Pardew to be Visited by Three Ghost Ex-Managers on Christmas Eve? (Hopefully)

Posted on December 24th, 2012 | 52 Comments |

Shola Ameobi scoring v QPR.
Same old Shola, always scoring.
Many thanks to “ToonBano” from the Toon blog for his fourth guest blog here – wt.

As we managed to fall over the line to a 1-0 ‘win’ over QPR its got to be said that was one of the worst games of football I have ever seen in my whole life. Which was caused by mainly two things a) QPR being one of the worst teams that have ever shown up at St James’ Park and b) Our defensive starting line up. Those two miserable things cancelled each other out into an insufferable bore fest that would kill anyone’s Christmas spirit no matter how jolly they were feeling prior to kick off.

But this kind of performance from us on our own patch against a completely inferior side is no surprise whatsoever to all of us, or it shouldn’t be. It’s a typical Alan Pardew performance which we have come to expect in his 2 years here as manager. We didn’t exactly ‘win’ that game on Saturday afternoon but just managed to get the ball into their net on that bare minimal occasion, as the opposition had no chance of doing the same to us. QPR were hopeless. We were not much better.

If it became public that Pardews tactics is to strangle a game to death for 70 mins then try and steal it with his subs, then I would believe it. The thought of hammering a far inferior team for 90 mins making the afternoon not just more entertaining but a whole lot easier for us, doesn’t even enter his brain. We could/should have won that game by 2 or 3 goals without a problem if only Pardew had the ambition to do so. His starting line up sums him up.

Why on God’s green earth Pardew picked that starting line up against a team who have only won one game all season is one of the most baffling, negative, inexplicable team sheets I have ever seen. Having James Perch AND Cheick Tiote in the same starting line up alongside Anita in the middle of the park was totally unnecessary. Was Alan Pardew THAT scared of Adel Taarabt? A player who is as consistent as the sun staying out in summer. If Taarabt played well last week, chances are he won’t be as good this week. That’s what players like him are like. Sure enough he was abysmal. He offered barely no threat to our defence, yet Tiote and Perch played for 70 mins until Cheick was withdrawn. Ridiculous.

Jonas Gutierrez hurt. But that arguably wasn’t the most inexcusable factors of our starting line up. No, that honour goes to the decision to not just play a defender and holding midfielder together but to also play Jonas Gutierrez in the left wing position. Sweet Jesus Christ! The thought of this line up for a home game against Queens Park Strangers makes me want to burst out laughing in terrified bemusement. But Pardew actually did it! We had Jonas, Anita, Tiote and Perch as part of a front 6 with Cisse stuck out on the right wing. This is literally mind boggling considering the importance of a win and the quality of the opposition.

Playing the most defensive ‘wide player’ we have arguably had in our 120 year history in the advanced left wing position of a 4-3-3 is probably the LAST thing I would choose given the options available. I kid you not I would rather we had played Sylvain Marveaux, Gab Obertan, Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Sammy Ameobi, Davide Santon, Shane Ferguson or Shola Ameobi in that position before Jonas Gutierrez and I am not just saying that for dramatic effect. Yet low and behold ‘Mr 8 year contract in the back pocket’ went and did it! Incredible. The fact the game was still 0-0 with no shots on target by the time he was dragged off was of no surprise to me or any of us whatsoever. What a waste of attacking space.

As soon as Sylvain Marveaux came on the pitch after 75 minutes of nothingness, he got himself an assist within 3 minutes. That’s THREE minutes. Just imagine what he could have done with 90 minutes to work with. He almost got himself a goal just 2 minutes after that. He literally did more in 5 minutes than Jonas Gutierrez managed to achieve in an hour. Now I am not saying Jonas is a terrible player, I am saying if you’re going to insist on playing him, then do it in a position that suits his game. Because he certainly isn’t a flying winger. He hasn’t been one of those since about the year 2009. Wake the hell up Pardew.

The Mad Hatter. In fact, why am I even wasting my time by suggesting Pards to wake up? It’s never going to happen. This is a man who thinks we have actually been playing well recently. He has been quoted several times using the words ‘in form’ to describe our recent games. He is a madman. He must be spending his Christmas at the head of a table wearing a mad hat sipping tea with a white rabbit and some shrunken down blonde girl next to a vanishing cat that won’t stop grinning. Pardew is on another planet to the rest of us. When he believes things like ‘we have been playing well recently’ is when he totally unintentionally exposes his standards as a manager. Only an average manager who is used to fighting relegation every season would think that what we have been churning out over the past few games is of a decent standard.

The loss at Stoke wasn’t a good performance, we lost. We lost to two soft avoidable goals and created next to nothing in chances. Our performance at Fulham wasn’t good, we lost. We lost to two soft avoidable goals and created next to nothing in chances. Our performance against Man City was better, but we lost. We lost to three soft avoidable goals (whilst being ripped apart consistently) and created next to nothing in chances. It’s a recurring theme. If that theme is the definition of ‘playing well’ and ‘being in form’ with the quality of the our squad available than your either lying or your topping yourself up at your mental tea party with Alice and the twins. Sheer madness.

What Pardew does is frighteningly remind me of not just one but three of our managers in recent times. In a very subtle, but the more you think about it, very obvious way. When I think of Graeme Souness I think of two things a) Not being able to get the best out of the best set of players he has ever worked with and b) using injuries as the excuse. Alan Pardew is doing both these things perfectly this season. He has never, and never will again, have a squad of players this talented at his disposal yet he is proving to be completely incapable of getting the best out of them. The fact that I don’t believe he even knows his best team is at this stage of the season says it all.

Graeme Souness slaps head in frustration. The injury excuse Souness tried to hide behind has been churned out more times than I care to remember by AP and it doesn’t wash. We have only ever had 2 or 3 injuries to players that actually matter at any given stage this season with good enough replacements to join the other 8 or 9 first teamers to keep our league campaign on track. I wouldn’t expect us to be flying high in the top 4 but languishing near the drop zone is totally unacceptable. Are you telling me Norwich, Aston Villa, Swansea, Stoke and Fulham have a better team than us, never mind squad?

All teams have injuries. Did Michael Laudrup moan about missing first team defenders Neil Taylor and Chico Flores when they played us this season? Did he hell. He turned up with replacements and took all three points home, thanks very much. But when Steven Taylor misses a month or two Pardew will tell the world at how unfortunate he is. The man is pathetic. He should feel privileged to even have the likes of Ben Arfa and Cabaye to have missing. They are two of the best players he will ever work with. The fact he can then replace those players with the quality of Anita and Marveaux should fill him with gratitude. But no. Why would he do that? He was only working with League One players in his last job – That he got sacked from.

Another ex-manager he reminds me of is Glenn Roeder. In the fact that he has no CV to speak of with any quality whatsoever but finds himself still the manager of Newcastle Utd and living off one flash in the pan season. The following season of which is then royally cocked up as their true managerial pedigree gets exposed. The fact both managers were ex-bosses at West Ham and did their best at relegating that club is another glaring similarity. Pardew even failed at that, at least Glenn saw that relegation through (sly chuckle). West Ham relieved themselves of inevitable doom under AP and got Alan Curbishley to save them. Pardew then went to Charlton to relegate them instead. Well he had to take someone down didn’t he, why let a sacking stop him?

Flash Harry seasons prove nothing. Even George Burley finished 5th, qualifying for Europe, with Ipswich Town once and he had Titus Bramble in defence. George who you say? Exactly. Good old George even won manager of the year for that seasons achievement. However he then relegated Ipswich the following season and got sacked shortly after…that’s a frightening fact isn’t it? So it can happen? Were Ipswich fans protesting ‘well he took us to 5th last year’ when they were slipping out of the Premier League? If you’re one of our fans you often churn this excuse out to defend Pardew. then just have a little think about George ‘Manager Of The Year 2001 for finishing 5th in the league then got relegated the next season’ Burley the next time you do.

Sam Allardyce. The third and final ‘wise man’ he blatantly reminds me of, as Saturday afternoon well and truly nailed it, is The Fat One. Mr. Arrogance himself, Sam Allardyce. This fat piece of lard served up some of the most dire football any of us have ever seen as NUFC fans. Alan Pardew is matching him stride for stride. I almost lost the will to live during the QPR game. I swear I’m sure my heart stopped beating and had to kick start itself. What a complete waste of an hour and a half none of us can get back. Fat Sam revelled in the ‘percentage’ game voiding any ambition of quality of any kind and we all know that NUFC are top of the ‘long ball’ table this year. Can anyone seriously tell me that what Pardew has offered this season is any better than Fat Sam?

This 8 year contract was madness when it was given to AP a few months ago, I said as much here, now after no doubt we will have ended the year with just 3 wins since he signed it (don’t fool yourself into thinking we will get anything but a harsh lesson at Old Trafford and The Emirates) it looked like the owner and his sidekick locked us all onto a speeding bus with a drunken insane driver who is intent on doing what ever he likes without any consequence or fear that he can be stopped and they threw away the key. There is talk that if Pardew were to be sacked than the pay out would only be for a years worth of wages. Let’s bloody hope those reports are true.

Any of the ‘three ghosts of Christmas’ managers I have spoke of were rightfully sacked for dragging this club into depths it should never have been in. So why is Pardew immune from this kind of treatment? What has he done to void himself of any pressure whatsoever? Because we finished 5th last season? Well so what. Are we going to finish 5th this year? No of course not. Will we finish in the top half? Probably not going on the first half of this season. We’re in a relegation battle that nobody can deny. What nobody else can deny is that Souness, Roeder and Allardyce were rightfully sacked and the idea of stability only works with the right manager. Can you imagine suffering 8 years with any of these ‘wise men’?

A disappointed Alan Pardew. We are still 2 points worse off than at the same stage in the relegation season. That’s how dire AP’s team has been. The fact we finished 5th last year makes this season’s diabolical performances even worse. It is not a worthy defence. All that fact does is show how good our players are and what they are capable of. We have yet to see anything like our potential this season. We are heading into the new year with no quality performances to speak of whatsoever. That’s an unbelievable achievement considering the quality of our playing staff.

Under harsh circumstances Alan Pardew would have been sacked with the form of losing 6 out of 7 games.

Under normal circumstances Alan Pardew would have been lamented by fans and critics alike for the standard of performances all season.

Under generous circumstances Alan Pardew would be under pressure to turn the results and performances around with polite talk he could lose his job.

Under the circumstances we seem to find ourselves in, Alan Pardew not only hasn’t been sacked, he is void of any mass of criticism from fans and critics alike and he is not under any real pressure to turn things around as his job is not under threat whatsoever. Will any of the above circumstances come about if we lose at Man Utd and Arsenal bringing our form to 8 defeats in 10 games? Probably not. It’s like a twilight zone we’re living in.

I don’t know how exactly we have found ourselves in these circumstances of having a manager who is clearly not good enough for the job, receiving no real criticism or under threat at losing his job by taking a top 6 European team into a relegation battle, but it probably has something to do with where Mike Ashley took us prior to AP’s unexpected arrival two years ago. Nothing can possibly be as bad when Joe Kinnear dumped us into the Championship, so this season seems to be accepted by many and merely tolerated by the rest with the outraged very much in the minority.

Scrooge and ghost of Christmas. In an ideal world Alan Pardew would be thanked for last season before being relieved of his duties and then a European class manager would take over to work with our European class players and be given a healthy budget to create a European class squad. Unfortunately we aren’t in that world. We are still in the recovery world of total Armageddon that came in May 2009 at Villa Park.

The best we can hope for is for Alan Pardew to learn from his mistakes and turn around this season with a fresh new outlook of optimism in the year 2013 and hopefully with some new quality players. Hopefully there will be a Geordie Christmas Carol and he can be visited by the 3 ghost ex-managers I spoke of on Christmas Eve to snap him out of his ways.

You boy… what day is this?!

Follow this blog on Twitter @ToonBano.


NUFCBlog Author: ToonBano Author of ToonBano Blog @ Also write and contribute to The Mag,, and here! ToonBano has written 6 articles on this blog.

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52 Responses

  1. Roader had the worst injury crises I can remember. We at one point had the entire first team out. Not once did he moan or use injuries as an excuse unlike Souness or Pardew. In fact did we finish around 12th that season with most the first team missing? That’s probably around where we’ll finish this season under Pardew only having maybe 3 first team players unavailable for the most part. Interesting.

  2. Pardew won’t learn from his mistakes either. He’s too old to learn new tricks. If we sack him we’ll only get Ron Atkinson in as replacement. We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

  3. Whilst I agree with some parts of the piece, I don’t with some of the others. Besides what Jimbob wrote about the injury crisis, I also think it’s a little unfair to bash Roeder over West Ham’s relegation. He was the only manager to be relegated on 42 points, and the poor gadgie had a brain tumour too!

    Kinnear didn’t get us relegated either, and some of the fans paraded their ignorance by contantly referring to him as a “long ball” manager because he managed Wimbledon when he was actually raised on Bill Nicholson football and took tham away from all that and taught them to play in a better style. On his record we wouldn’t have been relegated, though I wouldn’t point the finger at anyone else in particular either. Even with the bizarre Alan Shearer / Iain Dowie arrangement where we were awful, I think they only had eight games? That season and the revolving manager’s door was all Ashley and Llambias’s work.

    Happy Christmas BTW Jimbob, and all.

  4. Yes I think it was Worky. Roader was treated like filth by the West Ham lot, he did the best he could here with the cards he was dealt. I remember Wenger making a comment about our injury crisis at the time and how no club could cope with it. He never moaned once.

    Merry Christmas Worky.

  5. get mark mcghee in sharpish!, he’s just been sacked lol.
    worky, all the best mate, and the same to all the lads and lasses, who post on here.

  6. anyone remember the goal owld stiff hips mcghee, scored against bradford city, with about 15 seconds to go?

  7. Gents. I was clearly remarking that Roeder only got an extended go at the Newcastle job because of a flash in a pan (half a) season after Souness got the chop. The point about his time at West Ham was merely a remarking the similarites with him and AP. I dont deny the fact he never moaned as our boss and he had his health scare at WHU. My point about him was he was clearly not good enough for the NUFC job and one flashy season proves nothing, also see Alan Pardew.

    Also when I say JFK dumped us into the Championship, this does sound harsh to him. I never had a problem with JFK. It was MA bringing him here that should feel the wrath for that disgrace. JFK just did what he did best.

  8. another great read toonbano.

    as with others i wouldn’t quite put roeder in that company.

    the manager pardew reminds me of is jack charlton in that he failed to build on a progressive team (albeit in different circumstances) and proceeded to marginalise our flair players in favour of unattractive long-ball approach.

    once again pardew received kudos in the press for a perceived ‘inspired’ substitution when in fact he should have brought jonas off and marveaux on when he made his first ‘tactical’ switch.

    why marveaux didn’t start is a mystery. quite what the lad has to do to get a start i just don’t know. perhaps this could be a factor in the recently reported franco/spanish divide?

    shola was actually pretty awful when he came on with one attempted header being particularly laughable and going down far to easily in injury time (although i don’t think he dived or deserved a booking). that said, he took his goal very well.

    the continued support/indulgence of the toon support towards pardew remains a mystery to me too.

  9. Toonbano: I thought I was reading an article by Chuck there for a minute. Chuck would be justifiably proud of such a rant :) Did he contribute and I hope you paid him a consulting fee. Lumps of coal?

  10. stewpot – Again, its the ‘flash season’ he had which apparently made him worthy enough to be our manager is what reminds me AP and the West Ham failure link. Im not just slating all of the 3 managers. Its the individual aspects of them that remind of AP. 1) Injuries excuse even though had quality squad 2) one off season with no previous achievements 3) terrible football.

  11. the strange way we seem to end up with managers is a bit of recurring theme at this club.

    after cox appointed the completely inappropriate charlton, when that didn’t work out we handed over to a semi-succesful caretaker in mcfaul.

    just substitute the names for robson, souness and roeder.

    even mcfaul enjoyed a decent season prior to being allowed to flex his muscles in the transfer market and finding his shortcomings exposed, much like roeder.

  12. Stewpot, Roader never had chance to spend as Souness spent like a mad man and Sheperd realised he couldn’t go on doing the same thing anymore. He had to fight to secure Martins for about £10 million to replace Shearer. So not only did we have a terrible injury crisis, it was our first season without Shearer.

    Imagine Pardew with that crisis and no Demba Ba? Suppose after January we’ll see how we get on without Ba. I agree with some above, why do some managers get slated and yet the current manager of NUFC doesn’t yet is doing worse with a better squad, simply because he can’t alter his woeful tactical outlook and has a tendency to piss people off with his bizzare arrogance.

    Pardew’s downfall his whole career has been himself, but instead of looking in a mirror he’ll blame someone or something else.

  13. Jimbob: Pardew is very calculating in the blame game. When we are on a run of form and we have a nightmare game like Wigan last year he will take the blame. When we are doing shyte and playing shyte he will blame everybody and everything (small squad, Europa, injuries etc.) but himself.

    I am really not sure what he is on about when he says we have played well, Wigan against 10 men? We were OK against QPR in the second half. What I have seen is us desperately chasing games because of bad initial tactics and us inevitably leaving gaping holes at the back that other managers have been able to exploit eg. Swansea.

    This may seem contradictory, but there are signs we are doing better (not playing well) because he has finally realised that we have skill players who can retain possession if they are allowed to. Even Krul is looking to throw it to a defender on occasion. This is the best job he will ever get and maybe he is acting like the rat he is and is adapting to save his own skin.

  14. I agree GS. Well spotted with Krul too. It’s pretty obvious it was down to Pardew to hoof it and not because Krul and Williamson don’t know any better. Willo’s playing it simple as is the whole back line to Anita and allowing him to try and dictate the play. Shame we didn’t adopt this approach earlier in the season.

  15. Zzzzzzzzzzz !
    Oh! you finished ?
    War and a piece o this n that again.
    Check out the word brevity.
    Monday morning quarterbacking is easy (it’s an Americaism)
    To say it pre-game, is awareness, to mention it post game is obvious.

  16. I am not sure about that Chuck @19. Toonbano has posted only 4 blogs on here. I am not sure what he has written before, are you?

    I can never figure you out Chuck. You, of all people, complaining about a long article :) Perhaps, after Jimbob lends Pardew a mirror he can lend it to you after.

  17. Could anyone imagine what may have happened, had we lost the game against a poor QPR.
    Absolute panic, which may have generated the changes that are necessary.
    Ah well, whats going to be in our christmas stocking i wonder ?
    A couple of defendres no doubt Aldeweireld/Douglas and Debuchy, or will we wait until summer when Simpson leaves before signing him.
    Instead bringing in Remy for a reported 15/16m. plus who knows what wages ?
    A two goal scorer, to peplace a 15 goal scorer.
    Plus throw in one of our best midfielders Marveaux it’s been rumored.
    Is it about a salary cap?
    Because i may not be able to figure out the numbers like some of our beancounters on here, but somehow i cant figure out where we get a good deal there.
    Shows what i know about the game.

  18. Also, I think Toonbano is Irish and not to be too stereotypical, but they like to write. For such a small country they have contributed a lot to literature (Frank McCourt aside).

  19. GS
    You know you wrote an interesting analysis @ 17#, surprising,
    As mostly you feed of others comments, seldom writing anything original, keep up the good work.

  20. Thanks Chuck. I am like Pardew, a rat who can adapt. When I see we are doing well I will compliment the manager, when we are doing really badly it is ultimately his fault. Simplistic maybe, but I never said I was a football expert. I come on here because I have always supported NUFC and for a bit of fun and information (and to give you a hard time).

    Now, this is not about football but it shows how stupid some people are in the country we both live in:

  21. Serious question. Is there a word for when someone gives someone a compliment in a way that is meant to be an insult? Like what Chuckles did to me @23.

  22. GS
    Yes the Irish are well known for their verbosity, and it’s been said, showed the English how to use their own language.
    As for Frank McCourt, yes there’s an exception to most rules.
    I knew his brother Malachy, who was a bartender in the West Village, “Bells of Hell” pub, back in the day.
    If bullshit were music, he certainly would be described as a brass band.
    Ended up as a part time actor and attempted to cash in on his brothers fame by writng an unsuccessful book.
    I can’t however account for the financial success of Angelas Ashes, well actually i can, apparently there’s a reading public out there with horrendous taste in literature.
    ( look at the success of the recent publication Fifty Shades of Grey)
    As this was the most depressing awfull stuff i finally threw in the garbage can, having resited reading it for years, but picked it up in a San Juan PR used bookstore for a dollar.
    I want my money back.

  23. @GS… a backhanded compliment? although i don’t think that was one.

    goes on a brevity then starts banging on about irish literature.

    still, slightly more interesting than inaccurately bigging up some player i’ve never heard of called lampart and definitely more interesting thank talking about fcking food!

    so well done chuck. merry christmas.

  24. I have watched a few of the “A Christmas Carol” movies on cable over the past few days. It is funny how Bob Cratchet’s kids all had these posh accents when they supposedly lived in a hovel in London’s slums. And George C. Scott managed to keep his Yank accent when living in London.

  25. Chuck @28: I don’t see the point of “Fifty Shades of Shyte”. If a lady wants porn, that’s what the internet is for.

  26. stewpot: I don’t think Chuckles means any harm. It is just his way. It took me a while to realise that.

  27. Chuck even made a reference @19 to a spelling error he had made 2 weeks ago in reference to another one of Toonbano’s articles. So despite what you might have heard, he is not going senile.

  28. See what I did there Chuck, I was inferring something by saying it wasn’t true. There has to be a word for that as well. Perhaps we should ask Frank McCourt’s brother?

  29. Worky must be out Christmas shopping and will be back in a while to say that the children took over the playpen again when he was out :)

  30. Toonbano, I think you should get off the fence and say what you think mate!! ;)

    As for Pardews reluctance to field on-form players it appears to be the done thing for him.

    We need him to be more of a Ranieri.

  31. Just looking through the comments…

    I am not Irish, just happen to be living here, which will hopefully change come a few days times as I am set to come back to flood ridden England.

    Merry Xmas all!

  32. Felice Navidades y Felice Ano Nuevo, to all the contributers to the blog.
    Hopefully we can begin 2013, with a new attitude in regard to where we may be going.
    Yeah Ashley, is the guy we have to rely on as far as the club’s expectations are concerned.
    Well we gotta see what he thinks, being he’s the one who spends the required dosh.
    Are we delegated for relegation, due to the fact our ownership refused to purchase the neccessary defenders during the last window.
    We are all aware , even if those involved at the top level, are not, that we could be relegated.
    Unlikely ?
    Sure that was the tude in the year we were.
    Lots of things going on right now, in regards to who goes who stays.
    Actually aint about who we have as players, more about who we have as a manager, remember the Shearer eight games.
    No repeats please.

  33. Merry xmas folks… Vernon anita is a class player if you watch closely hos phonomenal.. going to be a big big player for us. Marv startjng to look like he has confidence to make runs make a quick pass which he lacked when he first arrived.. why jonad even bothers to pull on a shirt is beyond me, the lads finished too slow brings nout at all to the table for me. If ba .leaves then mebbies cisse will pick his dummy or coring boots back up nd start hitting the net. The lad just wants.a good arm around him at the minute he wil do the business eventually

  34. So it turns out that it was Ba and then Coloccini who got upset about the hoofing and called the manager’s bluff.

  35. Not logged in for a while , merry christmas from Kiwiland , got me string vest on and me undies its 30 degrees in the shade and 20 at night its balmy !

    Need someone to knock that bl**din cocky smile off fergy , unfortunately dont think it will be us at trafford tomorrow , possibly FIVE – Nil to reds not looking forward to this AT ALL !!!!