Pardew set to stay as Newcastle show lack of ambition

Posted by Marc Duffy

Ian MacNicol/AFP/Getty ImagesThe decision to retain Alan Pardew did not receive a warm response from the Newcastle faithful.

On Tuesday evening the NUFC tag on Twitter went into meltdown with the legion of delusional 'ITKs' (fantasists claiming to be football agents or other people In The Know for those of you who steer clear of Social Media) claiming that Alan Pardew had been sacked.

The North East based football writers went quiet presumably investigating if the rumour was true.

Thousands of Newcastle fans grabbed their phones as soon as they woke up on Wednesday morning to see if the rumours had been confirmed, but there was nothing from the club. As the day went on it became apparent that Pardew would not be leaving the club. If he was, the club would have acted already.

Then on Thursday afternoon a statement from Derek Llambias appeared on Newcastle's official website:

"Everyone connected with the Club was disappointed to finish where we did last season, particularly on the back of such a fantastic year prior to that.

Our discussions on Wednesday were very constructive and we pinpointed a number of factors that contributed to a season which fell below expectations.

We are now looking forward and are entirely focused on the forthcoming campaign, with the expectation of at least a top-ten finish in the Premier League.

There has been a great deal of speculation in recent weeks but our desire, as we announced back in September, is to bring long-term stability to this Club.

It's up to us all now to work closely as a team to ensure next season sees us competing in the top half of the table again.

We would all like to thank the fans for their continued support and assure them we remain committed to providing affordable football at St. James' Park."

- Pardew tasked with Toon revival

Hardly a staunch defence of his man from Llambias -- in fact, he didn't even name Pardew.

The hope of a 'top 10 finish' is incredibly underwhelming and unambitious -- in other words where West Ham finished this season a mere five points ahead of Pardew's useless side.

'Stability' is once again the buzz word. Abysmal, ugly, off-putting football, but at least it will be dished up by the same manager.

My biggest concern now is that the poisonous feeling towards Pardew that built up over the season and quickly escalated as the club were sucked deeper into a relegation battle will return at the very start of next season.

Do I think Pardew is capable of turning things around? Not at all -- his lack of even the most basic of ideas is plain for all to see and his track record at previous clubs he's managed is largely miserable. But if the crowd are in opposition to him going into the season then he has absolutely no chance of improving things. Yet another season will be wasted.

That is not to say that there was a negative atmosphere at St James' Park last season, far from it. The supporters were the only superb and consistent thing about the club.

So a top ten Premier League finish is the 'ambition'. This is a football club with the eighth-highest average attendance in world football and a top 20 world club in terms of revenue (they've been in the top ten in that category in the recent past).

Ambition? There's none to be found here. If there was, Alan Pardew would have been fired. At least we have 'stability' though...

Twitter: @MarcSDuffy

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