A seething Alan Pardew last night blasted Arsenal's £10m bid for Yohan Cabaye just hours before he was due to feature against Manchester City, claiming 'the result would have been different' with the French midfielder in the squad. But does Pardew really have a case in this situation?
Yes, the bid looks to have allowed Cabaye's head to be turned and deprived Pardew of arguably his most creative presence ahead of their mauling at the Etihad, but Newcastle's meek and lifeless performance last night can not be solely attributed to this.
The Magpies could only muster one shot on target during the whole match and were second best from start to finish as Manuel Pellegrini's men ran riot in a 4-0 victory.
And while some would argue that the influence of the Frenchman would have led to more Newcastle chances, the reality is that Pardew has not strengthened adequately enough and now finds himself in an ironically similar situation to the man he criticised last night, Arsene Wenger.
The capture of Loic Remy from Queens Park Rangers is the only major signing thus far for Newcastle but during his post-match interview last night, Pardew was in no mood to speak about any of his own transfer window failings as Cabaye was very much the hot topic.
"To bid on the eve of the game was not necessary. Cabaye's head has been messed with," he said before adding that the club had been shown "disrespect".
The feeling Pardew has of his side being hard done by is one seen in every manager when their players are subject to interest. But what does he expect in the increasingly cut-throat world of football?
There have been many examples of players being unsettled to the extent that they have missed matches, with Cesc Fabregas and Luka Modric being high profile recent examples prior to their transfers to Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively.
His complaint about the transfer offer being too low, while probably true, can also be looked at as something that is indicative of the way transfers work in modern football and not just to his own side.
Of course the price is going to start off fairly low, that's what happens in an auction so why should it be any different when it comes to football players? The buyer looks to get their target for as low price as possible, that is how it has always been.
There are many that feel sorry for Alan Pardew's situation, and that is completely understandable. What is not understandable is the assumption that Newcastle would have definitely got a result against Manchester City with Cabaye in the squad, or that this is an excuse for Newcastle's inability to sign the players required to compete in fixtures such as this.
Newcastle must regroup quickly from this and make the signings they so obviously need before the transfer window shuts on September 2 or risk the exact same start to the season as they suffered in the last campaign, leaving them playing catch-up until January, at least.
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