UNDER-PRESSURE manager Alan Pardew admitted he has nowhere to hide after Newcastle United fans vented their anger at him during a sixth successive defeat.
The club’s 2,000-strong travelling support turned on Pardew during last night’s loss to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
And the defeat has heaped more pressure on Pardew, the Premier League’s second-longest serving manager behind Arsene Wenger, who was in the opposite dugout.
Newcastle’s fans chanted for Pardew to be sacked - and chided him about the team’s losing run.
The 52-year-old is looking increasingly vulnerable in his position, despite the previously-staunch backing he has had from club owner Mike Ashley.
Pardew - whose side take on Cardiff City at St James’s Park on Saturday - acknowledged the depth of feeling among supporters.
“We’ve had 2,000 travel all this way to watch us,” Pardew said. “We respect that. I’m not going to moan about what they were singing and their feelings.
“I can’t hide from that. It’s six defeats and they’re not happy.
“The only way we can put it right is get ourselves in a position to win the game on Saturday.”
United remain ninth in the league despite an abject run which has seen them score just two goals in eight games.
Asked if he was worried about his job, Pardew said: “All I know is that when you’re manager of Newcastle, to lose six games is going to bring massive pressure on you.
“I have to accept that, but I still have to focus on my job. And my job is to try to get this team in the best possible shape for Saturday.
“I want a top-10 finish, and I want to get that on Saturday.”
Pardew (right) refused to be drawn on his decision to leave Hatem Ben Arfa out of his squad last night.
The forward revealed he had not travelled on social networking site Instagram on the eve of the game, and his lawyer, Jean-Jaques Bertrand, suggested that he was considering his future at the club.
Asked about Ben Arfa’s omission, Pardew simply said: “I picked my team on merit - that’s all.”
Pardew was looking for his team to frustrate Arsenal, but their good work in the first 20 minutes was undone when Laurent Koscielny got on the end of a 26th minute free-kick from Santi Cazorla.
Mesut Ozil added another late in the half, and Olivier Giroud finished Newcastle off after the break with a header.
“They were good,” Pardew said. “Ozil and (Aaron) Ramsey asked all sorts of questions that were difficult to answer. But we did a really good job for long periods of the game.
“The 20 minutes before half time was the part of the game that disappointed me. We were good in the rest of the game.”
Newcastle did start well enough. They diligently set about their task of frustrating Arsenal, who struggled to find pockets space and get in behind their visitors.
Captain Fabricio Coloccini slid in to block a dangerous ball from Ozil, who also volleyed a shot wide of goal in the 18th minute after Tim Krul punched a Santi Cazorla corner to him.
Moussa Sissoko created a chance for himself with a superb piece of skill. The midfielder played the ball one side of Per Mertesacker and ran past him the other, but his flighted effort from distance was well over Wojciech Szczesny’s goal.
But Newcastle’s good work was undone in the 26th minute.
Sissoko gave away a needless free-kick for foul on Olivier Giroud, and Laurent Koscielny slipped in ahead of the midfielder to prod Santi Cazorla’s delivery past Tim Krul.
Krul then denied Lukas Podolski, who got above Paul Dummett to head a Cazorla corner at goal.
Newcastle’s Cheik Tiote latched on to a loose ball 35 yards from goal and cracked a fierce drive with his right foot, but the shot was gathered by Szczesny.
The game, though, was all but out of reach by the half-time break.
Krul twice denied Giroud, who had broke up the right, but the ball squirmed to the unmarked Ozil, who was played onside by a prone Debuchy, and he scored the second.
Cazorla forced another save from Krul before the interval, which couldn’t come soon enough for Newcastle.
There was no discernable change in pace after the break from United, who were soon camped in their own half.
Yoan Gouffran did break upfield and test Szczesny after Loic Remy set him free. But the game was well and truly over when Giroud headed Ozil’s left-wing cross past Krul in the 66th minute.
Newcastle’s fans - tucked into one corner of the Emirates Stadium - were soon singing “Alan Pardew, it’s six in a row”.
Arsenal’s supporters quickly responded with “you’re getting sacked in the morning”.
That was met with a chant of “you’re nothing special, Tottenham scored four” from United’s contingent, who can only dream of seeing their team score four goals these days.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Ramsey (Rosicky 74), Cazorla, Ozil (Flamini 74), Podolski, Giroud (Sanogo 84). Subs Not Used: Vermaelen, Fabianski, Jenkinson, Kallstrom. Booked: Koscielny, Ramsey, Sagna. Goals: Koscielny 26, Ozil 42, Giroud 66.
Newcastle: Krul, Debuchy (Yanga-Mbiwa 84), Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett, Tiote, Anita, Sissoko, Gosling (Shola Ameobi 70), Gouffran (Armstrong 89), Remy. Subs Not Used: Haidara, Elliot, Obertan, Steven Taylor. Booked: Sissoko, Tiote.
Att: 60,023 Ref: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire).