Newcastle’s current run of form since Boxing Day 2013 is shameful. That is well established. We’ve all seen the damning statistics covering this period alone and it is a very easy record to refer to given just how awful it is and that it is currently ongoing. Yet I feel that focusing on this particular 10 month period is actually giving Alan Pardew too much credit. It has almost become accepted fact that he was doing an adequate job up until late December 2013. This is very far from the truth.
Personally, I did not particularly enjoy the 5th place season, I thought that it had echoes of when Sam Allardyce used to finish in similar league positions with Bolton. Other than a sparkling run in the spring of 2012, the football was typically dour and dull, with enjoyable and exciting games a rarity. Nevertheless, I recognise the achievement and since this article is about results, I certainly won’t quibble with those here.
Since that point however, it has been almost unrelenting garbage in terms of results alone. A brief flurry of form in Autumn 2013 should not detract from this fact. It should not be forgotten that despite the presence of his Guardian Angel, Yohan Cabaye, Alan Pardew has come extremely close to relegating Newcastle United once before and were it not for a unlikely Swansea comeback at Wigan in the penultimate week of the 2012-13 season, I believe he would have.
This table shows the league table performance of all the Premier League clubs who have been in the league consistently since the summer of 2012 up to now, Tuesday 14th October 2014:
Two statistics on this table are absolutely glaring: in more than two full seasons, Newcastle have conceded more goals than any other team and lost more games than any other team, which is a truly pitiful record when you look at the other teams at the bottom of the table and think of how poorly they’ve performed in recent seasons. Villa have conceded only 2 less goals than NUFC, but nobody else even comes close – Newcastle have conceded 20 more than Sunderland, 28 more than Swansea, 36 more goals than Stoke. You can be somewhat forgiven for a porous defence if your team is throwing caution to the wind and scoring lots of goals but we can clearly see this is not the case – only Stoke, Villa and Sunderland have scored less goals than NUFC. Even Sam Allardyce’s patented brand of misery has outperformed us going forward at the time of writing (and conceded 27 less goals).
The gap between us and the clubs that Newcastle United should be competing with is monumental. When Newcastle finished above Everton in 11-12, Alan Pardew commented:
“Forget about Everton and Aston Villa, we have put ourselves into a similar position to Arsenal.”
The staggering arrogance of the man feeds his own delusional fantasies. It doesn’t need pointing out that comparison with Arsenal is laughable but since making that comment, Everton have accrued 47 more points than NUFC, scored 34 more goals and have an astonishing goal difference swing of +80 over us in just 83 games. Newcastle have lost more than double the amount of games that the Toffees have. Everton remain the biggest elephant in the room as far as Pardew’s “poor penniless NUFC” routine is concerned, a club who have consistently punched above their financial weight in recent years through good coaching and management of the team.
It is not only there that Newcastle fans look with envy in 2014, but also at Southampton and at Swansea, clubs who weren’t even in the top flight when this charlatan rocked up at our football club. Their points totals may not hugely exceed ours, although both continue to pull further away, but the close-to-par goal differences tell a significant tale – occasionally they win handsomely and they don’t often get smashed to bits. Neither of these things can be said of NUFC.
It is not seven games. It is not even ten months. And it is definitely not “mass hysteria”. Newcastle fans have been driven to despair by more than two years of miserable failure and as we approach the difficult fixtures following one of the most favourable starts to a season I can remember, those defeats and conceded goals will only increase under this fraud. If Alan Pardew remains in post throughout the harsh winter, it is an increasingly likely possibility that Newcastle will not even feature in this table next season.