Imagine

Imagine wanting your own team to lose. Imagine wanting the opposition to score. Imagine cursing a last minute equaliser for your side, or being nonplussed by a well-timed tackle. It’s contradictory to the very nature of “support” but it’s a position I now find myself in due to the staggering ineptitude of Alan Pardew. My desire to see him removed from his post has superseded my natural instincts to be a supporter – at least to be a supporter in an orthodox sense.

Newcastle United has always been a constant in my life around ever changing circumstances. I would be hopelessly devoted to every result, every goal, every tackle, corner or substitution. If we lost I’d be in a sombre mood until the next game, if we won I’d be high on the promise of more to come.

It’s with a heavy heart that I now look at my team with an emotional distance. I don’t feel like celebrating the goals. The charlatan in charge has steadily eroded my love for the team. There are many things Pardew has done that are beyond reproach, but causing fans to support the opposition is by far the most heinous.

It’s hard to pinpoint where this first began. It would be remiss of me to say that I’ve always disliked Pardew and could see this happening from the start. Sure, like others I was hugely disappointed with his initial appointment, but like any manager I was willing to give him a chance. An oft-repeated rebuttal to my criticism of Pardew is “well what about when he got us 5th?”. That season was of course a good achievement, however there were certainly signs then that the football was unsustainable and predicated on one or two outstanding individual performances each week.

I’d lost patience with him some time during the start of the 2012/13 season. The displays the side were turning out were comfortably some of the worst I’ve seen (and I was at Villa Park when we went down). The management was bizarre to say the least, Ben Arfa was rarely used, Cisse shunted to right wing, counter productive substitutions, hopeful long balls, turgid defensive football. The list goes on. It was at this point that I picked up on Pardew’s propensity to blame all manner of things for our defeats. He would find a way to deflect the blame from falling on him through any means necessary. I wasn’t yet at the stage where I wanted us to lose, though, as of course nobody wants to be relegated.

The run up to the Cardiff game last season was really where I began to hope that we would lose, anything to avoid tantalisingly circling the drain without ever flushing, without any finality to this dry footballing existence. The performances were utterly shambolic, shipping goals for fun and not scoring any. The match was more a test of will than something to enjoy. How much can you suffer? Hatem Ben Arfa cut a forlorn figure on the bench, the one player who could create. Pardew saw it fit to leave him out, despite the fact we were crying out for a bit of ingenuity. Pardew was in self-preservation mode, blaming anyone and anything he could to try and preserve his position.

As luck would have it we beat Cardiff. Whether or not Pardew would have gone if we had lost, is up for debate. I can say that I’ve never been as disconnected from the team as I was that day. This is what it had come to, cheering against my own team.

I look at it now as a situation where a loss might see the back of him, and therefore bring back my passion. I will always love Newcastle United, it’s in my blood and I can’t change it. I wouldn’t want to. I’ve been gradually beaten down by the turgid football, the endless apportioning of blame, the exclusion of our flair players. This is not the Newcastle United you and I know. This is a soulless shell of what it used to be.

I remember St. James’ Park being a cauldron of noise and passion, a place opposition feared to tread. It’s different now, a hushed place, a result of the soul-destroying football we’ve all had to endure under this regime. Pardew has repeatedly told us that we can’t compete, that we are a “city that hurts itself” when it comes to football. This is categorically untrue. A manager of this football club should be able to harness the fanatical support and use it to our advantage. Keegan did. Robson did. It is what makes this club special and should be praised, not denigrated.

Pardew has turned football into something of a chore, a responsibility, a duty. It should be something you look forward to, where you take pride in your city and your identity. It is only without him that I feel that I may be able to bring back the love and passion I once felt watching the Toon.

  • coloradotoon

    I’m with you, I live in Denver watch all the games thanks to NBC . I use too look forward to waking up at 8 watching them live now I tape the games spent most of last season once we go a goal down just fast forwarding the game, love the team but he’s taking all the excitement the passion everything away. I will wake up in 5 hours to watch just hope we don’t go a goal down….

    • Adam

      you’re not going to need long to watch this one then :(

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Pinocchio the lying wooden boy OUT. Another great article, fellas.

  • Joe Hawkins

    Cannot argue with that because i suppose he has had that affect on most people at some tim or other.
    My hatred of him goes right back to where he showed a lack of loyalty to Madjeski who had given him his start at Reading.
    I also saw first hand when he was at West Ham his blame shifting and all round disdain for those who questioned him and his decisions.
    I remember me and a friend watching him on MOTD and agreeing with each other that he was a terrible human being, And felt sympathy for anyone who had the misfortune of having him as a manager.

    So you can imagine my absolute despair when he was appointed at Newcastle United!
    I am coming from a different place in the fact i have never supported him even when he finished 5th.
    I thought his appointment was a disgrace and i have opposed him from day one and will continue to do so until his dismissal.
    In fact even when he does go there should be a national holiday on Tyneside that is akin to Guy Fawkes Night where we have bonfires and burn effigies of Pardew!

  • Phil Yare

    I feel the same and actually felt relief at the place equaliser. No more pardew, no more ashley please

  • Mark Roberts

    Another well written piece pretty much echoing my thoughts on the tosser too. Problem with wanting them to lose in the hope he gets sacked is he never gets sacked and we then end up in the toilet and fat boy has to dip into his pocket in January again but it might not work this time because who the hell would want to join this time!

  • Andrew

    Absolutely superb post. I learnt today that I, too, am at the point where I just want this odious ‘gentleman’ out of our club at any cost. At 2-0 I found myself hoping that we would go on to lose, just to avoid the possibility that our appalling brand of football would be hailed by Pardew as ‘all his own work’ and that it would be seen to be revolutionary and productive.

    But to be fair, wanting Pardew out of the club with a passion is nothing new, I’ve felt like this for about a year now, and it just gets worse every game. And John Carver has added his name to the list as far as I’m concerned. What a pathetic, sorry excuse for a human being this bloke is.

  • Just in: R.I.P.ley

    spot on. great point, excellently made. Thank you!
    I hate myself for wanting us to lose but it makes me almost physically sick to watch us and listen to that clown’s clueless drivel (not that I do anymore). after 25 years of support I cannot find any crumb of joy, pride, or excitement anymore. It has been so long, it’s eating my soul. Let’s hope this ends soon. I know that it’ll be difficult to find a decent manager who agrees to become yet another MyCa$hley puppet but at the moment I’d take (almost) anyone over Pardew.

  • Parkenstein

    Watching Newcastle play is akin to watching Lost, where you’ve given up trying to working out exactly what is going on by the third series and you just want everyone on the island to die…:)

  • Peter Parker

    Used to get a buzz every matchday and wore my shirt with pride on the train to Newcastle. About two years ago going to the games was something I began to dread and this, with the w***a sponsorship and Ashley’s blatant skimming of the club, while turning SJP into a monstrous billboard for his tat, made giving up my season ticket an easy decision.

    I was at Cardiff – hugely enjoyable – and will be at Hull, though…

  • Mike D

    The cooks, the stewards, the kit men and the groundsmen etc, they can stay and earn their honest living. Everyone else out. Ashley, Charnley, Pardew, Carver and the rest of the coaches. The club is rotten and/or incompetent all the way through. Our players aren’t fit enough, they aren’t given the tactical guidance that they need, there aren’t enough quality youngsters coming through. Nothing works it’s all f***ed. Finally, a tactically astute overhaul of the squad in the summer is required to get rid of all the dead wood, starting with 4 CBs and two top drawer strikers.

  • Nigel Thomas

    That’s exactly how I feel too. I didn’t feel Any discomfort or surprise when the goals went in. It’s almost easier, in a tragic way,being a fan now. Time was when a 4-0 capitulation would have depressed me to the core till the next game. Now I just imagine Pardew’s stupid face as the goals go in , imagine what his new excuses will be and smile . The only thing is so does Ashley…

  • emma

    i agree with everything this club has been poisoned am worried if we dont get a miracle and pardew goe we will get relgated worried we could end up like leeds big club going into free fall if something doesnt happen this season i have supported them all my life but am jaded fed up of all the crap thats happened i want the team back to being newcastle and manager change quickly the fans r being treated like rubbish for way to long its like watching a car crash something happening sad we all love the club ans owner dispisies us and thats why he wont sack pardew and current team so poor no pride whatsoever

  • Chris D

    I do not think that I have ever came across a website built and operated which is entirely dedicated to sacking a current manager who is in tenure. (Definitely a first for me). Newcastle is a great club but a lot of the malaise resides squarely at the doors of that bafoon Mike Ashley. To give a manager a 6 year contract is laughable.