May 31, 2012
A couple of weeks ago a taxi picked me up at Heathrow airport and my conversation with the driver, an elderly Chelsea fan, was something like this:
Driver: "Noocarsew are doing well ay? Bet you're not slagging Pardew now ay? Cockney mafia and that ay? None of you wanted 'im did you ay? Bet you aww feel darft now ay?"
Me: "You show me a person who from day one believed that Pardew was capable of this and I'll show you a liar."
He then went on to say that he was born in Blackpool but moved South as a kid so that's why he supports 'Chewsee'. He was also furious that Hodgson got the England job and not "Arry the choice of the people" but that hasn't really got anything to do with this blog!
I stand by the point I made to the driver and I'm the first to admit I got it completely wrong on Pardiola. Who honestly didn't?
A win ratio of 26% in season one after he arrived in December coupled with a cup exit to Stevenage and I was even less convinced.
May 30, 2012
We are ahead of schedule.
Not many of us foresaw our fantastic 5th placed finish and only a few more people predicted the meteoric rise in the popularity of our manager. In a pre season note that I wrote last summer for 442 magazine, I said that a 7th placed finish for 2011/12 would have been a fantastic season - but where now after a season in which we massively exceeded expectations?
In my end of season 'awards' blog I asked you to comment on your expectations for next season. As ever, the response was mixed with some concerned about the number of games we will face as we embark on a Europa League campaign and others looking to push onwards and upwards into the top 4.
Alan Pardew has been looking to play down expectations: â€śExpectations are going to be higher,â€ť Pardew said. â€śPeople will be aware of us and that is one of the biggest challenges we are going to have next season. We are going to find it harder.â€ť
I have to agree with the boss.
May 24, 2012
Thanks for all of the feedback on the questions that I posed last week - I received a number of comments here on ESPNsoccernet, Tweets and texts with all of your nominations.
Here are the winners:
May 15, 2012
That's it! We are all done. In the Champions League race until the very last day of the season and an amazing 5th placed finish getting us back into European football, not to mention the gaffa collecting both the Barclays and LMA Manager of the Year awards.
I for one can not wait to visit some random towns around the Continent with NUFC next season.
Over the next few days I will be working on two new Blogs - one about the boss and the other being a full season review.
I'd really like you to leave comment on your moments of the season:
Your NUFC player of the year and why?
Your most improved NUFC player?
Most promising NUFC youngster?
Your NUFC goal of the season (and there are PLENTY of candidates!)
Your favourite game of the season?
Your favourite moment of the season?
And what you expect next term.....
Leave your comments (as long or as short as you like) on here, or on my Twitter page @MarcSDuffy