Bigger squad needed to bring excitement back

Paul Dixon gives his views on Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew's long-awaited statement

I must congratulate Alan Pardew on his long-awaited statement the other week, a classic dead bat.

Like an own-brand sausage roll, very impressive on first viewing, until you bite into it and it’s mainly air.

My translation: “When this mess ends up in an industrial tribunal, you won’t be able to trace any substantive support for this ludicrous appointment”.

His quoted chain of command to get a player is beyond parody. A meeting of Pardew, Graham Carr and joke determine targets, and then joke disappears upstairs to make a footballing case for the investment.

Ye gods. Look at the ex-pros on our books. Donachie, Stone, Carver, Joe Joyce, Andy Woodman and the imperious Beardsley.

Throw Pardew into the mix along with Carr, one of the most sought-after scouts in football, and you have enough footballing experience there to outline our problem.

There are lines of call centre operators in the Philipines, Goat herders in Lapland, all shouting in unison: “The bleeping squad isn’t big enough, and hasn’t been for 18 months”. It isn’t a secret that needs a new Director of Drivel to elucidate to the owner.

Unfortunately though, we’re stuck with him for the short term, and now that he’s returned from receiving the grateful thanks of an Italian nation, for winning them the World Cup in 1982, maybe we can start buying players.

Despite the season being only a month away, I’m not getting excited about it yet. Nothing the club has done since May has inspired me to look forward a month hence.

Disputes about the sponsor, an appointment that equates to making Tamara Ecclestone Governor of the Bank of England, the subsequent resignation and a manager so undermined as to have no more power than the banquet chef.

It would be nice to hear from Mike Ashley, get his reasoning from the horse’s mouth, instead of having it churned out through a Google translation app.

So the club’s secondary priority is to inspire confused supporters.

Quite frankly though, imposing a bloke into a high pressure job he’s never done, whose last football success came when buying Scottish footballers was ‘going abroad’, and talking about ‘aiming for top 10’, isn’t going to rival the Last Night of the Proms for exuberance.

In fact, get this wrong, and it’ll be ‘Last Night in the Prem’.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer