Watching Newcastle United play Aston Villa and Everton was largely excruciating, but it did serve to drive home one of the biggest problems with NUFC as a club during this period in their history. Both Aston Villa and Everton spent their fair share of time lumping the ball up to a forward (Christian Benteke or Romelu Lukaku) who in turn controlled, distributed backward and looked for return passes. It was an exact living example of what Alan Pardew and John Carver would have at their disposal in a perfect world.
We are nowhere near to living in a perfect world, however. Instead, Derek Llambias and Lee Charnley have fed the squad a steady diet of anti-Lukakus since the 11th hour sale of Andy Carroll. In fact, from the ground up, the player acquisition has been completely at odds to the tatical preferences of Pardew or Carver. That is not to say that the squad is without talent. Quite the contrary, frankly. Given a different manager, this set of players should achieve even at the modest task of being better than what they are now. It will just need to be a manager that doesn't want to lump it to Christian Benteke.
The diametric opposition of desires between different parts of the club are not isolated to the playing/coaching staff. It is endemic in the culture of the club. Mike Ashley and the supporters of the club he owns are another prime example. Mike Ashley wants to make £££. So much £££. The winning is not important as long as the club stay in the Premier League. Because £££. The supporters are starved of success and, knowing that a Premier League title is never ever going to happen for the club ever again, which leaves us with the Cups as the sole means of attainable success for the club we love.
As it sits, we are left with a club with players that the coach doesn't know how to use effectively. We have an owner who has no interest in giving the fans any reward for their loyalty. We have a squad that is so threadbare in places that we are now staring at needing to cobble together a defensive line for important matches against clubs in the top 5. One might find themselves trying to drum up some optimism that everything will come together and we will manage to get the squad fixed and equipped with the players that the next coach can use to excel. Then one might sit back and remember that the club haven't managed to learn yet.