19th May 2013

So there goes the 2012/13 season. By common consensus a complete and total waste of time! If you thought paying for a season ticket would provide a return in terms of excitement and entertainment, you were sadly mistaken. Our PL form was abysmal, finishing the season with three successive home defeats, 10 goals conceded with none scored and rank performances as bad as any witnessed by old timers and newbies over many years. Full house signs posted for each of those games too. Whatever is going wrong at Newcastle United, it can’t be laid at the door of the supporters, whose patience and stoicism this season has been remarkable. Fifth top to fifth bottom? Quite a collapse eh?
We’ve witnessed some shocking defending and had our worst ever season in the PL for conceding goals. Going forward we’ve looked toothless and creatively we’ve been appalling. The stats don’t lie. We’ve played a brand of hoof-ball that would have had Allardyce hung by the knackas from the top of the East Stand and which is simply not the Newcastle United way. Our play from set-pieces has been beyond a joke and our passing, movement, pressing and strength as a unit non-existent.
We’ve flirted with relegation and I believe that but for the strains and stresses of an FAC win for Wigan, we might have been relegated.
Tactically, we have looked inept.
For the third season in succession we’ve bowed out of the FAC with as gutless a performance as you are likely to see at Brighton. We provided no surprise away to Man Utd in the LC.
High points have been rare – Spurs and Chelsea at home and that’s about it. We had a few decent outings in the Europa League but nowt to write home about really.
By every possible measure, a shit season with disillusionment at the so-called direction of the club and big questions about the ability of the manager and his coaching team to deliver anything but the same next season!
No-one is above criticism.
The manager has spoken about a collective failure. He is of course correct. We drifted into this season having finished fifth this time last season. There was talk about the Champions League. Talk which now appears utterly deluded!
The boardroom has been stunk out with complacency, a crippling absence of ambition and football nous. For the inertia of last summer being so catastrophic we once again wonder what on earth Ashley is doing at Newcastle United. To bring stability? Big ambition that like.
The manager is now talking about bringing in experienced players to play alongside the bright young players we have at the club. Players like Kevin Nolan, perhaps? Or retaining the colossus of Coloccini, whose absence has almost led to ruination this season?
How much you can rely on the statements of Alan Pardew about what will happen this summer is open to question. The manager is sorely undermined by his previous comments and then what has actually happened. A big part of me feels for the manager having to work with Ashley and Llambias, who I can’t help but feel are semi-detached from the club and run it all as a bolt-on to Sports Direct.
Last summer we heard about players being lined up to arrive in NE1 and that didn’t happen. Now he is talking about experienced players off the game-plan of young players whose value will increase. What happens is anyone’s guess.
Besides all that, I’m in no hurry to change the manager. The fact remains that had we managed another 3 wins we’d have been perceived to have had a decent PL campaign. I’m in no hurry to change the manager because I don’t believe Ashley/Llambias could bring in a top coach to work within the strait jacket they would fit any new coach with. Rafa Benitez? Aye, right.
There is a lot of talk about stability. That’s all rubbish. We need to win football matches in the PL to avoid the kind of finish that is ludicrous for a club of our stature. We also want to have a squad that is capable to have a go in the cups.
There is much work to do this summer. Whether it will happen is open to debate.
We’ll be having editorials throughout the close season as occasion allows but the big thing we are working on currently is our Summer Special – 72 pages of reading to keep you topped up over the close season. It will be out a week Friday. Its looking like a belter.
Can I just thank everyone who has bought the fanzine this season but especially those who have contributed to it. We’ve had another good season in terms of sales and traffic on the site etc. We intend to change a few things over the summer and have things improved before the new season kicks off.
Keep On, Keepin’ On …
Follow Michael on twitter@tfeditor1892