Alan Pardew is almost at the end of his first pre-season at Newcastle, and we think he will be very happy when he leads the lads out for the first Premier League game of the season against Arsenal on Saturday evening.
Alan Pardew – terrible pre-season for the Newcastle manager
That game will be televised live around the world but it will also signal the end of one of the toughest pre-seasons Alan Pardew will have had in his management career.
If Alan Pardew ever thought the Newcastle manager job would be easy, he will now know it isn’t and it remains one of the toughest jobs to have in football management in Britain.
Just look at what’s happened in this pre-season for Newcastle:
- In Newcastle’s first pre-season game at Darlington, the Magpies had both Danny Guthrie and Shane Ferguson injured in the first half and out at least five weeks
- In the second half of that game, Newcastle fans invaded the pitch after Sammy Ameobi scored, and Newcastle were in the headlines again for all the wrong reasons
- Joey Barton, Yohan Cabaye and Nile Ranger were denied US visas
- Newcastle undertook their American tour in the midst of a heat wave, when temperatures were around 100 degrees F
- Ben Arfa was injured in the first game at Kansas and was again carried off on a stretcher to the distress of the fans
- Newcastle had to play in Orlando on a plastic pitch, after the newly laid grass pitch was deemed too dangerous
- Jose Enrique criticized the Newcastle hierarchy after the Orlando game and was fined two weeks wages
- Newcastle failed to bring in their top two striker targets of Kevin Gameiro and Mevlut Erdinc
- The game at Leeds United saw Joey Barton initially refuse to play because he was not made captain, and he argued with the manager, and then he give a dressing room lecture to the side after the game for not being good enough
- Joey then tweeted criticisms of the Newcastle board in the team bus, and was put on the transfer list the next day on a free transfer, and subsequently fined two weeks wages
- Newcastle’s final game of the season had to be abandoned after 64 minutes due to the pitch being water-logged
And yes I may have missed one or two other things.
Alan has been trying to bring in good players on a restricted budget, and the news in February that the £35M from the Andy Carroll sale to Liverpool, would be completely re-invested in the club, has turned out to be inaccurate.
But Pardew has still done quite well to bring in Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux, Demba Ba, Mehdi Abeid and possibly Gabriel Obertan today, and hopefully at least one more player before Saturday.
“It has been a weird pre-season for us.” “The £35m tag has been at the top of the agenda.” “Then there has been the situation with Joey.”
“Through it all the players have worked really hard and we have good players here.” “We are putting out a team that has to excel because it is the only way we can compete.”
“Any player who I put out on that pitch has to play above themselves.” “We did that last year, we lost Andy Carroll and we played above ourselves.”
“And I don’t think anybody can deny that.” “That’s what I will ask people to do against Arsenal.”
“You want your top players in your team like Jose Enrique and Joey Barton and they need to be in a position where they play above themselves.
“And if they don’t we will have to go with other players.”
It seems that in general, apart from Joey Barton’s Twitter antics, the squad has done well and got down to the business of getting fit for the Arsenal game this coming Saturday.
A win against the Gunners will go a long lnmg way to raising the spirits of Newcastle fans everywhere, and that’s what we look forward to on Saturday.