THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Stayin’ Alive – 5/Oct/14

by • October 5, 2014 • TBAWEComments (14)1321

Alan Pardew has been quoted in the last week as saying he has never known a time like theSwanseabanner one he is experiencing right now at Newcastle United. That might interest the supporters of West Ham and Charlton where after a fleeting purple patch in his management, whatever he was doing right, quickly unravelled and he was sacked. His dismissal from Southampton can’t really be discussed in great detail here as I have no interest in attracting the attention of m’learned friends. So, I’ll stick to Alan Pardew and Newcastle United and say, I’ve never known a time like this in all of the time I’ve supported the club, which is over 40 years (My God).

In my time, I’ve seen Joe Harvey retire, Gordon Lee defect to Everton, Richard Dinnis crash and burn, Bill McGarry sacked, Arthur Cox resign, Jack Charlton flounce off in the huff, Willie McFaul end up completely out of his depth, Jim Smith ultimately fail, Ossie Ardiles almost get us relegated to the Third Division, though with a smile and Kevin Keegan find he could not take the change in direction by Hall and Shepherd when the club was floated on the stock exchange under the dash for cash. Deep breath. I was staggered at the scale and pace of Kenny Dalglish’s failure before he was binned and Gullit’s management seemed to mark a new nadir. Then of course came Sir Bobby Robson a man whose stature was great for the club and who restored us to something like what we were under Keegan, albeit briefly and with little help from above. Sadly, the end of Robson’s managerial career was abysmally handled by Shepherd, though that was only eclipsed by the appointment of Souness, who up until the appointment of Pardew, I’d regard as the biggest charlatan ever to walk through the main doors of the Milburn Stand, and let’s be honest there’s been some stiff competition. Roeder brought some peace to the club after Souness’ tractor like ego had chewed up all before it but ultimately fell short of the task, which was a shame, as he’s a good guy.

Then came Allardyce. A legend in his own lunchtime and in his own head cheated from this rightful place in the dug-outs of Bayern, Inter, Juve, Real, Barca et al. I really tried with Sam “Big Sam” Allardyce but he and us were never going to get along given we like watching something recognisable as football. He didn’t last long and Ashley made his first big move as El Supremo, replacing a week on the back-shift in the form of Allardyce with a fortnight in Barbados with KK. Unfortunately, the holiday in the sun angle is somewhat ruined by those in on the vacation – Wise, Jimenez, Llambias and whatever other chancers Ashley bumped into in his casino jaunts. Off went KK, to be vindicated by a Court of Arbitration for sport or some such which found in Special K’s favour and left Ashley with the stain of being a proven liar. Before which time of course, Joe Kinnear had left the club in an ambulance to be replaced by Alan Shearer and a season in the Championship under Chris Hughton who would be later binned for the present incumbent. Pardew’s predecessor must wonder what he did wrong to be sacked off given the dire record of the man who followed him.

Never, over that time have I known such a determined, bitter and resolute opposition to the man in the dug-out to that which we have now. I’m hardly a shrinking violet but a banner taken to Liverpool last season almost caused me to blanch. Only a sherry brought me round. Thank God for smelling salts.

Sure, there have been really unpopular managers – my distaste for Charlton (I wish he’d never managed us as he’s eminently likeable away from the SJP dug-out in my opinion) was shared by many and the gradual loathing I developed for Graeme Souness has only been eclipsed by Pardew this season.

So, if anyone is on unchartered territory it’s us, given the last managers we have had – Hughton, Shearer, KK, Kinnear, Allardyce all left United with absolutely no pressure from the supporters whatsoever. Pardew’s CV makes him all the more prepared for this unpleasantness than us.

I really wish he’d keep his trap shut. Anyone can see what is going on here. Pardew knows he has gone beyond the point of no return, won’t ever pull us back from this and is finished. However, he does know that getting the 6 years remaining on that mad contract Ashley gave him paid up will secure his financial future for life. Ashley, let’s be honest isn’t fond of giving away the steam off his piss as the withdrawal of complimentary tickets to players and staff demonstrated at the start of the season, so won’t be relishing paying up the contract of another shite manager given the pay-offs to Allardyce, KK et al will have given him the terrors.

This is the truth of where we’re at with Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley, now sitting in the stands with the Tea-boy aka Lee Charnley with a look suggesting he’s been told the pies have all gone. It’s a Mexican stand-off over the compo. Unfortunately, its Pardew who holds the cards in the shape of his mental contract and Ashley looking down the barrel of a relegation shot-gun. He’s got it all to lose. Pardew and Ashley are playing poker with the future of Newcastle United.

The manner in which Pardew is attempting to shift the blame for his abysmal track record is beyond irritating and is now simply comic. Pick one out as your own favourite but I was particularly struck with the description of this hitherto unknown section of our fan-base that can be described as “militant”. We’re breaking new ground now when fans getting the hump with a manager putting out a team as persistently useless as Alan Pardew is are described as “militant”. Newcastle Upon Tyne 2014, is hardly Paris 1968 is it?

I did gasp at his remark after the Hull game that we were denied the win because the St James’ Park congregation got overly excited. Well, I think Alan has done his best to prevent that from happening regularly. Pardew’s knack of turning positives into negatives (playing at SJP, wearing a United shirt, being in Newcastle, blah, blah, blah) is beyond risible. This club, this job, is just too much for him and if he really did have the love he claims for Newcastle United, he’d be in handing his cards in and phoning up Jeff Stelling to see if he had any spare seats round his place on a Saturday afternoon.

What has been a different matter for Pardew though is the insinuation his family have somehow borne the brunt of supporter discontent. It’s my understanding that Pardew’s family never moved to the NE as he said they were going to – nothing Alan Pardew ever says, ever happens, but this is a slur Ashley tried in the aftermath of KK leaving and it had no substance then and I expect Pardew’s claim will have none now either. If Pardew has been on the end of some robust questioning from fans, I’m afraid it comes with the territory of being at a club that matters. This isn’t Reading where I suspect he’d be more comfortable.

If this latest pile of crap from the manager is an attempt to solicit public sympathy then we are in more trouble than I ever imagined. Does he want pity?

He has to go and if Ashley hadn’t turned United into the club of the living dead, this would be the perfect time to bin him off as we go into an international break. Who can replace him? God knows but now we really do know, that call just has to be made.

*

Remember Dennis Wise? You do, it’s like a recalling a bad dose of diahorrea isn’t it?  Well, he’s been talking to that other great wanker of the media, none other than Mr Top Bantz himself, Richard Keys and opining that the real problem at Newcastle United isn’t the dead hand of Mike Ashley or Alan Pardew’s painful unsuitability for the job it’s really us, the supporters. Apparently, Ashley and Pardew are struggling not because of a heady mixture of poison and ineptitude but because the locals hate people from the south of England. Yes, he’s still banging on about this rubbish in an effort to disguise his own malice and those of his fellow travellers.

For the record, this is what Dennis Wise is about – click here and this – click here.

It’s a tedious line Wise trots out but if its enemies he’s looking for, he might want to stop off in West Yorkshire as well. All the Leeds fans I know wouldn’t piss on him or Ken Bates if they were on fire. Not sure how popular he is in Leicester either.

I think Chris Hughton, Malcolm Macdonald, Glenn Roeder, Rob Lee, Les Ferdinand, Warren Barton and many others from that London who came here with good intentions and did the business found the locals perfectly agreeable.

*

On a completely different subject, I did take considerable pleasure from the news of Wonga hitting the skids. For those who want to know more, click here. Surely, the company can’t afford to pay a football club to put its name on its shirt any more now? Time to call it all off eh?

*

I’ll be honest, I don’t really know want to make of Mike Ashley’s growing interest in Rangers FC. I have zero affection for the Ibrox club but I don’t know if I’d wish Ashley on anyone to be honest. Well, okay, I would – Chelsea. I had the enclosed article sent to me by a friend in the week which might raise some talking points regarding Ashley’s interest in Rangers. Just click here.

I’m not saying I fully subscribe to what is being put out here but it does offer some interesting perspectives.

I don’t believe for one moment Mike Ashley’s inner Magpie has been gobbled up by his inner Teddy Bear but I do fear for Rangers’ future with this bloke attaching themselves to them. Rangers supporters’ groups are correct to be concerned.

It won’t end well in my opinion.

*

Keep me right on this one, Newcastle United has currently banned – The Chronicle, The Journal, the Sunday Sun, The Independent, The Sunday Express and The Telegraph. Dear me, its a good job Simon Bird (The Mirror) and George Caulkin (The Times) are mates or that press box would be a lonely experience. Incidentally, in the recent weeks I’ve witnessed several pundits on SKY tear Ashley apart on TV and I saw Neil Custis (The Sun) more or less echo every word that has been written here and by many others very eloquently a week or so back.

Obviously, the Fans Forum proceeds without the Newcastle United Supporters Trust … though correction .. that does not seem to be proceeding much at all these days. I know, its killing us not hearing about Lee Charnley’s considered opinions on why its really okay to be shit at everything and its part of the grand plan for global mediocrity.

I wonder if the er, PR experts (ha-ha) on the Ashley payroll will ever go the extra mile and ban one of Rupert Murdoch’s papers or just for the benefit of consistency, chase the SKY cameras out of St James’ Park.

Yes, I am being sarcastic.

Those Alan Pardew press conferences with the Morpeth Herald, the Hexham Courant and the Bedlington Pigeon Fanciers Gazette are going to be the hot ticket any time soon now.

Its bloody pathetic!

*

In the last week I’ve seen Mbwia play twice for AS Roma at a level Alan Pardew is unlikely ever to operate at and do really well. I saw him perform competently at Man City in the Champions League and I saw him part of a Roma team to push Juventus all the way at the top of Serie A. Why did it not work out at United? Will Pardew explain this?

I’m alarmed at the apparent speed at which Remy Cabella has been dropped from the picture at United given his absence at Swansea. This is a player signed for between £10-12m and who was tracked for a long, long time by Graeme Carr. Placed alongside Marveaux scoring twice at the weekend for his loan club and questions really do need to be asked of Pardew and his coaching team. I can only imagine Pardew and Co. will be waiting for the arrival of Hatem Ben Arfa in Hull colours with the kind of dread reserved for seeing an ex-girl-friend with a new boyfriend and enjoying his company far more than she ever did yours. No, no, I’m not talking from bitter experience. Sob.

Those who have saw us play this season and watched in depth will know nothing is going right. Defensively, we are shambolic. Teams cut through us with ease and it’s not exaggerating to say at Swansea we could have been 3-1 down at half time. As a unit, the backline just looks all over the place and so many goals, like the ones conceded at Stoke and Swansea were so avoidable. Soft. In midfield we play a kind of containing game but it has little creativity and penetration. Yoan Goufrann? Suggested uses please? I might say the same about Moussa Sissoko and if Gabriel Obertan is the answer, what is the bloody question? Fair play to Sammy Ameobi, I think he’s made a difference when he’s come on. But really, I’m clutching at straws.

In midfield we might keep possession for a while but quite honestly tippy tappying in our own half might push the stats up but it’s kidding no-one.

Thank God for Papiss Cisse, his goals have been remarkable but if anyone can see Riviere scoring a PL goal this season they are seeing something I’m not. He just doesn’t appear to have a striker’s instinct, though he puts the work in. Has anyone seen Ferreya? The stories I hear about him aren’t encouraging but any minute now I’m going to bore you to tears (too late?) by ranting on about how we should have signed proper strikers in the summer but at the risk of repetition, we bloody well did and you can’t blame Pardew for that. That said, I didn’t imagine him suggesting this pool of players could push for the Champions League. I didn’t did I? I do wonder.

Anyway, if we were a proper club rather than a shop window for cheap trackie bottoms and white socks, Pardew would have been down the road well before now.

Now is the ideal time to bin him and get the new man in.

What you waiting for Ashley? Oh, the money, sorry, forgot about that.

 

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14 Responses to THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Stayin’ Alive – 5/Oct/14

  1. Very nice Michael. Very nice indeed. It’s a sorrowful time to be attached to the N.U.F.C.

  2. Chris C says:

    Compelling reading, can’t disagree with anything there, dark times.

  3. Stevep says:

    Repetitive.
    That’s what’s repetitive, you’ve been saying the same thing for what? 4 years now?
    That’s nothing against what you’re saying, more that you and I and anyone who has their eyes on sporting excellence and progress, rather than money has seen this for so long, yet those in the corridors of power at SJP can’t.
    Their love and pursuit of money for the here and now is actually blinding them to even more riches, how can they not see that investing in quality (and keeping them) will propel us up the league (I’m in no way suggesting that we will win the league), to a position of strength.
    That we’ve been crying out for a proper centre forward for nearly 2 years and that we STILL have the same 3 centre halves that were playing for us in the Championship 5 years ago beggars belief (we sign a French Championship winning captain, but prefer to play these three centre halves before him) . What will it take to make Ashley and Harry Hill (Charnley) realise this?
    Unfortunately, only we can see that the brinkmanship going on between Ashley and Pardew will only end up with one loser, that’s will be the club and its fans, make a decision for the good of the club for once Ashley, and bring the axe down now.

  4. Phil says:

    It’s all so depressing.

    Please can someone answer me this – am I a glory supporter if I can no longer stomach watching our team play?

    • Chris C says:

      No because many you’ve watched them play without winning anything possibly for your whole life / decades, it’s just now Ashley has squeezed every drop of pleasure out of it.

  5. Gordon Young says:

    The article link in the Rangers section is dynamite, in my view. Everyone should read it and to me, Michael, it ALL rings true – this lad knows his onions!

    “The merchandising deal at Newcastle nets Sports Direct 3.5 million a year. The club doesn´t get a bean.” I can´t copy it but read the whole paragraph.

    He is taking us for fools. He gets free advertising, worth 8 million, as well.
    11.5 million a year that could be used to strengthen the team! That money goes to his company not to the club.
    We are left short of strikers because the club doesn´t have the money!!!

    No new TV money has been spent during the last 2 seasons ( well OK 2-3 million).
    Where is that money going? Off his “loan” I suggest.

    I think he probably expects to sell us at the end of next year – is it a 3 year TV deal, by the way? However, if the new TV money is good and he can get away with controlling 2 clubs, it is clear that he wants Rangers too, he might try and stay.

    What to do? I for one hate being taken for a fool. I live in Spain so it is easy for me to boycott – when I go back I go to an away game.
    I think it is time for action or he will bleed the club dry and make a big profit selling the club as well. That would leave a nasty taste in the mouth.

    Gordon Young

  6. Alex says:

    An excellent piece as always. The article on Rangers was a great read. It speaks to me in volumes about the link between supporting newcastle and supporting Mike Ashley. If you give any money to the club for tickets, beer, food etc you are endorsing Mike Ashley’s ownership of the club. If you want a change start by stopping going.

  7. Its a shame during this fortnight international break the “time for change” group didn’t organise another march for tge leicester game as I’m sure it would be given far greater support.

  8. Stephen B says:

    I think you might be writing off Riviere a little 2 soon, that finish and game he played against Palace was encouraging.

  9. Mark S says:

    I’ve just had an awful thought after reading the Rangers bit – when the Wonga deal eventually falls to bits (surely they can’t afford to sponsor us any more…), didn’t they also buy the naming rights to the stadium, and rename it back to SJP?

    • tom pitt says:

      Correct Mark.
      Would be interesting to see if he reverts back to S***** D***** Arena if the current deal collapses.
      Also who would be surprised if we had SD on the shirts too?

  10. Brilliant article Michael and unfortunately its all effing true. Have watched all our games this season to date albeit mostly on the box here in Spain. Have watched our toon supporters getting more depressed with each game , only the drink and the craic stopping us from committing hari kari . My comments on our own web page getting like reading the obituary columns but can’t for the life of me cite anything positive or uplifting. I personally have called for Pardew’s head for a number of seasons .I have never rated him either as man or coach .Hard to say where we go from here other than down. Keep up the good work.