What started off with an air of optimism to the new season, with the arrival of 9 new signings during the summer, including the likes of De Jong, Cabella and Rivieire, has turned into an all familiar debacle at St James’ Park.
Although defeated by the champions in our first game, we still left in high spirits following what was a promising performance, which seen the men in black and white dominate for large periods of the game, only to be outdone by 2 goals from the Manchester City counter attack.
A week later and a 0-0 draw away to Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa was nothing to be ashamed of considering the very decent start to the season they have had. This was a game we could of in fact won, albeit for a last minute save from Guzan to deny De Jong his first goal in a Newcastle shirt.
What has followed since our opening two games is nothing short of ridiculous. Unfortunately, nothing that hasn’t been seen before. A sackpardew website was created which has since enlisted thousands of ‘fans’ to attend games holding signs calling for the manager’s head.
A 3-3 draw at home to Palace and a non-existent performance away to the Saints ending in a 4-0 thrashing, did nothing to ease the hate campaign against out leader.
Let’s not forget we are only 4 games into the season at this point with a crop of new players (that we all craved) which will take time to gel together. Whatever anyone thinks of last season, we must not forget, we pulled off results away to Manchester United, at home to Chelsea and Spurs and a draw against Liverpool.
We finished comfortably mid-table. A place where the squad we had would be expected to finish. Nothing more nothing less.
The season before, granted was a washout, but we had a Europa League cup run which saw us reach the quarter finals. The season before that, we reached the Europa League by finishing 5th.
Since then, we have lost Yohan Cabaye and Demba Ba. Two players who were instrumental in those successful seasons. Why the board decided not to strengthen at them times is beyond us all, but it certainly isn’t Alan Pardews fault.
Back to this season, and a fight back to get a 2-2 draw at home with Hull, and a win away to Palace in the league cup has eased the pressure, albeit for now, that hangs above the head of Alan Pardew.
To belittle and, as I see it, allow a mass organised bullying campaign against a man trying his best to carry out a job to the best of his ability, is not what this game is about.
Tonight see’s what I honestly believe will make or break our season. Also make or break Alan Pardew’s reign as Newcastle Manager. It is a very tough game with the Britannia a very difficult place to go. However, it is a winnable game. Just ask Leicester. A place where we have a good record under Pardew.
A stadium is a place to voice your opinions and feelings. Within reason. Not to stage mass protests at the detriment to the club that you supposedly love, so I sincerely hope the sackpardew banners are virtually non-existent tonight.
Just five years ago, we had just started our campaign in the then Coca-Cola Championships. Let’s not forget how far we have come since then. Let’s get behind Pardew and the team, and get back to what we do best. Supporting our great football club.
Keep the faith!