It’s coming up for one year since Alan Pardew took over the managerial reign of this club, and it’s fair to say that his appointment was under a cloud of controversy to say the least.
He then had to go about keeping the ship steady and to basically get the squad on his side quickly and to get them to trust in him. I think it’s pretty safe to say that he managed to do just that and it’s also worth noting that he has started to rebuild the team/squad to fit into his own work ethics. It’s still a work in progress, but there are signs that his work is starting to pay off at NUFC.
Naturally he has had his ups and downs with certain player unrest and the obvious Andy Carroll incident, plus dealing with a few ego’s, but on the whole he has managed it. With the help of his staff and also Graham Carr, he has managed to assemble a very good team to add to the quality already at his disposal. He has even managed to bring in players from the cold to slot into certain positions (due to injury or transfer) that we didn’t think could be adequately filled and yet he managed to do it with a lot more ease than we thought it would be.
The thing is…… is this by good fortune? Or is it great management in being confident a cover player can do the job and conditioning that players mind and physicality to adapt to it?
Alan Pardew appears to have the so called Midas touch, or at least foresight because everything he seems to touch at the minute turns to gold, or shall I say, every cover player he picks, steps up to the mark. The likes of Danny Guthrie come, even James Perch and also Ryan Taylor can come into the team and look much better players than we thought they were.
I believe that this club NOW compared to how it has been managed in the past with certain managers is the reason why we are moving forwards. I’m now going to have a bit of a roundabout take on the situation .
Imagine the club as being a car repair centre and the car repair centre deals with only certain makes of cars because they don’t have the expertise in their staff to deal with the more complicated makes.
Most of the mechanics in the place are quite content to continue doing the same cars as they’re easier to do and they can saunter through their day to day life doing it without the worry or the effort of fixing the more complicated type of cars.
Some mechanics though, go up to the boss and say; “If we want to be at the top of our game, we need to bring in mechanics who can allow us to take on those more complicated cars and in doing so, we can learn from them, which in turn will make us better at our jobs and we can start to compete against the rival garages”
“Good idea,” the boss says. “We will get in a manager who can hopefully bring in the right experienced mechanics for us to compete with the other garages and who can also help the other mechanics to add another level to their quality.”
Those mechanics that were happy just to saunter along the old way were shipped out for the new mechanics. And those who wanted to add another string to their bow and learn to compete against the top level mechanics, took notice and learned as the job went on and who the manager thought well capable to take over the job of more complicated cars should the experienced better quality mechanics go on holiday or sick leave.
The more complicated the cars get, the more the manager looks for the experts to come in and teach the others to gain those qualities and to up their game for fear of being left behind in a quality team of mechanics.
I did say that I go about stuff in a roundabout way…
What I’m basically saying is that the reason why players who we thought were second rate are coming in and doing an amazing job, is because of the added quality brought in that they can learn from and want to learn from to up their game so they put in the required effort and observations and benefit from it , until one day they are called upon to take the place of the quality player should he get injured and are determined to make their mark and show what they are capable of.
As time goes on, the quality builds, and the quality already here, steps up once again which, if done correctly over time, means that everyone in that squad knows without doubt that you either step up to the mark or you go down the road and that’s why I think Pardew has got this team playing as the unit it is, because no one wants to fail, unlike many a time when we have seen players who have accepted just going through the motions.
Can anyone see what I’m getting at? And if not… I tried and I can’t help it if I’m related to Eric Cantona!