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Time For Pardew To Rally The Troops

Well, these losses are becoming a regular thing aren’t they?

I really thought after the Burnley game that our players would have had enough of getting beat every week, but it looks as though they haven’t as of yet. And, well, the result last Saturday really took the biscuit.

It is hard to describe what I felt, because I couldn’t actually watch the game as I had my reporting duties elsewhere. Following the game on Twitter at Eastbourne United was hard, and just when you thought Palace might snatch all three points from obscurity, it was galling to say the least when I found out that they had yet again surrendered a lead.

It is getting to a point in these features where we start to wonder what else there is left to say. Everyone has a view on what is going wrong, and people have a view on what has to happen to reverse this worrying run of form. For me, the only place and person to start with is the boss, Alan Pardew. He is the manager of this football club, and ultimately this horrendous run of form lays at his door. It is all well and good me saying this, but here at TEB we try and put an informed opinion across each day and me saying it is all Pardew’s fault would not be quite right.

A lot of the problems have resulted from Pardew but some of the players have to take responsibility as well. The defending has been shambolic and although we have looked quite good going forward on occasions, we haven’t produced that ‘wow’ factor nearly enough times.

Responsibility is a big thing in team sports, I feel I’m qualified to be able to talk about responsibility. I played football for a good 12 years, and I know that feeling of constantly losing, constantly feeling luck just is not on your side. I was fortunate enough to be at a club where everyone took responsibility through both the good and the bad times.

Looking around the players at the moment, I wouldn’t go as far as to say they are giving up. I really believe they are fighting and playing for Pardew at the moment, but how long that lasts remains to be seen. What is missing is some of the passion that we once had, there is not that someone grabbing the players and getting them fired up when things are not going to plan.

Don’t get me wrong, Scott Dann is a fabulous player, and I do think he is a good captain, but he is not going to be your Roy Keane or Patrick Viera when times are tough. I don’t think he is that type of person, and at this moment in time we desperately need a player of the calibre of Keane or Viera, or dare I say a Mile Jedinak, on the pitch to rally the troops.

Since watching the highlights, I didn’t see any of that on Saturday and I certainly haven’t seen enough of it during this barren spell. The mistakes we have made have been schoolboy stuff, literally basic errors which as a Premier League player you just can’t make. What irks me the most is when players just stand around pointing and looking at other players, it all comes back to ‘responsibility’.

Somebody should be banging their heads together. Or at least if I were on the pitch, I would be clanging and banging some heads together. I think somebody needs to get stuck into some of our players at the moment, I think for some they might be taking their privileged position for granted.

Let’s revert back to Pardew, and what I feel his role in all of this is. Of course, it is to get us out of this mess, first and foremost.

The last couple of weeks I have got the sense that he is trying to shift some of the responsibility onto his players, which I feel is a dangerous game. He has to take responsibility. He has to be the one rallying the troops but I don’t think he does, or let’s put that another way, I don’t think he does that in the right way. I look at Pardew and feel that he is certainly capable of throwing all the toys out the pram at half time, but whether he does that in a coherent and controlled manner is something we unlikely to ever know.

I do believe players react to a rollicking, I know I did. It has to be done the right way, and to me Pardew doesn’t strike me as that person. I look at Jurgen Klopp or even Antonio Conte, and suspect that at times in their career they have gone completely berserk, but do so in a controlled manner that both gets a response from their players, and a understanding of how to change a bad situation. I do not believe Pardew has got that in him, and I’m afraid to say that is what separates the best from the average.

We all know that our next two games against Southampton and Hull City are huge and if Pardew cannot pull something out of the bag, it might be time for one of our favourite sons to leave.



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