Proof’s In – Newcastle Coach Told To Field Weakened Cup Sides


It’s not that we didn’t have proof before Alan Pardew left the club,  that there was some pressure put n the Newcastle coach to field weakened sides in the FA and League Cup games.

lee charnley close-up

Lee Charnley – Newcastle Managing Director

But since Alan Pardew has left for Crystal Palace some undeniable proof has been seen as Alan has fielded strong Palace sides in the FA Cup,  and they got to the 5th round before they were beaten 2-1 at home by Liverpool yesterday.

Add to that the fact that John Carver, our interim head coach, said he would field the strongest side possible in the 3rd round at Leicester City and that the cups were very important to both him and the fans.

And what happened?

John ended up making seven changes from the side that had drawn 3-3 against Burney two days before, and that side was probably the weakest side Newcastle has filed over the last five years – at least.

Suddenly Daryl Janmaat, Jack Colback, Moussa Sissoko and Fabricio Coloccini were not available (seemingly at the last moment), because of injury, but they were magically fit again for our next league game at Chelsea the following Saturday.

And in case the two days since the last game made John change the side, notice that he only made a couple of changes to the side that drew at Palace last Wednesday night,  after we had drawn 1-1 at home to Stoke the previous Sunday, and one was a forced change since Sammy Ameobi had picked up a knock in that game.

John lost some credibility with Newcastle fans for doing that, but in reality there was probably pressure put on him after he had made those positive statements about how important cup competitions were to the Newcastle club.

They are not.

It’s not unusual for top clubs to give some of their squad players a game in the cup competitions – but Newcastle are no longer a top club, and we don’t have the strength in depth to win games against good opposition when we field weakened sides.

And what that means is we never have long cup runs, and while I hate to rub this in – we have fallen at the 3rd round stage of the FA Cup four times over the last five years, and in three of those we have lost to a lower league club.

On thing is that it ‘s very clear there is pressure being put on the coach to field weakened sides in the cup competitions – so it wasn’t all Alan Pardew’s fault after all.

So what does this mean?

One result is that it will extend the time before we win our next trophy – which is currently stands at a staggering 46 years.

Our best and only chance of winning a trophy is in the cup competitions, since we have absolutely no chance of ever winning the Premier League, unless we get a budding new Jose Mourinho into the club in the summer and win the Premier League before snatched up by a top club.

We suppose there a slight chance of that happening – like a million to one – but a chance nevertheless. 😀

So we seem to have no chance of winning a trophy for a long, long time, and certainly not in my lifetime.

Well, as long as Mike Ashley is the Newcastle owner – that’s probably the more accurate way of putting it.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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30 comments so far

  • armchair fan

    Feb 15, 2015 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #1

    Inb4 someone says 1st comment

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  • armchair fan

    Feb 15, 2015 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #2

    Also, no proof necessary Ed its just reading between the lines of our useless owner and his crummy cockney disciples.

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  • armchair fan

    Feb 15, 2015 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #3

    3rd comment for me also 😀

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  • jayphoto

    Feb 15, 2015 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #4

    Don’t think he’s been told to ignore cups! More likely hes been told his job application and in Pardews case bonuses are completely based on League position and success in the cups will have zero impact on them

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  • scout

    Feb 15, 2015 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #5

    Didnt you know fa cup winners get relegated. Thats the crap they feed the fans. Biggest load of shxt I’ve heard in my life.
    Club ran by comedians from top to bottom. I bet they laugh their backs off in private at what they’re doing to Newcastle United.
    The day he leaves ill have a week off work and go on a major session.

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  • Ron Knee

    Feb 15, 2015 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #6

    Sunderland two down.

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  • armchair fan

    Feb 15, 2015 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #7

    Scout
    I agree that NUFC has become a joke club, but when you look at the recent stats, first of all with Newcastle and the Europa league and how we nearly got relegated, same with Everton who are doing sh*** now, and in the past theres teams such as Wigan who got relegated when winning a cup/playing more games other than PL. Also Birmingham and McLaren with Middlesborough winning the cup.

    There is definitely a linkage between extra games and performance in the Premier League, it’s not all dross albeit a scapegoat excuse for why we don’t try.

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  • chuck

    Feb 15, 2015 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #8

    And……..
    Surprise! surprise!
    Did anyone expect anything different ?

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Feb 15, 2015 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #9

    That’s ca bigger discussion than so…isn’t the real issue that both AP and JC lied about this in our face?

    …we need to use the whole extend of the squad in both league games and cup games. Disregarding the cup games that has not been the case.

    Do we want a manager who lies to us and doesn’t think telling him who he can and cannot play is making it untenable for him to do his job?

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  • oldbobaycliffe

    Feb 15, 2015 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #10

    have never been able to understand why any supporter of nufc buys a cup match ticket whether home or away you know the team are set out to lose why give them your money if you have plenty to spare give it to a charity

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  • lesh

    Feb 15, 2015 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #11

    It’s just a pity that speculation wasn’t enough for the FA to take action. The proof’ll never be uncovered and there’s sure to be confirmation from the medics that unfielded players were suffering injuries or unable to play through illness or whatever.

    Ashley and Llambias can’t understand why there’s so much resentment against them? Maybe if they took the time and trouble to be straight with fans and communicated their intentions, feelings might change.

    Their reputation has preceded them to Rangers and they just don’t get it. Llambias deserves everything he gets if he’s daft enough to parade himself around Glasgow bars. He just doesn’t understand how close football clubs are to fans’ hearts.

    Can they, will they change their ways? I can’t see it.

    There is the tiniest glimmer of hope for Newcastle United but only if Ashley feels it appropriate to show some ambition and invest in a decent Head Coach and bring in some quality players. Doing so may just let the Rangers fans see that once the finances are restored to good health, then investment will follow.

    That sounds a bit naive I know, but we can but hope.

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  • scout

    Feb 15, 2015 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #12

    Dont buy that about the extra games, the games in that europa are played at snails pace.
    I wouldnt watch it in my garden

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  • toon22

    Feb 15, 2015 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #13

    The recent tv deal tells you exactly MA intentions.
    He aint leaving the cash cow unless he has to.
    He obviously wants to repeat what he has done to us with Rangers.

    Its all about the money.

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  • SouthLincsToon

    Feb 15, 2015 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #14

    Could all Toon fans take one minutes silence to enjoy the Bradford 5under1and result

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  • bladeuser

    Feb 15, 2015 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #15

    The 5 minute warning sounds a nuclear strike is imminent 50,000 sheep try to get to sjp to get there name tags off there seats.Its not as daft as it sounds

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  • Alternative Headline

    Feb 15, 2015 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #16

    err, this isnt proof – Carver fielding the ‘injured’ players a week after the cup match is much proofier. Forget that, didnt Charnley actually tell us we wouldnt be competing in cup matches?

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  • clinath@ed

    Feb 15, 2015 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #17

    It’s one thing struggling in the league whilst playing in the Europa league, it’s quite another not to try and qualify for it.
    At £2-4M or so, per league position, it’s got to be worth while getting as high as possible, should the club then qualify for Europe (unwanted?) why not just through the early group games in August/September?
    Btw I’m not condoning these actions, but if your gonna be mercenary about running your club, you might as well go the whole Hog.

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  • clinath@ed

    Feb 15, 2015 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #18

    That should read “throw”

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  • AndyMac

    Feb 15, 2015 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #19

    “John lost some credibility with Newcastle fans”

    I sense an ex pat Geordie on the brink of meltdown ?

    Ed he has no credibility so dont bother papering over the cracks, Carver is Pardwho i.e. Puppet mark two, Nothing will change until change happens.

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  • Graeme

    Feb 15, 2015 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #20

    NUFC is no longer a Football Club, it is an Advertising Hoarding for SD – nothing more, nothing less. There is no interest in performance, prestige, whatever – all that matters is to survive, to finish mid-table, to avoid ANY and ALL Cup runs.

    As long as we avoid a relegation battle, finish above 17th, but below 7th we will collect a kings ransome for doing so – THAT is the only thing that matters.

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  • clinath@ed

    Feb 15, 2015 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #21

    Graeme. I’m afraid I agree with you.

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  • cyprus

    Feb 15, 2015 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #22

    Ed,
    You’d never make it as a lawyer mate, but you’d do fine as a reporter!
    Seeing your sensationalist title I thought you had some real and new proof. Instead you reiterated circumstances and hearsay to fuel the fire, disappointingly.
    Anyway, your web site generates good money ($45,000! not bad for a hobby!), so keep up the good work 😉

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  • toon kk

    Feb 15, 2015 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #23

    Carver will be under the exact same restrictions P45 was under at Newcastle. It’s the only way someone will ever get the head coach job.
    let’s be honest though, what do people expect from our squad?
    We could play better with the correct training, but we’re still limited. We only have one goal scorer ffs.

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Feb 15, 2015 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #24

    toon kk…we expect the Head Coach to be upfront with us and walk if the job is untenable!

    …not just staying because his wife SB kids like it here and it’s lonely at the unemployment office!

    I just no respect for such people (especially when they talk about their love for the fans and the club)

    Nothing but a plastic manager (in the making)

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Feb 15, 2015 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #25

    *SB = and

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  • Big Archie

    Feb 15, 2015 at 7:00 PM

    Comment #26

    Ed – it’s sad to see that you have finally gone the way of the mob and automatically take the negative side of every story.

    Carver has only been in the job a few weeks and despite justifying his decision by trying to ensure that further injuries did not occur, everyone just thinks the worst.

    Of course we ignore the fact that its not long ago that we had 12 first team players out injured, and the fact that all 4 players were actually booked out by the club doctors, and we tend to forget the damage that the run in the Europa cup did us, but thats fine, because we can all have a go at the new manager and jump up and down shouting “Cockney Mafia”.

    Screw the FA Cup. At this point in time with Tiote, Taylor, De Jong, Aarons and Dummet currently out I’d be focussing on staying up first, and the fans second.

    You’d all be singing a different tune if Colo, Sissoko or Colback had done some serious damage.

    But hey – lets just slag off the management, because of course we all know better.

    Its amusing that the majority of whiners are complaining about how Ashley is making our multi million pound football club profitable and they can’t make it to the end of the week on their social.

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  • Alternative Headline

    Feb 15, 2015 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #27

    Archie can i have some of the drugs your on pls

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  • Malta Mag

    Feb 15, 2015 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #28

    Well said Big Archie, although it’s Mike Ashley’s ambition that’s the big question? No question that the man’s turned us around financially and the majority fail to see the enormity of our situation under Shephard. It also annoys me how a fellow Geordie like Carver, who has the best interests of the club at heart is chastised for his efforts even though I too would look elsewhere at the end of the season. So Archie mate, I too get sickened by the negativity on this blog but that’s life nowadays so you and me will have to live in the minority.

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  • Moonraker15

    Feb 15, 2015 at 9:49 PM

    Comment #29

    Big Archie
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion and it is my opinion that it is morons like you, that are enabling this regime to totally abuse the privelege of owning our great club, by not attempting to be the best we can for the sake of profit. we all recognise the need for profit but it should be used for the improvement of the club, not for profit’s sake alone!

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  • Obertan's better than Messi

    Feb 16, 2015 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #30

    The coach isn’t told to field a weakened team in the cups.

    The medical staff are clearly told to use different criteria when measuring player injuries for cup matches.
    A knock that would be carried in an EPL match is an injury for a cup game.

    This covers the club from disrepute charges and covers the coach from lying to the fans.

    It still sucks.
    Everything about Ashley’s NUFC sucks.
    It’s not the way to run a sporting club.

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