Newcastle: We Lack Desire & Now Our Season Needs Rescuing
When it comes to the current plight of Newcastle United, there are two schools of thought.
There are those, who perhaps understandably, believe that Newcastle fans have no right to be upset. Who believe that the club have done well to be where they in the table and think that the fans should be pleased with their clubs showing this term, regardless of current form.
Those who are of this belief are usually neutrals, or those who are standing on the outside looking in.
Then there is the second school of thought. The belief held by the majority of those filtering through the turnstiles of St. James’ Park on a regular basis. The belief that Newcastle United are heading nowhere under the current stewardship and that the good form of the autumn did nothing but paper over the cracks; helping to disguise the shoddy and miserly way the club is run.
To a certain extent I can understand the point of view of those who say that we Newcastle fans have nothing to complain about. The club has had some great results this season and that to hope for any more would be an unrealistic expectation. On the face of things, this is true.
However, people of this belief are missing are the bigger picture at St James’ Park.
We Newcastle fans are growing ever more frustrated with goings on at our club. Mike Ashley has made it perfectly clear that he has no ambition for Newcastle United other than to skim all the cash that Premier League mid-table obscurity offers.
Many are now reaching breaking point, as the distain and disregard that the owner shows toward the fans, that help finance his empire, shows no sign of ever letting up.
The Keegan smear campaign, relegation, The Sports Direct Arena, Wonga, Pardew’s bullsh*t, Joe Kinnear, the deafening silences from those in charge, the local press ban, the big-money sales, the lack of investment, and most gallingly of all, the shameful lack of ambition, has brought many now to the end of their tether.
There has been a storm brewing on Tyneside for many years now – the early season good form did nothing but postpone the inevitable.
We know the club can’t realistically achieve anything much better than an eighth place finish. We know we probably won’t make it in to European again any time soon. We know we probably won’t win a cup – all we ask as fans, is that the club at least try.
No one can argue the team had a great first half of the season, but no awards are handed out at Christmas. What’s the point of doing so well in the autumn if you are just going to cash in on your best player and stop trying in the winter??
Since the turn of the year the wheels have well and truly come off.
We are now seven league games in to 2014 and Newcastle have already lost five of them, and perhaps even more worryingly, have only score in one of these games (the Cabaye inspired win at Upton Park).
In the last three games Newcastle have been soundly humped at home by Spurs, rolled over and had their bellies tickled by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and most unacceptably, showed no fight as they were once again battered by the old enemy from down the road.
Whilst Pardew will point to the fact that along with Cabaye, the Coloccini-Tiote-Remy spine of his team was missing for each of these games, the lack of fight, heart and desire shown by his team during each of these games is something that cannot be accepted from any Newcastle United team – especially in a derby.
Since Yohan hightailed it off to Paris before the ink was even dry on his new contract, Newcastle have looked shockingly poor. Pardew’s whole team was based around Cabaye, since his sale, both manager and team alike do not seem to have a clue where to now turn.
The link between the midfield and forward line is now gone, and unsurprisingly, has not been replaced. There is no one in the squad who is realistically capable of filling this void. Ben Arfa has the ability, but it is now quite clear from the last few games that he cannot be a***d.
Where Newcastle’s season now goes following this most dramatic of slumps is anyone’s guess.
Oh and by the way, Cabaye has now scored more goals for PSG, than the entire Newcastle team has since his departure a month ago.
Pardew has talked of the squad needing a huge overhaul in the summer. With a dozen games remaining, the time has now come for those players currently under-performing, to prove that they are worthy of wearing the black and white shirt going forward.
The last twelve games of the season could now potentially make or break a few careers on Tyneside.
Players like Cisse, Marveaux, Taylor, Santon, Yanga-Mbiwa, Obertan, Gosling, Shola & Sammy Ameobi, De Jong and of course Ben Arfa, are all now essentially playing for their Newcastle future – question is, do they care enough??
With games against Villa, Hull, Fulham and Palace, all now on the horizon, the fixture list offers the chance for these players to build some bridges at St. James’. These games offer the opportunity for the players (and the manager) to prove they are not a one-man team, and that the early season form was not just a fluke run led by Cabaye.
If the players continue to show the lack of heart they have shown of late, then undoubtedly many will surely be heading for the exit. The manager is also under pressure, if he continues to fail to adapt his team in the wake of Cabaye’s departure, then more and more will turn on the already unpopular Pardew.
It really feels like things are building to a head now at St. James’ Park. Villa at home on Sunday is now all of a sudden a massive game for the club, a fact that’s pretty indisputable – regardless of your school of thought.