Five reasons why Alan Pardew should be worried about his Newcastle United future

Alan Pardew

The Independent has claimed that the Magpies boss has just two games left to save his Newcastle career after a poor start in the Premier League.

Alan Pardew could have just two Premier League games – against Southampton and Hull City – to save his skin at Newcastle United, amid reports claiming the Magpies boss is facing the sack.

According to The Independent, those behind the scenes at St James’ Park are considering their options and could wield the axe on the 53-year-old this month, unless there is a major upturn in results.

In charge at Newcastle since December 2010, Pardew represents the second longest serving manager in the Premier League – but where has it gone wrong for him?

Pardew’s record last season

There will be many Magpies fans that will argue Pardew’s sacking has been a long time coming, especially when you consider the Toon’s abject record over the second half of last season.

In the 19 Premier League games played from the start of 2014, Newcastle won just five times – three times at home and just twice away. More concerning still, the Magpies lost 13 of those fixtures. That was relegation form and should have set alarm bells ringing.

A poor start to the campaign

A return of two points from the nine available so far in the Premier League is concerning enough, but a closer look at those results suggests Newcastle fans should feel fairly unhappy.

Losing to Manchester City was expected, but in truth the Toon could well have got something from the game and, as Stoke showed last week, the Citizens are no great shakes at present.

Drawing 0-0 with Aston Villa – a team Newcastle had beaten in each of their previous three meetings – was also disappointing to say the least, while the blame for the Magpies’ inability to see out a win against a Crystal Palace side geared up for a relegation battle rests with the manager.

The Hatem Ben Arfa situation

Sometimes managers should put aside any personal differences for the good of the football club. When Manchester City won the Premier League title in 2012, they did so after Roberto Mancini moved to mend fences with Carlos Tevez, following a bust-up between the pair during a Champions League game that saw the Argentine relegated to the reserves and transfer listed.

But with the Citizens desperate for results, Mancini moved to rebuild the relationship, with Tevez duly delivering on the pitch with a fine assist for Samir Nasri’s winner in a crucial 2-1 league win over Chelsea. It’s an example Pardew could have heeded when it came to Hatem Ben Arfa, arguably one of Newcastle’s most talented and effective midfield talents.

Frozen out after a dressing room bust-up, stripped of the no.10 shirt and relegated to the reserves, Ben Arfa nevertheless remained popular with a section of the Toon support, many of whom turned out to see the midfielder in action for the reserves on Bank Holiday Monday.

But Pardew remained stubborn, instead opting to send the midfielder out to Hull City. If Ben Arfa inspires the Tigers to finish above Newcastle, then the club and Pardew could end up looking foolish.

No proven striker recruited

A return of 12 goals over the 19 Premier League games played in the second half of last season should have served as an indication to those behind the scenes at Newcastle United that a proved goalscorer was in desperate need at St James’ Park.

But while the Magpies have recruited three strikers with undoubted potential in Ayoze Perez, Emmanuel Riviere and Facundo Ferreyra, none of the three have a proven track record for finding the net in the English top flight or even on the continent.

That’s been reflected in the results seen so far, with Newcastle drawing a blank twice in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Shola Ameobi was released by the club and the likes of Adam Armstrong, who is scoring for fun in the reserves, has yet to force his way into the first-team.

This can’t necessarily be blamed exclusively on Pardew, but the Toon boss should have pushed hard for a forward with Premier League pedigree.

Growing defensive concerns

While we were all shocked to see Magpies misfit Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa earn a last-minute loan move to AS Roma, the biggest surprise was reserved for the fact that Newcastle seemingly failed to replace the former Montpellier defender.

That has left the club desperately short of quality defensive options and even those available to the club have looked far from impressive, with five goals conceded in three Premier League outings.

While the Toon scored a paltry 43 goals in the top-flight last term, the more worrying statistic was that they also shipped 59 over those 38 games, the same as 17th placed West Brom and the joint third worst record of those teams that stayed in the division.

Do you think Newcastle United should sack Alan Pardew? Who should replace him?

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