In that first half on Saturday, it not only looked like we would end up as big losers, but our goal difference (it was at +3 t the start of the game) would also be shot, and that’s always worth a point in a relegation struggle.
Alan Pardew – has shown great personal courage so far at Newcastle
And that’s exactly what we were thinking at half time, and already writing an article about how we shouldn’t over-react to getting hammered, and it was only one game and just 3 points lost – and all that kind of stuff.
But all that had to be scrapped after Newcastle came roaring back like Lions in that second half.
And it turns out that Alan Pardew was given considerable verbal abuse from a particular fan in that first half, from just behind the dugout.
Alan was asked today if he had heard the abuse:
“I was aware of him. That ain’t the first time it has happened.” “I have had it several times.”“I have had it at West Ham, Southampton, Charlton and Reading.” “You get days when it does not look right.”
“It did not look right and if I was a fan I would be questioning the manager about the preparation of that team.” “The truth is I even felt before the game that it did not feel right. I could sense something was wrong.”
“We were genuinely feeling sorry for ourselves.” “There was a hangover from the events of this week and to some degree, some of the players, maybe they were asking, ‘is it all about Andy Carroll?’”
“Well it isn’t. it is about Newcastle and they showed that.” “I am not saying to you anything different than what I mentioned at half-time.”
“It was not how to approach a Premier League game. You have to pressure people, tackle people, turn people around, force them into errors. You can force any team into errors.”
“Part of my message was that you cannot sulk in front of 52,000 people at St James’ Park.” “They were letting themselves down more than anyone else.” “They showed to their family and friends that they are better than that.”
We always suspected last week that Alan was as devastated as any fan that the club lost Andy Carroll, and while he put a brave face on it at his press conference last Tuesday, you could kind of sense he never wanted Andy to leave – whatever the transfer fee was.
But one thing we have learned about Alan, and as we said yesterday, this has nothing to do with him being a good football manager or a bad one, he has shown immense personal courage since he arrived on Tyneside.
He seems a really good guy, just like Chris, and whatever happens to him at Newcastle, we will always respect him for the courage he has shown, which comes in times of great adversity – like last Monday as one example, and at half time on Saturday as another.
“It has been a tough week to be a football manager here – a tough and the toughest I have had, as you can imagine – but at the end of it I am elated. It is just a weird feeling.”
We wonder if that fan who gave Alan all that abuse stayed for the seocnd half, and was celebrating in Geordie heaven like the rest of us, when Cheick scored hiss wonder goal.
He probably was.