I travelled to Stoke on Saturday and saw an improved, but still impotent United succumb to defeat to the most average of Stoke sides. Much has been made in the media of Stoke’s new improved style of football under Mark Hughes this season – I saw nothing of thatas Stoke continued to foul, cheat and hoof their way to move within three points of a United side ‘having a decent season’ according to the manager.
Yes we should have had a pen, and were a tad unfortunate to lose – but on the back of the horrible run we’ve had and the performances we’ve been putting in, we don’t deserve any luck.
I think there’s only one aspect of the media reaction to United this weekend and that’s Pardew’s claim that the local media are to blame for the fan disillusionment which lead to songs on Saturday calling for his removal. Saturday was a horrible day following United. A large section of away contingent intent on only abusing the manager and team, right from the start of the game. ‘Booing’ every time Stoke had a shot and berating and abusing every player (especially Shola) and then treating Ben Arfa like some kind of God. You also had fans kicking off with other fans for not singing anti-Pardew songs and then a minority racially abusing Shola Ameobi throughout the game. But it’s all Ashley and Pardew’s fault that we have people going on like this, what else are they to do?
Following United is brutal at the moment for a number of reasons.
Pardew’s post match patter lead to the following headline:
A great headline and well put together, in a short period of time.
Looking at the string of defeats – you have to wonder whether there is any way back for Pardew. I think there is – win the last 4 games of the season and all will be well. But as there is literally no chance of that happening he will do well to survive the summer. The looks on the players faces as they were roundly abused by the away support at heading off for half time was full of contempt. Contempt for us, contempt for the club. Pardew rightly feels aggrieved he doesn’t have Cabaye, Ba or Remy to call on. That’s the problem with only have one or two good players in a squad though. Their absence creates a chasm which cannot be bridged by cheap buys from anywhere, despite the value of the deal in United’s favour.
Is there any truth in Pardew’s complaint? Well fan dissatisfaction certainly has nothing to do with the local press (which Pardew must read). I read very little of it and I can see this is the end for Pardew. The discontent will be loud on Saturday against Pardew.
However I’d agree he’s been given a rough ride in sections of the local media. The likes of Mark Douglass and Neil Cameron of the Journal have been fair in their assessments of United whenever I’ve read their stuff.
What Pardew is probably referring to is the campaign Lee Ryder has had against our manager ever since he was banned from St James’ Park. Ryder penned this bizarre article this weekend;
I can’t really understand how Ryder has managed to link the Stoke City lady’s comment to what’s going on at United, and her comment was just an excuse to have another go at the manager. What I find interesting is that Pardew, at away games, has sometimes over ridden the PR people to answer Ryder’s questions.
In the above article Ryder has claimed he gave the manager plenty of plaudits when things were going well earlier in the season and that the Chronicle got behind the team during last season’s relegation scare. It’s been a while a while since I’ve read or commented on any of Ryder’s stuff for the purposes of penning this article and it’s satisfying to see the stream of self-serving bull shit hasn’t ceased.
I would say Ryder went out of his not to mention Pardew, his tactics or subs in any of United’s impressive victories earlier this season. He incredibly critical when things go wrong of the manager.
Take the Man Utd away victory earlier this season;
Not one mention of an impressive tactical set up or any praise for the manager. Contrast it to the Arsenal defeat when we went into the game one point off 4thplace (Christ that’s a painful stat);
Ryder has been dishing it out to Pardew all season and not been willing to give the manager any credit – that’s what probably riles Pardew. It probably riles him that there is yet another pointless poll on the Chronicle website which rather than asking is Pardew should be sacked (which saw an 86% approval rating last week) instead asks what fans think of Ashley, Charnley and Pardew as a team. Utterly pointless.
That’s what local newspapers do though. I stayed in Chester over the weekend for the Stoke game. Their local paper was spouting shite about Conference Chester City – that’s what they do.
If Pardew is going to let the likes of Lee Ryder get under his skin, then NUFC, and football management at the highest level, is not for him