Date: 2nd August 2014 at 10:43pm
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Newcastle United played their first game of a double header in the inaugural Schalke 04 cup and with just 2 weeks to go until the serious stuff starts, left a massive cause for concern.

Friendlies can be dismissed as performances being not the most important thing with the ability to gain match practise deemed moreso but today’s showing was nothing short of a disgrace.

Without pointing fingers although im going to, there was yet more evidence that Alan Pardew is way out of his depth here.

The defence was shocking. What Steven Taylor was doing i’ll never know, with his constant questionable positioning and his windmill arm movements at varying points.

Why didn’t Pardew play Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in his natural centre back role when we had natural right backs on the bench?

Why did Pardew play 2 kids up front when the season starts in 2 weeks?

Why was our midfield 5 constantly ‘outnumbered’ by a harder working Malaga 3?

Why do we persist with the massively inept Rob Elliot in nets when he is easily the worst keeper we’ve had in the Premier League era?

Why do we look like we’ve no plan A, never mind a decent plan B?

Why does Pardew persist in getting players in and playing them out of position or wanting an attacker to track back more than venture forward?

There’s bundles of questions to answer but Pardew tried to deflect criticism by taking the blame in his post match yawn.

He’s right, he does need to take the blame along with Mike Ashley because unless we get some tactics that work and spend some proper money on at least a decent striker and a quality centre back then next season’s massive TV cash can’t be hidden in the accounts like this years as we’ll be in the championship.