Is Alan Pardew an early candidate for Manager of the Year?

Pardew proving the doubters wrong
Alan Pardewis not a name that would commonly be associated with the best managers in the League. Yet his team’s performance so far in the 2011/12 season have surprised all the pundits.

The Magpies unbeaten run in the Premiers League stretches back to May 7th, and they find themselves 3rd in the table after 10 games – only behind Manchester City and Manchester United. If they can find themselves a win against Everton on Saturday, Newcastle will be 2nd in the League – if only for 90 minutes, depending on the result of Manchester United v Sunderland.

Despite being written off as relegation candidates before the season even started, Pardew has managed to mould the team in to European contenders. Other teams are underestimating the Magpies at their peril.

The transformation of Newcastle United under Alan Pardew has been nothing short of surprising. The sales of key players: Andy Carroll, Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan, and Jose Enrique shocked the fans. There was unrest amongst the fans when the club failed to bring in a multi-million pound striker, but Pardew has quickly won the fans over and if the clubs form continues during the season, Newcastle may well find themselves back in Europe.

After being seen as the laughing stock of the Premiership for the past few seasons – relegation, expensive flops, multiple managers etc, Newcastle have been moulded in to a force to be reckoned with. Even more impressive is that it has been done on a budget.

When the summer transfer deadline passed, many at St. James’ Park were wondering where their money had gone. Andy Carroll was signed for a, then, Premier League record £35 million, and it was left too late to bring in a replacement. Newcastle managed to hang on to their top-flight status and finished a respectable 12th in their returning season.

The summer transfer window saw a French revolution of sorts; Yohan Cabaye has quickly been earmarked as one of the clubs most prolific signings after joining from Ligue 1 Champions Lille. Cabaye even said that he received an offer from Dubai-backed Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia, but was so keen to make the move to Tyneside.

Gabriel Obertan had struggled to become a regular feature at Manchester United and was handed his opportunity for first team football by Alan Pardew. The winger has shown that he has the quality to be a Premier League starter and is improving with every game. Sylvain Marveaux has demonstrated his ability in the Reserves and the teams Carling Cup run, and is knocking on the door for a chance at the first team.

A key aspect of Newcastle’s success so far this year is down to their defence. Alan Pardew’s main area of coaching is the defensive aspect, whereas his assistant John Carver is tasked with coaching the offensive players – an approach that, so far, has proven its worth.

The coaching team, as a whole, deserves praise, as the Reserve team sit at the top of their League after six games. It comes as no surprise that both the Seniors and the Reserves are in such impressive positions, and the fans have Pardew and his staff to thank.

What is most impressive is Newcastle’s current ability to ‘win ugly’. Games such as the fixture against Wigan a fortnight ago would not have been won a few seasons ago. The ability to ‘win ugly’ is a trait usually shared with the bigger names in the League, but for a team to put themselves in positions week after week where they can win games, especially after comebacks against Scunthorpe and Nottingham Forest in the Carling Cup is that bit special.

Alan Pardew’s first full season in charge of the club couldn’t have started any better. Although there was disappointment after being knocked out of the Carling Cup against Blackburn last week – the team’s first defeat all season – the manner in which the team followed up that defeat with is the most encouraging sign of all – especially with consecutive games against Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea coming up.

If Alan Pardew can keep up a high standard of football throughout the year, and bring in a couple of good signings in in January, we may find ourselves still knocking about the top of the table come the end of the year. The manager may have to clear some room on his mantelpiece.

Howay the lads!

About tomcarlisleuk

21. MA Sports Journalism Student at Sunderland University. Newcastle United Fan. Hull FC Fan. Follow me on twitter: @tomcarlisleuk

34 thoughts on “Is Alan Pardew an early candidate for Manager of the Year?

  1. If we finish top 6 and any of the top 4 do not win more than 1 competetion, then Pardew should definately be in with a shout. However, very early days.


  2. Pards was MOTM for me against Stoke. As the previous article said, his diligence and clear thinking was evident.

    Another major factor is the alignment between AP’s thinking and the club’s strategy. Without that you’re always rowing against the tide a bit, and now we have top-to-bottom understanding and support for the strategy (and having got rid of some gobshites from the squad) everyone can concentrate on the football.

    So yes, he’s a contender. If he doesn’t get Manager of the Month for October I’ll be gutted, tbh.


  3. Lets not get ahead of ourselves – Manager of the month maybe but lets get through to Jan at least before we start overselling him.
    Imagine that once we slip down table a lot of fans will be on his back (on workys blog) slating him again 🙂


  4. Manager of the year? Not for me. Manager of the Month? Perhaps, but Mancini and his 6-1 win at Man Utd will see to that.

    Personally I’m not overly fussed if Pardew keeps missing out on these awards as it means he is under the radar. I like that to be honest 🙂


  5. The problem for Everton (if problem is the word lol) is what to do after Stoke. I mean everyone played well so you can’t change the team as it sends out the wrong message. Work hard, get a good result, get dropped. It would undermine the whole competitive ethic we have going on right now.

    I’ve read some people criticising Pardew for not changing the team to suit each game. Baffling really considering the results we’ve been getting… Marv, Benny and Santon will have to wait for their chances I’m afraid.

    On the plus side, look at the results we’ve been getting effectively without those three 😯


  6. its always a plus to have so many players pushing to get into the first team keeps everyone playing and working to the best of there ability


  7. Dave – I agree. Its something we didn’t have a lot of last season and it shows that we have this season.

    Getting geeky, on my football manager game I’ve had a real problem trying to fit Benny into the team 😕


  8. i have got a feeling benny will push his way in and come good he is quality and will show it but he is gonna have to work hard, this first team is strong he may have to wait till african cup in january


  9. i also think marveaux will end up gettin a chance soon its just nice th have the options for pardew to rotate if necesary


  10. Think it is way too early to be thinking along those lines. And i would rather he didnt get any monthly awards either to be honest. Not that I dont think he deserves it as he has done a sterling job but they longer we fly under the radar and people think we have just been lucky the better in my opinion, I feel the longer we stay away from europen contenders the better as teams may under estimate us.


  11. just looking at last seasons results for the next few games,
    Everton (h) lost 2-1
    Citeh (a) lost 2-1
    Man Utd (a) lost 3-0
    Chelsea (h) drew 1-1
    So Chelsea is the 1st time we can drop points from last seasons performances, and we won’t. We’re better than them, they’re only 4th.


  12. Prem @ 18 ‘ we’re better than them ‘ quality 😀
    As for manager of the season, apart from the fact that its far to early, he will never get it we arn’t a media darling team.


  13. I guess manager of the month (oct) may be a fair reflection of the job he has done. As for MOTY, then no. not because I would begrudge him, but its just too early to say.

    I would prefer that AP just concentrate 100% on doing his job (quite well at present) and focus on doing what hes doing with the team. Maybe its because everyone (who knows football(?)) wrote us off in August that expectations have been adjusted proportionally, and now that we are seen not to be ‘too bad’ people are saying AP is wonderful. Arent the media fickle. Its not the fans that are fickle, they never are, they either hate someone or love someone, and you never, really 100% change your mind.

    good article.


  14. I predict anywhere from 2 to 5 points from next 4 games, which is absolutely fine and acceptable. We will likely lose to the 2 manchester sides, Everton will be very tough and Chelsea are always difficult, despite their current position and our results last season. Going to be a very hard run, but a win from 1 of the 4 games is certainly achievable. I just hope that if we get a bad result against Everton, the fans dont start getting silly if we get a spanking in the next couple of games afterwards… It could easily happen. No matter what happens, by the end of that run we will likely still be top 8 having played all the big guns. That will be a great achievment and should be applauded.

    Howay the lads!!! 🙂


  15. Looking at the overall fixtures. If we can get three points against Everyone and just one point in the next three fixtures, then we should remain in the top six, with a relatively easy run in December.
    I can see us being top six come January.


  16. Yeah that’s the thing Shamrock, even if get 1 point from the next four games, worst case scenario sure, but definitely still possible, we’ll still be in the top 8. And all of a sudden there will be a switch from ‘havent played any hard teams’ to ‘have played ALL the hard teams’ (apart from the toon cast offs).

    I’d be delighted with 4 points from the next 4 games.


  17. I think January will be when we slide down a bit. Losing Tiote, Ba, Shola, and there well be a couple more injuries.
    I do think though with a couple January signings we can push for seventh.
    Assuming one of the top six win both the league and FA Cup, that would be enough to get us into Europe.
    IMO that position is between ourselves and Everton so the next crucial.


  18. be possitive maybe it is unrealistic but hope for the best we are playing well and undefeated extremely strong at the back we want to finish top four am not saying i expect too but i am hoping for the best


  19. I will always admitt when i am wrong his past and his cv stink and i was worried after his appointment but credit to him so far we look organised try to play the right way have a great team spirit and his substitutions seem to work , long may it last .


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