Alan Pardew has held an inquest with his players, in an attempt to try to find out what’s going on, and why the team is playing their worst football all season, at the business end of the season, when relegation is finally decided.
Alan Pardew – in happier times
But Alan has a balancing act to perform, because you don’t want to come down so hard on a player (even if he deserves it), if that will completely drain their confidence, and confidence is a huge thing in sports – and in football.
Alan probably held his inquest after Mike Ashley and Derek LLambias had conduced their own inquest on Alan earlier in the week, after he had led the side to two simply embarrassing and humiliating home performances, when we leaked 9 goals and scored zippo.
This is what Alan told the press:
“Of course I am angry but I have to channel that anger in the right way.” “The only way I can get that right is in the next game and make sure I have a team that enters the pitch at West Ham confident it is going to win and that is very very important.”
“The start at West Ham is going to be a key part of our game because if we start like we did against Liverpool we are going to find ourselves in a lot of trouble.” “The players are very much aware of the situation that we are in and I don’t think they need a lot of telling.”
“We need to make sure when we work really hard to show this city that we have the fight for it.” “My teams are renowned for being organised and being on the front foot. I will take responsibility for it.” “Liverpool was probably the heaviest defeat I have had as a manager.”
“There were a lot of times when I didn’t like what I saw but I will make sure we put it right. And that started straight after the game in that dressing room.” “Our record isn’t good enough away from home. We know that. It’s got to improve dramatically if we’re going to stay up.”
“The away fans have been absolutely terrific, vital to us all year. We have had phenomenal support at home with sell-out crowds.” “I know they won’t turn on us – they love the club so much. We need to make sure we give them something back.”
The start is going to be important because you can bet your life Sam Allardyce will tell his players to throw everything they have at Newcastle very early in the game, in the hope that our lads will crumble, as they did so alarmingly against Liverpool.
It’s important that the lads play somewhere near their best on Saturday, but Alan and the players have also lost some credibility, because they were saying all the same things before the Liverpool game, that they would make it up to the fans and all that good stuff against Liverpool.
They didn’t and it turned out to be an even bigger humiliation than the Sunderland game – and that’s a massive statement.
We’re going to try to ignore all these pre-match comments this week in case we get too confident, as we were on Saturday when we lost that game in the first 20 minutes, with an alarmingly inept performance that sent shudders through Newcastle fans.
It’s simply up to each and every player to fight like hell on Saturday and fight until they drop for the Newcastle cause.
That should do it.
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org