Don’t Jump the Gun, We’ve Been Here Before

Looking pleased

Looking pleased

Alan Pardew is unsurprisingly delighted with Newcastle United’s last two results; a 2-0 home victory over Chelsea and their imperious boss Jose Mourinho was followed up with an arguably even more impressive 1-0 away win over Spurs at White Hart Lane. Pardew feels that those wins put us in a fantastic position to attack the top of the league with two ‘fantastic home games coming up’ as he himself described it.

Those two games are against Norwich and West Brom, managed by two former Toon managers (albeit Clarke held the reins for a brief spell) and arguably these two games are infinitely more winnable than our last two.

Does this mean that we have crossed the elusive line into consistency? Does beating the likes of Chelsea and Spurs prove what a good team we are? Well yes and no. Why should it be such a surprise that we win at home to Chelsea or go to White Hart Lane and beat Spurs?We should be winning (or at least not losing) most if not all of our home games. Also, we used to go to White Hart Lane not too long ago and walk all over Spurs. In 2008, we went there and hammered them 4-1 with the likes of Butt, Geremi and Viduka playing in the side. Have we really tumbled so far in such a short space of time that a 1-0 win is regarded as season defining? I for one am not getting ahead of myself.

Another point that should be made is that the position we find ourselves in at this stage of the season is not much different from what we usually see going into the winter months. Our average points total after 11 games in the last 7 seasons has been 17 points. Guess how many points Hughton had after 11 games in the 2010 season, a few games before he was sacked? 17. So why then are some sections of the Newcastle United support calling this a good start to the season? It’s distinctly average. While we achieved a wonderful home point against Liverpool, a great home win to Chelsea and an excellent away win at Spurs, we have balanced those out with shocking performances against Hull, Sunderland and Everton.

I still think that Alan Pardew is not good enough to manage Newcastle United. He is a decent manager, and with more investment and better options to choose from, I imagine he would consistently get us into the top 8 in the Premier League – but let’s be honest, it is not that hard to be better than the likes of West Ham, Norwich, and West Brom. When teams like Southampton and Swansea are used as yard sticks by which to measure success, that is when you know you are aiming too low.

I do not wish to stick the boot in to Pardew, he’s a puppet who is getting more out our players in recent weeks. Undoubtedly, that tide will shift once more and we will be ‘treated’ to some tripe performances before this season is out, littered with a few unexpected results along the way, and we will probably finish around mid-table.

That is not good enough.

Whoever thinks that is good enough for Newcastle United has truly fallen victim of the toxic mediocrity that is spilling down from the top. Challenge that perception, demand more from this great club and those who are paid to represent it. Is 9th a good start to the season or is it simply where we should be expecting to be. Perhaps it is lower than we should be expecting ourselves to be?

I will probably be accused of taking a negative stance on some good results, but that is not the case at all. I cherish every victory, but by looking at the bigger picture, I realise how futile it may be. If we have proven ourselves unwilling to invest and progress following a 5th place finish, what exactly is our ambition? Seems like anything above relegation is success these days at Newcastle United, which is why I don’t sing too loudly when we win a game we did not expect to. It is 3 points away from relegation, not 3 points towards progress. I find myself caring less and less about our results.

That is the biggest crime of Ashley’s tenure in my opinion.

 

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7 comments

  1. Negative stance? hmmm.
    Yes I think so we have been forced to that by Ashley.
    Can anyone remember the feeling in Keegans or SBR’s days of expecting to win every game and it was by how many goals? a little bit like Hughtons promotion year but since then we have been fed nothing but negatives by Ashley, Pardew and Jokeinear.
    We have decent players but they are fed negativity from the top, ie we can not compete with the big clubs financially or on the field, but we have just done that.
    Pardew sets up his sides in a negative way often hoping just for a point or hoping we get lucky and an defend a one goal lead, he has said he expects to win every game ask him to prove it! The best defence is attack and we are capable of attacking and winning if he allows the team to do that.
    Good article.

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  2. Ruddy you negative swine !!

    No only joking. I would have to agree with you. If we can’t win these next two games the last two results will count for nowt.

    I actually find myself not wanting to qualify for the europa league nowadays, because our owner won’t invest the money required for us to compete on two fronts. Think we’re better finishing 10th for example or we’ll get a repeat of last season again. Sad state of affairs when you’re thinking like that. We should obviously be looking to finish as high as possible, but qualifying for Europe again and the usual lack of investment in the summer will see us in another relegation battle sadly.

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  3. We must not get above our station, mid table is our owner ,manager and Jokes aim anything else would have dire consequences in that they may have to spend some money. If we qualify for european football it will be regarded as a disaster, if we finish above 10th we obviously have to many quality players so we will sell some that would happen anyway as decent players want european competition if we are relegated we will sell most of our better players as they will not want to stay so I think our aim is 12th to 14th and we will retain most of our team but still sell one or two for Ashley’s pocket money. Oh and don’t expect to win the FA cup we don’t want to win that , do we, that would mean Europe.

    I enjoyed winning the championship the highlight of the last 44years, Iwe never expected to lose a game it was more a question of how many goals we could win each game by, oh to be that positive again but without the required relegation.

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  4. Amen!

    It’s been a great couple of results and possibly more importantly, a great couple of fighting performances, but what comes next will show whether we’ve found any consistency.

    It will also be interesting to see:

    1) Whether Pardew and the team can maintain this spirit over the international break.
    2) Can the defense deal with changes, as Debuchy will be out for the next game.

    As I said, been a great couple of weeks, long may it continue.

    Now, that’s just the playing side of things. As you say, what is it we’re actually aiming for? I agree with Belfast (that’s going to require some therapy…), qualifying for EL doesn’t hold joy, but fear. That is so wrong.

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  5. Stop agreeing with me Ibiza, It doesn’t feel right.
    But yeah we want to finish as high as possible, but a lot of us don’t want to qualify for the Europa league, because we all know we won’t invest the money required to compete on both fronts. It’s a weird situation that’s for sure.

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  6. Belfast..Rest assured it’s not easy for me either. It’s just another reason for my bad feeling towards Ashley.

    Making me share an opinion with you. Now that’s “a weird situation”.

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