There are two situations where a manager’s motivation and leadership abilities are key:
1). In away games where there’s no home crowd to roar the players on
2). During the second half of games where momentum is lost due to a break and must be restarted
Now let’s look at Pardew’s record in this:
Away game table: http://www.statto.com/football/stats/en … table/away
We’re second bottom ahead of only Reading.
Seconnd half table: http://www.englishpremierleaguetable.co … -half.html
Again, we’re second bottom ahead of only Reading.
In the two situations where spirit and motivation are more difficult in the face of intimidation, our team completely buckles. Who is primarily responsible for this? Pardew.
People may say that the players should be able to motivate themselves, but it simply isn’t as easy as that. Think about it – there are leaders to motivate people and get them working as effectively as possible in a unit in ALL walks of life. This is especially important in scenarios which are intimidating or demotivational by nature. The team looks to a leader to give them the confidence they need and to get the whole team lifted as one unit.
I’m sure the players can motivate themselves to some degree as they are professional footballers, but the key fact is this: If the opposition has a manager to give them motivation whilst we do not, then we’re automatically at a disadvantage.
Good individual player motivation AND manager motivation will always come out on top over only players motivating themselves.
People may say that we can’t blame Pardew, but if he can’t fulfil this primary responsibility as a manager then who do we turn to? Do we just let this crop of good quality players crumble and massively underachieve with no solution?
Second halves will always be trickier, especially away, but I have NEVER seen a team repeatedly fold over and cave in as badly as we do, despite having a good quality team of mature players, international players and ex captains. There’s a lack of fight and panic as we so often succumb to either the intimidation or the uphill struggle of the situation.
One key identifier of this lack of fight is how we so readily crumble if the going gets too tough. The opposition might score a couple of goals and then we cave in and get battered by 3, 4 or 5 goals. One of two players might have the self motivation to fight until the bitter end, but they can’t get the whole team fighting with them. That isn’t their responsibility. It’s Pardew’s first and foremost.
There are other reasons why we have struggled in games, including sub choices and tactical decisions, but the motivation of the team and the urge to fight throughout the full 90 minutes has been shocking this season.
The momentum of the game will flow from team to team over the course of a match, that’s normal. But I’ve never seen a team going from looking so great to looking so utterly dreadful so often. It’s like a totally different crop of players. ANY action on the pitch to cause a stop in momentum (such as a goal or the half time whistle) totally takes the wind out of our sails, and the one man who is responsible to get that momentum back into the team as a unit is Pardew, and he repeatedly fails to do so.
The results speak for themselves, they really do. Pardew struggles to get the players fighting throughout full games and the players, at least at the moment, don’t seem that interested in fighting for him to please him. We have to hope this changes at the start of next season otherwise it’s a downward spiral which we’ll only pull ourselves out of with a managerial change.