Strange how little irrelevant things that people have said to you over the years stays in your memory and refuses to be forgotten. So it was with Derek Hales, when he remembered recently Allan Simonsen's words from years ago, "its just one defeat". Because thats just what European Player of the Year Allan had said after our 7-1 hammering by Burnley back in February 1983. And that's probably exactly what Pardew is now telling himself. One defeat, thats all it is, who's next?
Well, Hull City are next and after beating them once already this season Pards will be keen to chalk up another double. He can welcome back Danny Mills and Lloyd Sam after their one match suspensions, despite a possible repeat of the flare-up in October with the Hull captain and full-back Ian Ashlee, when both Sam and the Hull player were, of course, sent off.
And we'll continue with Sodje and Bougherra at centre-back, and probably Sir Chris on the left, because despite the sad appearance of a few question marks, there's not a lot of choice at the moment.
So the defence, then, is probably sorted because the only alternative seems to be unavailable. A mysterious injury, as mentioned in the West Brom official match notes, to French right-back Yassin Moutaouakil kept him out of the West Brom game and there's no way of knowing if he'll be available this weekend. And there's more injuries now to talisman Andy Reid, Big Chris and probably Darren Ambrose. So with selection issues mainly concerning the midfield and the strike force, as well as what formation to play, it'll be a busy few days for Pardew.
And with the probable use of two wingers in Thomas and Sam, there's no room for 2 strikers, so expect Izzy McLeod to continue from where he left off on Saturday, especially after scoring his first goal for the Addicks. Three in midfield then, will see ZiZi, Semedo and Holland try to create something in the forced absence of the little irish fella. And if it all looks a bit lightweight, it would seem that there's no real alternative.
And as if a few problems on the playing side were not enough, Pards now has to address the forthcoming "Window". Its already being quoted that Pardew will use the January sales ( or rather loans/buys hopefully) to boost a flagging squad, although its a little worrying that he feels that "we need (only ) a couple to make us strong for the second part of the season". With Basey having presumably had his hernia op on Dec 10, it'll be "several weeks before he's seen again", and with Sir Chris suffering last weekend after being targeted by the opposition once again, it may not be impossible that Pards will see yet another left-back as badly needed.
Perhaps its worth noting that last years surprise loan deal who made 12 appearances for us, Alex Song, is not getting a lot of footballing done and has only played 18 minutes of Premier football this season in 4 substitute appearances, although he did play the full 90 in League Cup games against Sheff. Uoo and Newcastle. Meanwhile, another rumoured possible, Leroy Lita, has started just 4 games for Reading with another 3 run-outs as sub but has still failed to score...