Well... sporting wise, I could have had a much better weekend. That's neither here nor there, though as it's Hate Week. Time to let the past weekend drift into history and get focused. Well... after today's links, of course. Two points dropped on Saturday was not really the result that we were looking for, of course, in our Quest for Europe™ but if we're being honest, the 2-2 scoreline is flattering to both sides as neither really looked as quality as their two goals would suggest. Anyway, let's get through the news today and get on with it.
Three Become One
"When you’re 2-0 up at Newcastle and you’re the home team, you’ve got to win, it’s as simple as that," conceded Pardew. "We spoke about it at half-time, that the game wasn’t over, because Wolves had fair control of the first half although we got two goals. "We never got to grips in that first 20 minutes. Having said that, they were two poor goals we conceded and we should have done a lot better."
Many layers of agreement with this quote. Even though we did score the two early, we never looked in control, and w never looked in control for any of the remaining 70 minutes either.
If it helped that Tioté, back from his Africa Cup of Nations adventure with Ivory Coast, was a little off the pace, he and Cabaye were disconcerted by the assiduous attentions of Karl Henry and David Edwards. Not to mention confused by Jamie O'Hara's attacking role in Connor's five‑man midfield. "Tioté and Cabaye are a terrific pair so we had to do our homework to nullify their effectiveness," said Connor, who will remain in charge at least until the end of the season. "We had a plan to shut them down and not give them the room they would have liked. I think it worked." So too, did his bold 70th-minute decision to replace O'Hara with Michael Kightly, whose counteratttacking pace unsettled Pardew's team.
Again, this quote is absolutely correct. Jamie O'Hara terrorized us, and I was quite surprised when he was removed. We certainly didn't have an answer for such an advanced tactic such as fielding 5 midfielders.
Other Things That Happened On The Weekend
"But we will still have problems down the line. Losing some of our best players to the best clubs is still going to happen because we are still not in a position to stop that. "But we won't be able to protect our best players until we get more revenue and bigger sponsorship in. "The higher up the table we finish the easier it will be to attract not only new sponsors but also top players. We are now getting sound-bytes from agents that they would like to get their players here. It is a good sign."
Becoming a desirable destination is a process when you haven't been one. We're on the road there, which is good. If you read into this, it seems Pards is expecting a high profile departure this summer... but hoping for a somewhat high--profile arrival.
NUFC supporters staged a mock funeral protest in front of SJP about the name change to Sports Direct Arena. What was your reaction to the development?
I don't often share from the front page here (unless we've had a great week and I do a digest), but if you missed out on this post yesterday, it's probably worth your time to read what happened. A zesty discussion, it could be said.
Even with Alan Pardew's men in sixth place in the Barclays Premier League table, the completion of a double over their arch-rivals would go much of the way to making the season for their fans, and provide the perfect antidote to a wasteful afternoon. Gutierrez said: "We lost two points, so we were upset about the result. But now we have to focus on the next game. "Of course that's a game that stands out. It's something completely different compared to any other game in the Premier League. "We know what the fans expect from this game - they don't care if you play well, just about the three points. "We are at home, so we have to take the three points because yesterday, we lost two, so we have to get the win next week."
Tell it, Spiderman.