Archive for May, 2013

The Long (not so hot probably) Summer Beckons

Posted in NUFC on May 23, 2013 by tegtalk

Well season 2012/13 has come and gone and to honest it was on the whole awful.

Injuries. Tiredness. The Europa League. Players out of position. An unhappy and fractured dressing room. Crap tactics. Strange substitutions. Long ball. Clueless manager. Cisse offside again. Bad luck.

These phrases plus many more have been written numerous times as excuses or reasons why this season has been basically a disastrous catalogue of ineptitude and disappointment.

The Arsenal game was a 90 minute summation of the season as a whole for me.

It started well with some quick attacking football but we failed to take advantage and ended with strange substitutions, players out of position and ultimately disappointing.

Since the game ended the Internet has been swamped with rumour and opinion of whether the manager should stay or go. The majority of supporters voicing opinion overwhelmingly wanted Pardew to be sacked. Many also offered alternatives to him with the names of Benitez, Di Matteo, Martinez, McLaren and various French managers among the most popular.

Out of all of these names Rafa would have been the choice for me. Alas when John Terry changed out of his suit and lifted the Europa cup I knew that was never going to happen. I can think of many reasons why I wouldn’t take any of the other options. So it seemed if there was no infinitely better alternative, does Ashley stick or twist?

Then today, as has been reported in the local and national media, Emperor Mike gave Pardew the thumbs up.

Is it such a shock? Yes and No.

No because we have no real idea what Ashey’s relationship with Pardew is like but it seems reasonably strong. Llambias publicly stated earlier in the season that there would be no knee jerk reaction and the club wanted stability. We avoided relegation and therefore the manager will get the chance to put it right with the backing of the board (hopefully and surely?)

Yes. Thc manager has had a terrible season. He can point to not having enough players at the start of the season and a disastrous run of injuries but the ineptitude on the pitch solely lies with him. He has a very talented squad and has not  utilised them to their full potential. If a manger stands and falls by results. Mr Pardew is very lucky to still be vertical.

So what happens now? Well Pardew has gone back on his promise to speak to the fans in person and over the Radio Newcastle airwaves and looks like he is flying off on holiday. He is probably hoping to avoid any vacationing families from the Tyneside area.

Ashley has backed him by not removing him from his position so will he now back him with players? If we retain our existing pool of 15 first team players then add two or three quality ones, that should see us have a better season next time.

That is a damn big IF!

I expect Colocinni to go but I think it will be a long drawn out process. Question marks have to hang over Cabaye who looks like he has played the season with the world on his shoulders. I feel if a club in the Champions League offer him an exit route and more importantly Mr Ashley fifteen million quid, then he will go.

Harper and Simpson have gone and there will be more departures of squad players.

Only adding 2/3 players would probably put us in exactly the same position we were in at the start of this one. It would be folly of the hierarchy not to reinvigorate the squad. They said they learned their lesson in January.

Let”s see them not make that mistake again.

No doubt we will have numerous players linked with us in the upcoming 3 and a bit months. Indeed Andy Carroll has been linked and dismissed in 24 hours!

Two forwards are a minimum requirement. We were very lucky to get Cisse through a season without injury and we still haven’t replaced this season’s top scorer. Whether Shola stays or goes is irrelevant. He hasn’t been a first team player since the Championship season in my opinion.

A pool of Cisse, Gouffran, who I believe will be better next season, a strong forward who can hold the ball up and someone with pace should guarantee more goals than we scored this season.

A dominant centre half and a little more height in the midfield wouldn’t go amiss either.

If the owner delivers the players then the pressure is on Pardew from the first whistle. He also needs to investigate why we had so many muscle injuries this season and he should take a leaf out of Fergie’s book and refresh his coaching squad and his tactical understanding of the game.

I’d recommend he doesn’t spend the summer watching the Lions. We have had enough rugby style football to last us a lifetime.

No doubt he will have June 19th circled in his diary and keep his fingers crossed that the old fixture computer doesn’t throw up a trip to the Etihad, Emirates or Old Trafford as two of the first three or four fixtures because I firmly believe if he starts the season as badly as he has finished it, he will see his P45.