If Alan Pardew ever thought the Newcastle manager job was going to be easy, then this week has proved that judgement completely wrong.
Alan Pardew – he’s got a tough job on Tyneside
And Alan has been down to earth about it and said it has not been a good week for Newcastle or himself, and he hasn’t much enjoyed it either.
And while we know Pardew has his detractors among the supporters, it’s hard to think how Alan could have done much better in the way he handled the tough Joey Barton situation this week, which would have sent most sane people around the bend.
This is what Pardew told the Newcastle press corps today:
“I need to make sure there’s some good news in the next three or four days, and that everybody starts thinking optimistically about this next season.”
“If I was Fabricio Coloccini, I’d be looking for a good player, or maybe two good players, to walk in the door before we play Arsenal.”
“I think the group is a tight group, and they’ll be ready for the campaign, but we must remember where we are.”
There were signs this week that Newcastle have initiated a move to quickly bring in a couple of players to the club.
And while the pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta may have been ended by his injury, it seems Newcastle have already agreed a deal to bring Red Devils winger Gabriel Obertan to Tyneside.
If the Daily Mail is to be believed, Newcastle have already agreed a five year deal with the 22 year-old and he will sign on early next week, to further add to the many skillful Frenchmen now at the Tyneside club.
The Evening Chronicle is reporting that some other moves for bigger name players have fallen through, but we’d not be too surprised if two players arrive before next Saturday’s first league game against Arsenal, who are having their own pre-season problems with Fabregas and Nasri.
“We are where we are – we’re a team that got promoted a year ago.” “Physically, all the players’ figures are better than this time last year, but mentally we’re not.”
“I think we need to get one or two things resolved this week to help that.” “We’ve had a good season, but there were times last year when we were on the edge.”
“We need to get players in to make sure we’re stronger than that.” “Hopefully, in the last 10 games of the season we’ll be stronger than where we were last season.”
“We’ve been unlucky with a couple of injuries.” “Shane Ferguson, a bright spot last season, has missed pre-season because of an impact injury.”
“Hatem Ben Arfa – who we got up to speed and looked great – had an impact injury, and Danny Guthrie, as well.”
“We lost three good technical players. Fergie was a blow as I wanted to look at him at left-back and see if he could offer to cover for Jose Enrique or play there.”
But we also think that injuries could well be a big problem next season, and it was simply a continuation in pre-season what happened in the last five months of last season, when the squad was simply decimated by one injury after another.
That’s why the Newcastle squad needs to be a lot bigger than it is at the moment, but it’s hard to see that can now be possible, with only 25 days left to bring in new players.
What do you think?