Yesterday's Game.

Discussion in 'Newcastle United' started by Agent Bruce, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. Agent Bruce

    Agent Bruce Well-Known Member

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    A piece from NUFC.com on yesterdays game.

    Alan Pardew's return to the dugout after a seven game absence during which his side took three points from a possible 21 had little discernible effect on a side who clearly suffer from a crippling lack of self-belief.

    And the mood amongst many of the 1,800 fans present was just as depressed, support rapidly translating into abuse and gallows humour once Tim Krul had conceded.

    "Alan Pardew, it's six in a row", "Alan Pardew, it's never your fault" and "You're nothing special, we lose every week" to the Arsenal fans. tell the story of a club stumbling towards the end of a season that is now completely toxic. And that's from the fans who haven't yet voted with their feet....

    While other teams attempt to park the bus, Newcastle's defensive strategy was more reminiscent of a pogo stick propped up against the goal frame, Arsenal making their usual slow start and showing little early on.

    Our attempt at damage limitation tonight lasted for 26 minutes before Santi Cazorla's free kick was touched home by Laurent Koscielny - a soft goal that mirrored Olivier Giroud's winner at Gallowgate last December.

    One goal is usually enough to beat us, but Arsenal took a stranglehold on the points - ensuring bragging rights over North London rivals Spurs again - after 42 minutes.

    Giroud got beyond the Newcastle defence when running on to a through ball from Mikel Arteta and although Krul blocked his first two shots, the ball ran free for Mesut Ozil to knock home, match referee Neil Swarbrick and his linesman seemingly oblivious to the fact the German was beyond Krul and had only one defender between him and the goal.

    With only Cheick Tiote threatening Wojciech Szczesny's goal before the break, Yoan Gouffran then broke forward around the hour mark, only for his effort to be blocked by the Gunners custodian. That's as good as it got.

    Giroud got on the end of a fine Ozil centre from the left wing to make it 0-3 after 66 minutes and from then on the game ceased to have any element of a spectacle, Paul Dummett volleying over in the closing moments to deny the away support the scantest of consolations.

    Losing by three clear goals was a smaller margin than the 3-7 reverse endured on our last visit to N7, but that night we showed far more spirit before succumbing to a side who were forced to work rather harder for a win bonus. Had Arsenal needed to score six, they would have done.

    Tonight saw Pardew's team post a display which may well have registered on spreadsheets that record effort levels, but which lacked any endeavour, heart, spirit or soul.

    Along with a certain element of streetwiseness, those were the attributes that brought about a 1-0 win here back in 2010 and a 4-4 at SJP the following year. They seem a million miles away now though, with no hint of a personality on or off the pitch to cajole or rabble rouse.

    The meek shall inherit the earth apparently - and they've already made base camp in our dressing room....

    Post-match chatter centred on attempts to gain support for a mass walkout after 60 minutes of Saturday's visit of Cardiff City. Given this team's current rate of implosion though, even sticking around for an hour might be beyond the call of duty for many Magpie malcontents.

    In the face of adversity, we used to summon up defiant chants that "Newcastle, United will never be defeated."

    After six demoralising losses though, the lack of unity is glaringly evident and mirrors the fractured relationship between manager and fans. There's a clear need for a figurehead at this club to restore some self-respect, organisation and belief. That man is not Alan Pardew.
     
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