OVER the past couple of weeks I’ve spent more time struggling to work out what to write for my column than actually writing it.
A losing streak saps all your creative energy, some could argue that is Newcastle United’s problem at the moment; I would disagree.
Ignoring Monday’s game, a 3-0 loss away to Arsenal, creativity hasn’t been a problem. Scoring goals and building on them has.
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I wasn’t expecting much from the match, Arsenal are in prime position to claim the fourth Champions’ League spot and we lost 7-3 at The Emirates last season. I must also admit, I switched it off at half-time, with the score at 2-0, not expecting a large-scale fightback – and rightly it turned out!
I’ve been pinning my hopes on the match this Saturday, especially since my Cardiff-supporting friends, Martin (who will be co-commentating) and Bernard, are now of the opinion they are all but down.
It now looks the easier of the last games on paper (Liverpool, chasing the title, at Anfield couldn’t be tougher), but our opponents shouldn’t be underestimated as we discovered in the third round of the FA Cup in January.
Cardiff will visit St James’ with nothing to lose. Craig Bellamy will, as always, have something to prove.
Alan Pardew said this week: “We could have got really harmed at 2-0 at halftime.
I think we have come out on a football basis with our dignity still there and we need to take that in to Saturday.
“It’s very important our stadium gives us the same opportunity it did against Swansea when it was actually a good atmosphere to play in. We have got the best fans in the world and I really hope on Saturday we give them something they deserve.
They don’t deserve the recent run we have offered up to them.”
Chants like ‘we’re going to party when Pardew gets the sack’, ‘Alan Pardew it’s six in a row’ and ‘we want Pardew out’ could be heard at the Emirates.
And the Newcastle boss said: “I think the fans are frustrated. We had 2,000 here tonight and they made the long trip here and although we are playing a good team they expect us to win, they have seen us lose again and they are not happy. I have to respect that.
“All I can do as a manager is to make sure I do this job to the best of my ability.
We have been top ten all year, this recent run is not something I am hiding from. We should have performed better in this run. We have got to finish in the top ten.
“If Cardiff fans think it is important for them on Saturday, trust me it is important for our fans too.”
Alan Pardew has everything to lose; some fans continue to ask for his head.
We all, for sure, want to end this run and have a home win to shout about.