What have we become?

Losing influence?
Losing influence?
If you are a fan of Alan Pardew then look away now. This is not backed up by stats, it’s purely my opinion based on what I have observed with my own eyes – so if you don’t like it, that’s your bag. But you’re wrong! Haha.

Every single member of our squad is absolutely clueless in the final third. They don’t know what to do with themselves when they find the ball at their feet with a chance of shooting or putting in that final pass! It was painful watching us against West Ham. The only time we genuinely threatened them was when Sammy Ameobi fluked a cross onto the opposition post and even then Gouffran bricked himself.

I used to think Obertan was a headless chicken, but maybe Pardew just got to him faster than he got to everyone else?!

OK we have not been helped by a lack of spending, but would it matter if we did sign more players? It’s obvious to every man and his dog that Pardew has no idea how to set these players up in a style that suits their natural game.

It’s like he has intentionally gone out to find square pegs (the players – Cabaye, Sissoko etc) and tried to force them into round holes (his own rigid style of play). We are screwed. I’m not saying it’s all down to him. Our players have to take some of the blame for a complete failure to show any pride in their own performances, but I see no intention by Pards to allow certain players to approach the game according to their own positive attributes.

I have quickly realised recently that our signings have been cheap because THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE WORTH. Yes we have one or two players capable of the odd bit of magic, so so do most teams in the Premier League. The truth is, we have a squad full of average players being managed by yet another English head coach who’s head is stuck in the early 90’s.

We don’t have one out and out winger capable of consistently crossing the ball, we only have one decent striker and our back line is not convincing. For all the positives that come with Santon – he is a full back that appears incapable of putting a string of strong defensive displays together! Why is he so special exactly? Debuchy? I know he needs bedding in time, but right now Simpson is the better player for me. Steven Taylor is still prone to the odd complete implosion.

Take a look at central midfield, where we are ‘well stocked’. With what exactly? Our only holding midfielder Tiote lost the plot about 18 months ago and not managed to find form since. Cabaye is clearly on his way out. Anita is a steady player, but does not pull up trees going forward or back – leaving who? Gosling? Sicknote that never lived up to the hype. Bigi? Sissoko is a proper midfielder, but seems stunted by our game plan. A lot of potential, but we all now what Pardew and company do to prospects!

The only player capable of turning a game on it’s head is Benny – and he is constantly stunted by being played out of position, or surrounded by players that have NO CLUE how to express themselves or put pressure on the opposition. My point is our midfield is well stocked with ok, steady players. But Benny aside not one of them is actually top notch at anything specific such as tacking, scoring, crossing or even passing. You know, the basics…..

I am struggling to remember a more boring Newcastle United team. We lack imagination, drive, zeal, heart. I cant even accuse the lads of playing ‘Wimbledon’ style football. At least they had a purpose, a unity and a plan. We just clear the lines then dither a bit before giving the aback. It’s embarrassing to think that these are the same colours being worn as the ‘entertainers’ era. What a disgrace.

If we played to our guys’ strengths and just went for it – what would we have to lose? We might lose the odd game? We do anyway. All the time! If we are ever going to compete with the likes of Spurs on the world market again, we need to focus on a brand. People still remember the ‘entertainers’ all over the world. We can still get that back. We just need a coach to bring a similar kind of football back and some clever PR to draw the fans in. Yes it’s a bit risky, but why not give ourselves an identity that the neutrals want to be a part of, regardless of the results? I really don’t see how it can go any worse than our current course is taking us. Hell it might even pay of Ashley’s loan a bit quicker if it takes off!

I’m not convinced this squad is a genuine topeight side even with a top notch manager at the helm, but I am sure as hell that what quality our players do have is not being utilised by our current coaching staff. Look at all the ‘quality’ youth players we have ahem…nurtured…over the past three seasons. Thank God at least that’s successful because with these players taking off we don’t need to spend money on new recruits. Oh wait… Hmm yeah that’s right the FOOL and his back room staff have screwed every prospect they have touched too. Round of applause everybody! Another fine job!

It’s about time we put in a manager that knows what he’s doing and gave him some bloody money to spend – unless of course Mike is happy having us flirt with relegation every year… A dangerous game but it would not surprise me in the least! Yes he was saddled with unforeseen debt when he took this place on, but that’s his mistake for not doing his homework properly – it’s a bit harsh to make the fans pay for his mistake year after bloody year.

I see Joe Kinnear had the cheek to point out Pardew has signed 16 players and spent £60m in the last 2/3 years. He forgot to mention the outgoings. In the last five years we are UP almost £20 million in transfer fees alone.

I appreciate the whole Financial Fair Play framework, but one minute we are told we re making signings – the next we are being told we have to sell to buy. Which is it?! Why bring in Joe Kinnear if we had no intention of spending money this summer? Baffling. We need to make two changes, because Mike Ashley is going nowhere. 1) – Get a proper commercial director in and increase our global brand and 2) – Drop Pardew and his backroom staff and bring in a modern thinking team that can get our players expressing themselves whilst delivering a brand of football we can all be proud of again, regardless of results.

The end.

About Shamrock

Like everyone here, support Newcastle United. Not the easiest side to feel good about at times, but it's our side!

188 thoughts on “What have we become?

  1. Whumpie – I disagree mate. We may not have an Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand or Ginola, but I think this squad have some very decent players IF played the right way.

    GK – are Krul and Elliott worse than Pav or Shaka?

    FB – Santon and Debuchy v Beresford and Barton?

    CB – Colo and Mapou v Albert and Pea****?

    I would argue defensively we are stronger.

    CM – Cabaye and Sissoko v Lee and Speed

    Wingers – Benny and Jonas v Fox and Ginola

    Ok so midfield we may not be AS strong, but played in the same mentality as the Entertainers I’d say only Jonas would be our current weak link.

    CF – Cisse and Gouffran v Shearer and Ferdinand

    😳 😆 – ok so CF we are miles off. But I do think Cisse could be the poacher Andy Cole was for us. But being honest, it would take £50-60m of today’s money – maybe more – to buy a CF partnership of Shearer and Sir Les.

    But that’s 2 CFs and an attacking left sided player that we are short.

    Get the right manager in who could get the most from what we have and we could be playing a similar style to Swansea and who knows, maybe follow them in their cup success.


  2. @Newkie 148
    Spot on mate.
    Even agree with your feelings on our first season back up. Thought it was awesome, we had some of our most exciting games for years.


  3. @Sharpy
    Agree that we potentially have the best defence we have ever had.
    Potentially though.
    A back line of Krul – Debuchy/Colo/Mbiwa/Santon “should” be class.


  4. LST – ‘Arry certainly changed Spurs fortunes didnt he, but he likes to spend big at every club he’s been to and he wouldn’t get that the us.
    I think if we want to bring flair back it would Gus Poyet for me like. I know he wouldn’t be everyone’s choice but he had Brighton playing good football.
    Plus he’d know which Championship players to go for and could operate with the restrictions we put on transfer budgets.


  5. @Sharpy
    You have to think about more than just the playing attributes as well though.
    Look at the players you’ve named – I can see at least 5 leaders.
    In the current – Colo and maybe Krul.
    In 11/12 we were actually very strong defensively (second most clean sheets in the league), but when we let in a couple of goals we would just collapse.


  6. What we had back then was a number of very talented British players.
    We can’t afford that now.
    Imagine how much the British current day equivalents of Barton/Lee/Speed alone would cost.


  7. ST – I think Mapou and Sissoko could and should step up as well once they have established themselves as senior players. Cabaye was vice captain last season and if he was committed to us would be a leader. If we played the entertainers way would his head be turned as easily – who knows but I agree – more steel and more leaders in the team needed.


  8. Solano-exactly. Hoofs and crosses yes, but burying Villa 6-0? Fuckin loved it. We got spanked a few times but we dished it out as well, I could live with it.

    Sharpy@152- 😆 Good points like but the striker bit is the key isn’t it. Goals win games. Cisse has absolutely no composure-he doesn’t score easy chances, he scores instinct strikes. He can’t have time to think about it and in that way he will never be Andy Cole. As for Shearer and Les, he’s not fit to tie their laces, both of them were the whole package-Cisse is showing why no big club ever touched him imo. None of them like to carry players up til the opposition box.


  9. @Sharpy
    If he stopped moping about us not signing his boyfriend etc and actually put in a decent shift would we be more entertaining 😉
    I expected him to be a leader, but I have seen very little evidence of it so far.
    Coloccini – family in crisis (even if his own doing), wants to go home – still puts in arguably his best performances of the season.
    Cabaye – goes walkies.


  10. Anybody in the team could be a leader. They just need the belief and confidence of the manager. MYM was captain at his last club.

    What we are actually missing are players willing to fight for the manager. When that happens either the players or the manager need to go.


  11. ST-Good point about leaders. As a matter of a fact I don’t think we have any. Colo only fit for when things are going well, still prone to losing it when we go behind. Krul probably-but he can only influence the defence.

    Shola for captain? :mrgreen:


  12. KK-Thing is though MYM was one of their best players, guaranteed a start and obviously, spoke the lingo. The jury is out on whether he is even a starter with us-among the fans and the manager apparently. For me he is above staylor but not all agree. Can he speak English? I think that was one of his biggest problems last year-all across our team in fact, that the new boys hadn’t learned english yet. I really hope they have now or we’ll end up with a few more maulings.


  13. The players don’t close the opposition down because they think nobody else will either.

    Alomost nobody wants the ball because they don’t know what to do with it and are scared of losing it.

    We’re so negative that we’ve stopped going into the oppositions box when there is a real chance to score.

    Remember that game against chelsea when sissoko scored? He scored because he burst into the box with gouffran. If it had happened now then gouffran would have been on his own and chelsea would have cleared.


  14. Sharpy – I see what your saying about poyet but it takes more than good football to stay and do well in premier league.

    He has no experience and quite frankly much like pardew would be the luckiest man in the world to get a job as big as the toon


  15. MYM is a definite starter for me. It’s his first proper season but with more games with colo they will become rock solid.

    I don’t think english is the problem. Most of them speak the same language anyway. We have a team which could be epic under the right manager.

    All of our players were highly rated before they came here. Anita, Sissoko, Ben Arfa, Debuchy etc


  16. Bielsa!
    It would never happen but it could happen.
    Under him we would really challenge for a top 4 place.


  17. Martinez will have to go down in history as the greatest **** manager of all time.. the mind ****ing boggles 😕


  18. KK-“Most of them speak the same language” – Stevie and Colo don’t speak an ounce of French, when Mapou came here I bet his english was piss poor. Centre backs are build around communication and it was no surprise to me that we took some humpings because you can see the players clearly didn’t understand each other in that department. It’s less obvious up front-but nobody should be calling IN FRENCH. We’re ****ing Newcastle united and all players should be communicating in English ffs!

    “Highly rated” from their league, which is essentially the championship, none of them had that many caps before they came to us and Debuchy who probably has the most has been ****e since he’s been here. You can’t blame coaches when someone steps off the plain and is **** from the off. It’s either language, adjustment, or he is in fact, just ****.


  19. @Newkie
    That’s the biggest worry – them not actually being good.
    You have people like me thinking Cabaye has world class potential. Some Arsenal fans thinks he’s gash.
    My non toon supporting mates don’t rate us above teams like Swansea etc.
    Maybe our players just aren’t as good as we think they are.
    I get mocked if I say with the team we have we should be top 8.


  20. But even looking back to the Entertainers era, how many of that team were already established and how many were bought and made better by coaching? Lee, Cole, Albert, Pav, Gillespie (£1m as part of the Cole deal), even Ginola.
    I think the big money was spent on Barton, Pea****, Sir Les and of course Big Al. I think Speed and Batty wouldve cost a bit too, but my point is that the spending policy hasnt really altered, theres a mix of big money and bargains.
    The main difference is the coaching, KK et al obviously got the best out of our players and thats something Pardew clearly isnt.

    Yet more points to back up Shamrock


  21. LST – would you favour experience over a young relatively inexperienced manager with fresh ideas mate or is it just Poyet you don’t fancy.
    If we got someone like Roberto Di Mateo?.

    Stuart Pearce is out of work at the moment as well?!


  22. @Raffo
    No way.
    What “big money” has there been.
    Shearer is effectively £85 Mill in todays transfers fees.
    Ginola was a lot more talented when he arrived then HBA was.
    To be honest I think HBA is a bit overrated by our fans. He is incredibly exciting to watch. But when you watch is highlight reels you see mainly dribbles, but not many chances created.
    Cole was only here two years. Do you really reckon that it was two years coaching that made him the player he was?
    Nature vs nurture debate
    Maybe Carr isn’t as good as we thought he was?


  23. Raffo-Did Gillespie get better with us? Good lord how ****e was he at manure 😆

    Some players got better, some didn’t. Tiote got better-he went from 3mil rated to 20 mil rated. Now he’s back to 3. So what’s the deal with that?

    There is no mix of big money-it’s a fact-we don’t spend it. Our only “big” deal was Cisse-and he was essentially a waste because he wasn’t the player that the team we had needed, a winger was priority. Now compare that to the money that Southampton have spent on individual players..

    KK was a much better manager than Pards, nobody is arguing against that. But is it the individual manager that improves the technical ability of the players? I’d say its the coaches-and that’s just another area where Ashle has been completely stingy. He’s promoted from within (Stone, Beardo) and on the basis of what-what success have they had in coaching, seriously? Carver was brought in over-nobody-because Hoots wasn’t allowed a deputy when they’d decided they were going to pull the plug! Call me cynical but they only brought Carver in because everyone hated the Pardew appointment, myself included ❗


  24. A lot of good points being made. I agree that our players are overrated, and language does not help. Still think that it’s the manager’s job to get the best out of his team though. He knew a raft of French players were coming in, regardless of who scouted/coached them – if he was concerned it would not work then he should have done something about it one way or the other.

    Another thing that does not help him is his constant contradictions and talking out of bis a***hole about hood performances when evfybody knows we played aweful…


  25. Solano-exactly. I think most clubs overrated their squads and by and large underrate their manager. You ask the promoted clubs fans if they will survive and they will say they have a good shot-you ask established PL sides’ fans and they will say they are all going down-generally on the fact they don’t know the names of their players. Pretty much all there is to it. But even after Swansea came up they rated many of their players above ours-and they were right to imo. We ovverate our players, we overrated our transfer and scouting- I mean look how Graham Carr became the second coming of christ, which other clubs cheered on one of their scouts as much as us? And now look at all these top class players we’ve missed out on for peanuts, he clearly scouted the Netherlands but missed vorm? Benteke was only a few miles away…

    Newcastle fans (and most clubs) have done exactly the same with their youth players. Remember the new number 9 Phil Airey when he was going to push Shola out and become a star? Or Ranger “our Messi” or all the hype that Vuckic caused when he signed?


  26. Raffo – Agree we don’t have to spend big bucks if we had proper scouting system that is listened to.
    Personally I’d be going for CFs like Vossen and Finnbogason who are goal machines in their current leagues and certainly develop with us.
    Rather than looking at Bent or Gomis.

    Speaking of which, has anyone heard anything at all about Gomis or Ba or McCarthy or anyone else we’ve been linked with who’s unlikely to come in?.


  27. Shamrock-what can he do if his managing director and his employer say “Right Al, I know we don’t need a player in this position, I know you’ve not heard of the guy, but on football manager he sold for 20mil in 2016”-what exactly can Pardew say? It’s been clear we’ve brought for cheap/value reasons for years now as far as I’m concerned. Not the way to build a side.

    As for his chit chat? Yes its ****ing annoying, but if he came out week after week and slated them he would also be criticised. He’s trying to build their confidence-but I agree, whatever he’s doing isn’t working.


  28. Stuart Pearce for head coach.
    John Carver to manager/coach the reserves.

    Communication helps but it isn’t the be all and end all. Look at Saints with Poncho in charge. But he plays his players the right way – to their strengths. And he gets his tactics right coz he knows his players strengths and weakness.

    True is if Pardew knew he was getting as many Frenchies in then HE should have learned French as well as them learn English.


  29. I think players like Cole and Gillespie did improve with us, Cole came for a low fee went to Man U for a big fee. Cant be just chance. The major difference is obviously the lack of spending the money. My main point was that the buy low sell high has been employed by the entertainers era, perhaps it was the cavalier style that enhanced players reps.

    Couldn’t agree more though that we over-hype players, scouts etc. Prob through desperation to cling to something akin to success given our distinct lack of success elsewhere.

    I just cant get passed Pardew as the issue. Give him Messi he would muck it up. I would not mind at all selling a star each year, buy 3-4 decent prospects that a top coach could do something with. Shame we are stuck with this plank.


  30. Sharpy-Pardew should spend his time learning to coach rather than learning French if you ask me 😆 in all seriousness the players need to learn French, Olivier Bernard came out and said we’d made it too easy for them with translators and should have pushed English at them harder after their arrival-i’m inclined to agree.

    Raffo-Did cole improve that much as a player, or did his stats/hype vastly imrpove because was the focal point of a massively attacking side and had Pedro behind him pulling all the strings for him? Surely no coincidence he joined Manure and was by and large considered a bit of a flop. His sale funded the purchases of Asprilla another big buy-so we didn’t buy low sell high. Did he improve with us? Not really, even when KK was boss- and his career afterwards was downhill So did KK ruin him? I wouldn’t say so, but you can’t pick and choose.


  31. Well I’ve gone and predicted a 1-0 win, apologies in advance for the thrashing we get tomorrow 😀


  32. Finger crossed Arsenal get smashed by Spuds and have a ****e season-diminish Wenger’s rep and get him sacked. Maybe, just maybe he would consider us. He probably has the third highest wages in the PL though so I doubt it. But in terms of a club level he is perfectly suited to us-doesn’t want to win trophies, wants to play decent attractive football and promote from within, wants to sell his players for big money, moans and complains about inane issues. Come on Ash, spend 15 mil on him and his backroom staff for the next few years 😆


  33. Newkie – on the balance of things I think my points stand valid. Selling Cole for a large profit funded Tino/Shearer to a large extent, but it isnt a total science I admit. Coles value did go up through the team he was in, much like people have talked about Tiote and Cabayes values being falsely high through our 5th place season. It is a strategy with risks, but not something that cant be utilised to the full by a good coach and an owner who is willing to re-invest the sales profits, and therein lies the problem. We have neither of those things to make the policy work. Half arsed measures.
    Tell you what though, Wenger would be perfect fit for Ashley as both dont like to spend money do they!


  34. Raffo-Cole sold for 6 mil and Asprilla signed for 6.5 a year later, Shearer’s world record 15mil is even after that and unrelated. You could maybe look at a few more ins and outs but the fact is we were being bankrolled and money was pumped into us. We weren’t near the Chelski/Mancity levels obviously but for our time we did outspend ourselves ala Blackburn. I agree with your final point because it’s exactly what I believe-there is nothing wrong with a sell to buy policy if the entire club is shaped into that mould, but Ashley has so many different Arsenal/Tottenham/Everton model/5 year plans any kind of structure is impossible. Ashley will sell players-and some managers can put up with that-but the main issue is that reinvestment is NOT guaranteed-and any manager worth his salt will simply not work under those conditions.

    Apart from Wenger 😆


  35. Agree – not sure I would have Wenger though to be fair!

    With the Cole thing, I guess I wasnt being clear. I was reffering to the policy of buying players for low value and sell for high relatively, so Cole was bought for £1.75 and sold for £6 + Gillespie, Batty £3.75 and sold for £4.4, Rob Lee, still my all time fave player, was bought for £700k. Reasonably low fees for what turned out to be great players for us. But as you rightly say the owners re-invested the money.

    I think we are on the same page but I am not being clear enough. Apologies


  36. I’ve no issue to having a DoF such as Levy at Spurs and having a coach to sort the playing style, tactics out – sadly Kinnear and Pards don’t seem to fill these roles – JFK has done **** all and Pards can’t get these players to pass and move or actually play to potential
    He seems to make great players average and average players ****
    I know we’re stuck with this setup as long as we finish 16th or above and sadly with this whole setup that’s probably the best we can hope for


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