ALAN Pardew’s position at Newcastle United is looking precarious – after another embarrassing defeat at the St Mary’s Stadium.
Owner Mike Ashley saw Pardew’s side were convincingly beaten 4-0 by Southampton this afternoon thanks to two goals from Graziano Pelle and strikes from Jack Cork and Morgan Schneiderlin.
Newcastle’s 2,500 called for Pardew’s dismissal and chanted the name of Hatem Ben Arfa, controversially loaned out on transfer deadline day last week.
A “Pardew out” banner was held up in the away end, as was another mocking the 53-year-old, whose side are yet to win in the Premier League so far this season.
United, beaten at the St Mary’s Stadium by the same scoreline last season, lacked organisation and leadership at the back and imagination in the final third of the pitch.
It remains to be seen whether Ashley – who yesterday ruled out selling the club – still views Parew as the right man for the job.
Newcastle started badly, with a poor backpass from Fabricio Coloccini playing goalkeeper Tim Krul into trouble. Shane Long charged down Krul’s attempted clearance, and the ball bounced just wide of his goal.
Southampton didn’t have to work hard for their opportunities.
And Pelle took full advantage when he was left unmarked in the sixth minute, with the striker heading Ryan Bertrand cross from the left past Krul.
Newcastle, as on their previous visit to the stadium, just couldn’t keep hold of the ball.
It was seemingly only a matter of time before Ronald Koeman’s side got a second, and their pressure told again in the 19th minute when Dusan Tadic set up Pelle.
At the other end, Moussa Sissoko tested former United goalkeeper Fraser Forster, while a shot from Yoan Gouffran was deflected wide.
United’s performance unravelled further after the break.
Cork nipped in ahead of defender Mike Williamson to make it 3-0 to the home side in the 52nd minute.
There was no way back for Newcastle, though Emmanuel Riviere and Jack Colback should have done better with a 78th-minute chance.
In truth, the game was won inside the first 20 minutes by a team which had lost three of its best players in the summer.
And Schneiderlin capped a miserable afternoon with a late goal.
Another defeat a week today when Hull City visit St James’s Park is unthinkable for United – and especially Pardew.
SOUTHAMPTON: Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Alderweireld, Bertrand, Cork (Gardos, 89), Schneiderlin, S Davis, Tadic (Ward-Prowse, 67), Long (Wanyama, 46), Pelle. Subs not used: K Davis, Yoshida, Mayuka, McQueen.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, Haidara; Colback, Anita (Tiote, 46); Cabella (Perez, 69), Sissoko (Ameobi, 89), Gouffran; Riviere. Subs not used: Elliot, S Taylor, Obertan, Armstrong.
Goals: Pelle 6, Tadic 19, Cork 52, Schneiderlin 90
Bookings: Colback 45, Tiote 57
Referee: Chris Foy (St Helens)