Potty-mouthed Pardew sets a poor example

Before my dad took me to my first ever match as a kid, he specifically asked that I not repeat anything I was likely to hear in the stands in polite company. As it happened, we won that match so there was nothing too rude, but subsequent losing trips to watch games sealed in my mind that footballing passion can also be a force for evil.

Potty-mouthed Pardew sets a poor example

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January 13th, 2014

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Just ask Alan Pardew, whose previous touchline exploits have seen him banned from being on it during two games last season – and has now landed himself in further trouble following an expletive-filled tirade as his Newcastle side went down 2-0 to Man City on Sunday. Pardew allegedly shared heated words with City manager Manuel Pellegrini with the Toon still trailing 1-0 – before Negredo assured the visitors of the three points in the closing moments.

A long-range effort by Chieck Tiote found the net for the Magpies, but was subsequently waved off by referee Mike Jones and his assistant, who ruled that Yoan Gouffran had obstructed Joe Hart’s field of vision from an offside position. Not a clear-cut goal, we concede once we’ve had a cursory flick through the rulebook, but certainly a little harsh.

Not as harsh as the verbal volley from Pardew though, it would appear – another strike which would’ve left the best of ‘keepers unsighted.

Pardew’s apology was quickly forthcoming, stating that it was “a heat of the moment thing”, having “had words that we always have as managers, to a degree”. Although doing his bit for a quick end to the matter, it remains nonetheless a shame that football managers at this level can’t be seen to lead by example. If a player were to be as uncouth in his choice of words towards a manager or player of the same or opposing team – or especially towards the referee – then we would never hear the end of it. Months after the offence was committed, we’d still hear pundits chime in with “attitude problem” this, and “unfortunate outburst” that.

As the FA and Premier League sit at the table of raising awareness to combat bullying in all its forms – from the Kick It Out campaigns to the clampdown on fan unrest at matches – why should one of the game’s more ill-tempered figures be allowed to let it drop?

Clearly the goal was of some dispute, yes, and clearly it was an important game for a team finding its feet again after some turbulent recent history – but the fact that Pardew has previous form for collegial disagreements is, if anything, a sign that these kind of incidents need to be addressed more thoroughly.

Pardew may have literally spelled out his dissatisfaction with the decision, but a manager’s failure to control his conduct is a poor example to set for any team of players, young and old alike.

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