Stay Up and Build with Pardew Again
Newcastle United has had a pretty poor season, and whilst boss Alan Pardew has plenty to answer for, those calling for his head need to show some patience and ride the storm.
April 29th, 2013
Last season was amazing. This season has been abysmal. As Newcastle head into the last three games of the Premier League season, the harsh reality is finally sinking in. Thirty-seven points from 35 games, a goal difference of -23, 16th and just five points above the relegation zone – it has been a season to forget.
There’s no doubt that reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League has papered over failings on the domestic front. The season has been blighted by injuries and tactical errors. The key players have consistently underperformed, and failed to turn up for the big games. Two weeks ago, getting battered at home by Sunderland summed up the entire campaign. The players looked clueless; lacking in unity, leadership, or cohesion on the pitch.
A large section of fans blame Pardew – and why shouldn’t they? The man who won Premier League and LMA Manager of the Year awards last summer has made some awful decisions this season. In the first half of the season Pardew struggled to cope with the small squad, but since the acquisition of five new players in January, that excuse is not valid. The football has been dire, and the gaffer has a habit of making negative substitutions.
A storm has been brewing on Twitter over the last month or so, with fans calling for Pardew to be sacked at the end of the season. This, for me, is totally unacceptable. Yes, he has made mistakes, yes, it has been a poor season, yes, he had plenty to answer for – but Pardew isn’t the only person responsible for this mess. The club failed to strengthen significantly in the summer, and the impact of injuries on a small squad, during a tough season with Europa League action has been there for all to see. Last season we were able to field a consistent side week in and week out. This season, the key players have gone missing time and time again.
I consider this season as a blip, if you look at the bigger picture. Newcastle has a good structure in place; with Pardew, his coaching team, and chief scout Graham Carr on eight-year deals. There will be ups and downs, and the fans need to accept that. Thankfully, the hierarchy does and as a result Pardew will still be at the club next season. No manager can succeed without being given time. Look at Everton’s David Moyes. He guided the Toffees to 7th in 2002-03, before ending up 17th the season after. The board showed some faith and since then Moyes’ team has finished 4th, 11th, 6th, 5th, 5th, 8th, 7th and 7th. At Newcastle, we have the structure, squad, stadium and fan base to replicate that, if not go one better.
At the end of the season there needs to be a thorough review of what went wrong, and then the club needs to build again with Pardew in charge for the 2013/14 campaign.
Show some faith. Howay the lads!
Umar Farooq, Editor – NUFCfans.co.uk