In his column in the Chronicle today former Newcastle left back Olivier Bernard has sympathy for the Newcastle manager, and thinks taking Cheick Tiote off after 75 minutes for Papiss Cisse unbalanced the side, and ultimately led to the Newcastle defeat.
A distraught Alan Pardew after the game against Sunderland
This is some of what Bernard wrote today:
What changed it for us was when Pardew decided to change things tactically to chase the game.
It’s a risk when you take your holding midfielder off to bring on a striker, and no one needs reminding that it backfired in the final minute.
Without Tiote, as soon as Newcastle United lost the ball we looked weak and unbalanced. Jack Colback was on a yellow card, making it harder for him to put a foot in.
I don’t blame Pardew for doing it – I was in the stands on Sunday and every Newcastle fan at St James’ Park on Sunday knew we could win that game.
Everyone probably would have done the same because it seemed like a goal was coming.
After 75 minutes Newcastle were gaining the upper hand and we’ve seen three previous games at Newcastle when the lads managed to get the vital winning goal late in the game – against Leicester, Liverpool and QPR.
And it looked as though that could happen again against Sunderland, and it’s hard to blame the lads or the manager for going for the win – after we had previously been beaten three times in a row by Sunderland.
We were wondering why the manager waited until 15 minutes to go before he brought on Papiss, so we assume he wasn’t feeling too good and it seems that knee of his is still a problem.
But Alan Pardew did get the blame and we saw some headlines after the game suggesting it was time for Alan Pardew to leave Newcastle.
After winning six games in a row – with wins at Tottenham and Manchester City – and a home win against Chelsea?
That’s makes no sense at all right now.
But of course the passions at the end of the game were high – very high – and somebody had to be blamed.
We’re now in another bit of a slump with three defeats on the trot, so we are looking for at least a good spirited display at Manchester United on Boxing Day.
And hey, if we can do that we may even be able to take something out of the game.
What do you think?
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