Well, like Pardew said it was always going to be difficult with us having no focus.
A bit like QPR last week really when we had the chance of promotion to the best league in the world, while they had nothing to play for.
I can see the logic behind all his excuses, but to be honest I'm just getting a bit fed up of having to hear them.
I'm sure Pardew is doing all he can; I'm sure he bought the best players he thought he could afford; I'm sure he borrowed the best loan players he could get his hands on; I'm sure he is picking the players that he believes are most likely to get a result; I'm sure he genuinely has the best intentions for our Club. I'm just fed up with having to hear him explain why we've lost another game that we all believe we should be winning, and that we did win in he last two seasons we spent in this division.*
Irrespective of the quality of the players we have or the mistakes we have made in signings or formations, if there is any truth in the suggestion that Pardew is one of the highest paid managers in this division, and if we have one of the highest wage bills in this division then there is, frankly, no excuse for what has gone from being simply failure to being an outright disaster.
I have always believed that Pardew is the best man available for the job, and as he has signed so many players has more of his own reputation invested in the club, but right now I am not so sure that he will be able to turn this around. We have to sell loads of season tickets to preserve the status we earned during an extended spell in the Premiership. We could well end up like Coventry, Sheffield Wednesday, Leicester and Southampton if we do not win promotion next season. The Valley redevelopment cannot be taken away, but we now have no real Premier League quality players save for perhaps Jerome Thomas who is likely to leave this summer. We have shed most of the costs (and probably the facilities) that we had in the top flight. If we lose a big chunk of our season ticket holders there will be nothing about us that is 'Premier League'. Despite the club's new ticket pricing we will just not sell tickets if the football on offer is so dire.
Suddenly Coventry next week is a massive game. We need to all be sent home happy. I can't remember being so fed up with a season before, but I sill want to see a win in the last home game. Right now I don't care where it comes from, I don't care who plays, I don't care if the whole eleven that start next Sunday are sold (or released) in the summer, just give me a win to remember. That win against Palace was fantastic, but that was the 8th of February, nearly three months ago.
Just give me a win, just give me a flippin' win!
* I know that we didn't necessarily beat the same teams in 1998 or 2000, but you get my point.