Before previewing Wednesday’s match against Newcastle I have to make a point about Nigel Pearson getting away with his assault on McArthur last Saturday.
That the FA have decided to not pursue the matter beggars belief. Just imagine if a fan did the same with an opposition fan and it was not seen by the police at the time but was captured on cctv. Would the authorities merely remind the fan of ‘his responsibilities’ and leave it at that? By allowing Pearson to get off scot-free the FA has abdicated its own responsibility and has lost any iota of respect most of us held for it.
Anyhow enough of the moral outrage and on with the football as it is time for Pardew to welcome his old chums to Selhurst. It will be a poignant moment for Pardew as he faces the club where he was generally disrespected, shunned and vilified by the fans.
In his short time at Palace he has been shown more love and warmth than in all of his four years at St. James Park, so he must be itching to get one over his erstwhile employers. Similarly you can bet that Newcastle players will be as keen to show their old manager who is boss.
With so much going on in the background, this promises to be a spicy affair. Despite securing five wins from six matches since Pardew’s arrival, there is still room for improvement and plenty to be done to achieve survival. Having only racked up three league wins at home all season there is a need to get back to the strong home form of last season for the remaining fixtures, especially as there are plenty of tough away games in the offing.
The return of Chammers from injury plus Bolasie and Jedinak from international duty, gives Pardew many options - AKA selection headaches. Judging on his previous choices, he is likely to be bold employing two strikers and trying to force the pace.
Newcastle have not exactly been ripping up trees since Pardew’s departure, but they do possess a threat upfront with the likes of Cisse and their dogged midfield anchored by Colback and Tiote will be hard to break down.
With a pretty dismal recent record against Newcastle there will never be a better time to rectify this and the players should be keen to show Newcastle what they are missing. That Pardew smile could be all the broader and sweeter.