The starting line-up today was one of the most baffling we’ve had in a while. I have sympathised with Pardew a lot of the time this season on the grounds that the size of the squad leaves him very little choice and makes it very difficult to just field 11 players in position. Thinking back to the mackems away, Paul Dummett and Mike Williamson, who was in no sort of form, at centre back and we lost the game conceding two very shite goals.
Alas, here we were with a lot of players back from injury and the option not to play Paul ‘set-piece’ Dummett. Haidara and MYM must seriously be wondering what they have to do to get a game ahead of this guy. I’ve said it before, it is great to see a home-grown player given a chance, but he’s just not very good and all the other defenders available are better than him. Anita at full back and Dan ‘not a football player’ Gosling running the show in the middle – The mind boggled. That said, we had no midfielders on the bench.
Thankfully an injury to Cisse (poor bugger stuck out wide again) brought Debuchy into the game. He is a world class full back. I still laugh at the suggestion when he had a poor start for us that he was no better than Danny Simpson. Hilarious. We continued to look nervous but somehow found a typical out of nothing Shola goal. I’d forgotten celebrating a goal and it was a great feeling. Inevitably though, the result went sour again.
Swansea were shite and had 2 shots and won 2-1. Ridiculous challenge from Tiote and, although we weren’t brilliant, that’s the least deserved 3 points any team has taken from St James’ Park.
That said, we started the game with Mike Williamson instead of an accomplished France international centre half. Paul Dummett who can’t cross, can’t be in position and doesn’t want the ball at left back (no support whatsoever for Remy when he came on) and Dan Gosling. It’s probably a little harsh to criticise Mike Williamson as he’s had a decent couple of years playing within his limitations. However, he is what he is and if we want to be any better than mid-table, we need better football players.
That’s three of our starting 11 that don’t really want the ball and couldn’t dream of playing for anyone who is above us in the league at present.
Nobody could complain if Pardew lost his job now. Even with the plight of our squad since Christmas, it’s just been too poor. If we hang on to a top 9 spot and rebuild in the summer then I still maintain that we are making progress but the last couple of months need to be addressed very seriously and everyone at the club (whoever is there) needs to be working hard from the last kick of the season.