After securing Premiership Survival by beating QPR on Sunday, Alan Pardew was quoted as saying: “I don`t really care if Arsenal win 4-0 [next weekend], if I`m honest. I`m sure Spurs will, but I only care that our fans enjoy themselves.”
My initial response to reading his comments was one of anger and irritation. As well as cursing Arsenal`s good fortune to be playing Newcastle at this time (having already played Manchester United the game after they won the title, and QPR the game after they had been relegated), I was appalled that Pardew had made his indifference to the the Arsenal game so public.
But then I reflected and realised that he might actually have done us a favour.
The truth is that, having avoided relegation, Newcastle were never going to be very concerned about whether of not they beat Arsenal, whatever utterances the manager or players might have made to the contrary. It might make a bit of difference to where they finish in the league and therefore how much money they receive, but in comparison to the cost of relegation it is irrelevant. All Pardew did ‘wrong` was to express publicly what we might have expected, and feared, the whole team would have been thinking privately.
The difference now is that the attention of the media and the fans has been focussed on the issue to a degree that would not otherwise have been possible. Pardew`s comments have rightly and predicatably been met with outrage, from Newcastle supporters as well of Spurs fans and others. The irony, however, is that all the criticism and attention could well do more to motivate him and his team on the last day of the season than any of us could have hoped for.
In my last article on VitalSpurs I was a little critical of AVB`s failure to motivate Manchester United through the media ahead of their games against Aresenal and Manchester United. This time it seems that Alan Pardew may have done his job for him. Maybe Arsenal`s luck is finally running out.
Come on you Geordies!
Written by OneCentRob