Carr or Pardew to go, Mike Ashley’s big decision.

Mike Ashley

Decision time for Ashley
Decision time for Ashley
After a period of reflection since NUFC’s Premier League’s security was guaranteed I have been mulling over “where did it all go wrong” after such a promising year last year.

It was clear to most fans that NUFC and Alan Pardew got a great deal right in 2011/2012. They ground out results, were fit and hard to beat but were the signs already there of a difficult season this year?

Many fans point to the fact that we scored a number of wonder goals in games we weren’t dominating in ’11/12, when we would go on to take 3 points. I don’t object to that, there’s the old adage of the sign of a good team is not needing to play well to get a result, so were these the signs of a promising future?

The 2012/13 season has finished. Granted the lack of strengthening in the summer was a mistake, but this was quickly rectified and compensated for in the January ’13 appointments. The appointments of Gouffran, Sissoko, Debuchy, Mbiwa and Haidara means that in addition to the likes of Marveaux, Anita, HBA, Cabaye, Coloccini, Cisse etc that Mike Ashley, Graham Car, Derek Llambias and Lee Charnley have assembled a collection of some of the most skillful and hard working players I have seen at SJP in my lifetime – yet where has this taken us?

The tell-tale sign of problems to come this year during the ’11/12 season was the positioning and use of Hatem Ben Arfa. Last year Pardew was in the press telling the world Hatem needed to understand his responsibilities defensively, he was then playing him, in the main, in a restricted old fashioned right half position with a little bit of wing play interlaced. That ladies and gentlemen is not Hatem’s strong point. He is one of the world’s best with the ball at his feet going forward, his balance on the ball is incredible, yet Pardew was dumbing his game down and stifling his creativity to 30% of what it could and should have been.

That same tell-tale sign of 11/12 has been exacerbated this year because of the similar type of player we have signed; clever, skillful, hard-working, technical players. We have an abundance of them that Pardew coaches to his ideology, his ability (or lack of it). In any team, any walk of life a person should play to their strengths. Within a team the combination of collective strengths, each excelling at what they do best, makes for a great team all in tune with each other. A mismatch of personnel strengths versus your vision spells a longer term disaster.

Barcelona aren’t the most powerful team in the world but their players understand their ethos, their identity, they move forward and defend as a group who are incredibly hard to break down, they don’t sit deep all game, they break and defend like lightning and have players swarming and moving all over the field at all times creating a maelstrom of attacking and defending play.

Alan Pardew seemingly believes in sitting deep, a quick long ball up to a lone striker where he relies of individual acts of brilliance for goals, not teamwork. But do the players believe in this and is this how to make best use of the individuals that make up that team? Is this the defined identity, our blueprint for future success?

You can see during a match that there is no movement, no shape, no idea as to what to do, there is no support, belief, culture and ethos for each player. I think this highlights a clear problem that has only become apparent this year, a one I expect Ashley to address.

We are seemingly going backwards. Is the problem more fundamental; is it because these players came to this club having being sold the idea of creative attacking football only for the rug to be pulled from under them and the long ball game enforced upon them. Is the transfer policy out of kilter with the wishes of the manager? Or is the manager out of kilter with the clubs ethos and culture?

There is clearly an imbalance, are the recruitment team assembling a squad to play football a certain way, with aΒ je ne sais quoiΒ demanded by fans of NUFC; whereas the manager wants stronger defensively minded players such as those playing for Stoke and West Ham.

Gouffrana and Sissoko are a case in point, they arrived attacking with lightning speed, the opposition were scared senseless by the speed of our breaks and attacking play only for that element to be “coached” out of them once Pardew and his team got their hands on them. The players all now look miserable, playing to Pardew’s defensive belief, knowledge, weaknesses and inadequacies as opposed to their own individual strengths. He has proven this season he can not get the best out of skillful technical attacking players. I do not buy the injury excuses, the European excuses the myriad of other excuses that pour out of his mouth at every moment. If the players were as fit as Chris Houghton had them they’d be running through brick walls during the games and taking it easier out of them, the conditioning is obviously a problem.

For me, Mike Ashley has a simple decision that can resolve this problem either way, he has to choose what identity, what ethos and culture of football he wants NUFC want to have. He has correctly put right what he does best by strengthening the business and structural aspects of the club and now he has to decide on our football identity.

To this ends should he support Alan Pardew or Graham Carr. There is no point of another transfer window buying skillful hard-working players that Carr targets if Alan Pardew is here, as that’s not what he wants. Pardew will never get the best out of that type of player. Our current players and no doubt targets clearly play football at a level above his capability or understanding for him to get the best out of them.

Likewise if Ashley’s football blueprint is to be in line with Pardew’s then Carr will have to either totally re-evaluate what is a good player to him and find the “cloggers” or he, Carr, has to go. If Ashley decides Carr has to go, there should be a clear out of the skillful players to, and bring back the Barton’s, Nolan’s and Carrol’s of this world, but I had hoped we had moved on from that.

Carr has been lauded for his ability to spot a player of talent, he has scouted for some of the biggest and best and I personally see great promise in the players he has found within our budgetary constraints. The status quo however can not prevail, either Pardew or Carr has to go – one of their positions is now untenable, and I hope and pray that its Pardew’s.

To that ends, bring a coach in to get the best out of the great players we do have, put a smile back on their faces by playing to their strengths. Sign more of the same with a similar ethos and we could end up seeing in the near future one of the greatest NUFC teams ever assembled. Or we could go forward to the “good ole days” of hoofball. I know which I find more appealing.

Pardew or Carr, our clubs playing culture, ethos and identity are in your hands Mike Ashley. Which style of football are you choosing and importantly; to achieve this – who is going to go?

402 thoughts on “Carr or Pardew to go, Mike Ashley’s big decision.

  1. Horoscope for today for Newcastle United (from

    Friends can be the center of your attention right now, as they can come to your aid, or you to theirs, and a feeling of camaraderie is likely to ensue, dear Sagittarius. The key to success is to surround yourself with people and to let things flow rather than force any issues. Later today, the desire to withdraw from daily demands and competitive atmospheres is very strong, as the Moon enters your privacy sector and you receive emotional signals to regroup and collect yourself.


  2. I don’t think Carr is exempt from criticism.
    Fact is – we went into this season light in a number of positions, especially in defence. That has nothing to do with Pardew’s tactics. Carr and Ashley should have agreed budgets beforehand so that Carr had back ups in place should we be out priced by our first choice.


  3. Bris,
    Good find! Well, this couldn’t be clearer. Lee Clark to be unveiled as our new manager this morning, bringing in a collection of former players as his coaching staff. 😯


  4. I still think people are over-reacting.
    Carr’s signings all performed under Pardew last year didn’t they ❓ πŸ˜•


  5. Bris πŸ˜†

    I don’t think any of those could be discussed on here..or anywhere for that matter.


  6. Wellington: The meaning isn’t so clear cut because the words have come under the influence of Pardew and now mean fuck all.


  7. ST-Last year all of them carried the lucky Pardew as they hadn’t had all of their skill coached out of them, didn’t you get the memo?


  8. Solano,
    “people are over-reacting”
    While discussing football?
    On the internet?


  9. It’s official. Micky Quinn has lost it, I’m afraid. Anita is not up to scratch & should be sold. Same goes for Marveaux. Who has he been watching again? If Anita hasn’t been given enough opportunities to perform, whose fault is that? That’s right, raise your hand Alan. Seriously. Anita has been quite good imo. As has Marveaux. Offer creativity that we otherwise tend to lack. But hey. What do I know…


  10. BBC breakfast sports news- A spokesman for Rafa Benitez has said he is unlikely to take the Stoke City managers job ,despite him being the bookies favourite .

    My god ,if he went to Stoke I’d be gutted.


  11. @Newkie
    Yes, my bad, forgot about that again!
    You need to stop being so pretentious with all your “reasoning” and your “evidence”. The Pardew tenure has been the worst in Newcastle United’s illustrious history and nothing is going to convince me otherwise!


  12. Ice /Newkie , West Ham should go back to the Dippers and withdraw their offer citing his injury record , then wack in a lower offer take it or leave it as they are up a gum tree now as they can’t sell a crock for four months and cannot be sure he’ll be the same once recovered. I would say the Hammers hold all the cards now.


  13. DAVE its a heel injury but found out that the knee injury is worse than the thought,but w/ham still want to sign him??


  14. Stardust has emerged from Chronicle HQ and is standing on the step talking to the crowds.

    Live transcript;

    “Hello ladies & gentleman, as you know I’m Mr Stardust and the 3 alongside me are, Mikey, Mr Pardew and Mr Carr”. πŸ˜†

    Round of applause. (One voice in the crowd shouts – your white socks are showing, pull your suit trouser leg down) 😯

    ” I will get straight to the point, my writing skills brought together this meeting today and I’m grateful for the job offer I’ve obtained today, editor of Chronicle international and my new title will be Mr Stardust Internacionale.”

    Round of applause ( lone voice shouts your holding hands with Mikey) 😯

    ” This meeting has produced some wonderful discussions, but the outcome is Myself and Mikey are to be married and Mr Carr is to be the best man and Mr Pardew is not invited” πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    Stunned silence ( one lone voice says- we thought the meeting was about football and who should go, Pards or Carr) 😯 😯 😯

    ” No no, this was about who was to be my best man and who was to leave our foursome. Football? What the hell do I know about football?”
    πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

    So there you have it folks, Mr Pardew has been sacked by Mr Stardust Internacionale πŸ˜† πŸ˜†


  15. Will someone show this to Mike Ashely!

    P.S. A well written and backed article. Well done.


  16. CONTINUITY …man u won the treble but didn’t the season after did fergie get sacked for going backover …moyes has had a season or two were they flirted above the drop zone was he sacked moreover they made champ league but he remained even though they failed to build on that the season after .pards is now the 2nd longest serving manager in the pl after wenger and although he hasn’t won a great deal of l8 he continualy keeps arsenal in the top 4 ,one good season never made pards a great manager as one bad season doesn’t make him a bad manager ,time will tell ,if he gets it im sure we will progress as CONTINUITY is the key to succsess


  17. One of the best articles I have read in ages – a balanced approach and I know which way I want to go


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