Make no mistake, Newcastle United were taught a lesson yesterday afternoon as Man City ran rampant. But to those calling for Pardew’s head, I would like to mention a few things. Not that I’m a Pardew apologist, far from it, but calling for his head after being soundly beaten by a team who’ve spent hundred’s of millions, needs to be looked at.
Firstly, have you seen our injury list? According to the PhysioRoom, Newcastle are second in the injury list table, with only Aston Villa having a worse injury crisis than us. Here are a list of players who weren’t featured yesterday afternoon who were unavailable due to injury:
- Cheick Tiote
- Davide Santon
- Massimo Haidara
- Mathieu Debuchy
- Hatem Ben Arfa
- Fabricio Coloccini
- Tim Krul
That’s a total of seven players who would fit right into our first team. Seriously, what did you expect from a lineup devoid of talent like that? Here are the team lineups from yesterday:
Newcastle: Elliot; Simpson, S.Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Gutierrez; Anita, Cabaye (Bigirimana 74); Obertan (Perch 46), Sissoko, Gouffran (Gosling 71); Cisse
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (Garcia 73), Lescott, Clichy, Barry, Yaya Toure, Silva (Sinclair 82), Nasri (Augero 71), Tevez, Dzeko
After 74 minutes our midfield consisted of Dan Gosling, James Perch, and Gael Bigirimana. They were up against International quality players who represent their countries on regular occasion. Ours consisted of a player who has hardly played, a promising U21 international, and a workhorse who works his bollocks off but needs class around him. Marveaux didn’t start because Pardew didn’t want to risk him, and honestly, saving Gouffran and Cabaye for Benfica / Fulham is way more important than having them go through the motions in a game we weren’t likely to win anyway.
Okay, so let’s look at the Obertan starting situation. I can understand why people are frustrated with the bald Frenchman, but who else could we have played? With Santon, Debuchy, and Haidara out, we’re severely limited with options out wide, and guess what? He’s the player who’s left over. Did he run around like a headless chicken, aye, he did. But take a look at the team he’s playing against – did you expect him to have much success? Howay man. When we’re injury free, Pardew has proven himself to be a decent manager, are we forgetting that we were singing his praises after we finished fifth? Let’s judge Pardew when he’s got the majority of his first-team fully fit.
We need to be realistic, even with our strongest lineup, getting three points against City was never really on the cards. The games against Fulham and Sunderlington are must wins at this point, but haven’t they always been? Take care of those and we should have enough.