In a few weeks time Alan Pardew will be celebrating one year in charge of Newcastle United.
He’s done well, better than most expected in fact, since he took over from Chris Hughton last December and has won plaudits from fans, press and pundits for the way he has gone about his work at NUFC.
It’s unexpected in truth. I don’t think many fans expected him to do as well as well as he has done and I think it’s fair to say that, at the moment anyway, he seems to be the right man in the right place to help take Newcastle forward.
I sometimes wonder why he bothers though. At times he is put in a tough position by his boss who has a habit of making shocking decisions that rile the fans only to leave Pardew having to take the flak for it in the media. And at times he is put in a tough position by the best fans in the land who have an ability to read something in black and white, twist it, and then use it as a stick to beat him with. Like yesterday where he said we have no need to sell our better players but we’d have to consider silly money offers. There was nothing wrong with that I thought. In fact I saw it as a positive.
All that aside, I gave Pardew a chance right from the off. That is something that I learned from Chris Hughton who turned out to be a fan favourite after obtaining the job in unfavourable circumstances and with a managerial record that was hardly sparkling. Remember, he’d had two spells in caretaker charge, ten games, one win. He proved me wrong, which is why I got behind Pardew from day one.
Many players have come out and lauded Pardew. From his pre-match preparation onwards, we’ve heard many times about how meticulous he is when planning for the next game. In fact John Carver said much the same thing just a few days ago.
Pardew may not have been the name the people envisaged replacing Chris Hughton, but he was that man, and it seems to me that, nigh in one year on, he is the right man at the right time for Newcastle United.
The players play for him, the fans are, largely, behind him, and he has the ability to get the best out of what he’s got at his disposal.
Can you really ask for anymore right now?