In the wake of the widely derided – and surprising sacking of Chris Hughton, Newcastle United wasted no time in appointing Alan Pardew as their next manager – initially, on a five and a half year contract. As had become a common theme during Ashley’s reign, Alan Pardew lacked any serious credentials that would make him a positive appointment, having had what can best be described as ‘mixed results’ at previous clubs. His previous employment record at the time was as follows:
- West Ham United
- Charlton Athletic
Whilst the clubs themselves don’t represent any short-comings, the meat to be found on those bones wasn’t meat that one would usually lick their lips at.
At West Ham, Pardew was sacked on 11 December 2006, leaving them in 18th in the Premier League. This was followed by his tenure at Charlton – where he was sacked on 22 November 2008. Having presided over their relegation from the Premier League in the ’06/’07 season, he left them in 22nd place in the Championship. An era they are yet to recover from. Finally, he had been at Southampton, where he was sacked on 30 August 2010 – leaving the promotion favourites 14th in League One.
Nevertheless, Alan Pardew described his appointment as Newcastle manager as follows (9 December 2010):
“I am honoured and privileged to have been given this opportunity at Newcastle United, one of the truly great clubs in English football. I’m not a Geordie of course, but I’m a football person with a love of the game and I can assure you I bring great drive, desire and commitment to the job. I have always managed teams that have played attacking positive football, something I know the supporters here appreciate.
“I’m privileged to be sitting here and looking forward to a tough job. But it’s difficult because it’s fairly obvious the players and fans had tremendous respect for Chris and the fact he’s gone has caused something of a stir.
“I represent the fans. I’m an employee of the club but I’ll be knocking on the door trying to get the maximum funds I can to make the club the best it can be. I’ve never had a problem with that in the past. But I’m a competent manager, I give fans information and don’t withhold anything. I like to think the players will grow to respect me and what I do. I’ve never really had a problem with playing staff and I hope that continues here.”
Source: Daily Mail
This statement was rumoured to have been pre-agreed with supposed friend and former casino boss Derek Llambias, well in advance of the sacking of Chris Hughton.
Derek Llambias later explained why Chris Hughton was sacked and replaced by Alan Pardew, which seemingly amounted to not much more than Pardew being better able to deal with his [Llambias’] own unpleasant character (9 March 2012):
“Chris was a really good guy – look what he’s doing with Birmingham. He’s done an incredible job with a club in crisis and he’s pushed it through. He’s got the skill factors, I wish him good luck for the future.
“We had a different view of where we wanted to be and what sort of character we needed to push this dressing room further. That was the decision. It wasn’t a question of skill fits or somebody doing a bad job.
“We needed to kick on – that’s what happened. Alan, we felt, had all the ingredients for what we needed for us personally. I wanted somebody who was going to sit down with me and give it back to me, somebody who wasn’t frightened.
“We fall out, don’t worry! Then we have a little hug and we’re OK again! If you are all lovey-dovey all the time it just won’t work. There’s something missing then, it is a nice way to work. I can be moody like anybody, it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what people are doing.”
Source: The Chronicle
Alan Pardew was given an unbelievable and unprecedented new 8 year contract later in 2012, because, according to his mate Derek Llambias, stability leads to success rather than the other way around (28 September 2012):
“What we’re trying to do is achieve stability. It’s no accident that Manchester United with Sir Alex and Arsenal with Arsene Wenger have created success through stability.”
When Pardew replaced Chris Hughton’s newly promoted Newcastle United, they found themselves in 12th position in the Premier League table. They also ended that season in 12th place. In his first full season in charge (2011-2012), the club finished 5th and qualified for the Europa League. By contrast, the very next season Newcastle under Pardew were nearly relegated, finishing in 16th place, despite having the use of one of Newcastle’s strongest squads in recent times. Last season the club finished 10th, and similarly this season, despite the off-season optimism about challenging for Champions League emanating from Pardew himself, Newcastle find themselves precariously poised above a relegation battle yet again. This, after four years of trying, and the fact Alan Pardew’s side have only once reached beyond the fourth round of either the FA Cup or the League Cup in his tenure, does not signify a positive change.
Alan Pardew’s record since signing that eight year contract extension may not have been much to shout about, but he has been very supportive, if not wholly complicit, in Mike Ashley’s policies such as the systematic lowering of expectations and the selling of the club’s star players without replacements being brought in. He’s often been openly appreciative of Mike Ashley too, for example (16 October 2011):
”I am hoping the owner is starting to get a little bit more respect. I don’t think we are ever going to win everybody over for Mike and Derek and maybe even myself, but at least you can logically look at it and say we are in a much better position than most Premier League clubs in terms of our financial position.”
During his reign as Newcastle manager, Alan Pardew was involved in various unsavoury touchline incidents bringing into disrepute both himself and the club, including squaring up to fellow manager Martin O’Neill, shouting “f***ing old c***” at Premier League champion Pellegrini, pushing a linesman and most famously head-butting an opposition player, David Meyler of Hull City.
Another feature of Pardew’s tenure has been his tendency to look for outside explanations for disappointing results, rather than accepting responsibility for them himself. Alan Pardew’s popular excuses include the press, the Europa League, international breaks and, amazingly, the fans (14 October 2013):
“It’s a city that loves the club so much that it hurts itself, because of that love. If there was perhaps less pressure on our results, and the effect on the city, it would probably be a better club, but that’s what it is – it’s never going to change.”
Source: Evening Chronicle
Alan Pardew’s league form in the calendar year of 2014 had been extremely unsatisfactory. This prompted fans to start the SackPardew campaign in order to highlight Pardew’s inadequacies as Newcastle United manager. On January 3rd 2015 it was confirmed that Alan Pardew had been released as Newcastle United manager to join Crystal Palace.
For further thoughts on Alan Pardew’s reign as Newcastle United manager please visit www.SackPardew.com