It’s something that was bound to happen when we lose our first match of Alan Pardew’s seven game suspension to the bottom of the league side Fulham, who hadn’t won for nine games before they beat Newcastle on Saturday with a single goal scored by Ashkan Dejagah after 68 minutes.
Pardew’s absence certainly didn’t help on Saturday
There has been some debate about just how much the absence of Alan Pardew at the game has hurt the side, and we think it’s hurt a lot – so there – we’ve said it.
Cheick Tiote said after the game that is was strange on the pitch without Pardew on the touchline – but of course he was quick to add that Alan’s absence had no affect on the outcome of the game.
And assistant manager John Carver has said this today:
“I have to say the build up to the week was normal, as it was for every game, but it was strange getting on the bus without the manager,”
“He is the manager, he’s our leader and rightly so. Not having him on the bus was a little bit strange but once you get to the stadium and the work kicks in it was just like any other game.”
“We had a couple of conversations on the telephone but it’s a bit strange when your boss isn’t here.” “I don’t think it worked against us.”
“Like he said through the week he’s got a lot of faith in his staff. We’ve got a lot of experience in the technical area so the fact that he only contacted us twice meant he was happy with us.
“That was pleasing to know but I knew that anyway because I know what he thinks of us. We have got very good staff. I don’t think it was detrimental to the way we played.”
The party line will be Alan Pardew’s absence didn’t affect anything – and you’ll hear that from John and all the players – but the fact of the matter is – it’s just not true.
The players did miss the manager – and the danger is that in our next game on Saturday, we will have another poor result at home to Crystal Palace, who are 4th bottom and drew 0-0 at Sunderland.
Another poor result in that game before we play Everton at home and Southampton away would not be good – since Everton and the Saints will be two very tough games for us.
If the team does not do well while Alan is out, it’s even more reason why Newcastle need to get some players with leadership ability into the club – this is the time when we need a player like Kevin Nolan on the pitch – to get the players going – to shake them up.
Of course on the bright side if (the great) Loic Remy had been playing on Saturday we would have got some goals, but it doesn’t say much about Papiss Cisse and Luuk de Jong – who again went goalless on Saturday.
And in every one of the four games Remy has missed this year – Newcastle have failed to score – and that tells you something.
What do you think?