Does anyone remember the last time Alan Pardew made a positive, attacking substitution in a close match? It's been quite some time.
After such excellent judgment with substitutions last season, Pardew has resorted to a steady diet of Shola Ameobi with the occasional pinch of Vurnon Anita or James Perch.
Nowadays a striker in name only, Shola functions best as a holder of the ball upfield in a match where Newcastle have the lead, but Pardew brings him on regardless of the score.
It always seems that Pardew is much more concerned with preserving the score than improving it, and that has to change.
Seemingly every game, Yoan Gouffran is removed an hour in, usually for Shola. Assuming Pardew has a reason to substitute Gouffran at that time every match, why not send in someone who has a genuine chance of scoring? What would be wrong with adding someone who has pace, ball-handling prowess and a desire to prove himself in front of his hometown fans?
Adam Campbell, the 18-year-old Geordie native, deserves much more time on the pitch.
In case you weren't keeping track, Campbell has played in two Premier League matches, both as a late substitution. In both matches, Newcastle scored in stoppage time to win. Not a bad start to a career.
If a substitution up top is to be made, Adam Campbell should undoubtedly be the replacement.
In the midfield, it has become commonplace for a defensive midfielder to come on as a substitute, even if the man they replace is a creative attacking force like Yohan Cabaye.
So why not give a young man from Burundi with sky-high potential a shot to do something special at the end of the game? What would be so wrong with throwing on a player who might try to press forward in the midfield rather than absorb pressure?
Gael Bigirimana, the only member of a group of disappointing young players who was impressive enough not to be loaned out, would be a much better option off the bench than the players currently utilized.
It's time for Alan Pardew to begin pushing. Time to prove that he really wants this team to win and to win now. Time to leave behind his excuses and negative football and try to score some goals.
If he can't do that, someone else very well may be doing it for the Magpies in the Championship.