It’s fair to say that Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has had his fair share of critics in recent months following a disastrous and to be blunt unacceptable season.
I am one of many supporters who has questioned Pardew’s future at the club and queried his ability as a top flight manager. Now I know Alan delivered European football and top 5 finish in only our second season back in the top flight, an achievement that can’t and shouldn’t go unnoticed. During that wonderful season we found ourselves grinding out the results, we didn’t always win games in pretty fashion but we managed to pick up points and became incredibly hard to beat.
Last season was a completely different story, plenty of mistakes were made both in the board room and on the pitch. The lack of investment in the summer contributed and we simply couldn’t cope with the demands of playing in Europe. Whether the lack of investment was a case of Mike Ashley being naive or lacking ambition to back his Manager at the time is open for debate. Of course Ashley did dip his hand in his pocket during the January transfer window, but I feel that was largely due to the overwhelming fear of relegation.
Football fans are often labelled as fickle, happy when it’s all going to plan but quick to turn when it goes pear shaped. Certainly Newcastle fans were branded fickle by neutral fans after they became disillusioned by Pardew’s management last season. After all Alan was crowned Manager of the season just the season before last, what right did we have to complain?!
Personally I feel Alan was never correct for the position, he is a bit one dimensional for my liking. He has a plan going into games to beat teams, but if it doesn’t go according to plan he doesn’t have a plan b. He is unable to change things, I feel he makes the wrong decisions tactically. The season we finished 5th we did have moments of flair and play some nice stuff but essentially I felt all along that we wouldn’t be able to repeat and build on that success. The pessimist in me came out, although I will always be grateful for that season.
This thread isn’t a pop at Pardew, everyone has their opinions and there isn’t a right or wrong point of a view when it comes to supporting your Football Club. Some will agree with my comments, others won’t but essentially we all want what is best for Newcastle United even if we don’t all agree on what ‘the best’ actually is. The reason I am focusing so much much on the manager is he could of easily lost his job last season. Following the Reading home defeat? The Derby day humiliation? Liverpool running riot in our back garden?
The point is Mike and Dekka persisted with Pardew and decided he was still the man for the job despite the results and increasing fan unrest. The Club publicly backed Pardew following end of season discussions. Despite the enormous contract that Alan has with the club many believed a new man at the helm would be the best step, but Ashley quashed all talk of uncertainty and assured Pards that his job was not at risk.
Pardew no doubt went away on holiday a relieved man, especially when you look at other top flight managers that have been dismissed over the course of the season. Alan probably started planning pre season in the back of his mind, being in the knowledge that he is still the man in charge. I just wonder is Ashley briefed Alan on the possibility of hiring a Director of football?! Pardew may of been made aware beforehand and felt given the way the season had gone he was in no position to question it or complain?
I don’t want to think too much about theories and conspiracies at this stage, but could the appointment of Joe Kinnear be a tactic to put pressure on Pardew? It is well documented that our wonderful owner thinks very highly of Kinnear and I have to be honest I don’t think Mike would have any issue putting Joe back in the managerial hot seat if push came to shove. It’s almost like Kinnear is a ready made replacement should anything happen to Pards….It would certainly be cheaper for Pardew to resign than to sack him.
When Alan arrives back to work and is greeted by JFK will it be an unpleasant surprise or half expected? If I was manager I know I wouldn’t be happy with this at all.