First there was the derby defeat and then Joe Kinnear’s resignation. Since then fights have broken out on the ‘blog.
It does beg the question of what happened and why? The match I think has been answered by the apologies of the players, and Pardew’s habit of losing it if he does not have enough preparation time. The “resignation” of Joe appears to be down to the fact that Yohan Cabaye went too cheaply and before a replacement had been signed. This has cost Ashley money. An unforgivable sin. So where now?
There are calls for the head of everybody associated with the club, Owner, Manager, etc. Life has a habit of unpredictability and surprises so we may have new owners and a new manager before the end of the season.
However, we can see from the experience of other clubs that the chances of getting good new owners who are prepared to splash the cash and hang in for the long term seem to be two out of dozens. Having an owner who wants to keep a tight ship in the upper reaches of the Premier League might not be the worst position to be in. After all NUFC has seen the top ten all too rarely and perhaps a bit of stable top ten would make a nice change. And if that were the limit of our owners ambition he has the right manager in place to keep delivering it.
It would appear that the only reason to change things would be if we were to radically change our ambition. In my opinion that would require a change of owner as the bedsheet brigade has ensured that our current owner has little empathy left.
Despite what some appear to profess changing owners is a high risk strategy. Not to be undertaken lightly, or seen as a magical solution to all our perceived woes.
On the positive side the departure of both Llambias and Kinnear may well indicate that Ashley will not tolerate incompetence if it costs him money. So I would hope to see better run transfer windows in future. But who will make the decisions? Ashley has not wanted a manager with sole authority and he is therefore unlikely to give Pardew that role.
So will we get a new Director of Football in or indeed a new Chairman? Crony-ism might indicate the arrival of El Tel, Glenn or ‘Arry. Whereas professionals such as Nicholas Cortese, Damien Comolli or Christian Purslow are all out there. Not that they are to the taste of everybody, and of course there are other managers out there too. Few that have achieved more than Pardew in the Premier League but plenty with experience at higher levels abroad. It is interesting to see the shortlist for the Swansea Job.
If I had had a five year plan when we were promoted I would have suggested a year avoiding relegation, a year establishing ourselves in the top ten and then a year qualifying for Europe. All of which we have had, but in the wrong order.
To consolidate where we are, which in my view is best of the rest knocking on the door of the top six, I think we would need to tie down our loan signings and buy a few more players so that we have a bench that gives options so that we don’t just play the same formulaic subs every week. It’s not rocket science and it’s not much.
I don’t buy this asset stripping theory. The more successful the club, the higher the profile, the more it’s worth when it’s sold. However it’s not worth throwing the hundreds of millions it take to challenge for top four.
So here we are with not much to play for this year, a decent starting 11, not much depth and a few kids who may develop. I don’t think an analysis is relevant at this point to be honest. I’ll save that for the end of the season. It looks like there is not much excitement left to look forward to until then.
Would somebody switch off the lights on their way out.