Alan Pardew has managed Newcastle in five games now (I am excluding the Liverpool game due to the fact he had been there a day and had hardly met the players as pointed out by Joey Barton in the post game interview).
This is a brief review of each of this games and a summary as to how I think he has fared to date.
As ever, please feel free to add your thought and comments!
Newcastle United 1 v Manchester City 3 (Premier League)
Despite the scoreline this was a decent performance. The game started in the worst possible fashion with 2 goals conceded within the first 5 minutes.
The opener came from a horrendous mistake by Tim Krul - his awful pass ended up with Gareth Barry netting and three minutes later Tevez doubled the lead assisted by another terrible error - Tiote played the ball off Nolan and Tevez broke away and scored.
Most sides would have caved in at that point, but we gave it a real go and were unlucky not to pick up a point at least.
Having said that the naturally negative approach of Mancini saw City sit back for the remainder of the game inviting our pressure on.
Andy Carroll pulled one back with 12 to go and on any other day Nolan would have equalised with one of the great chances that came his way.
City ended the game with a 3rd (and a 2nd for Tevez) as we piled forward looking for a point.
Paredew review: It would be harsh to criticise Pardew for the two errors that set us back as they were down to individual players. The way the players bounced back was commendable and the team spirit that delighted the crowd under Chris Hughton was still there for all to see. 7/10
Tottenham 2 v Newcastle United 0 (Premier League)
This one reminded me of the Graeme Souness era. Tottenham are a superior team to us but even so before this game they had only managed to keep one clean sheet in the league all season. If we had gone to the Lane and had a go as we have done in previous years it is not inconceivable that we could have got something from the game. Instead it looked like we went there with the aim of keeping their total number of goals scored to a minimum. Our setup and tactics were negative beyond belief.
Carroll was totally isolated up front and received no support at all - which made our big hoof tactics all the more bemusing. We did not have a shot on target until stoppage time and were never really in the game.
Pardew review: Awful in this one. 4/10
Wigan 0 v Newcastle United 1 (Premier League)
Our record at the JJB (or whatever it is called these days) was awful. Pardew came out of this game as the first Newcastle manager to win a game in any competition at this ground. We played very well and could easily have won the game by 3 or 4 - Shola missed a sitter (and scored the winner), Taylor smashed a header off the crossbar and Colo very nearly scored what would have been an unbelievable goal from a Joey Barton corner - a move quite obviously developed on the training ground. We looked comfortable in all areas and it was a big 3 points for us.
Pardew review: A great performance and result in a game vs a team in a similar position to us despite the absence of our talisman. We also played some decent football. It would have made better viewing if we could have wrapped it up by taking one of our many easy chances! 8/10
Newcastle United 5 v West Ham 0 (Premier League)
This was an absolutely mad game. On the night West Ham were worse than any of the 23 sides that came to SJP in the Championship last season and that is saying something!
It could be argued that our performance was not as good as the one we put in against City, but it did not have to be!
In the absence of Carroll and Shola, Pardew selected Lovenkrands and Best up front - when I heard that on the way into the ground I held out little hope for a win let alone a slaughter.
Pardew spent some time 'bigging up' Leon Best in the days leading up to the game and his selection paid dividends as he notched a superb hat trick - 2 of his 3 finishes were top class. Another huge win against a team at the wrong end of the table.
On a separate note, Scott Parker for England? You are kidding aren't you? He could not tie Wor Joey's boot laces.
Pardew review: Obviously had the lads really motivated for this one. I didn't think Leon Best had a Premier League goal in him, let alone 3 of them in one game! Great result. 8/10
Stevenage 3 v Newcastle United 1 (FA Cup Round 3)
An absolute shambles and a disgrace. Our worst result and performance in decades - we were lucky to keep it down to 3 against a side that are currently 15th in the lowest football league division.
Pardew's selection was bizarre - it looked like he could not decide whether to play a strong team or a weakened one.
From the off it was obvious that Stevenage wanted to win the game more. Newcastle were strolling about the place as if they did not have to try - they displayed the same over confidence and arrogance on the pitch that their manager displays in his interviews off it.
He made matters worse by bringing off Smith (who is one of the worst players to ever play at our football club) at 0 v 2 and bring on a half fit Tiote. Within minutes Tiote was given a straight
red ruling him out of next weeks derby game (pending an appeal). A harsh red? Probably, but the players know the risks of challenging as he did.
This was a humiliating performance and result once again opening us up to ridicule from the rest of the nation.
Some fans don't seem too bothered, but I am absolutely furious. We will never know for certain, but I doubt Chris Hughton would have led a team into such a pathetic joke of a result.
Pardew review: Presided over a new low for us and his 'we are tired' excuse after the game was embarrasing and pathetic. 0/10
P5 W2 D0 L3 F8 A8 (Win %: 40%)
A mixed bag. Big league results against teams expected to be in our area of the league table, but the Stevenage performance and result can not be overlooked and will never be forgotten. Every year when the FA Cup weekends roll around we will be reminded of this humiliation and that will happen for the rest of my life - I can't just forget and move on from that right away.
5.5/10 (Would be 7/10 if it was league only)
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