Alan Pardew couldn’t have done much worse at Newcastle than he’s done in the FA Cup and in four FA Cup ties we have lost three and all three to clubs from the lower leagues – Brighton have beaten us twice and we also lost 3-1 at Stevenage.
A disconsolate Alan Pardew on Saturday
The only time we have won an FA Cup tie with Pardew is the 2-1 home win against Blackburn, and that was when a certain Ben Arfa scored the goal of a lifetime (he’ since done that a few more times), but otherwise it’s been depressing.
And the sad fact is the game at Brighton has been as dismal a performance as we’ve seen for a long time from any Newcastle side, and we were short of almost all of our starters.
Alan Pardew and the players will need to turn this thing around soon, and the game at Norwich City against a Chris Hughton managed side has a certain irony about it – as Chris was ruthlessly fired by Ashley and company in December of 2010.
But we’ll have to start wining games soon, otherwise the unimaginable is possible – and we could suffer our second relegation in four years – and we’ll have to sell some of our top players like Yohan Cabaye and Ben Arfa (as just two examples) in the summer.
Alan Pardew was interviewed in the Mail this morning and it’s another depressing interview:
“The Cup usually leads only to disappointment because, somewhere along the line, you get knocked out, but my record at Newcastle is awful.” “I never thought we would be in the situation we are in – I’ve got a united dressing room and I think the spirit is strong, but we need better players out on the pitch.”
“We’re down to the bare bones. We are in a difficult patch at the moment and we are very, very short. I think the board knows that.” “People talk about players taking responsibility, but that’s a difficult word to quantify.”
“They gave their full effort, but it’s difficult for young players who should be in our development side to produce their best for the first team with everything that’s going on.” “We are working round the clock to bring new players in and get injured players back, but I make no bones about it and there’s no hiding away from it.”
“We are fighting to stay in the Premier League, and we are not too good to go down.” “We have to dig deep and stick together.” “Last year we had new signings coming in and making a huge impact, but this season we’ve had everything going against us.”
The good news is we have brought Mathieu Debuchy in, and hopefully we can also sign Marseilles striker Loic Remy, and Steven Taylor and Yohan Cabaye are back in training, but whether they can play at Norwich City next Saturday we don’t know.
We are hoping Newcastle can bring in four new players in total in January, but the odds of the club being able to do that are low – for one reason or another.
One thing that is worrying is when you keep losing games – we’ve lost five of our last six league games and our goal difference has also plummeted to -12 - it impacts the confidence of the players and they keep finding ways to lose – and we’ve seen that over the last couple of months.
But we’ll just have to keep the faith and hope for the best.
You can also reach Ed at email@example.com