One of Pardew’s most successful approaches in his time here has been getting a settled back four playing week in, week out. When injury/suspension free this has been key to our runs of good form and results in the last 3 years. Today we were robbed of that by unavailable players. A makeshift defence was cobbled together and in the second half they were all over the place. Fraizer Campbell has never had such an easy game.
I don’t think you can argue that we (Pardew) didn’t try to win this game. We had a strong side out that should have been more than enough to see them off, even with a new manager. Many complain about the enigma that is Hatem Ben Arfa. My question today is “What is Steven Taylor?”. He can be a brick wall (Europa League KO stages last season) and can be hideous (Man City; today). I personally think he is a liability more often than not and playing for the first time in months we were always liable to concede. I also hate his fannying-on when we have a free kick. Rob Elliott also had a very poor game. I don’t disagree with playing the second choice keeper in the cup but I’m still concerned by the fact that we have such a budget back-up goalkeeper, given our reputation for excellence in that position.
When things went wrong Pards quickly threw Shola and Remy on but it was too late, we were sucker punched by 2 more poorly defended goals. Remy was in need of a rest so I was fully expecting to see Cisse given his chance today. He may have scored, but he is so so far from the player that arrived here 2 full years ago now. He has become a Kevin Nolan. Occasional goalscorer, who contributes nothing for the rest of the game. WE NEED A NEW STRIKER!
Finally, I know the uproar in the aftermath of this defeat will be the ‘not taking the cup seriously’ angle. This is being strongly debated across the country and it is a national problem not a local one. Attendances across the board fall dramatically for FA Cup games. Not even the fans, it seems, prioritise these games so are we surprised by the attitude? The atmosphere at St James’ today was flat and the game felt uncompetitive as a result. Had the crowd been 50,000 I think we’d have seen a different result and furthermore a point would be made about the fans desire to win this trophy! Still, I blame the players and a lazy performance for the result today. Bah…Bring on Man City.
There’s actually very little to report here, unfortunately. Imagine being a Newcastle player and being told not to bother even trying because the board have deemed the FA cup as not priority. That’s the only explanation I have for the disgraceful performance out there today. Not one single player in that, to be fair, relatively strong squad looked like they wanted it. In any way. At all. Long balls to Cisse. Corners that didn’t beat the first man. Obertan. Seriously, is that lad Pardew’s illegitimate love child that he has a legal bind to allow to play football? There is no othet reason whatsoever for bringing that waste of football boots onto the pitch. Despite taking an undeserved lead, United showed absoloutely nothing out there today. It was inevitable as the defence went to sleep time and time again that an awful Cardiff side would equalise. When 5ft 4 ex mackem Campbell headed in the winner at the near post, it was clear to all of us who spent our money to watch that shit that we were never coming back. Remy and Shola on at 86 minutes…don’t make me laugh. Pardew has shown, through his team selection and tactics today, the contempt the board hold the fans in. We dared to dream? Give over, we didn’t dare shit. Onward to mediocrity.
The ridiculous statement made by John Irving about the cups not being a priority is really beginning to bite the team on the arse. Although we picked a team that should have been more than capable of turning Cardiff owner, for whatever reason we didn’t. Yes – we were a shade unlucky to hit the woodwork twice but otherwise it was such a flat performance. Steven Taylor showed why he is 4th choice centre back, and exactly why he shouldn’t be anywhere near the first team – even with an injury crisis. I’d sooner have one of the youth lads such as the highly rated Swiss lad Kevin Mbabu given ago than this fist pumping loon. He’s a liability, and probably at fault for the 30 yarder.
In all honesty, what is the point in us going to the match for the next five months? Don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather be where we are now than at this time last year but what is our goal? We might see the team finish in 10th place. Wow – that’s what football is all about isn’t it? Continuing to ride the Premier League gravy train so as to keep popping an additional £10m back in the pocket of Emperor Ashley. We won’t get relegated, nor are we in any danger of being serious contenders for Europe. As each year goes by, football is becoming less and less appealing. It’s not the likes of you and I who are to blame. It is the fat cats that run the “sport” and it’s participants.
The beautiful game…
If Mike Ashley’s New Year’s Resolution was (as has been widely reported) to be out of all cup competitions as early as possible and to avoid the Europa League, then what a great start to the year he has had!
It was an interesting decision by Pardew to rest some key players for this game when we have a full 8 days to rest up before playing Man City, a game which I view as far less critical to our season than today’s. Especially when Pardew didn’t deem it necessary to rest the same key players (Cabaye and Remy) in the second half of the Stoke game.
So what did we learn from today?
– Playing a left back at left back seems to be a good idea.
– Steven Taylor isn’t the best defender. I don’t want to be too harsh on him, first game back and a much changed back four and keeper made it a tough return. However, for years now he has survived only by mentioning his Geordie roots and fist pumping as often as possible.
– Cisse does not know the offside rule. What is he doing in training day-in day-out if it isn’t learning to stay onside?
– Life without Cabaye is a scary thought. Anita and Tiote failed to step up to his absence yet again.
– Alan Pardew makes bad substitutions. Ironic that the original ‘Super-Sub’ managed to win the game for Cardiff by making positive substitutions. I am not going to jump on the bandwagon of blaming Obertan, however the decision to have him in the squad over Gutierrez for apparently contractual (penny-pinching) reasons just shows the level of rot at our club.
So it turns out we knew all this and should have seen this coming. Newcastle United continue to demonstrate about as much ambition as Solskjaer did during his playing career. The regime are happy for us to sit on the sidelines of the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup season after season watching everyone else play.
Thanks to this lack of ambition, our season is over as of January 4th. There’s a long January Transfer Window ahead and any players with ambition at the club (Cabaye and Remy) are probably on the phone to their agents as we speak.
Happy New Year everyone…