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Is the business model a smokescreen for Newcastle failure?

In the 2012/2013 Premier League campaign at Newcastle there was a lot of vehement criticism thrown in the direction of the club’s manager Alan Pardew. The former Southampton and West Ham boss has reached his lowest ebb on Tyneside in recent months, as his charges decided to surrender to a 3-0 defeat to deadly rivals Sunderland with barely a whimper, whilst the 51 year old still insisted his side were the best team outside of the top six.

The pressure has been mounting for a significant period of time at Newcastle United as the once named ‘Pardiola’ appears to have believed his own hype amongst making a heap of costly errors both on and off the pitch within the last season. The one consistent excuse which appears to have bought the Premier League second longest serving manager a reprieve though appears to be the belief that the business model installed at Newcastle United is failing to provide Pardew with the tools to succeed. Is this a legitimate reason for the club’s drastic fall from grace as they plummeted from 5th place in May 2012 to 16th in May 2013?

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This argument is one which several have used to justify the failure of Newcastle United, myself included, but it is one which is falling upon extremely weak foundations. The only way that Alan Pardew can in the short term quell the unrest at St James’s Park is by signing strength in depth in all areas of the side. Even if Pardew fulfils this objective, is this even enough? Or has the tide already turned?

It is clear that several supporters see their manager as a puppet to the club’s owner Mike Ashley. They see the mediation and motivational skills as irrelevant if Pardew can’t ultimately ensure that his playing staff deliver on matchdays. What appears to be far more important is the style of play which the Magpies are offering. The direct style of play was miserable for the fans to endure when Sam Allardyce was the at the helm, let alone when it has been ineffective under Pardew. The use of Papiss Cisse as a target man is a tactic which immediately needs to be disregarded.

The personnel Pardew already has at his disposal have superb potential. Hatem Ben Arfa is a talent that can capture the imagination of all his supporters at any given moment, whilst the ability of players such as Debuchy, Cabaye and Sissoko offer reason to be optimistic that the Magpies can succeed next term. They need to be given direction and licence to develop within the system that suits their playing style.

If Pardew is to have a chance of winning the supporters back around, he needs to silence his pleas for help from Mike Ashley channeled through the media. It is extremely naive for the Magpies boss to think that the fans believe they can influence their owner. There is an acceptance on Tyneside that the Sports Direct Owner has own agenda which he will carry out regardless of whether they approve or disapprove of his actions. Alan Pardew needs to realise that he must handle what is within his control if he is to succeed. That is ensuring that the club play attractive football, which will give the fans a chance to warm to their boss again like they once had.

It may seem highly unlikely to many in the North East that Pardew can restore his ailing reputation, but it is not impossible. He survived in his first season in charge with Peter Lovenkrands, Nile Ranger and Shefki Kuqi, struggling to as the man at the helm would say “get him over the line”, and the squad has certainly improved since then.

The current business model at Newcastle United may be a discussion relevant to the future of the club in years to come. The brutal honest truth now though is the supporters are far more worried about the desperation on the field of play that they witnessed at the end of this season, than the financial solvency of the club in three or four years time.

Article title: Is the business model a smokescreen for Newcastle failure?

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