THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Different Class – 30/Mar/14

by • March 30, 2014 • TBAWEComments (24)2118

I think I was more or less crossing a line with Alan Pardew before a ball was even Pardew2kicked on Saturday. Having read his at best garbled, ill-considered, jumbled up thoughts and at worse class-prejudice regarding the intelligence of young players coming through the respective Academies at Southampton FC and Newcastle United Football Club I’d been pondering how we got to a situation at our club where such half-baked views were held by someone in such a position of authority (sic).

Let’s just say one or two things about the Newcastle United Academy though. Mark Douglas of The Journal made a very casual throwaway reference to United having made Cat 1 status last week. There has been no confirmation from United though they did tell me via e-mail (again) I can buy tickets for the Kings of fucking Leon and a minty loan-shark sponsored piece of their generic PUMA acrylic with an iron embossed club logo for the bargain price of 16 bar. I’ve so far managed to resist both. Whether the club has achieved Cat 1 status for the Academy under the Elite Professional Player Performance criteria set down by the Premier League / FA and independently audited remains to be seen. If they have achieved the standard, good but it is hardly a cause for celebration as it will mean United is two years behind everyone else. By everyone else, I don’t just mean the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, the Manchester clubs et al. I mean the likes of Stoke, Sunderland, West Brom, oh and I also mean the likes of Blackburn (Venky’s and all), Boro and Wolves who if you have good eye-sight will have noticed dropping through the divisions these last few years. They still managed to get Cat 1 Status for their academies though. In the summer of 2012 however, Newcastle United by all accounts and in the absence of any explanation to the contrary, failed the EPPP assessment.

There has been a lot of evasion, smoke and mirrors and a lack of investigation by the local press in the intervening period but on the basis of information that has found its way to us, then reason the club failed the EPPP inspection was down to insufficient resources and well, some er, shall we say inconsistencies with the administration and recording of coaching activities. Of course, I could be completely wrong and I’m all ears if someone at United would care to explain exactly what has gone on at The Academy before and after the 2012 inspection. Let me elaborate upon what I understand to be the case with the resources issue at The Academy. I don’t mean a shortage of bibs or cones. It’s a shortage of coaches and a further failure in the 2012 inspection was also said to be due to insufficient coaching time spent with young players.

So, now let us return to Pardew’s comments about social class and the recruitment and progression of young footballers through the ranks. Players regardless of background, ethnicity, class or anything else will develop if they have (a) talent (b) total dedication and (c) the correct environment. Has United, given its failure to secure Cat 1 status for its own Academy, through what it is understood to be insufficient investment of resources into the coaching infrastructure provided the correct environment? Well, not according to the independent assessors sent out to inspect standards against the EPPP. And not on the evidence of a complete failure of any player to come through the ranks whilst Ashley has owned the club and nail a place in the starting eleven. I haven’t forgotten about Krul or Carroll or Taylor or Ameobi – the current set up had nothing to do with them.

So, let’s take Pardew’s words for the clap-trap they are unquestionably are and consign them to the land-fill of other rubbish he has spouted lately. Try not to laugh when Pardew talks about “intelligence” given he is half-way through a ban for a complete and embarrassing lack of control and which came only weeks after “shut your fucking noise, you old cunt!” to the manager of Manchester City broadcast to millions.

I’m not particularly a massive fan of athletics but despite myself at the last Olympics one Saturday night, I spent part of the evening, off the sofa and punching the air in joy as Jessica Ellis came down the home straight with no-one ahead of her. It was a moment of sheer, sporting joy and fulfilment. I did the same with Mo Farah. I loved it. Jessica Ennis isn’t middle-class by the way, like many Black British athletes she is from a disadvantaged part of Sheffield where every socio-economic indicator would suggest she’s been up against it. She has succeeded because of her supreme, innate talent, her incredible dedication and crucially, because she has had support and resources to bring that talent out, like so many athletes, black and white from Britain’s inner cities or “rough estates” ©.

The most successful sports institution in the North East and indeed in the country in my opinion is Durham County Cricket Club. The County Champions are an exemplary sporting institution. They develop their own talent and they are the best. They are also owned by their supporters or members. Harmison, Collingwood, Onions et al. Local lads from ordinary, working class backgrounds across the region, whose talent and dedication has been husbanded brilliantly by the coaches of Durham CCC.

Looking to football and the most talented player of his generation, Wayne Rooney, couldn’t be more working class if he tied his whippet to the lamp-post outside the pub. John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard are the products of the English working class. I see Barkley emerging at Everton and he’s the same. I do recall a certain sheet-metal worker’s son from Newcastle who didn’t do so badly either.

Strangely enough, a shooting party from true faith has been invited to Wallsend Boys Club next Saturday for Football Focus’ programme. Its fantastic recognition for a much loved and respected local institution, formed before WW2, let’s not forget to provide a diversion from the demon drink for apprentices working in the shipyards. Wallsend may be the most celebrated local boys club having delivered Alan Shearer, Peter Beardsley, Steve Bruce, Lee Clark, Steve Watson, Alan Thompson but across the river at Redheugh Reds coaches will rightly point to Paul Gascoigne, David Hodgson and many more. So can others – Montagu and Fenham, Walker Central, Cleveland Hall – all clubs with deep roots in the working class communities of Tyneside. Largely starved of resources and ignored by the likes of Newcastle United they struggle by dependent upon the commitment of their volunteers and non-stop fund-raising. Middle-class? I don’t think so.

Let’s look further afield for examples of the nonsense of Pardew’s clap-trap – Zidane, Maradonna, Drogba and many more – not a Business Studies A Level between them. Probably hopeless at serving G & Ts to Mum and Dad’s friends  when they are round for “dinner” as well.

Pardew, let’s face it is a fine one to talk really isn’t he? Let’s be honest, he couldn’t have been appointed to the job at Newcastle United, on merit could he? He’s a man been brought in to question nothing, get on with it, keep things ticking over and not to ask for anything. He’s pretty much delivered on that prospectus but at the end of the day, that’s no good to Newcastle United – the one we think we support as opposed to the pale imitation it has become under Mike Ashley.


So, Pardew reckons we’ll get a replacement for Loic Remy then? Aye, whatever, Alan, we noticed that was code for saying, there is no way Loic Remy will waste his career playing for you.


Oh, and club captain, Fabricio Coloccini is going to defer a decsiion on his future until the summer. I’ve never known anything good come from one of those deferred until the summer type of decisions. I’d imagine this is the last few weeks of Clo’s time at United, and let’s be honest, what the fuck id there to hang around for? The battle for 8th?


And then the match kicked off at Southampton. Pardew reckons that performance “wasn’t us”. I beg to differ – it looks very much like “us”. It looked very similar to “us” at Man City (a), Everton (a) and (h), Spurs (h), Mackems (h), Chelsea (a), Fulham (a), Swansea (a), West Brom (a), Hull (h) and of course Cardiff (h) in the FAC. Maybe the wins over Man Utd (a), Spurs (a) and Chelsea (h) are the aberrations?  Maybe a standard 4-0 humping at Southampton, which let’s be honest, didn’t come as a great surprise, is “us” – what do you think?

I listened to Pardew before the game, once again talking Southampton up and again made reference to the fact we can’t compete with them as well as bigging up their Academy (see above – just resource ours correctly and employ some decent coaches for fuck’s sake) and he promised his return to the dressing room on match-days would have an impact. It did, we were worse. Afterwards, Pardew made some talk of “energy levels”.  In English this means our team didn’t try, didn’t give a fuck – and we’ve seen that before haven’t we?  I won’t go through the whole team but with the exception of Elliot, it is fair to say, every single one of those pulling on a United shirt were absolutely, unforgivably disgraceful. They stole their living from Newcastle United last week.

Mind, there was some world-class bull-shitting coming out of United this last week. Of course, Pardew is a master of the arts, talking about the attacking, entertaining team Mike Ashley wants to see at United.  If that didn’t make you guffaw with laughter then the promise that the rebuilding of the team for next season has already begun! I know, I know, come back.  There just comes a point when listening to an accomplished bull-shitter like Pardew when you can’t take any more. Let’s get one thing absolutely, crystal clear – NOTHING ALAN PARDEW EVER SAYS, EVER HAPPENS, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER!

The man has absolutely no credibility whatsoever. It didn’t help that in his first few weeks in the job that his Andy Carroll is not for sale under any circumstances pledge was somewhat undermined by a helicopter landing at Darsley Park and Llambias and Ashley chasing the big galloot around Whitley Road with giant nets to take him to Merseyside. And that has pretty much been standard fare ever since. Last summer was a complete bollocks in the transfer market as we well know and only topped in January by the sale of Cabaye to PSG (for way below his market value – the latest I hear is Kinnear was confused with the € and £ signs) with no replacements lined up even though the deal had been agreed well in advance (contrary to statements about trying to keep him). Pardew’s words are very, very, very cheap and hollow.

But it seems the bug is catching. United were taken apart last Tuesday night by an Everton team that didn’t look like they had to try that hard. I listened to John Carver talk after the game and wondered if it really was Everton, a club as bereft as investment as us and not an all-star line-up drawn from the finest at Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid. It was only fucking Everton, John! Then Carver is bigging up Ashley actually deigning to grace us with his presence as though he’s Harry Hard-core and about to start going for a bottle with the Undertaker at some out of the way Juniors fixture and Biffa watching taking notes. Apparently, Ashley at the match “bodes well”.

Bodes fucking well? Honestly, man! This kind of thing truly boils my piss – at every other half arsed club in the country, the owners and directors showing up for first team fixtures is the FUCKING norm, unexceptional, unremarkable, every-day kind of occurrence. Not at United, if the barely-interested, thin-skinned bully from Berkshire somehow manages to find himself into a football ground at the same time Newcastle United is playing, all of a sudden it’s a cause of celebration. Nah, not having that, like!


And this coming weekend, it doesn’t get any easier. Forget all this Man U crisis talk, there couldn’t be a better place for them to be coming to than to face a team that can’t defend fucking anything and doesn’t have a goal or any creativity in it whatsoever.

Just make it quick and clean.

 Keep On, Keepin’ On …


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24 Responses to THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Different Class – 30/Mar/14

  1. Keiron Young says:

    We share your pain Michael! I think this last week may have been a turning point for Pardew. His absurd comments about class and yet another insipid, flat and unimaginative display have left me thinking this guy’s time is up. Of course, Ashley won’t sack him, we are where he wants us to be but as a fan watching that tripe and the alarming decline of certain key players, I’d be happy to see someone else at the helm.

  2. Gordon Young says:

    I agree totally with you. Good article.

    I feel for all of the fans who travelled to see the “game”, normally I take my punishment from a distance in Spain but I was so depressed at half time I decided to watch the 2nd half of Barcelona. Had they not been playing at the same time I would have had no alternative but to get more depressed!

    I actually felt angrier after the Everton game because we could and should have got Martinez as our manager in the summer – I´m sure he would have preferred us to Everton. Obviously if the owner had shown any hint of ambition. Martinez didn´t need money to spend. However, he wouldn´t be a yes man and he probably wouldn´t sign an Ashley contract, one with a relatively low basic salary and big bonuses for objectives.

    Pardew is only good for Ashley, not for Newcastle United. He has been there over three years and we play far worse football than teams with new managers. The coaching staff and him have to go!

    Something funny that you may not have seen was when Pardew was shown to his seat, he was very surprised to see Ashley there. He didn´t know he was coming! On top of that it must have been a very embarrassing situation to sit behind your boss and for him to see how bad you are at your job. Will he be sacked? Don´t think so.

    Gordon Young

    • Davey says:

      Gordon, ‘Will he be sacked?’

      We both know the answer to that, I think. Any other manager with his record in the cups and derbies would’ve been slung out on their arse a long time ago, not to mention the plethora of heavy defeats his sides seem to take.

  3. Davey says:

    Well put, Michael.

    We are currently the biggest waste of a club in the land. The neglect and dereliction of duty of people who are supposed to be custodians of this old famous institution goes on with barely a whisper of it outside this region and is even tolerated by some inside it. Truly depressing times and totally avoidable.

  4. Mark says:

    What worries me is that these Pardew quotes seem to come through unfiltered. What goes on at these press conferences? Are journalists allowed to ASK questions? Surely we can’t be the only ones that know the statistics around Pardew’s sides coming back from behind (or more correctly, not coming back from behind) – thereby proving that nothing he says at half time works. We all know the ridiculously low goal ratio that we have from basic dead ball positions – particularly corners – showing that pretty much nothing done on the training ground works. We all know that players who sign for Newcastle are not likely to improve in their time here – proving the manager and his coaching staff don’t know how to develop players. We all know that everytime the man talks about his boss is ready to invest in a centre forward, defender or owt else it never comes off. It feels like the bloke can just hoy this patter out without any fear of being brought to account, or back up anything with facts – surely journos have the ability to turn round and say “but Alan, you’ve said the same s***e every transfer window for 4 years, and nowt happens”. There are so many ways the bloke could be brought to task, and whilst I’ve no doubt it wouldn’t change anything at the club, it might mean I can just get annoyed with our performances on the pitch, rather than the inane, smug, babbling of yes-man bulls*** that comes out of this man’s mouth – his weird class politics rubbish just being the latest example.

  5. Steve Taylor says:

    Another great article that hits the nail on the head. I was in the hospitality suit with the family and my Southampton mate and his family. I wasn’t too far from Pardew and Im lucky that I’m not on a 3 year banning order such was the anger I felt towards the end of the game, he’s lucky I was just far enough away….but he definitley heard my tirade which Im not particularly proud of which resulted in the missus and daughter leavin for the safety of the bar…. The Soton fans around me were brilliant and could feel the passion from our support….however it was afterwards in the suit when the Soton chairman turned up and spoke for 15 mins explaining his vision to take them forward…. another table of mags asked him if he fancied buying us.. he just said that our support was amazing…. yet again the only positive thing about our club is us… he took a number of questions and explained himself fantastically… what would we give to have that sort of dialogue with our club….. I walked out when it had finished feeling ashamed to support that shower of shit….

  6. Vin says:

    As long as theirs 50,000 in the ground sitting on their collective hands fuck all will change. The supporters are the biggest enemy of NUFC.

    • Geoff Hogg says:

      Too true, but after 50 years I’m not going back to SJP next season. Won’t return until Ashley and the clown Pardew are out.

  7. KenBrown says:

    Michael – It is a great pity that your excellent article cannot be printed as a separate pamphlet and made compulsory reading for every single fan who attends the next home game?

  8. Gordon Young says:

    I was just reading that Pardew hasn´t given any reasons for yesterdays performance.

    How about these:
    The first half of the season players were playing for a world cup spot and played for themselves. We were the beneficiaries and a season of struggle was avoided. Now, the likes of Goufran, Yanga-Mbiwa, Ben Arfa … know that their dream is over so.
    Another problem is that a total lack of ambition must affect the players. The latest example being selling Cabaye and not replacing him.
    The third point is not buying a striker to replace Demba Ba – how long ago was that!? – which was not as blatant when Cabaye was here.
    One striker
    We´ve only got one striker
    Sing along lads

    Gordon Young

  9. Daz Blackburn says:

    Spot on, i’m absolutely sick of the shit that spouts from this slimy bastards mouth on a weekly basis, and thats all Pardew is, by the way, a slimy bastard appointed as a yes man to a bloke who doesn’t have a fucking clue what he’s doing with regards to running a football club, sooner they’re both gone the better

  10. Darren Dick says:

    I’m convinced Ashley is doing his own version of “an idiot abroad” at our club and making pardew come out with gut-wrenching statements pre written by him and his cronies as they have a stranglehold over him. It’s beyond embarrassment for the club never mind the spineless, clueless, jellyfish of a manager.

  11. John Waters says:

    Thanks Michael for so thoroughly and convincingly hitting the nail right on the head. Up until a couple of months ago I had a lot of sympathy for Alan Pardew and the situation he is in. In the run up to Xmas he had the team playing good football and getting decent results, despite a complete lack of investment in coaching staff, infrastructure, or players. He had soldiered on with what he had left and made it work.

    However once Cabaye got his wish in January and headed off to PSG the wheels well and truly came off, and that’s where a decent manager would have instilled some sort of siege mentality and belief into the team and got them to work together as a cohesive unit. But with a couple of exceptions they have failed to do this, whenever they have come up against a side which they perceive to be better than them the players and the coaching staff have just basically thrown in the towel. I cannot recall ever seeing a Newcastle team just giving up and conceding 3 or 4 goals so consistently as they have this season, and I go back as far as the Joe Harvey days and everything in-between.

    So what is to be done? I can’t see any decent manager wanting to come anywhere near NUFC as long as Ashley owns it. And Ashley has placed his cards well and truly on the table by deciding to sell off the last bit of land which could have been used to increase the capacity of St James Park. He is not going to employ more coaches to develop youngsters, local or not, he is not going to give Pardew (or anyone else) a decent budget to recruit good players, he is not going put in place any plan which requires capital investment. Instead he is going to continue to asset strip whenever he sees an opportunity, he is going to continue to advertise his tatty little sports company to global audience completely free of charge, and he is going run down our club to the bare bones. Then what? Well, we will eventually get relegated, the TV money will dry up and the fat man will bugger off and sell up with a big grin on his face (the losses will probably be tax deductible).

    The one thing you and I disagree on Michael is what we can do to at least make our feelings felt, to make our point, to publicize to the world out there how utterly pissed off we are with this man and this situation. Should we tear up our season tickets or start to boycott home games? You think no, but I am now beginning to think that this is the only thing we as supporters have left unless enough of us join NUST and somehow figure out how to bring about a serious challenge to his ownership. But we should support our team shouldn’t we? We should always be there for them shouldn’t we? Really? We should turn up and support that bunch of spineless twats that was on the pitch on Saturday?

    • David Rutherford says:

      Totally agree, John. An organised boycott of the Man U game, backed by influential sites such as True Faith, The Mag and would be a good place to start. Sadly there’s more chance of De Jong scoring a hat-trick of headers.

  12. Simon says:

    Michael, Spot on. I read that out loud and got angrier the further down the article. As a geordie living abroad in the US, i keep in touch with the club through the podcast and the true faith fanzine and your thoughts are always honest and unbiased, based upon your passion for NUFC.

    Regarding the academy, your comments are pretty accurate. I grew up playing against all the teams you talk about that produced amazing players, players that went on to play for NUFC but ultimately came to nothing. Chopra and Offiong at Montagu used to rip teams apart scoring goals for fun at the younger ages then nothing. Wallsend have produced player after player that became well established player at the top level that by passed the NUFC Academy. Steve Bruce and Michael Carrick are such examples. Even that certain sheet metal worker you mentioned didn’t go to NUFC’s academy (then center of excellence). Coincidence? Perhaps if they (the coaches) spent more time in the community looking at the players at these clubs rather than being on twitter posting sessions and being bothered about getting a certain amount of followers then things would change for the better, or naffing off to spain for a visit to academy’s there. Im sure time and efforts could be better spent back home like.

    I was there when Glenn Roeder was the Academy Manager and seen the best U18’s we had to offer, those that are meant to be pushing for the first team, get ripped to shreds by a U18 team not from Man Utd, or Arsenal but from Hartlepool. Granted it was nearly 10 years ago but numbers don’t lie, the best that we have produced is Sammy Ameobi and he is not very good by premier league standards. Trememdous championship player, did wonders at middlesborough on loan, but not a Premiership player unfortunately.

    With Freddie Woodman and Adam Armstrong doing well with the England U17’s and NUFC, perhaps the future is bright. However, it means fuck all if the development stops at 18, and by that i mean opportunity and the right environment (not being thrown in the team and expecting you to be like Michael Owen)

    Yes, the uncertainty with youth development is that no one has the right answers, but the amount of first team quality players your academy produces is directly related to the quality of your academy coaching staff. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern, Borussia are all examples where their academy coaching staff are great and have a history of producing talent. We have the talent in the North East, we just need a club that wants to be involved in the youth as well as a coaching staff that actually knows what the fuck they are doing, from the bottom to the top.

  13. bob says:

    What gets me is the simple fact that Ashley, particularly being the business man that he is, has completely failed to grasp the real potential of NUFC or has chosen to ignore it. He spotted the business opportunities for S***** D***** and it has grown, he takes over failing businesses/brands and builds them. If competitors fail he takes their best located/performing shops and leaves the rest. For some reason he runs NUFC as a complete opposite. He uses it to advertise his other companies but the audience could have been vastly greater. Why didn’t he use the european qualification to improve advertising. A few purchases and the team could have gone further and even battled for a champions league place to pursue even greater audiences ( like most fans I get a bit delusional!) and greater rewards. he has built up a good scouting setup but doesn’t use it properly. Would he sell his best performing store just because he could make a few quid selling the lease? I very much doubt it. He is more likely to buy the shop next door to make his shop bigger and better. He has made lots of mistakes (at least from our point of view) along the way but I think missing out on our potential has been the biggest. Had he taken a different line then Pardew would be nowher near us.

  14. Graeme Bubs says:

    I think everything I was going say has been said by others. I would only add that I’m not renewing my season ticket next season. I just feel drained, washed out and tired of Ashleys games.

  15. Mark Willett says:

    You had to write something after Pardews latest dire tribe.
    A great, well balanced and informative article Martin. Well written and totally to the point.
    It must be hard sometimes but as you say “keep on keepin on” and always respond to idiots like Pardew and Ashley….and hopefully they will go soon.

  16. john rush says:

    I eas involved in the nabc now pinpoint league from 1998 to 2009. During that time I never came across any interest from newcastle scouts at any of our games, other teams like Bolton and the mackems would often come along. My cousins son was chased by Newcastle and sunderland a few years ago- on ashleys watch by the way he followed his heart not his head and signed for us. Within a month the age group got disbanded, they are humble pie and got in touch with the mackems who took him on. My cousins verdict embarrassinly was it was like going from eating cheesy chips and blue pop to champagne and caviar, the
    Newcastle coach by all accounts was a good bloke but seriously under resourced and supported, sunderland had loads more coaches and was a more professional set up. No surprise then that the best player on the pitch at the recent derby was jack colback who played for killie and lives in kingston park

  17. Mikey says:

    Oh Michael I certainly feel the pain , and every time bullshitter Pardew starts to speak its embarrassing ,hollow words and empty promises… I look at him and just wish we were put out of our misery , and please make it quick

  18. Ian Summers says:

    No disrespect to Alan Pardew but if he thinks Southampton as a city and/or region has more class than Newcastle/Tyneside then he did not spend much time in Southampton? It is itself also a very working class city and he must have managed them by remote from his home counties abode, did he not live in Surrey? I’ve missed something here, what interview does this refer to and can you put it on your website? Feeling the anger of the editor it does not bode well?

  19. tattyheed says:

    between them they are killing my love of the game and in particular – my enjoyment of the ‘match’.
    I’m sick of foreign players – I’d like us to be relegated soon so we can get a proper team together – without the input of Ashley or Pardew.

    And we can play proper teams at proper grounds. And have a laugh again.

    I’m sick of ‘shit ground shit team’ – you’re support is fuckin shit’ – I hope perhaps relegation will get rid of the lunatic fringe who frankly are an embarrassment.

  20. Gordon Young says:

    A couple of quick points.

    As Man. Utd are playing tomorrow night, I suppose that we will have much higher energy levels than them on Saturday.

    Football intelligence is not necessarily the same as IQ intelligence.
    A good coach can make players tactically aware and make them play in an intelligent way. Look at Martinez and then Rodgers at Swansea. Do you think the Swansea players were middle class?

    A tit-bit to finish with. Rodgers to Barcelona in the summer, he would be suited to their style and the present manager Tata Martinez probably won´t stay at the club.

    Gordon Young

  21. joe hawkins says:

    I cannot for the life of me understand how this classless useless moron still has any kind of level of support within the fan base.
    I was horrified when this chancer was brought to Newcastle Utd, People should not forget that this is the man who got caught slagging off West Ham fans when he was manager there.
    Apparently calling them no better than a bunch of inbreds, So nobody ever fall for his bulls**t flattery because it is a fake as he is!
    This bloke has only ever had a drink with a football manager and is out of his depth here, I cannot wait for the day when he is finally given his marching orders because he is without doubt the most odious character in Professional football!