If this is the final scene of Alan Pardew’s time as Newcastle United manager then this game couldn’t be more appropriate. Rumours are rife on Twitter that he’s been sacked including a clip from a supposed Sky ticker feed. Could be true, could be bullshit. The funny thing is while I write this report, I reckon anyone reading this now had already written it in their heads the day they bought their ticket. I knew I had.
I’ve seen worse but that’s hardly the point is it. You can add this to the catalogue of recent shameful humiliations though, a list I won’t bother to remind you off. Had Arsenal wanted 5, 6, 7 they would have taken it. As I said I’ve seen worse. In fact up to and just after the first goal, I thought we were reasonably steady with both Williamson and Coloccini stoutly resisting what Arsenal had thrown at them. Sissoko blazed our best 1st half chance well over the bar after Ozil really should have put Arsenal ahead.
The first goal, reminiscent of Giroud’s at SJP in December came after a questionable award of a free kick that was floated into the box from the excellent Carzola and our powder puff attempts didn’t stop Koscielny from heading in. United managed to keep Arsenal at bay for a further 17 minutes which is 16 more than I thought frankly with Tiote and Debuchy both attempting long range shots of which neither you would describe as great chances.
The second soft goal followed a double save from Krul after Giroud was put through by Arteta with Ozil to tap in the rebound when he looked slightly offside. Coming in 1 down would have been a comparative achievement but the second laid the next 45 minutes utterly open for Arsenal to do as they pleased.
Pandemonium at Half Time! No beer was sold in the away end! I think that tipped the lid of peoples frustrations frankly. They were denied even the merest pleasure of £5 watered down chemical piss.
The away end took to ironic cheering of awarded throw ins. It’s at that point you question whether you should be here at all. I was in a row of say 20 seats which was full at KO but was empty bar me by 60 mins. If I wasn’t doing this report id have fucked it off by then if I’m being honest. Loads more were walking away from half time onwards. Sure, there was anger, both directed at Ashley and Pardew but the steady stream of people passing you on their way out told you a bigger story.
Arsenal went easy on us. The third was well crafted between Ozil and Ramsey as they strolled their way through our right hand side to set up Giroud to head in the 3rd. He’s an irritating prick isn’t he? Our one chance came when Remy put through Gouffran but his shot when on Szczesny was never going to test the Arsenal keeper.
Pardew’s substitutions were a joke; a sure sign of a manager completely abdicating responsibility for his teams shocking state. Ameobi on for Gosling? A player who’s scored once in a year yet Armstrong gets a minute? Mbiwa, a player that Pardew has converted into a defensive utility player at best, a player that was bought as a Centre Half, now gets 6 minutes as a full back.
I had a look at the 2 benches though and wryly smiled. 3-0 is an escape for this team when Wenger can bring on Rosicky, Flamini and Sanogo, a promising, U-21 French international. Our bench was pitiful. Where would HBA and Marveux be under a manager who can handle their characters and enigmas with even a modicum of sensitivity and intelligence?
Of course, for the club to have any drive, any ambition, ultimately Ashley has to go, especially if we are to attract a half-decent footballing brain to SJP. Until that time, however, Pardew has got to be removed. He cannot manage that team in any way shape or form and now I reckon is a major problem to Ashley. Can he really trust Pardew to avoid relegation next year? I wouldn’t.
In the name of God, go now!!
Newcastle United : Krul 5, Dummett 4, Williamson 5, Coloccini 5, Debuchy 3 (Mbiwa n/a); Gouffran 5 (Armstrong n/a), Gosling 4 (Ameobi 4), Tiote 5, Anita 4, Sissoko 4; Remy 5.
Subs not used: Elliot, Hiadara, Taylor, Obertan
Ours: 6. Almost past angry. For those who made it from the North East I don’t know whether to admire your stoicism or question your sanity. Probably a bit of both. I felt sorry for my mate who had to make it back to Sevenoaks, never mind Spital Tongues. I can’t blame anyone who fucked off early.
Arsenal: 5. I never get a sense of a crowd bouncing off the walls at this place. Thanks though to @laythy29 of the Gooner Fanzine for a pre-match beer at the Highbury Barn. Top man!