Newcastle United - Starting As They Mean To Go On

August 20, 2013 in Premier League, Transfers by Daniel Lloyd

Well, the season has begun, and it was certainly an interesting opening weekend, with a couple of interesting results. And on Monday night, that trend continued, as Manchester City went on to thrash Newcastle United 4-0 in front of a gleeful crowd at the Etihad.

The day started off poorly for the Geordies, as they were subject to a £10m bid from Arsenal for Yohan Cabaye, which, mainly due to the timing, Alan Pardew labelled as disrespectful post-match. For me, it’s more about the fee being disrespectful, simply because Arsenal knew they could turn his head because of the history and calibre of their club, and let’s be honest, £10m for Yohan Cabaye is an absolute joke. He won’t leave for anything less than double that, with Mike Ashley probably even looking for triple that fee, with his rumoured price tag being £30m by the Newcastle board. It’s a completely ‘derisory’ offer for a player of his quality. With this bid floating over his head, Yohan Cabaye was left out of the squad for the Manchester City game. And this morning, it has been rumoured that Newcastle are now only looking for £20m for their star midfielder. It certainly looks like one foot might be out the door.Yohan-Cabaye-Newcastle_2863327

Then, the season for Newcastle and Man City finally kicked off, and five minutes later, City were in the lead. Poor movement from the Newcastle midfield let Silva get into the box unopposed, who managed to pop a header into the corner out of Krul’s reach. After 20 minutes, City were 2-0 up after a fantastic finish from Aguero. Then, before the half time whistle, Steven Taylor got sent off for a clothesline that would have made some WWE superstars proud, knocking Aguero to the floor in frustration right in front of the referee. Cue an essentially similar second half to leave the final score Manchester City 4, Newcastle 0, leaving Manchester City at the top of the table, and Newcastle bottom.

My problem is not the actual match. 4-0 is a little more than they would have liked to lose by, but with 10 men, Newcastle were lucky to escape with that scoreline. It’s Alan Pardew. And while yes, I will freely admit that last season, I spent a lot of time defending the Toon manager, that time has well and truly passed. Last season, Newcastle dipped in quality so heavily, and in no small part to their manager. Everything is an excuse with the Newcastle manager; I’ve not once seen him put his hands up and say, “Yeah, that was a poor performance, we have a lot of work to do”. Yesterday, after losing 4-0, and in pretty dire fashion, he stated that the team would be fine and they didn’t need to put in a lot of work to get where they need to be. Newsflash, Alan - Newcastle do need to put a lot of work in. Next week they play West Ham at home, which is always a tough fixture, against people who have a point to prove in Kevin Nolan and Sam Allardyce.

Newcastle need to get their act together and become a lot more active in these last few days of the transfer market. They have the money, Mike Ashley is a billionaire. They need to spend like they know Cabaye is already sold. More competitive threats in midfield would be nice, and they have been linked with Lille youngster Florian Thauvin, who would be an ideal addition to Pardew’s squad. But most importantly, they need more strikers. The Gomis deal is hanging by a thread, as it seems that after pulling out, they now seemingly want him again. Another rumour suggests interest in Juventus’ Alessandro Matri. Another good player, one who has been shunted to the outskirts by his team after the arrivals of Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez.

But anyway, back to Pardew. His tactics are still the same ones he played at Charlton and West Ham, and they do not suit the Newcastle team in the slightest. Newcastle desperately need someone to link up the play with Papiss Cisse, who can be hit and miss, but is still the Toon Army’s deadliest threat in front of the goal. Yesterday, he was stuck on an island probably 30 yards away from the nearest midfielder, and unless they play the long ball game, which isn’t suited to Cisse’s playing style, he won’t get any chances.

And speaking of Papiss Cisse, I don’t know if he is unhappy with the club for forcing his hand with him playing in the Wonga shirt, but yesterday, he looked a shadow of the man we saw last season, who himself was a shadow of the man we saw the year before that. At this rate, he’s just going to physically disappear. Much like one Ali Dia from Southampton.

But take nothing away from Manchester City yesterday, as poor as Newcastle were, City looked absolutely fantastic. Dzeko looked like a new man with Pellegrini in charge, and everything they did had a great flow to it. Look at Aguero’s goal for example; Newcastle had the ball in City’s half, and ten seconds later, it was being put past Tim Krul right into the bottom corner. I don’t care what anyone says, City look to be the deadliest threats to the title for me. After Chelsea’s half and half performance against Hull, and Manchester United seemingly having to cope with no new signings, City appear to be the front runners for me.