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Alan Pardew has remained tight-lipped about solutions to his team's problems, which continues to frustrate fans.
When he isn’t blaming the wrong things, Pardew doesn’t seem to be saying anything at all. When Newcastle were flying high in the league, the manager was always available. Obviously, this is expected during a good season—it’s good promotion, after all—but the tough times are when you find out what sort of manager your club has.
There is a studied silence coming from St. James’ Park most weeks, as if the manager has barricaded himself within and is refusing to come out until the results go his way.
There is no notion of how things are going to turn around with the club in its current state, just that it’s not fair how the injuries and European commitments have conspired against the team.
The failure to bolster the squad after a successful season has been the catalyst for all the other things that have gone wrong, but that doesn’t mean Newcastle are a poor team, even with many first-team players out.
Pardew needs to address the fans via the media and assure them that he is the man to get the club out of its mire and return them to the higher reaches of the league table. The talent is there, but the phrase "too good to go down" doesn't mean "exempt from relegation."
Confidence in a manager derives from much more than the team’s performance; Pardew’s insistence that the team played well after each loss isn’t good enough, and he needs to show evidence that he is at least thinking about ways to rectify the situation.
If Cisse isn’t playing well enough, drop him. If Cisse only plays well with Ba on the left, make the necessary change. If there is confidence in the young players coming through, give them a run in the first team. If the team underperforms, make it known that the post-game reaction in the dressing room was one of fury.
All of those things seem obvious, but none of them have been attempted—or even spoken of. The silence of Pardew shows indifference to the team, and by extension, the supporters.
Every player has a responsibility to his teammates, but the club’s fortunes do not rest on a player. No matter how important they are, the players are ultimately bypassed when looking for those responsible for a decline in fortunes.
The comfort of an eight-year contract should not blind Alan Pardew from the knowledge that this responsibility is his alone.