Alan Pardew says fans that walk out during Saturday's game against Cardiff are "disloyal". The Telegraph reported the remarks.
Following a horrid run of six defeats in a row, there is pressure aplenty on Tyneside. Pardew, who has been roudly criticized for his managerial style, player use, comments to the media, and well, everything, has "vowed" to apologize with a win against Cardiff. But, with fans threatening a walk out...
"It's not about the board or me, it's about 11 players wearing the black and white of Newcastle at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon. You're going to walk away after an hour and leave them to it? I don't think that's right and I really, really hope they don't do that."
First off, this quote makes little sense. It basically says, "It's all about the players, but you're going to walk away from them? That's dumb."
Look, walk out, don't walk out, I don't care. You're the one that's paying how many ever pounds to watch an hour of football. I do think that an empty stadium would send a very loud message to Mike Ashley and the board. "You want us to give up on you? This is what it looks like."
Secondly, Pardew is in no position to be criticizing fans. Not after his head-butting antics got him a seven game ban. Not after his side has lost six matches in a row, a first for Newcastle United in top flight. Not after a -18 goal differential. Not after a shocking collapse in form from the beginning of the season. Not after three consecutive defeats to Sunderland. No, no, Mr. Pardew. After all that (and more), you should be thankful your eleven players will play in front of yet another packed St. James' Park for an hour.
Even NBC commentators, who like to err on the side of caution when talking about clubs not named Manchester United, pointed out last week that Newcastle had more effort from their traveling support than they did on the pitch. With players going through the motions, and a manager with his head in the clouds, it may be up to the fans to bring the club back to a reality that it has chosen to ignore for a few seasons now.
Pardew did reveal in the Telegraph piece that he hasn't spoken to Mike Ashley in weeks, which of course will set off speculation that Pardew will be fired. However, he's managed to avoid the sack numerous times after "the last straw" (possibly the first of which was Sunderland's win at St. James' Park a year ago).
These may be the words of a man who feels he's on the way out. It's possible that Pardew never felt welcomed on Tyneside, as he did replace the still popular Chris Hughton. So, Pardew may be taking some shots with one foot out the door. That doesn't excuse this behavior. Newcastle supporters have put up with his schtick for some time and have supported the club in full.
It looks like for 30 minutes on Saturday, Newcastle will have to go it alone. Maybe then, Pardew will realize the err in his ways.