This comes from his ‘exclusive’ interview with the Telegraph, seeing the former Newcastle United manager speak out about a potential return to football and his most recent spell at West Brom.
Here’s a snippet from the interview, with Pardew commenting on the ‘link’ with Mike Ashley and his relationship with Newcastle fans:
“I wasn’t forced out but the fans linked me 100 per cent with (owner) Mike Ashley,”
“I left to go to Palace and people say to me ‘oh, you were great at Newcastle but I am sorry how it ended’.
“Well it wasn’t sorry how it ended. I left them ninth! I wasn’t sacked. I needed to go because it was right for the football club.
“It didn’t matter whether I finished sixth that year, the fans were not accepting me.”
Part of this lack of ‘acceptance’ is probably perhaps true – he probably didn’t get the praise he deserved for that 5th place finish – but Pardew didn’t always help himself. Did he ever stand up to Ashley and fight for the club like Benitez has done over the past three years? No. He felt like another of Mike’s ‘yes men’.
Moving on, Pardew then played down talk of a prior relationship with Ashley, with many believing he and the NUFC owner were pally after he suddenly succeeded a sacked Chris Hughton in 2010:
“There were rumours that I went to casinos and that’s how I knew Mike. But I never go to casinos.
“I didn’t know him before I got the Newcastle job but that rumour never left me. I am not bitter about it. It is what it is.”
He led us to our highest Premier League finish in the last 15-years, but there were plenty low points during his reign – something he often seems to forget when reflecting on his time on Tyneside.