Pardew is setting all the wrong records
Managerial stability at any football club requires patience from the fans. At Newcastle, that patience is wearing thin as calls for Alan Pardew’s head grow louder by the week.
October 29th, 2013
The former Southampton and West Ham manager has done himself no favours on Tyneside over the last few months. Pardew publicly told fans to judge him after eight games of the new season – and it’s fair to the say the significant majority isn’t pleased.
Over the weekend, the Magpies suffered a 2-1 defeat in the Wear-Tyne derby, handing new Sunderland boss Gus Poyet his first victory at the Stadium of Light. Defeat in the North East derby is unthinkable for fans, and Pardew now has the tag of leading his side to their first back-to-back derby defeats since 1967. Last season, Paulo Di Canio masterminded a 0-3 win for Sunderland at St James’ Park. A week later, Newcastle suffered their heaviest home defeat since 1925, a 0-6 thumping at the hands of Liverpool.
These records, back-to-back derby defeats since 1967 and heaviest home defeat since 1925 don’t make pretty reading for Pardew. Although the Toon finished 5th in the 2011/12 season and played in the Europa League last year, these scorelines, 0-3, 0-6, the 2-1 yesterday are lowlights which threaten to blight Pardew’s reign.
The “Pardew Out” brigade – fans who feel Pardew is out of his depth as manager of Newcastle United – have been around for a long time. At the time of his appointment in 2010, Pardew had an approval rating of just 1.8% in a local newspaper poll. The fickleness of fans was evident when that figure reached an incredible 95% in November 2011. As one Toon fan said to me recently, “those against Pardew have always been there – it’s just that when we lose they shout louder.” Last season’s disappointing 16th-place finish gave those fans who didn’t want Pardew to be appointed in the first place the chance to intensify their campaign. Pardew himself didn’t help his case with a number of strange managerial decisions; it is a results business after all.
There are two reasons why I find the anti-Pardew agenda disturbing. Firstly, I don’t think you should sack a manager nine games into the season. Pardew secured European football in his first full season at the club, then the team slipped to 16th last season. Now that he’s had one good season, and one really bad season – surely he deserves a third season to prove himself? This is a big season for Pardew and anything other than a top ten finish (along with a decent cup run) would be unacceptable in my view. Secondly, I feel that the fans are naive in thinking that dismissing Pardew would solve our problems. Who would replace him? Name me another manager who would happily work under owner Mike Ashley’s rigid structure. I can only think of one – Joe Kinnear – so be careful what you wish for.
The next few weeks will be tough. The fans are disillusioned with happenings on and off the pitch – and with Manchester City, Chelsea and Spurs among the fixtures over the next few weeks, it’s time the fans pulled together for the greater good.
Umar Farooq, Editor – NUFCfans.co.uk