By Brad Dixon
Friday 04 Feb 2011 16:48:00
Browse all Brad Dixon articles

Well what a week!  I’m not going to rake up the confusion around who said what and who is blaming who in the Pardew versus Carroll debate (or was it Ashley versus Carroll?).  Truth is we will never know what really happened.  Whatever did happen it was yet another day where Newcastle found themselves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.  Will we ever have a season or even a month where things are just ‘normal’?  With Ashley at the helm that seems unlikely.

Disillusioned.  That’s how Alan Pardew described the mood in the camp after the sale of Andy Carroll.  This confession of weakness shocked me as I didn’t think the players would have taken it so badly, and then after watching how we played against Fulham I realised that disillusioned was putting it mildly!  We looked awful at times, poor passing, little width or running off the ball and a front line as inept as I have seen from us in a long time.  The players even started to argue with each other towards the end of the game.  This certainly wasn’t the same group of players that have looked so confident on our mini run since the turn of the year.  One swallow doesn’t make a summer?  Well our squad must see Carroll as our one knight in shining armour as it seems from the moment that helicopter landed in Liverpool the confidence has drained away from the team so quickly they now resemble that squad that got relegated.  I may be getting too down beat on the whole situation and maybe the lads needed to get that game at Fulham out of their system, but the thought that the morale in the squad can be broken by one player and broken so quickly is a major concern.  Proof will be in the performances over the coming weeks.  It can’t be any worse than at Fulham

Time to move on form the whole Carroll saga.  Forget the fact we only have 3 strikers left.  Forget the fact we sold more than we brought in during the transfer window, leaving a small squad now threadbare.  Forget that the two players we did bring in were injured and both way off match fitness.  Forget that we shouldn’t have let even Xisco go after what has happened in the last month.  If we knew at the start of January what we know now then perhaps we would have told the lads to go on a losing run rather than the winning streak that had us up in to 7th at one point.  It seems Ashley and Co thought we could stroll through survival with the current squad we had judging on our recent results and there was no need to bring in the 3 or 4 players the squad was craving.  For once it seems that success has ultimately been our own downfall.

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