Alan Pardew, possibly "the embattled" Alan Pardew, is asking fans to be patient. The Newcastle boss wants the Toon Army to judge the team after its upcoming home fixtures against West Ham and Fulham. Pardew says it will "be a better measure" of where the club stands.
And I can agree with that to some extent. Newcastle got a fairly unlucky draw to start the season. On the road against a club that may very well win the league this year is no easy task. Manchester City are sure to make many sides look silly and overmatched this year.
And yet, I can only agree with Pardew's plea to a degree. Because, well, we've seen what he can do with this squad. With the transfer window closing, it is possible that Newcastle will have some new features, but I don't know how improved the team will actually be. Take Yohan Cabaye out of the equation and one has to ask what the sum difference of any new signings will be. Since Newcastle have failed to land any of their targets this summer, including ones that have expressed interest in coming Tyneside, color me pessimistic that the squad will change all that much over the next few days.
So, we look to last season to get a gauge on what Pardew can do with this squad. Considering we were battling relegation in our 37th match, it wasn't pretty.Newcastle hardly improved their table position after their January signings, and flirted with relegation for much of the season. It started out well enough, with new signing Moussa Sissoko scoring twice in a thrilling 3-2 win over Chelsea. But then...
Newcastle earned only 4 more wins in the remaining 13 matches, one of those coming when Cisse scored at the death to earn three vital points against Fulham. There were listless draws against West Ham and West Brom. ANd then there were the losses. 0-6 to Liverpool, a 0-4 to Manchester City, the controversial 1-2 loss to Wigan, and of course 0-3 at home in the derby against Sunderland. Often during this stretch, Newcastle played as if they were uninterested and not at all concerned about the very real possibility of relegation.
So, my question is, should we wait to judge Pardew after two more games? We saw nearly a third of a season with more or less this very team a year ago, and the results were frustrating to say the least. Now, unlucky draw aside, Newcastle have started off of the wrong foot again, and swift action may be needed to right the ship.
Some say Pardew is being left out to dry by the board. SBN Soccer (our mothership if you will) says its time for Newcastle to cut ties with their manager. The writing is on the wall, but its been there for some time now. Pardew is asking for two more games, but after that, the transfer window is closed until January. This may end up being the week that defines Newcastle's season.