Depending on our result against Everton on Sunday, and a few other things going our way too, it could still even be top four and the Champions League!
Alan succeeds Alex Ferguson (2011) and Harry Redknapp (2010) in winning this award, and he was selected by a panel appointed by current sponsors, Barclays. Interestingly, this is the first time it has ever been awarded to a Newcastle United manager. Despite coming second (and third) in the League with one of the most exciting teams of the ‘nineties, Kevin Keegan never won it, and neither did Kenny Dalglish for achieving the same feat in a rather more prosaic style, and getting us to two FA Cup finals, after Keegan’s departure. Not even the most popular man in football in his day, the late, great Sir Bobby Robson didn’t manage it despite two top four finishes and a fifth.
So, our congratulations to our Silver Supremo!
However, just as a final thought which has nothing to do with Pardew’s achievements this season, which have indeed been remarkable and worthy of some recognition. It does seem to reflect how the status of the club has been lowered in recent years that our manager should be given this award, for finishing in what will probably be the lower tier of European competition, when some of his predecessors named above were overlooked despite qualifying for the higher Champions League, and even taking the Premier League title to the last two games of the season in Keegan’s case.
But anyway, here’s hoping we can keep up the same kind of form in both the Premiership AND Europe next year, and hopefully more!