Usually I’m not one for getting out the bed sheets and writing protest messages. In fact, if anything, I’m all for giving plenty of time and a good deal of leeway for owners, managers and players to make their mark.
I’m not the hysterical type that makes pronouncements of doom at the latest defeat or because we didn’t whoop the arses of Sydney and Wellington in pre-season games or because the owner doesn’t run the club the way I want him to. But there comes a point when change has to happen, and somewhere along the line you have to make your feelings known.
That time has come for me now.
I was quite prepared to give this current crop of guys half a dozen games to get their act together. I was quite prepared to see if Pardew could get something out of them. After four games of the current season I’ve lost much of my generosity of spirit.
There appears to be no change in the direction we were heading in at the end of last season. What was clear at the time was that we needed about half a dozen players, and in positions all over the park, and a new game plan. Instead we got some useful signings on paper, some replacements for exiting players and a baffling decision to weaken our very suspect defence. There was also some talk about a new style of play.
I’m still willing to give the players the benefit of the doubt, although the rash of mis-hit shots and air swings by players when in very good scoring positions casts a few doubts about their technique and value, and the link up play is too slow and laborious for the Premier League, and there’s far too much room given to opposition in midfield, and defending leaves so much to be desired that … oh what the hell …? Everything is all f***ed up and unbalanced. Everything.
The guy that has to take responsibility for the way the team plays is Pardew (and Mike Youknowwho, of course, but he’s not selling and is hardly likely to sack himself). We all know our record for this year, so there’s not much point in rehashing it, and we all know about the Pardew Out chants. For me, it’s this that needs to be addressed.
The fans want Pardew to go. Another bad performance v Hull and St James’ Park will become as toxic a site as it was in the relegation season (and didn’t that start against Hull as well?). That toxicity will spill down from the terraces and affect the players. That cannot be allowed to happen; they are already a bunch of question marks running around like headless chooks, they don’t need more pressure on them. Supporting the club is all about the team and anything that gets in the way of that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.
I’m all for a new approach, a regeneration, a reboot, with new personnel in charge. I doubt this is the best time to get rid of the manager, but when is? I say better now than risk a drawn-out battle with the terraces. That can only lead to frustration and anger, and will most likely have a negative effect on the players. A new manager at least gives the players a chance to be born again.
For the sake of the team, Pardew must go.