Following on from his highlights, it’s now time for the Pardew most of us remember, complete with the comments that mostly descended into expletive laden rants (although we generally tried to pick the cleaner comments at the time) his ineptness and at best confusing decisions inspired from our fans.
This was our worst team performance of the season, yet only terrible enough from a managerial perspective to earn fifth place on this list. This game proved to be the tipping point for the people of ToonForum, an utterly clueless display uniting the fans in a message of “Pardew out” and a 1.75 rating, almost two whole points below the team’s 3.72. This was the fourth game of the seven match ban handed out for the “headpush” incident against Hull, so Carver was on the touchline carrying out Pardew’s bidding.
Pardew sent his side out in a 4-4-1-1 with the unusual selections being Yanga-Mbiwa at right back with Ben Arfa in front of him and Sissoko as a second striker. By the end of the game we had three left-backs distributed across the pitch, as well as the useless Luuk de Jong somewhere up front. This scoring opened with what Alan Hansen called “the worst goal ever conceded”, and we continued to defend (or not) to that standard, without causing any trouble at the other end, eventually losing 0-4 for our second heavy defeat in a row.
“F*** me, I didn’t think we could outdo ourselves after Fulham, but here we are. Insipid, uninspired, football – even Big Sham has a “defensive” strategy which we don’t even have. Pardew seems to just let them run around for 90 minutes on a bit of grass. Nowt against Carver though.”
“The team selection was spot on, and we were all ready for some attacking, attractive football. Instead, from the first minute we’re tw*tting the ball up the pitch, entirely bypassing Ben Arfa, who I don’t think touched the ball outside of his own half, failing to play to the strengths of our team. Pardew seems to think that if the opponent is big and strong, we should play our big and strong players and try to match them man for man, which is stupid. The more big, strong defenders they have, the more pacey forwards we should have. Ludicrous decision bringing off Ben Arfa who, though quiet, was our only hope except for Sissoko of creating something. Absolutely appalling throughout, with the exception of the initial team selection which earns 2 points for me. Shocking tactically.”
“The line-up seemed to be the best that could be named, depending on how match fit Santon is, but there was no motivation or evidence of any game plan. Good to see attacking subs made at half-time, but they didn’t seem to be the right ones. I suspect that there are deep problems among the squad/staff, and not just general inability to perform. I think it might be best if this impending summer overhaul includes many of the coaching and management staff as well.”
“Insipid, lifeless, gutless management. Gets 1 mark for decent team selection other than that it would be a 0, he couldn’t motivate a tramp to take a tenner. Substitutions made no sense, having 3 LB’s on when your 0-3 down is the sign of a manager who has no idea what he’s doing. Indebted to Elliot for ensuring the score didn’t go above double figures. He’s coached all of our players’ best attributes out of them and has no idea how to change a game that is slipping out of his grasp. He should be sacked.”