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Looking back on last season, one of the qualities of Alan Pardew's management was his ability to make the right substitutions at the right time.
That was not the case against Reading.
Pardew's first substitution, James Perch for Sylvain Marveaux in the 65th minute, made Newcastle a much more defensively minded XI than should have been necessary in a game where the offense for the most part was clicking (seven shots compared to Reading's two).
It didn't work, as Adam Le Fondre put both goals in for Reading after the substitution.
When Yohan Cabaye, the Magpies' lone goalscorer on a beautiful free kick, came off in the 74th minute for Gael Bigirimana, the crowd booed in disapproval of the decision.
While there was justification for the move because Cabaye had complained at half-time of an issue with his groin that had kept him sidelined for months, the timing was rather bizarre.
If a manager is going to substitute the best player on the pitch for an injury concern that had arisen at half-time, mulling the situation over until three minutes after the opposing side had just equalized seems like a poor course of action.
And by the time Obertan joined the fun in the 80th minute, all that could be said was: too little, too late.
He should have started for Ameobi in the first place.