What is going wrong at United?

Pardew - Symptom or cause?
Pardew – Symptom or cause?
Our recent disastrous form has led to many questions being asked. My main question is when will it come to an end?

The inquests continue in the wake of the 0-4 reverse against Tottenham on Wednesday evening with every one at the club from top to bottom taking some form of blame in some way or another.

The players were awful on Wednesday evening and looked as though they didn’t care or had started planning their summer jollies/transfers already. That just isn’t good enough and while Alan Pardew must take some of the blame for failing to motivate his players, they are still all mainly professional international players so should be able to motivate themselves to a degree considering the sums of money they earn compared to the rest of us.

Tactically I’m no wizard so I’m not going to get into all of that. Players were played in the correct positions but nightmare performances from the likes of Davide Santon and a trio of handling errors from Tim Krul are hard to prepare for and will negate the most sound of tactical plans.

The issue I see is one that the club have made themselves. The sale of Yohan Cabaye will have hurt the players as they watched a player who had become a dressing room influence fly back across Le Manche to PSG. It would have probably hurt a lot more when they saw that NO replacement was brought in for him. Again though we get back to those players left behind retaining some form of professional standards.



This couldn’t care attitude needs to halt but there is only so much Alan Pardew, or any manager to be fair, can do when the club comes out and basically says we have no ambition to even try and win a trophy and that our only aim is to stay in the Premier League but miss out on Europe because it is an inconvenience to the club.

What sort of message does that send out to fans, players, potential players? To me football is about trying to win things and whilst it’s impossible for everyone to win something every season there is no harm in at least trying is there?

It’s demotivated me if I’m being honest. To know that the club you’ve poured your heart and soul into for 30 years in my case is not bothered about anything but mediocrity hurts. To know there is seemingly no will to get better, to strive to achieve success hurts. To question why you bother with the club in it’s current state hurts.

I think I know exactly why the club said what they said, and that was to take the heat off of Alan Pardew but it won’t last for long. All they’ve succeeded in doing in the process is turning a large portion of the fanbase off. I mean why should they bother if the club doesn’t want to bother?

Moan over…

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.

878 thoughts on “What is going wrong at United?

  1. Sharpy-I know he’s not ours but I’m talking about in the context of the squad rebuilding during the summer and that I will miss him. There is no doubt he needs to be replaced. It will take at least 15 mil and good wages to find as good a player. He was only ever really filling in for the place left by Ba which the club let go for a pitiful amount due to allowing that clause.

    Colo still puts in good performances and considering we are cutting other high earners-Marv and Jonas-then I would much rather keep Colo and pay him double what Staylor earns, and then just get rid of Staylor, because he definitely more than twice the player.

    Santon would fetch more but I feel as he is currently the “senior” of the three that he will be more likely to stay. Seeing as we’ve invested in Haidara it seems unlikely we’d get our money back shortly, so I just think it could be dummett if he doesn’t get the game time. Santon needs to be dropped imo.

    Obviously anyone in their right mind would swap Benny for Siem De Jong, but there is no chance of him turning up. He is just a better option from the bench than those in that position, again the question is will we buy better?. Jonas? Marv? Obertan? Ferguson? Shola? Hopefully those five will be trimmed off before Benny

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  2. Newkie – I think any chance we had of getting Siem de Jong will quickly fade when his brother reports on the events on Tyneside. I’m not impressed with Luuk either, just seems another in a long line of cart horse centre forwards we’ve had over the years. Way too slow for the PL.

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  3. Newkie – who do you rate higher Ba or Remy?.
    I agree that Santon is the more senior of the 3 but my issue with him is that he hasn’t really progressed much if at all this year. I think Haidara could be better than him if he was given the same game time.
    I actually think we may have a chance with Siem De Jong and if we could sign Luuk on a permanent deal that could increase our chances.
    I think we have again failed to make the most of free transfers, with players like Tom Ince better than Obertan, Arron Hunt a better offensive option to Jonas on the left, Gomis better than Shola up front. I think those 3 free transfers could replace the 5 you mentioned bearing in mind Fergie and Marv rarely even play for us and Jonas and Obertan don’t feature much more either.

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  4. Georgio-aye, it would take a hefty pay packet to bring him here I think. We can afford it but it doesn’t seem Ashley wants to push the bar beyond 60k anymore.

    It’s a real shame considering if we had bought Remy and paid him those 75k wages Ashley would have had the lovely opportunity to sell him to Arsenal and make a tidy profit on the 7mil buying fee. Nevermind I’m sure Ashley will have his eye on similar quality players to Siem and Loic for the summer… πŸ˜•

    I think it’s still too early for Luuk. I think he should have scored that headed chance he had, but other than that he’s not done a lot wrong. He will still be a few weeks away from being match fit and sharp, he was quite pacey when he was in Holland and I think he would be more than a match for most centre backs here but it has to be over a fair stretch, his acceleration isn’t brilliant.

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  5. Tavernier was mentioned earlier. He is highly regarded by Rotherham. Yes it is only First Division, but Rotherham are doing well in it. \I would not write him off yet.

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  6. I’m still having trouble understanding the shocking form at home recently. Are we really that bad? If so it’s fortunate we have 37 points already. The collapse against Sunderland was the worst of it of course but we’ve been poor in many games at home this season. I still remember the loss to Hull for example. A failure to recognize underperforming players by Pardew is definitely part of it.

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  7. I think we only have 5 wins at home so far this season. With only 6 home games remaining our record is going to be shocking. Possibly only 8 or 9 wins at home out of 19 games! Poor to say the least. How to explain it? Poor tactics, lack of depth, underperforming players, I think we’ve had a bit of everything.

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  8. Sharpy-I would take Remy. His goal record is “worse” but he has played at a higher level (I would argue) throughout his career. He is also younger, and while he does have reoccurring injury problems Ba is no guarantee either.

    Remy may not hit the same scoring record as Ba but he is a better all rounder and would allow us to rotate our front line and play in a different way should we need it. Would also probably allow more attractive footie. With Ba you know what you’ll get but he needs a partner which currently we don’t have (get Leon Best back on the cheap? πŸ˜‰ )

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  9. It probably doesn’t matter who we rate higher Sharpy mate. Remy is going to leave and if we can get Ba we had better go after him I suppose. That’s how much faith I have in the owner. You can’t make up for a poor owner. His hiring record is dismal. His movement in the windows is dismal. HIs support of his own club is dismal.

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  10. Sharpy- I agree about Haidara. In some ways he looked better than Santon when he arrived initially anyway. He was certainly a breath of fresh air with a natural left foot, crossing isn’t great but it’s a darn site better than Santon’s. Santon is/was very useful to our side when we were solid but lacked an outlet/creativity, he is great at running at the opposition and opening up space for others. But his final product is gash, he shoots from 35 yards time and time again and is just as wasteful as someone like Benny. He then struggles with the defensive side. When Colo is there he can manage, as Colo will cover for him. But when Santon and Staylor are next to each other its suicide, they both look shite.

    Dummett already shows more willingness to get into the box itself and similarly his crossing is better. I think either he or Haidara could become better.

    Not sure about Siem just because we’ve got his bro, I think they’d both value money over playing alongside each other put it that way πŸ˜‰

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  11. Blip πŸ˜† that’s actually a really good goal. And his passing was sharp! I wish Krul could pass like that πŸ˜•

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  12. Curses. Premand could you not write something about the summer window? I know it’s early but it will be absolutely crucial for the club. Or a review of player performances to date?

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  13. We can break the team’s problems down to a few key areas. Each of them deserves careful attention.
    1. Ownership. Ours is poor bordering on criminal negligence. How to tackle this problem as supporters? Can anything effective be done. We should discuss this more.
    2. Management and coaches. Are they good enough? The question is good enough for what? The current owner wants mediocrity but are they even good enough to achieve that consistently? And what kind of goal is that anyway?
    3. Players. Have we recruited well? Has the owner really improved the reserve and junior teams? If not what are the key problems? Is it the coaching, the recruitment? Big issues here I would think if we look at the last few seasons.
    That’s a start to what we should be discussing in new articles. Toonsy do you have any time mate?

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  14. Aston Villa at home, in the past has resulted in one of my favourite results; the 6-0, and also one of our most embarrassing matches – Bowyer vs Dyer fight.
    So what’s it gonna be this time 😈

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  15. How are arsenal not learning, take Ozil off penalties ffs. He passes it to the keeper every time. Give it to someone who will put it into the net with a real strike.

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  16. Sorry, why players try and thread a penalty through the eye of a needle? Just put you’re foot through the fecker! 😯

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  17. Taraabt playing in the CL 😯
    Here’s a theory, which could explain why Taraabt was so good in the Champ but so poor in the Prem – flair players can only play in strong teams (relative to the league).
    How many other truly, lazy flair players do other teams similar to us use?
    We need more Anita-esq players – good technique but not utterly useless when we’re on the back foot as we just aren’t a good enough team to be carrying players.

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  18. So Debs is unsure if he’ll be here next season. πŸ‘Ώ

    Why would anyone want to swap battling the likes of Hull and stoke for 14th spot to play for PSG or Bayern M πŸ™„ what a mug !

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  19. Someone write an article about how amazing our owner Mike Ashley is ?
    He saved us from bankruptcy.
    He got us amazing sponsors like wonga.
    Won the championship for us.
    Hired an intelligent manager Alan Pardew who got us into europe.
    Hired Joe Kinnear to be our director of football to bring the very best players to Newcastle.
    Now the balance sheet looks great and we could still extend Shola’s contract.

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  20. For me If Ben Arfa and Marveaux have really come under Pardew Fire after Tottenham game , so it really shows how this coach is stupid.
    THe easy thing for him is to jump on flair players always because they are not tackling and tracking back, he still believe that this problem makes him loose every game when we don’t have score a goal since 2 months now.

    Really to be a flair in england is difficult and in Newcastle even more. Anyone understands you.

    Look Tarabbt in Milan the guy is directly standard and plays really good game. But if you have put a guy like Sissoko, or put guys like Sidwell or Kacaniklic in MIlan players who played more than Tarabt for Fulham, they will never even be sub there.
    And if you have seen Messi yesterday he has run 5 km during entire game, Hopefully for him he has not meet Pardew at start of his career he would have stop him from Football.

    OUT pardew will be the first good thing for this club, after out Ashley and the club will be fine.

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  21. Premandup cheer’s for writing a new article. I’m just trying to remain positive at the moment. It’s not easy for most fan’s at the moment but we have had some good results as well. I know Ashley hasn’t signed anyone and we’ve lost to Sunderland and Spur’s but with had injury’s and the second string of players aren’t good enough. We have to wait and see what happens come the summer. There’s no way Pardew’s getting sacked or Ashley selling up till he gets his money back.

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  22. HBA39 – yes you are right of course.
    Pardew is a dinosaur of a coach.
    His game plan is non existent most of the time and his negative defensive tactics suck all the attacking flair out of the game.
    Quite simply we have the wrong type of players for his style (ha!) of play.
    Unfortunately we are stuck with the fool.
    I expect Remy will be a revelation at Arsenal next season.

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  23. HBA I don’t know who’s more at fault Pardew or the players ?
    Every single time Taylor has been in defence this season we have lost. Santon’s been poor and so has Cisse and Shola. Gouffran recovering from injury and is not at his best but there low on confidence. We have LDJ who’s settling into a new league. Kinnear hasn’t helped and Ashley isn’t around to help. The team has no leadership and everyone seems effected by it.

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  24. so over 50k seats sold for the villa match already……….
    …….I give up.
    up the revolution πŸ‘Ώ

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  25. Important question mates. Ahem. Now that Joe has been promoted to permanent tea lady (since the old tea lady has gone missing) whose bog should he/she? use when on duty? Please respond quickly to this as Joe is already hopping from one foot to the other!

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  26. I am clinging to the idea of positivity at the moment but find it a very slippery prospect. I’m definitely slipping downwards. Can somebody offer some more words of wisdom in this our hour of need? Sharpy, you usually pull us out of the doldrums mate. What can you say to us that will lift the gloom? Joe has given up and is just whizzing in the corridor by the way.

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  27. It seems that some people’s idea of positivity is different from my idea of it, and probably even the dictionary definition. I wonder how Stuart79 defines it. Something along the lines of ‘the end is not nigh, but maybe tomorrow morning’ πŸ˜†

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  28. Read my post HBA39 @ 850.
    It might be (probably) that Pardew’s system isn’t suited to flair players, but it’s also that mediocre teams can’t afford to carry players that only show glimpses of talent.
    Yeah Barcelona can afford for Messi to not run around – firstly because he consistently comes up with the goods. Secondly because he has players of a higher standard than Williamson/Taylor/Santon to cover him.

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  29. Is it a coincidence that HBA’s gametime has been less since Simpson left?
    Simpson was a sit back defender and would make up for HBA’s non-existent or liability-ridden defending. Debuchy is an attacking defender so can’t really play alongside HBA unless we are willing to get murdered on that side of the pitch.
    And, no, HBA doesn’t have the right qualities to play behind the striker (Marv does if he would pull his finger out), HBA doesn’t have space to dribble in the centre, and doesn’t know when to pass the ball.

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  30. Solano’s right – it isn’t that we don’t have the players to play to a solid style, but more that the flair players won’t play to that style – pointing to Marv’s assists ignores his culpability for leaving us open to game-losing goals, while Benny’s waistline tells it’s own story. You can blame the manager and coaches, but Pardew’s always said he needs his players to track back and defend. Put it this way, neither Marv nor Benny would play for Martinez at Everton or Pochettino at Saints, with their flair built on pressing game. Luxury we can’t afford,

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  31. Good points Solano and GTW.

    Ideally we would find ways to push our flair players into working just as hard as the rest as that is the way modern football is going with Bayern etc but unfortunately no manager we will get under Ashley will have the gravitas to pull that off imo. That or we won’t buy the best characters, we’ll go for the cheap ones.

    I see rumours about Debuchy are already circulating as well, hopefully just paper talk or it’s yet another body to replace.

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  32. Previously I said we would ship out 6-7 dead wood and needed 2-3 proper first team players. Sadly, that looks like it’ll be 8-10 out and needing 5-6 – and much as I do think we’ll buy (with no net spend over the year) it won’t be the 5-6 needed. Squad will be light again, who ever is manager, so I still go for keeping Pardew, on the basis that I think continuity keeps an under-strength squad in the top half, while change is a delegation battle waiting to happen.

    Mind, he has to beat Villa first…

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  33. I disagree that the whole team has to track back and defend all the time.
    Our trouble is that our defence is fucking shit.
    Starting with the CB’s.
    You need to be strong for sure, but you must be able to head the ball properly, be able to read the game, have the ability to tackle, be composed and in control when on the ball, and have the ability to pass the ball safely to a team mate, when under pressure.
    Only Coloccini of all our CB’s has this ability. But he can’t do it all on his own.
    Willo flaps and panics more often than not and Taylor is just a thug if I’m honest. MYM has failed to impress at all really.
    Pardew has failed to address this vital part of the team in the 3 years he has been in charge.
    If fatty refuses to purchase the players with the necessary skill set, then Pardew and the coaches need to step up on the training ground and demand more from the biffs that we have got.
    Therein lies another problem.
    The coaching staff are a complete and utter shambles imo and lacking in the knowledge to train the players ‘up’ to the required standard.
    Defending is a skill that can be learnt. But it requires much practice and a good teacher.

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  34. Good points on the defence BB. They just don’t seem to work as a unit at all. They all have deficiencies, even Colo but someone like George Graham would have them working overtime on the training field until they drop. Pardew’s not bright enough for any of it. He’s just a mouthpiece not a tactician or a coach. Just a gob!

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  35. Totally agree about George Graham.
    Defence was his thing.
    A good team is built on the platform of a solid defence.
    Sometimes 3 CB’s can work better than 2 plus 2 fullbacks.
    Pardew wont even entertain this notion.
    But having FB’s that have to get forward in attack leaves the CB’s exposed and vulnerable to the counter attack.
    It is possible to line up 3-5-2, which is both attacking and defensive. It can control the midfield, as well as having 2 strikers on the pitch.
    This allows the 3 defenders to fucking defend properly. Simples.

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  36. The disadvantage of 3 CB’s is the fact that they each have a lot of ground to cover, and there is nowhere to hide. They have to know their roles and stick to them. They have to work as a tight unit. It requires practise.
    Its not perfect, but it can work.

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  37. Kim- sending my very best wishes to you. Hope they get you sorted asap, you need to be out of there for the Villa game. Take care

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  38. Having a strong defensive back line, be it 3 or 4 will give the midfield confidence to push forwards in attack.
    By constantly putting the midfield under pressure to defend / cover for FB’s that have gone forwards, we are failing to get sufficient bodies into the final third and the 18 yard box in particular.
    This has resulted in all our shots from distance crap and an isolated CF.
    We aren’t getting into a position to capitalise on keeper errors, like spurs did against us. And we are not applying any pressure on the opposing defence, hence giving them too much time and space to move the ball at will.
    Players like Debuchy and Santon, imho are more suited to being wingbacks in a 5 man midfield, rather than FB’s that have to defend and attack. It’s just asking too much and constantly breaks down.
    A few minor tweaks and changes and the players we have would all look a million times better.

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  39. [email protected], Staylor coming in has definitely had a negative impact on our defence. We’re all over the place and he has done nowt for me. Let’s not forget he started against Man Shitty in the mauling they gave us first time out, as soon as he was out we looked solid and now he’s back we’re conceeding three or four a game. It’s no coincidence, Colo is a rock. Assuming he is committed to playing for us. The only trouble is that he and Willo lack pace, whereas staylor is quick enough to run backwards and give the opposition plenty of space to take a shot at goal πŸ˜‰

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  40. yes Newkie, I agree about the lack of pace, but Colo makes up for that by reading the game so well and predicting where he needs to be earlier.
    Taylor is a loose cannon and upsets the whole apple cart.
    Reckless tackles, loose elbows, wavy arms in the box. He does my fricking head in and I don’t have to play alongside him.
    Willo plays so much better with a calm head alongside him. It rubs off.

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  41. BB-Agree completely there. Colo makes both Willo and Santon or whoever is playing left back far more comfortable, he can mop up dangerous situations for them and similarly all of our full backs are quite quick and can use their pace to then track other runners, or hassle the man on the ball until Colo can get back into position.

    M’biwa is still a strange one, some of his fouls are completely unnecessary, but I don’t think his sharpness is being helped by the fact he is being asked to play right back with his left foot-and this is because the club have seen it fit to only have one right back and then expect our centres, midfielders or left backs to cover there. I would rather see him than Staylor because I think he has long term potential, which tayls has never reached in his 10 years with us.

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