Newcastle played four league games in a short 11 days and Alan Pardew made precious few changes to the starting side during that time – in fact Newcastle played their strongest side available in those four games – two wins and two defeats.
Alan Pardew – cups are important to Newcastle – no they aren’t
And while it’s true that we had two injuries and a suspension coming out of the last game, the 1-0 defeat at West Brom – Alan Pardew made seven changes to the side for the FA Cup 3rd round tie yesterday against Cardiff City, which we managed to lose after going 1-0 up after 61 minutes with a goal from Papiss Cisse.
And we are not even going to mention that Cardiff are 4th bottom of the league and had one win in their last 10 games before yesterday’s surprise win.
We wont mention that.
The Newcastle defeat yesterday by Cardiff was an embarrassment to Newcastle fans everywhere, and it was very hard to take.
So for the fourth year running Newcastle made an ignominious exit from the FA Cup after playing a weakened side, and if we continue to treat the two local cups as secondary to the Premier League – which we do – it’s going to be a long long time before Newcastle ever wins anything again.
And that’s a fact – not an opinion.
Villa manager Paul Lambert put the cat among the pigeons earlier in the week, when he said the FA Cup was nothing more than a distraction to the Premier League, and all hell was let loose – but there are lots of other managers who would agree with that – even if they don’t say it in public.
And it’s interesting that Villa were beaten 2-1 at home by League One club Sheffield United yesterday., and can now concentrate on survival in the Premier League this season and getting as high up as possible..
The fact that the Premier League for the next three years will pay PL clubs between £60M and £100M each May says it all – and the PL games are the high priority for every single PL club, and staying in the Premier League is the only thing that matters.
The FA Cup Final winners get £1.8M and the money they get along the way for winning previous ties is around £1.6M, so the total for winning the FA Cup competition is £3.4M and entry into the Europa League.
If you finish bottom of the league in the Premier League you get £60M and £2M for each place up from there, so the third bottom relegated side gets around £66M, and the winners get around £100M.
If Newcastle finish mid-table we’ll get around £80M.
So you see what we mean.
And that’s why you have seen so many managers fired at clubs who are close to the bottom of the league – and one example of that is of course Cardiff City, who sacked Malky Mackay last week.
We hear every year from Alan Pardew that the two cups are important to the club, and that he wants to win something, but he continues to put weakened teams out – so it’s simply hogwash.
If the cup ties were really important, then Alan would have played his best side yesterday and included the likes of Mike Williamson, Loic Remy and others in the starting eleven, but instead he made seven changes from the last game – four more than were enforced.
It may be politically correct to keep saying the cups are important to Newcastle – but in truth they are not – and that’s becoming more and more true – at least for PL clubs, as the amount of money they get from the league increases to unbelievable amounts.
And we have said many times before that big time football is now all about money – and that’s very true.
But notice we’re not saying that’s particularly good – it’s just the way things have become.
And it’s one reason the FA Cup is not what it one was, and it’s hard to make a good argument against that.
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