The Times They Are A-Becoming Quite Different

I would like to make a request to the top brass at the BBC (who I’m sure are regular SoKoreaMapreaders): make your video iPlayer content available abroad! Please! The radio stuff is so why not the video content too? Let’s not bury our heads in the sand; in these modern times, all of the highlights from Premier League matches eventually find their way onto YouTube, so why not increase global awareness of your company and allow football fans in foreign countries to watch Match of the Day? Speaking as a British ex-pat I would love to be able to catch up on recent highlights of games I can no longer attend in person, I’ll even let you send me promotional emails if that’s what it takes!

Speaking of global brand awareness, I know this ground has been covered by other writers on this site, but I just want to reiterate the point that, as someone living in a foreign country, I see no signs of NUFC attempting to increase their profile over here. I see people wearing gear endorsed by the likes of Man United, Man City Barcelona, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and have even spotted a couple of QPR posters (thanks largely to the fact that South Korean football legend Ji Sung Park played for them), but nothing to do with us. Even the mackems and Swansea got a bit of exposure to tie in with Ki playing for them! I refer again to these modern times we live in; the Premier League really is a global brand. Living in a foreign country really brings it home to you; people find out you’re from England, after asking if you live in London, then tell you how much they love Man United or Liverpool. In my lifetime, NUFC have gone from a club that paid a world record transfer fee for the best striker around at the time to a mid-table club with apparently no ambition to rise above that status. Call me delusional but we’re a club that still gets, to the best of my knowledge, around the 48,000 mark minimum in terms of attendance for an average Premier League game, that’s not a mid-table attendance figure.

Moving on, I have to confess my patience with Alan Pardew has finally worn out. I gave him longer than some other fans I talk to about it. I admit I was among the ‘better the Devil you know’ crowd for some time, and I’m still unsure as to who we could realistically tempt to St James’ to replace him, but from what I’ve seen, read and heard of the first four games of the new season, his time is up as far as I’m concerned. In four games, we’ve scored three goals: two from defenders and one from an eighteen year old midfield player. If we don’t sign a striker before this transfer window shuts (at the time of writing there are around 21 hours remaining), we are in serious danger of being relegated, as far as I’m concerned.

However, transfers aren’t the only area in which I feel Pardew has shown himself to be the wrong man to manage our team; his coaching seems to have an adverse effect on good quality players. I point to Moussa Sissoko as my prime example; watching him for France at the World Cup was like watching a different player with the same name. He was going from box-to-box, he was worrying defenders and he scored an excellent goal, as I seem to recall. I was able to watch our opening game of the season as it was shown live on Korean TV, a game in which Monsieur Sissoko was completely anonymous and from reports I’ve read of our subsequent outings since he hasn’t been much better. What’s the difference? With France he was playing in a team with confidence, shape and a game-plan. With NUFC, I don’t know that he is. Who is responsible for these factors? Mr. Alan Pardew.

Despite this opinion, I must say I disagree with those fans who belittle Pardew by calling him by various nicknames. I might agree with the points being made, but I don’t agree with the name-calling. It’s childish and deflects from otherwise sensible arguments. ‘Pardwho,’ is not the man’s name. Neither are ‘P45ew’ or ‘Parsnip.’ It’s not funny to call him these things; it shows a basic lack of respect for the bloke who, despite what we may think of him in terms of his managerial capabilities, still deserves it, just like everyone else.

I hope next time you read a blog from me, it might be a slightly more upbeat one!

Callum Patterson



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