With Cabaye refusing to take to the field against West Ham, and those who deigned to do so playing with all the passion of a eunuch on potassium bromide, poor old Pants Down is learning the cost of banking on the French. Basically, they show up when they want to, but when not in the mood the best you are going to get out of them is a shrug of the shoulders and an oral ejaculation which is less "Over the top lads" and more "Pah!"
As a West Ham fan, I was delighted with the ease with which we protected our own goal on Saturday. That freakish cross shot apart, we didn't look in the least bit troubled all afternoon, with the back four looking as water tight as the Italian national team in their miserly pomp. It wasn't that the Newcastle team lacked ability, it was that they lacked any drive and desire. It was almost as if they thought they were still in pre season.
Now we have seen at World Cups how a French dressing room can settle into a collective sulk when they decide somebody else should porter la boite de conserve and another failure against Fulham is likely to trigger all sorts of mutterings about the manager, the tactics, the unflattering kit, the miserable weather, the uncultured women, the horrible English food, the traffic jams, the distance from La Manche, the Director of Football, British television, the state of the pitch, the odd way that Pardew looks at their wives, the funny currency, warm beer, the failure to assign masculine and feminine to nouns, the inability of the locals to speak French, the inability of the locals to speak English and living in a country with a monarchy! Mon Dieu!
These are worrying times. The imminent departure of Cabaye will leave Newcastle little or no time to source a replacement, and the Laurel & Hardy of football, messers Pardew & Kinnear, are unlikely to agree on targets anyway. Pardew said he should be judged after the next two games; well half way in, and the guillotine is being sharpened!