Can Pardew Survive The Hate-Filled Mob?
New season and new players but same manager - and so, the chants of 'Pardew Out' grow louder week after week. Three games into the 2014/15 campaign and it already looks like Alan Pardew's days are numbered - will Mike Ashley give into the hate-filled mob? I hope not.
September 10th, 2014
The one thing I’ve noticed about Newcastle fans in general is that the masses rarely forgive and forget. It is the hardest thing to let go of the past and give players, managers and owners another chance. In Pardew’s case, he has probably had one chance too many (some would say), yet I think he deserves one more.
Towards the end of last season I admitted what many fans wanted me to – that Pardew is a poor manager and needs to go. The stats at the time were shocking, and putting aside the departure of our best player, Yohan Cabaye, and injury to top scorer Loic Remy, I put my neck out and said Ashley must sack the former West Ham boss at the end of the season. We finished tenth, there was an inquest at the club and Ashley backed the manager for somehow scrambling to a 10th-placed finish.
The day Newcastle confirmed Pardew would be staying on as manager was the day I tweeted that the fans should now back him and hope for a good transfer window. The time to sack him had gone, the decision (rightly or wrongly) had been made and the protests would fall on deaf ears.
Fast forward four months. A little bit of financial backing from Ashley has resulted in nine new signings. The squad looks healthier and full of quality on paper, even if the new players lack Premier League experience. The fans who couldn’t let go, however, haven’t let go. They boo Pardew on the touchline, abuse him on social media and forums, create banners, and even make websites highlighting his shortcomings. There have even been death threats, which is completely unacceptable. Pardew’s position has pretty much become untenable and the fans are quick to remind him every time he experiments with what is a new set of players. I find the abuse from some quarters all too ‘last season’.
Pardew probably isn’t good enough, but how does sacking him after three games make any sense when he has been financially backed and handed a new set of players? The man sucking the life out of Newcastle isn’t Pardew, it’s Ashley. Sacking Pardew won’t achieve anything, finding a buyer and getting rid of Ashley will. That was and still needs to be the goal, surely.
Over the past few weeks we’ve had a story in the Independent saying Pardew has two games to save his job, a story in the Telegraph carrying claims that Ashley resisted the urge to sack Pardew three times last season, and a poll in the Newcastle Chronicle in which 85% of the voters said they don’t want him as manager. The gaffer will probably be sacked soon, and when he does it will most likely be at the wrong time, throwing the club into a deeper crisis. Be careful what you wish for, Toon fans.
Howay the lads!
Umar Farooq, Editor – NUFCfans.co.uk