Monday, 13 May 2013

"I don't really care if Arsenal win 4-0." ...Alan Pardew

It was Pardew's "Thank God we are not in the Europa League again” comment which angered me the most.

Our second away win in the league all season owed as much to the mistakes of Jose Bosingwa and QPR's overall lack of quality as it did to our own performance, but at least we can 'celebrate' the fact that our Premier League survival is now guaranteed.

A Liverpool friend of mine commented that being involved in the relegation battle must have been 'exciting' which just shows how little he knows about being involved in a relegation battle.  'Exciting' has been a rarely used word when watching Pardew's tactics this season, and 'nervous' would be a far more appropriate word to describe the final run-in to of our season.

I have to admit that when fans were criticising Pardew earlier in the season that for a long time I personally thought the blame deserved to be pointed higher up and that it was our failure to strengthen the squad pre-season which was the real reason to blame for our current predicament.  However, Alan Pardew's constant excuse making has gradually worn down my patience more and more, and he really needs to start accepting responsibility for our shortcomings.  If Pardew had put as much effort into improving our results as he does into making excuses then we would probably have been challenging for Europe again rather than battling to avoid relegation.

Alex Ferguson is (was) another manager who likes to make excuses when Man United get beat, most notably by blaming the ref, but you always know that what Ferguson says in public is purely designed to put pressure on referees to favour Man United in future, and that behind the scenes Ferguson will be working hard to analyse what went wrong and ensure it doesn't happen again.

However, in Pardew's case you get the impression that he genuinely believes the excuses he comes out with.  There's an element of trying to lower expectations in order to make himself look better, but unfortunately, and rather worryingly, I seriously think he believes a lot of the patter he comes out with.

Yes, at times this season the 'injuries' excuse was a legitmate factor.  However, if Pardew feels we don't have the squad to cope with injuries then he still has to explain why he wasn't making this point to Ashley before the season started, rather than halfway through the season when the damage was already done.

His now famous comments made in the aftermath of our victory at QPR haven't helped matters.  Pardew has now clarified that his remark, "I don't really care if Arsenal win 4-0..." was in his words, "of course, a joke."

However, even if we overlook his massive error of judgment in making such an inappropriately ridiculous comment, he still has to explain the remark, "Thank God we are not in the Europa League again.”

So what exactly are his ambitions for next season?  He constantly seems to talk down our potential so he clearly doesn't see us competing for the Champions League spots again at any point soon, so if he dislikes the Europa League so much then presumably that leaves another season of Premier League survival as the sum of Pardew's ambitions.*

* Although to be fair, Ashley likewise seems to see Premier League status as the limit of his ambitions.

Our second half performance against Benfica was one of the few highlights of the season, so although Pardew's comment about getting beat 4-0 off Arsenal got most of the headlines, it was his "Thank God we are not in the Europa League again” comment which angered me the most.  He really needs to get over his obsession with tiredness.  Matt Le Tissier made a very simple comment on Sky Sports a few weeks ago that if players are tired for matches then "just train less during the week."

Yet another comment which shows that Pardew really is the master of making excuses was, "I think if I put my best eleven out every week we would be a top eight side."  I dare say at least twelve other clubs could make the same claim, but the reality is that's never going to happen.  Injuries and suspensions are a part of football - it's something which every club has to deal with - and although we've been unlucky this season, we were never going to get another season like last where the majority of our first eleven remained injury free pretty much all season.

Anyway, enough of the moaning.  We survived, so now we can hope for a Wigan victory over Arsenal and Villa, followed by a Spurs win over the mackems, and then finally forget about this season.

. . . . . . . .

Footnote: Just for the record, my general football tips were a total wash-out this week, but as usual I'll be posting the odds during the week for the most popular betting markets for our final game of the season against Arsenal.

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