Unsung Heroes
By Max Flinders
Thursday 21 Feb 2013 15:06:00
Browse all Max Flinders articles

It is no secret that I am not a Pardew fan.  All you need to do is look back at some of my early articles in Toon Talk and you will find I have been pretty critical of the Wimbledon born Manager. Last season was great, even though we didn’t get into the Champions League.  I think for once we have been united in thinking that the team did fantastically well to finish the season in a Europa spot.  The chance to qualify for the Champions League was also still alive on the last day of the season. The fact Everton beat us didn’t matter in the end. The chance to play in Europe again is a great one. We knew this season would be tough playing in Europe on Thursday nights and then Premiership games four, and sometimes three days later.  Taking this into account, more players should have been brought in to help with injuries and fatigue. Alan Pardew has taken a lot of credit for the good season we had last year and many fans from opposing Premiership clubs have been surprised by my anti-Pardew stance.  The fact is Pardew inherited a good team with plenty of spirit that had been created by the players and Chris Hughton.

My view on our success lies with a great back room and obviously with the players. The players brought into the club since promotion have done very well. I was not too impressed with Cabaye last season. I thought he slipped in and out of games too much and didn’t deserve the plaudits sent his way but this season so far, I think he has improved a hell of a lot. He is making more of an impact on games. Now when he is left out you can feel the lack of his presence so his fitness and form is going to be vital this season playing in Europe and the Premiership, and dare I say it, the FA Cup.

Back to the back room staff, and this includes some of the key figures at the club, local lads Graham Carr and John Carver. With both their input Pardew’s job is made easy. Actually, with Carr and Carver at St James’s Park, you can argue that almost any half decent manager can manage the club. You can see the input that Carver makes during games, offering his views on the game and tactics to be employed.

One thing is sure - we are a much better team now than we were before going down, so some credit has to go to the unmentionables upstairs but it’s just the way they have gone about it that still stinks and Pardew still publicly backs his sugar daddy, seemingly to get us onside. The simple fact is they have done the damage and I know we will never be singing his name again.  The song sung now about Pardew makes me cringe as it’s certainly not the wonderland Kevin Keegan took us to. The football this season has not been great even though we’ve only been done twice in the Prem (at time of writing) and that was at the hands of Chelsea and Man U.  Obviously, it’s early in the season still but Pardew seems to think we won’t achieve what we did last time round and this was expressed by Pardew before a ball had been kicked. He likes to dampen expectation as he knows what we want but does he know how we want it? In many games under Pardew, we have lacked any sort of flair and good football.  I am not saying we don’t show any sort of creativity, just not enough for Newcastle United.

Keegan hit the nail on the head when he said that after a hard week, Geordies want to see good football. Victory is good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s about time we started playing better football.

Lady luck seems to be back on side this season with no better example than Sammy Ameobi’s shot deflected off Cisse in the last minute winner against West Brom. Let’s hope we can stay injury free, have a decent run in Europe and keep some form in the Prem. I will leave you with this question.: Newcastle without Pardew or Newcastle without Carr and Carver?

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