Stoke were a mediocre side yesterday at the Britannia Stadium, but after beating Newcastle 1-0 with a fluke goal from Erik Pieters in the 42nd minute, that was enough to haul Stoke to only 3 points behind Newcastle in the league, and they could yet catch us, and then we’d finish in 10th place.
Erik Pieters - after scoring yesterday
But that would still meet Mike Ashley’s target of 10th place for the side, and everybody would still get their bonuses, but the season is ending in such a negative way that Newcastle have looked a very poor side since we beat Stoke 5-1 in December – when they had only 9 men in the second half.
This is some of what Alan Pardew said after the game:
“The way to settle it down is to get a win, unfortunately it hasn’t come today.” “It was close today. I thought we had good character in the group. It was an honest performance but we lacked creative flair.”
“And we lack a little bit of ability in and around the box. Loic’s return, which I think will happen next week, will be important to us.”
“It was a bit of a fluke goal, and the wind took hold of it, which made it almost impossible for Tim Krul to save.”
Alan Pardew mysteriously also said after yesterday’s defeat in one interview, that we were missing 10 senior players , but we are missing only three – Loic Remy, Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko.
All three are expected to be in the French squad for the World Cup, and Loic hopefully will return next Saturday when we are at home to Swansea – and maybe we can score a goal in that game.
And we haven’t achieved that in the last four games, and have scored only once when Loic Remy has missed his 11 games for Newcastle this season.
And that Pieters goal was the first time in six years the Dutch International has scored a goal, and it was meant to be a cross, but the ball floated into the top right hand corner and evaded Tim Krul.
Fans had two signs at the game calling for Alan Pardew to be fired, and after last season’s nightmare, the second half of this season is not turning out to be any better.