Pardew’s achievements include getting Reading promoted from division two to division one, getting West Ham promoted to the Premiership, losing on penalties to Liverpool in the FA Cup final, winning a Football League Trophy at Southampton and …. well, that’s about it really. Pardew’s tenure at Charlton was less successful, where he took them down from the Premiership to mid-table Championship obscurity.
I am however sure Mike Ashley will be appointing Alan Pardew for purely footballing reasons and it will have nothing at all to do with suggestions that Ashley, Llambias and Pardew are old gambling buddies and that it’s just ‘jobs for the boys’. So I won’t mention that.
I suppose some Newcastle United supporters may welcome the appointment of Alan Pardew at the expense of Chris Hughton, but I suspect it will make most madder than an albino hitching a lift in a snow storm. Ashley is certainly chancing his hand with this one and for the sake of the Toon I hope it pays off. If it doesn’t, I would anticipate a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Om mani padme hum.
Okay, let’s take a more balanced look at Alan Pardew. Tell you what, let’s not. Instead I’ll give his win statistics with various clubs:
West Ham: 41.10%
In the interests of balance, though, it should be said that those aren’t too bad – if not outstanding – and are comparable to, say, David Moyse’s.
So where do we go from here?
It will be interesting to see who gets appointed as assistant manager. Presumably Hughton didn’t get a replacement for Calderwood because Ashley had been planning for some time to ditch him, but if Pardew is Ashley’s long-term vision then I would expect an assistant manager to be appointed very soon. Most reports seem to be suggesting that Peter Beardsley will be appointed as Pardew’s right-hand man, although whether or not that would be Pardew’s choice is another matter.
Then of course there’s the question of whether or not Ash will flash the cash and give Pardew some transfer funds. Pardew does have something of a reputation for buying wisely (and cheaply) and maybe that’s why Ashley employed him, following a lack of confidence in Hughton’s skills in the transfer market.
I’m still baffled by all this. There may indeed have been an argument to replace Chris Hughton with someone more experienced at some point but, save for a situation where relegation is looking like a real danger, that wasn’t this season. Or the next. Chris Hughton was taking this team forward and he deserved time to prove he could continue to do so.
More importantly, he was part of a stability that seemed to have settled on the club after years of turmoil and I think that was as important as anything else for Newcastle United. If Hughton had stalled, could take the club no further or we were in real danger of relegation then I could understand replacing him, but it seemed to me he was going in the right direction.
And even if you disagree with my remarks about giving Hughton a chance, I would suggest that Alan Pardew is hardly the ‘experienced manager’ to take Newcastle United forward. Then again he may prove me wrong – I hope so.
It looks like we’ve entering the Alan Pardew era and only time will tell how that goes.