Pardew dishes out hairdryer treatment

07 February 2011 10:44
ALAN PARDEW felt the full force of a few angry fans' frustrations during Newcastle United's first half horror show against Arsenal, but Cheik Tiote has revealed the players were on the receiving end of much worse.

With Arsenal sitting comfortably at 4-0, Tiote has told how Pardew's stinging team talk at the interval sparked a revival that will go down in history as the greatest comeback of the Premier League era.

After a fraught week on Tyneside, in which supporters had been left bemused by the decision to sell Andy Carroll for £35m before having a replacement lined up, disgruntled fans tried to back the players even when they had fallen four down inside 26 minutes.

But a few of those who left early chose to vent their anger at Pardew with a string of insults, including one man standing yards from the dugout who could be clearly heard shouting for the boss to leave. Pardew stayed calm before delivering a heartfelt teamtalk inside the confines of the dressing room at halftime, which left the squad he inherited in no doubt about how he felt.

At half-time it was a very angry dressing room, said Tiote. The manager was furious, shouting at us. He said this is not Newcastle United'. He said that it was up to us to put it right, to give something back to the fans.

We had to give those fans something, they spend a lot of money and time on supporting the team and we had let them down in that first half. The manager was very annoyed and he told us that. There were things thrown in the dressing room and we knew we had let ourselves down. It was not a normal performance from us.

He told us to wake up and get out there and put it right'. He kept the same team for the second half because he said it was up to us to put it right and I think we did that.

Having fallen behind to goals from Theo Walcott, Johan Djourou and two from Robin van Persie, Newcastle somehow ended up with a point courtesy of a sensational fightback.

With 22 minutes remaining they still trailed by the same margin, but then Leon Best scored in between two Joey Barton penalties to pave the way for the grandstand finish. And when Barton's free-kick from the right was headed clear by Gael Clichy, Tiote met the dropping ball with a stinging left foot volley that bounced powerfully in to the bottom right of Wojciech Szczesny's goal.

The goal Wow. I don't know why I hit it, said Tiote, after marking his return to the team after suspension with his first goal for the club. It's a fantastic goal for me because I don't normally score goals like that. I am even right footed and I hit it with my left. It was my wrong foot and I had not tried anything like that before.

One minute I was running away to celebrate, the next I was at the opposite end of the pitch with people on top of me. My mind went blank. It's the best feeling I have had on a pitch.

After scoring what he described as the greatest goal of his career, the 24- year-old thinks the fact Newcastle claimed a point from such an unlikely position highlights the strong team spirit which exists within the squad.

Losing Carroll to Liverpool last month before suffering defeat at Fulham last Wednesday took its toll on the squad, but the response was pretty emphatic against an Arsenal team in with a chance of winning the league.

It's been a difficult week for the club with Andy going and it's nice to end it on a positive, he said. He's just one player, it's gone, it is finished. We have to move on and I think we have done that.

If I'm honest I don't think any of us thought we would have been able to get back in to the game at half-time. It was dreadful, against a team as good as Arsenal. It is almost impossible to come back from that. But when we scored the first goal we could see the doubts start to creep in and they'd had a man sent off. We worked really hard and we did everything we could to put them under pressure and the whole game suddenly changed.

This would not happen in any other league. In Spain, Italy, Holland, France, teams don't come back from four goals down. That is what is great about English football.

The English mentality is never say die, it's never over, I like that. It was a crazy game. Amazing.

Leon Best, meanwhile, has pulled out of the Republic of Ireland squad after suffering from a hamstring injury in the latter stages of Saturday's match.

Source: Northern_Echo