Today’s inevitable defeat was made slightly more intriguing by Pardew’s bewildering Man wearing ski maskformation and team selection. Playing devil’s advocate, you could say that at least he was trying to change things. Unfortunately for our manager, he doesn’t posses the necessary tactical skills to make a lot of difference.

Three centre halves; Anita and Dummett as wing-backs and Gouffran in the middle (Ben Arfa, MYM on the bench of course). Shola started up front. Baffling.
To be fair, we weren’t as awful as we’ve been in the last few defeats but we weren’t any good either. No creativity from midfield whatsoever gives way to us only looking comfortable on the ball when passing backward. Every forward ball was easily soaked up and a sorry looking strike force were left with nothing. Gosling missed a couple of chances and Cisse should have had a penalty but Begovic did not have to make a save all game. Pieters scored with a flukey cross and if Crouch was a footballer, it could have been a few more.
Our captain clearly doesn’t give a shit any more and the lack of effort from the rest of them calls into serious question the way they are responding to their manager. No one out there looked like they cared today. It’s little wonder Debuchy, Sissoko and Remy are taking their sweet time to come back from injury with the world cup coming up. Young striker Adam Armstrong did made a cameo – out on the right wing and the devil incarnate (Ben Arfa to everyone else) came on, took a knee in the thigh and played as if someone had blamed him for getting beaten 4-0 at home.
Pardew, in his press conference, blamed (along with the wind) the ‘local press up in the North East’ for ‘whipping things up’. Funny, I must have missed the edition of that edition of the  Chronicle with the free ‘Pardew Out’ banner and song sheet. Ben Arfa, the fans, the weather, the press. One more excuse down Alan. Soon, there’ll be no one left to blame and you might just have to look at yourself.
The good bits: Our fans, defiant and vocal; giving Pardew the stick he deserves. Nice one.
The bad bits: We are especially shite at both crosses and set pieces; our listless corners provide wonderful attacking opportunities for opposing teams.
Cock piss Pardew.

Did anybody actually think we were going to win today? When I saw the line-up this SimonCampbellnewmorning, I was at the very least pleased to see Pardew was trying something new. Perhaps we would get something out of the game with a fresh approach. Alas, when you’re inexplicably putting Steven Taylor back in the side and adding Shola ‘3 goals in 71’ Ameobi to our attacking line up, could we hope for anything better than a 0-0 draw?

We looked like the exact team that we are. No confidence, no drive and no real point to our season. We have one player available at the moment that can create a goal and he is incapable of 90 minutes of football. He got injured within 5 minutes of coming on today; such is our plight at the moment. Before Christmas, Gouffran’s world cup chances were being talked up. Our fast decline since then have scuppered any chance of that and his performances of late look like those of a man who is thinking “what the fuck is this?”.

Rest of the squad had lazy indifferent games, as has become the norm of late. A midfield of Gosling and Tiote with Anita and Dummett as our wide players. That is the squad our system of ‘purples’ ,turquoises, lime greens has deemed stong enough to progress. Ashley is not a football man, at all.

Selling Cabaye didn’t have to be the catalyst for this total capitulation. However coinciding injuries (and lots of them) to our tiny squad, Pardew’s ban and subsequent failure to keep the team together when it has fallen apart have left us where we are since the Dreamboat left.

Summer can’t come quick enough. Ashley and Pardew (not certain) need to look at the freefall that has taken place since and really need to come up with some big action to restore any belief and empathy from the fans and more importantly, the players who just don’t look hooped at all. Even Shola couldn’t give a fuck today rendering his last remaining attribute ‘he’s a local lad so he cares’ redundant. At least we have Cardiff and Swansea to play at home. We’ll get some points from those games but we’re more likely to finish 10th than 8th at present. Bah.