Earlier this week Alan Pardew asked the Toon faithful to judge the team after the games against West Ham and Fulham, well, that’s one game down and it’s not looking good. To put it mildly, Newcastle United were quite simply woeful against West Ham, and the decisions from Pardew (bringing on Sammy to replace Marveaux, and Gouffran to replace Cisse), show the complete lack of tactical knowledge by the Newcastle manager.
Epitomising this display, was Gouffran’s miss in injury time from two yards out after a cross from Sammy Ameobi hit the bar and bounced back to the Frenchman. We have Sissoko, Anita, Marveaux, and Hatem Ben Arfa, creative players, yet Pardew still resorts to long balls. In fact, Newcastle played 52 long balls today, compared to West Ham playing 44. Who’s the long ball merchant now, Alan?
Consider also the number attempts at goal (16), and the number of those attempts on target (0). This means that it is now over six hours of Premier League football since a Pardew managed Newcastle have scored at St. James’s Park. That stat in itself should be alarming enough, but the fact that our squad of players have been depleted, despite having all summer to make signings should be enough for Toon fans to question what direction their club is headed.
However, there were one or two positives. Vurnon Anita’s partnership with Sissoko in the centre of midfield showed some potential, and a clean sheet as well as a positive performance from Davide Santon were the silver lining to an otherwise underwhelming performance.
Word on Twitter from local journalist Lee Ryder is that Yohan Cabaye refused to play in the game today, and if that’s true, then we need to get as much as possible for him, and send him packing. No player in our squad should refuse to play for Newcastle United, especially one that was a former captain. Thanks Yohan, it’s great to see you pay us back for all our support.
I was genuinely concerned about our plight before this game, but after seeing us play with no imagination and movement, I’m even more bewildered how Alan Pardew remains in a job. This was West Ham. At home.
Saying that next week is crucial to the future of Newcastle United is an understatement. We need reinforcements and quickly, otherwise this season could be over before it has barely begun.
Honorable mention to the NUFC stewards today who confiscated a Joe Kinnear banner. In honor of those lads, the banner is below. By the way, if the lads who put the banner together want to put their story across, please get in touch.