Alan Pardew has opened up about how he got the Newcastle United job, dispelling widespread rumours at the time that he owed Mike Ashley due to gambling debts.
The former Toon boss was a mixed bag on Tyneside, achieving our highest ever finish under Ashley (5th) back in 11/12 but also notorious for some embarrassing derby day defeats which ultimately turned the fans against him.
His stint at our club also ran parallel at a time where we would buy cheap, young foreign imports – mainly from France – and look to sell them on at a high profit margin. This led a large section of our fanbase to render Pardew as a ‘puppet’ or a ‘yes man’ to Mike Ashley, and often take the flak for a lot of his ridiculous decisions as Toon owner.
Here is what Pardew said on the Coaches’ Voice YouTube channel:
“The reason I got the Newcastle job was because of the West Ham job.
“The chief executive of Newcastle at the time was Derek Llambias who was a West Ham fan – but he remembered that period.
“He felt they needed to build a younger team and they wanted to bring in younger players.
“Mike had been hurt by some of the transfers, he was uptight about transfers, and I think Derek saw me as a manager who could manage at that level and bring them players who had honesty and that they would get value for money.
“When I came in, there was a lot of bad feeling towards the owner – which there still is because of circumstances which are probably more his doing than anyone else and he’d be the first to admit that.
“They (the fans) felt I was Mike’s man. It didn’t matter. They made loads of things up on the internet like I gambled with him and I was his mate – none of that was true but that was a stigma I could never get rid of.”
The turning point for me with Pardew was the back-to-back home games where we lost 3-0 to Sunderland and then 6-0 to Liverpool, at the end of the 12/13 season.
Any manager worth his salt would have handed his resignation in there and then after such an embarrassing drubbing to a relatively average Liverpool side at the time – especially on the back of the most alarming derby defeat I’ve ever witnessed.
Pardew’s tenure did conjure up some high points, however, namely the 11/12 campaign as a whole but also some memorable away wins against Man United and Sunderland.
He certainly isn’t the worst manager we have ever had in charge – I think John Carver may be in with a shout for that – but his stint ultimately turned stale and it was best for both parties in the end to move on without each other.