Yoan Gouffran was arguably the best player on the pitch against West Brom last week. Hatem Ben Arfa is the most creative playmaker the club possesses.
So for a match in which Newcastle was supposed to make amends to their fans for the poor showing in the Tyne-Wear derby, why were neither in the starting XI?
Brought on at the beginning of the second half with the Magpies down 2-0, both players made an immediate impact and the club enjoyed their only positive eight minutes.
Of course, things fell apart in the 54th minute when Ben Arfa was dispossessed by Philippe Coutinho who easily picked apart the Newcastle defense on his way to assist Daniel Sturridge.
But what exactly did Pardew expect? A consistent theme of his tactics is to fall behind, then throw on substitutes and ask them to perform miracles. Ben Arfa and Gouffran would have been much more comfortable and pressed much less in a game where they didn't enter down two goals.
As it panned out, Newcastle would fail to score or even to truly threaten, and the streak of low-scoring performances continues. Newcastle haven't scored more than one goal since March 10 and more than two goals since February 24.
There's no reason to expect those numbers to change with the club's current offensive mindset.