Vincent Ralph takes a look at a hugely important season for Newcastle and their manager.
I have never been one for soap operas. They are depressing, unrealistic and frankly watching them is a waste of a life. But the soap opera that regularly plays out at St James’ Park is one I am more than happy to indulge in.
After an outstanding campaign was followed by a hugely disappointing one, the next eight months will determine which of those was an exception to the rule, and whether or not Pardew will get close to seeing out his lengthy and perhaps too swiftly-awarded contract.
The Magpies certainly have the players to climb back up the table. But do those players have the ambition to do so? And although Joe Kinnear is said to be “working hard” in pursuit of new players, that may be the wrong term, given that only a loan deal for Loic Remy has been completed since his appointment.
Speaking of a potential deal for Darren Bent, Pardew said, “He was close”, before the striker ultimately signed for Fulham.
In football, as in life, close is little more than an excuse for failure no matter how small that failure may be.
It is time for Pardew to prove he was more than a one-season wonder. And it is time for the players to do the same.
Apart from Gabriel Obertan. He just needs to prove he can have one good game.
The fans deserve better. Their support is outstanding and it is time the club – at all levels – repaid that support.
I have no idea what the new season will bring for the Magpies. And I still have no idea if Pardew is a good manager or simply a lucky one.
But time will tell. And in the meantime, the rest of us will enjoy the show.
image: © Brian Minkoff - London Pixels