…..Staylor and Shola… and …..errm ……doh…..


  44. Big match tonight…. Champs League…..Barca v FC Bayern…. the excitement is building up….cannae wait… 🙂


  45. @Georgio

    No, I haven’t seen that film Hidden Tiger. I’ve been asked to star in a few action movies and have been a body double for Van Damme & Bruce Lee and yeah, know all the Hollywood stars. The roof running is going well fella. I’ve got full classes at the moment and this weeks practice sessions are based around chimney rolls. 😯 I mistimed one last night and fell straight doon the chimney stack and got stuck halfway doon. 😯

    Fortunately, Stardust does a bit of chimney sweeping in his spare time and he managed to gerriz oot.

    If you fancy it like, I’m coming to a street near you soon. 😛


  46. Troy,
    Has the “FOOL” been sacked yet for impersonating a football manager 😈 😈


  47. Good stuff Troy. You should watch that movie though – there’s lots of roof running! Tree jumping’s my speciality with bendy silver birch my favourite.


  48. @TGS

    The Fool ! 😯 I pity the fool.
    “I pity the fool”
    “Hey, you with the teeth, Quit yo Jibber-jabber! 😈

    If I ever catch you acting like a crazy fool again, you’re gonna meet my friend pain! Snickers, get some nuts!” 😯

    Dont give me no back talk sucka! 😛


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green