Vote: Playing the blame game!

Who is to blame?
Who is to blame?
Many many things have contributed to what has been an awful season so far for us.

And the most amazing thing is that it could yet still get worse! But let’s not think about that too much yet.

Somewhere, someone, something is to blame for it.

In truth it’s probably a combination of factors although there is always one which is the deciding factor in all of it. We’ve had injuries, continental competition, lack of investment, rifts within the squad (allegedly) and many more reasons presented to us, but what, for you, is the main one?

I’m going to outline some of the more common reasons I’ve read for our spectacular demise from Champions League contenders last term to teetering on the brink of the Championship this term. I’d like you to read about, think about it, then vote at the very bottom of this article. If you don’t think I’ve covered your particular base just vote “other” and make some time to explain what you think is to blame.

The manager

In one year Alan Pardew has gone from Manager of the Year to a guy who looks and sounds resigned to losing his job. I might be wrong on that of course, but his recent interviews just seem to have a hint of resignation about them.

There have been serious questions asked of him in terms of tactics and motivation of a team which, on paper at least, has the potential to be one of the best teams we’ve had in years but for whatever reason is under-performing to the point of needing four points from our last two games of the season to ensure mathematical safety.

The owner

Every man and his dog knew that the team needed bolstering in the summer yet we failed miserably to do so. Common sense should dictate that more games would mean we needed a deeper squad yet we failed to strengthen during the summer transfer window and, rather predictably, it came back to haunt us.

The idea was that players from the “development squad” would start to make the step up to the first-team but they proved that they just weren’t ready for it. I have little doubt that the ideal scenario was not to use them as much as they were used, but injuries to first-team players left us with little choice in that regard.

However, kudos to Ashley, he did actually do something about it in January as a whole clutch of Frenchmen arrived in the January transfer window. It should have been done sooner but we had a problem which was addressed at the next available opportunity. Which then brings me to my next point…

Team cohesion

It’s been said at times that we look like a bunch of strangers as a team, which is actually true in fairness, mainly because half of our team are a bunch of strangers! Trying to bed in so many new faces, all at one time when things aren’t going so well will be difficult, and so it has proved.

I’ve little doubt that our January signings will come good, but not all foreign imports hit the ground running and some need more time to adjust than others. It’s a new country, a new type of football, a new culture, and having to get all that right and maintain performance at a new club must be tough.

The players

Let me get this straight, the players SHOULD NOT be completely blame free in all of this. We all know they are better than what they’ve shown this season, both collectively and individually, yet not enough of them have shown it this term. Perhaps it’s a confidence thing? I mean those little flicks and passes come off when things are going well, but when the going gets tough things like that don’t work out. Is it the players who are to blame for this?


I don’t like blaming injuries personally as all teams suffer from them at one point or another, but we have felt them this season more than most. Perhaps we felt it more because of a lack of investment in the summer, as mentioned previously? Maybe it’s our facilities, even though they have had a lot of money spent on them over the years and have come a long way since training on public pitches in the early days of Kevin Keegan. Maybe it’s the coaching?

You see there are many reasons you can pick for what has been a dismal season, and there is no doubt more than I have mentioned. So which one has had the most influence in your opinion? Take a vote and add your comment in at the bottom of the article.

[poll id=”77″]

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.

194 thoughts on “Vote: Playing the blame game!

  1. @ DJG

    You may be right. I can only speculate on what I see in world football.

    If there’s a top manager out there from France who won the league and he is willing to come to the Toon for a reasonable wage then bring him over and replace Pards.

    I’m all for improvement DJG. I’m not suggesting otherwise. I

    The reason I doubt a top manager would come would be the low wages Ashley has offered Pardew If you read my posts, I believe he was stung with paying off S Allerdyce.

    By all means, sack Pardew if this fella is a top manager and he doesn’t want a big wage.

    Bring it on. I just don’t believe Ashley will pay a big contract and I don’t believe the manager will come for peanuts.

    I hope I’m wrong. 😉


  2. I’m blaming confirmation bias. A person who has already made up their mind about a situation will look for evidence to support their point of view and ignore evidence that would challenge it.

    Read that however you like. 😉


  3. All of the above, The owner should have strengthened more in the summer and didn’t and that started it all going downhill, from players being pissed off about the lack of strengthening and the lack of decent replacements when injuries started kicking in. The players have been a disgrace at times, from being upset at lack of transfer activity (imo) when they should have just got on with it, leave the being upset and whinging to us! to half hearted, pathetic displays and showing a lack of confidence(ah diddums 🙄 ). Then there’s Pards, occasionally he’s got it right, but all too often his crap negative tactics have lost games before they’ve even kicked off(shouldn’t affect players being able to pass a ball 10 yards though), at least half the teams we play aren’t as strong as us on paper, yet Pards sets up negatively, surely he should let those other teams worry about us ffs? If it had been us in the cup final, how do you think Pards would have set up? I reckon ultra defensively and play the long ball which Kompany would have eaten up all day and the result would have been an ass whooping and a televised embarrassment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Martinez fan, as Troy said, teams with weaker squads have done better than Wigan this year(FA cup apart) but he does have them playing decent attacking, passing football, pity the defence is genarally ****.
    Even last season when we finished 5th the footy wasn’t great overall, though I’d take a higher league position over “sexy football” at the moment.Is it a coincidence that the 2 “little clubs” who have won the cups this season try to play passing attractive footy?
    If we are going to persist with buying from abroad then we’ll be better off getting a foreign coach, apart from the elite in the bigger leagues, foreign managers often work with less freedom than Pards does and alot don’t even get a say at all in which players come to their club, also the wages are usually lower than Premier league managers and I reckon a fair few would jump at the chance of managing a premier league club, so there is plenty of choice out there…if Ashley has the balls/will to go for it.
    All I want, all any of us want, is to watch the team we love, playing good football and competing for all the cups and at the right end of the league, we get the 3rd highest support in the country, surely we deserve and should be getting at least that ffs? KTF, Howay the lads.


  4. RICHIE thats about what i feel,as you say wigan play footy thats nice on the eye with ave players,swansea have the lowest wage bills and running costs than any other PL clubs yet play the game the way it should be imo did the wigan manager kick that off there, rogers took it on and now there new manager has refined it,ime sorry but i can never see pardew playing that type of footy no matter what players he has 🙁


  5. I voted Other, I’m with Big Dave & Troy on this together with Andy, Kim et al.

    Personally I blame Guy Fawkes. 😈 😀 On Nov the 11th we lost at home to West Ham 1-0 that was the start of a sequence of EPL games that went LLLLWLLWLLLDLL ending with a win against Chelsea at SJP. In those 14 games, over 1/3 of the season we p14, w2 d1 L11 f17 ag 29.

    Now that was a period where we only played a couple of european games so that was not a distraction. Injuries were a problem and continued to get worse. The owner had set us up to consolidate rather than take a step forward and missed out on a couple of key transfers. So yest we were thin. Pardew is a competent & experienced EPL manager but in my opinion he is better when he has time to get things sorted. According to Gud Hiddink, one the best tactitions in the business, Pardew out thought him in the EL and he has demonstarted this all to rarely this season. He has been firefighting and reactive all too often. But why?

    Personally I can point to one incident that triggered the collapse of the house of cards, and that was Colo being sent off against Liverpool. The game against West Ham was the first that he missed. This led to the San Lorenzo saga and then the damaged back. What happened in the dressing room without Colo. I don’t know. Was their a french Revolution? The losing streak came to an end with this team
    01 Krul
    02 Coloccini
    03 Santon
    14 Perch Booked
    26 Debuchy
    27 S Taylor
    04 Cabaye
    07 Sissoko (Yanga-M’Biwa – 90′ )
    18 Gutierrez
    09 Cisse Booked
    11 Gouffran (Marveaux – 84′ )
    and with Sissoko scoring twice. Note the presence of Colo in there. This sequence of games needs to be fully understood because either side of that we have played 22 w8 d7 L7 1.4ppg which would be 51 points if projected over 36 games. A Season we would all be happily grumbling about. 8th.

    So atm I’m not blaming anybody because nobody has caused the failure. Everybody has contributed and nobody has performed in a way that is a progression from last season. We need to undestand why the CLUB implodes like this. Consiracy or Self destructive belief system?

    Who Knows and that is the problem nobody does, so nobody can fix it.


  6. Cheers Prem, interesting what you said about the Europa league games in that sequence, as that’s one thing I’m reluctant to blame so much. Pards played more or less a completely different team in the early games so the first teamers probably only played in half a dozen or so “extra games”, so bearing in mind we did **** all in the domestic cups I think claiming “tiredness” is a bit of a cop out, although someone said months ago that it gave Pards less time to prepare for premier league games(I think it may have been Stuart79) and there’s maybe a bit of truth in that.

    Ice…Yeah agree mate, unfortunately.


  7. Ritchie I think you prepare backwards from a game. What you do on the day, the day before that etc so you probably have a 4? day routine for training and preparation for a game. If you don’t have that time you are preparing in a shorteed routine which for us obviously does not work. Don’t think it’s then number of games as such.


  8. @ BIG DAVE
    did we not have a convo on our transfer dealings when the window slamed shut at the end of the last summer.If i rember right we both felt like we missed the boat 😐


  9. Dave… It defo isn’t just down to him and in an ideal world, underperforming owners and players would get sacked too but unfortunately that doesn’t happen.


  10. i think meself the toon top brass knew what pards was ganna say to the press before he said it,way to get the surporters behind him


  11. Yep Prem agree, if you want to compete for tings you have to be able to adapt to things like less preparation time though, like you say we maybe didn’t,oh well, there’s always next season..again! 😐


  12. 1 things for sure i would rather have our owner than wigans ours aint poseing for the sky cameras all the time and saying stupid things in the press 😆


  13. TAE we did indeed and if you remember there was a few that thought we were being greedy for wanting more players, as they thought holding on to our players was enough.

    Richie your right as usual when you agree with me.


  14. Jill – sorry just saw your message from Friday. That would be brill! I’ve just sent Toonsy an email to get your email address. Many thanks


  15. all we need is 3pts against the bottom club who have been poor all season. a few mercenaries. (manager included) who all they have to look forward too is the championship. this should be a doddle for the manager of the year last year to plot and win. lets not blame the past. lets judge on the future. two games to prove he has it. to keep us up. then we can sack him after the arsenal game. why am i not confident. because i have seen most of the games this season and the only one l can remember enjoying was chelsea at home. that says it all for me.


  16. @ BIG DAVE
    yeah i rember being called to greedy 😆
    the top and bottom of went has gone wrong with us this season is we let a lot of 1st teamers go at the end of last season and replaced with young kids who arnt ready to really step up to the plate for us 😈


  17. I don’t know what’s makeing me feel more sick this rotten cough/cold or the thought of Fecking up against QPR. 🙄

    Seems I have spent the entire season wishing time away, desperate for every game to end and get the next game out the way ,it’s the same today just want it done with now so we know one way or another really .We have to think of today as our last game cause I really don’t think we’ll get anything next weekend especially if it’s a must win as the nerves will ruin us.

    Wigan showed so much desire yesterday ,so much belief in their ability to win that cup ,you got to admire it ,even if you hate them ,which I do. I do think this will lift them and I would not be surprised to see them get at least a point at Arsenal as there tails are up and they beat Arsenal last year when they had to. All in all this is one hell of a stinky season and I just want it over now so I can relax, well until our best players start leaving anyway 🙄


  18. Richietoon @78, spot on.
    I agree owner and his sidekick made a balls up last summer by not strengthening, but by January amendments were made with great haste and cost after they had a fright regarding the possibility of relegation. Not only has Pardew not made it work but he has us going backwards, no mean feat. His constant weazel words trying to shift blame and rewrite history means he is a spineless, negative coward and in my opinion despite all other factors contributing towards this crap season, the blame lies firmly at his door for not making the most of the resources he has had which many other managers in the league would die for. This club is too big for him and the sooner he goes the better.


  19. TAE@105 yeah I saw that too , I can see some sort of swap deal plus cash deal for HBA . As much as I would like Carroll back I would like to hang on to HBA too. The problem we have is Pards ,if Mike wants to keep Pards as manager then it’s pointless us having flair players as the way he seems to want to play it doesn’t suit them .Carroll is the perfect player for Pards and I actually think he may link up quite well with Cisse too. There are still huge question marks over Benny’s fitness to imo .I’m not at all sure he’ll ever complete a full season ,he’s never been right since that horror tackle which is a real shame.


  20. @KIMTOON
    think thats strolas replacement meself
    On HBA i would take the money meself if the price was right as ya said i aint convinced he will ever play a full season and sees k dyer flashing in me head evertime i see him.But i dont think he will be part of the carrol deal


  21. TAE ,The Dippers do want him though and they may play hard ball over AC unless Benny is part of the deal 🙄 .Agree he could be Sholas replacement though.


  22. Really don’t want to be thinking about the future and speculation of transfers in/out.
    Today is all that matters, and Pardum has had all week again to get us set up right for a victory.
    tbh the ball’s in his court. He can have NO excuses for not getting 3 points that we need to be safe.
    He has used so many different reasons and excuses over the season, yet rarely if at all has he shouldered the blame for our pathetic performances himself.
    His negative tactics are as much to blame as the boards failings in the summer.
    Could a different manager have gotten better performances out of the players Pardum has had to work with ❓ I think yes.
    Clearly Pardum isn’t solely to blame. But he is the fall guy at the end of the day, and he knows it.


  23. The problem with sacking pardew is that any of our ideas of a sensible replacement will be a million miles away from the boards.

    When Keggy left Fatih Terim and Zico both expressed an interest in the job yet neither made a shortlist which included Larwie Sanchez, Dave Bassett and the clown who farcically got the job Kinnear.

    If Pardew is away hopefully Carr and Pedro have their say as they seem to have the ear of the regime. I dread to think who Lambarse will have lined up… 😯


  24. I must add, that the players shouldn’t escape criticism either.
    At EPL level, they should be sufficiently self motivated to at least be physically fit. Excluding injuries of course.
    We have looked sluggish, lethargic, overweight and unfit all season.
    Why ❓


  25. ****ie @ 78

    a good read & i agree with what your saying tho i would appoint martinez as the foreign coach that your wanting.
    i really believe the current sqaud have no faith in pardew’s ways & have hoyed the towel in with him – but i’m sure they would thrive under a martinez leadership.

    it’s the way foward – so get it done ashley.


  26. Kim – where’s that at ? I had a little excited wee in my pants at the thought – I need to go wipe


  27. Prem-good points@80 mate.

    Man I’m ****in buzzing for today. Who would have thought one of the biggest games in our recent history would be away to qpr.. 😯


  28. Dave-Aye, if we can just get this win under our belt we can leave the club to its inquest and hopefully see some changes…whether that’s players, coaches, a manager or owners… 😯


  29. anyone bold enough to make a score prediction yet.
    I’m going to go 0-0. 🙁


  30. I hope I am wrong, but I just don’t see us scoring a goal. 😯
    It would be kind of ironic tho if we scored from a corner. 😛


  31. Was it only me, or did anyone else find it irritating that Dave Whelan led the team out at Wembley? That should always be the manager’s job.


  32. Icedog agree. Let’s see what he comes up with today, but would imagine he will stick with his favourites. God knows what he has done to be shunned in this way, but it’s inexplicable.


  33. GD i just cannot understand why he put gosling on who hasnt played for months and is very one paced and is very hot headed a red card waiting to happen imo


  34. Ice-Gosling is a bit more likely to get into goalscoring positions though. I mean, he did do that. He just happened to spoon his shot half a goal wide 😕 I would have preferred to see Anita, but perhaps he thought people might not want to see him making a defensive mid substitution after all the flak he has had for that this season?


  35. Roy…You could be right, I just think he’s got some canny players at Wigan and that managers with worse players have done better…and I always wonder why he can’t get his team getting decent results for the first 3/4’s of the season but then always gets them going at the end of a season, so he’s a bit inconsistent for me…but I have been known to be wrong though 😉


  36. Richie…agree…Steve Bruce achieved better league positions with them with less time in charge, less time to build his squad and worse players…

    Bruce in 😀


  37. Nice article, Uncle Toons.

    Pity I couldn’t check all the boxes in your poll.

    In the end I had to tick the one box it all falls onto.


    The useless ****er should’ve stuck his chubby ****ing knuckles into his moth-ridden wallet last summer. It was blindingly obvious to all that we lacked strength in depth, but YET AGAIN Jabba decided to gamble.

    His gamble is now evident as a huge loss. Let’s just hope we get 3 points today, which, should, affirm our safety.

    The only consistent factor with our club for the last ten years has been more injuries than feasible. We ALWAYS top the Premier League injury table. If only they gave out trophies. Our cabinet would be chocka! Is this because we always buy cheap(?)

    …on a side note, I really need to stop riding my bike pissed up. Feel like I’ve been hit by a ****ing train. Left arm feels like Mike Ashley’s been sitting on it, as does the right side of my rib cage (I broke 2 on the left in December, although that was down to ice as opposed to alcohol) and my legs look like I’ve been running through barbed wire.

    😛 😆 😆

    Happy days!

    HOWAY THE LADS! 😯 😯 😎


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