I’ve read a lot of comments over the last few weeks about our manager Alan Pardew. Yes, that’s right. Like it or not Alan Pardew IS our manager.
Personally I feel that a lot of the criticism he has been on the end of has been harsh and has had nothing to do with his actual job – managing the team.
I mean results wise we could have probably been better off, and we would have been but for a flukey deflection at the Stadium of Light, a lapse in concentration at the death against Tottenham and a complete collapse and surrender of a three goal lead against West Brom on the final day of last season. In fact it would have been enough to grab 8th place had we held on to even two of those leads.
I mean can a manager really do much when his players on the pitch switch off or get caught out? Shouldn’t that have been the job of Captain Tugboat (Kevin Nolan for those who don’t know) as our leader on the pitch to keep his troops focussed? Just a thought…
Despite the fact we ended up slightly lower than we were when Pardew took over from Chris Hughton I still feel that we played better football under him and, for some unknown reason, just felt that little bit more professional. It was like we actually had a manager and not a coach pretending to be a manager, which actually sounds harsh but I don’t mean it that way.
The facts and stats can be bent in many different directions and whilst people will point out that Chris Hughton’s winning percentage was better that Pardew’s it would be unbalanced to not mention the fact that Pardew actually picked up more points per game, and that was without the likes of Andy Carroll plus having to deal with Cheik Tiote being suspended for quite some time amongst other things.
The football, I believe, is better, but despite that, and perhaps rather amazingly, it’s not the actual football that many people have a problem with. They recognise that Pardew done well to keep things together in the second half of last season and that he had a weaker squad with which to deal with things, but it isn’t that which irks them.
To them it’s the lies, or misinformation or whatever you want to call it. To some it’s unbearable yet they keep on listening to it like a clapping seal waiting for a fish so they can just rip it apart. The “best fans in the land” are really showing just how “great” they are at “supporting”, or at least a section of them are anyway…
However there is a problem with that. A couple of problems in fact. At the end of the day why do people choose to continuously listen to someone they say lies all the time? Why not just ignore it? We all know someone who bullshits quite a lot. We all have that one person at work who has done everything you have ever done, bigger, better, quicker. What do you do to them? Well to be honest I just tend to ignore them…
Then there is the question of whether Alan Pardew is actually lying at all? I mean the evidence to back up the case that he actually not lying is pretty substantial – remember it was proven in a court that Mike Ashley and Co lied to the fans and to Kevin Keegan so why would they suddenly change?
Perhaps Pardew is just going off what he has been told? It’s probably the wrong call give the previous form of his employers but at the end of the day we do tend to listen to what a new employer says (I was promised x amount of perks at my last job which never materialised, for example) and I think his eagerness to impress us has lead to him replicating the false promises that he has been told. I also note that he is learning not to promise on things that he can’t actually deliver.
People will still not be convinced after all that though, so I’d like to ask who they would like as a manager? Perhaps a better way of putting it would be who they think would come to Newcastle and work under the restrictions that the board are placing on their managers?
At the end of the day the draw of Newcastle United manager is not what it used to be. Whether that be as a result of Freddie Shepherd’s managerial roundabout or Mike Ashley’s iron fist approach or a mix of the two is up for debate, but the job of gaffer at NUFC has turned into a poisoned chalice.
Big name managers have tried and failed to do anything at Newcastle. Ruud Gullit, Kenny Dalglish, Sam Allardyce (big in his own world) and Graeme Souness have all tried and failed at the club with the only big name success being Sir Bobby (Legend) Robson. Ironically it’s the inexperienced and lesser known guys who have done better with us. Keegan was nobody in managerial terms when he took over first time round, even Glenn Roeder did well for a time, and then we had Chris Hughton who did remarkably well. I’d put Pardew in the latter bracket in terms of his stature.
I just don’t know what people want, but I do know that I actually quite like Alan Pardew and, like it or not, he is here so will get my backing 100% until his results start to erode that. People need to separate what Alan Pardew says off the pitch and what he can produce on the pitch. Ultimately it’s the latter that will determine his future.
So position untenable? In the eyes of some it is, but for those who play that card I’d like them to have a look at the the questions posed and ask whether or not he is really that bad? Yes he talks too much and sometimes it’s on aspects that he has no influence over, but I’d be willing to bet he is just being a bit naive rather than trying to intentionally deceive.
I say give him a chance. Why not? Who else is going to give it a go?
Incidentally I’ve just had a bit of family crisis meaning that I won’t be around much today, but I will try and get another couple of articles out at some point today. Apologies in advance. Toonsy.