After an unsurprising 1-0 reverse against our South London cousins last night, we sit in 17th place, and still we appear more concerned with those above us, than those below us. For a team being rebuilt, we are pretty much where I expect us to be right now, and statistically, both our home and away records this season, show that we are in exactly the right position, and yet I still hear noises about promotion? This is a team in transition, essentially a young team, and yet the whole unrealistic expectation malarkey around promotion is actually being perpetrated by Pardew himself.
This is a side capable of promotion he reckons - wrong. Sorry to all the optimists out there, but it is just plain wrong. I only hope it is a team capable of staying in this division quite frankly, and therein lies Pardew's most glaring weaknesses to date. Tactically, he has shown himself to be suspect, and motivational abilities are also sadly not in evidence. For me though, the most frustrating thing is the utter drivel that gets spouted before and after matches by our manager.
You know what? If he 'fessed up that the team was young, fighting hard, a bit lacking, but not wanting for effort, and that promotion was unrealistic this season, I would have a lot more respect for him, and his team than I do right now. Let's get a bit of bunker mentality going shall we?, but include the fans in the bunker, and do you know what? - the sum of the parts will indeed be greater than the whole.
My concern is that while the platitudes and cliches keep coming, the fans resolve against Pardew will harden with every defeat, and that is an ever decreasing circle we cannot afford to get into right now.