I know Newcastle United were always going to find a visit to Manchester City tough going but their inept display on Monday filled me with pessimism for the season ahead.
Alan Pardew has a group of players who are seemingly lacking confidence and belief and if Manchester City had needed to up their game on Monday they could have done, to the compounded misery on the Geordies.
During the summer Pardew had a great opportunity to bring his players together and install the team ethic throughout the club. He had made quite a few signings last season and this could, in part, be to blame for the indifferent season.
Pardew and Newcastle have a challenge ahead of themselves in their bid to fight off
advances from Arsenal for their highly rated and influential midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
To blame Arsenal's advances prior to the City game as a reason for their inept display is a failure to admit just how poor Newcastle were. Yes Cabaye is a key player, but his absence and Arsenal's ill-timed approach were not to blame for the performance of the other players.
Newcastle have decided against making signings this summer, with the exception of Loic
Remy from QPR. This, however, may need to change.
Cabaye, left out of the team at Manchester City, must surely be interested in playing Champions League football this season with Arsenal and I have no doubt that Newcastle will be
interested in selling at the right price.
The temptation now though is that Newcastle will panic buy, which will not be helpful in the slightest. Papis Cisse has been out of sorts since the departure of Demba Ba to Chelsea last season and clearly is in need of top quality support in the goal scoring department. Newcastle
have the French flair but do they have the graft and fight required when playing away from home in the Premier League?
And what is Joe Kinnear's role in all this?
If Kinnear is to gain the trust of Newcastle supporters, and prove his worth, he must start to look at player recruitment now. I may be doing him a disservice but if he is in charge of bringing players in then the activity on this front has been severely lacking since his arrival.
Do Kinnear and Pardew actually agree on the way forward for the team? part of me gets the impression that there could be divisions within the camp and if this is true I can only see this negativity transferring to the players and therefore the performances. The boardroom
should be united for the sake of the club.
St James' Park was once a fortress for Newcastle, no club liked to visit. I now get the sense that this trip is no longer feared by visiting clubs. Newcastle's next two fixtures are at home against West Ham and Fulham, two very winnable games, but games that Newcastle must show more unity and cohesion than they did on Monday night.
I guess it is very early in the season to be talking about what might happen in May but in my opinion Newcastle are in for a long, hard season if they do not act now. Pardew needs results because Chairmen very rarely give the benefit of doubt to managers with an inability to win football matches.
Do Newcastle supporters feel that they are in for a tough season or do they think
the Pardew/Kinnear relationship is the way forward for their beloved club?
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