Enough is enough for Toon fans

Posted by Marc Duffy

Graham Stuart/AFP/Getty ImagesIs Saturday's home loss to Reading the straw that breaks the camel's back for Newcastle manager Alan Pardew?

"We had to take Cabaye off because of an injury, that brought negative reaction from the crowd and that spread around"

This idiotic statement from Alan Pardew immediately after the feeble 2-1 defeat at home to Reading has cost the manager my support. Basically he is blaming the crowd.

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Did the crowd insist on the cowardly tactics and time wasting from the start of the second half?

Did the crowd demand that Newcastle sit back inviting the team with the worst away record in England to come into the game after they offered absolutely nothing in the first half?

Did the crowd demand that Shola Ameobi play directly up against the oldest and slowest full back in the Premier League?

Did the crowd demand that Jonas Gutierrez play yet another full 90 minutes despite looking like he'd rather be anywhere else?

Did the crowd insist that Sylvain Marveaux needed to be subbed?

Pardew loves an excuse -- injuries, the young lads playing at Brighton, refereeing decisions and now, the fans. This last one could be the end for him as far as majority crowd support goes.

The crowd could easily have turned before today and been blameless in doing so. The three wins Pardew has mustered in the 18 league games since he signed his mammoth eight year contract would have seen most, if not all supporters of other Premier League clubs turn on their manager.

Newcastle completely dominated the first half and if it wasn't for the shocking finishing of Papiss Cisse they would have taken a two or three goal lead in at the break. Cabaye's class free kick was all they had to show for it. Then came Pardew's Kinnear/Stoke moment. In the relegation season, Newcastle battered Stoke for 45 minutes and led 2-0 at the break. Kinnear took off an attacking player for a defensive player and Stoke came back for a draw. Today's outcome was even worse.

Newcastle came out for the second half looking like Pardew had talked them into a semi-coma. Referee Andre Marriner had to wave Tim Krul on to hurry up every time he had the ball. Pardew's cowardly, bemusing approach cost Newcastle a very, very important game.

A significant number of Newcastle fans would be opposed to the sacking of Pardew mainly because they're worried about who Mike Ashley would bring in to replace him (I'm not surprised!). But even if this happened, whoever came in would have to be spectacularly terrible to take the team on a poorer run than this one.

Signings are quite obviously needed, but we've known that for months. Cisse has been terrible but has no competition while Shola Ameobi shouldn't be anywhere near a Premier League starting XI. Even if the club go out and spend 50 million pounds on some very good players (which they won't), I can't see how Pardew can pull the club back on track. I hope he proves me wrong because there is no way his mate will sack him.

The scariest aspect of all of this is that if Newcastle go down again, they will not bounce back straight away. When relegation occurred in 2009, Newcastle had a big squad and could afford to shed a lot of the first-teamers. A similar number of players leaving this time (and let's be honest, Krul, Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa and company aren't likely to fancy playing in the second tier) would mean a Championship season with Sammy Ameobi, James Tavernier and the rest playing week in week out. Brighton away every week.

Alan Pardew cost Newcastle United this game, NOT the crowd.

Twitter: @MarcSDuffy

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