Amongst these, he has reassured fans that both himself and “all Newcastle staff” (including the tea lady?) will be out looking at players in readiness for a bonanza of summer transfer activity at the club. He also dropped a strong hint that he will be looking to make Stephen Ireland’s loan move to the club permanent, though the controversial player has yet to make an appearence in the Newcastle United first team through a thigh strain.
Firstly, on the subject of scouting for new players he told the club’s official website:
“I’m off to a couple of games this weekend. I will go to watch Stoke on Saturday, and am then going to a game abroad to watch a couple of players.
“All our staff are out looking at players, because that is important. We have to make sure that we bring in top players to this football club.
“It’s that time of the year when we are talking about pre-season, players for next year and making sure that we don’t make any mistakes.
“In the past this club has made mistakes and we don’t want that to happen again.
What these “mistakes” were exactly, he omitted to mention, turning his attention to Newcastle’s final nine games of the season, adding:
“We’ve got an important job to do on the pitch in the final nine games, make no mistake about it. That is our focus.
“But while we haven’t got a game this is our secondary focus.”
Meanwhile, in another interview, he also dropped a heavy hint that Newcastle United will be seeking to make Stephen Ireland’s loan move permanent, also revealing that he “took a chance” in signing the midfielder.
Pardew revealed on Ireland:
“We knew when we took him he was injured but this thigh strain, like anything when you’ve been out for a long time, you pick up these little injuries.
“I don’t think he has played a game since December 9 or something.
“Maybe we forced him back too early because of Joey Barton’s situation. I think we’re at fault a little bit because he’s picked up a thigh strain.”
Then, hinting at Ireland’s somewhat controversial history, Pardew revealed that things aren’t going too well for the player with Gerard Houllier at Aston Villa, and that he may well have a permanent future on Tyneside. He also suggested that we will see a fair bit of Ireland in Newcastle’s final games of the season saying:
“He’s still got time to impress me because I still think there is a chance of something permanent here for Stephen. Things at Villa aren’t going too well.
“I want to have a good look at him before he goes back. We haven’t got anything in place in terms of a deal, there wasn’t time and we took a chance, Villa took a chance and that’s where we are.
“He is under a little bit of pressure because there aren’t many games left, but when you’ve got a player of Stephen’s character, I don’t think that is a bad thing.
“He is a player who has played on a big stage in the past, it’s not like he is coming from a team which isn’t high profile. Manchester City have been very high profile when he was there, there were big players arriving but he was their best player.
“He’s a really nice guy, he’s fitted in well. I don’t think he needs an arm around the shoulder as such, but he needs our full attention. You can’t let him drift. He needs to know he is important and he could be here. If he doesn’t feel important he doesn’t play his best.”
He will, no doubt, give us further updates on how things are going with the Aston Villa “Diva”.