Pardew is Tops with the Other Managers

Posted on May 15th, 2012 | 89 Comments |

Alan Pardew.
Pardew: Voted top manager (again).
At their annual dinner last night, the League Managers Association presented Alan Pardew with their “Manager Of The Year” Award. The Award is the result of voting by fellow managers from the clubs in all four top professional leagues in English football.

This award is in addition to the one Alan has already received as Barclays EPL Manager of the Year. There can be no higher accolade than to be recognised by your fellow managers, and it just demonstrates what an excellent job Alan Pardew has done for Newcastle United this season, and the regard in which he is held by his peers.

Much has been said already in this blog about Alan’s achievements this season, so rather than trotting out the same stuff, lets see what the League Managers Association had to say.

LMA Chairman, Howard Wilkinson, said:

“There is no doubt that the LMA Annual Awards are perceived as the most accurate measure of a manager’s ability because there are no better judges of your performance than your peers.

“Alan Pardew’s achievements at Newcastle this season are there for all to see and it is just reward that he should be named as LMA Manager of the Year.

“I’m often asked, where are all the English coaches? My answer is ‘We have plenty of them, they just need an opportunity.’ I am delighted for Alan that he has taken his opportunity.”

Richard Bevan, Chief Executive of the LMA, said:

“Tonight is a celebration of this season’s managerial achievements across the top four leagues in the professional game. To receive votes from and to be acknowledged by your fellow managers and competitors is a great honour.

“Alan is fully deserving of this recognition and what he has achieved in such a short space of time with Newcastle is very impressive.”

Last, but certainly not least, the Silver Supremo himself had this to say on receiving the award:

“Coming from my fellow managers, this really is as good as it gets and has to be the highlight of my managerial career so far.

“This award is not just for me though. Everything we have achieved at Newcastle United this season has been achieved as a result of an incredible team effort.

“The board, my coaching staff, backroom team, players and our magnificent supporters – they all play a crucial role and I thank every one of them.”

So there you have it – the votes from the expert jury. There’s a lot of talk about which Newcastle United players will be the subject of interest from so-called “bigger” clubs during the summer close season. I wonder if all of this publicity around our manager might generate the same unwanted interest? Lets hope not!

NUFCBlog Author: UTD111 UTD111 has written 59 articles on this blog.

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89 Responses

  1. Well done AP & his team!

    Well done to the NUFC fans (well most of ’em) for sticking with & giving it a chance.

    Well done to ‘the powers that be’ for recognising a great effort in perspective!

    Aye,
    who’d’a thunk?

    :)

  2. Everybody else was covering it from a “what Pards said” viewpoint – I decided to be different, do some research and find out what the LMA said. Hence that was the angle I did the story from.

  3. Aye, good point, UTD111. Nice work!

    Funny how this reminded me of Joe Kinnear. As I mentioned above, he was a previous recipient of this award, and was an excellent manager who taught Wimbledon how to play football properly, yet the fans treated him like shite. It’s a funny old game.

  4. Why is it that every time I read fans, journo’s and UTD’s articles praising Pardwho, I’m reminded of Hans Christian Andersen’s “Emperor’s New Clothes” tale ?

  5. AndyMac @8

    There’s a subtle difference here mate!

    The Emperor’s New Clothes didn’t actually exist – whereas Pardew has indeed presided over the Toon finishing 5th and getting into Europe!

    :)

  6. Well the system reacting as usual !
    When guys like Martinez and Rodgers, who kept bargain basement sides in the PL and collected the scalps of some of the leagues top sides (ourselves included)
    are ignored and the lazy ass people voting, just look at the league standings to reach a conclusion, what chance for any kind of honest choice.
    You got Jol, who did well at Fulham, with not much dosh.
    Same with Moyes at Everyon,
    The two guys mentioned above.
    These are the guys who deserve the award, but every so often we (NUFC) become flavor of the month/season, everyones favorite second side.
    It’s really just an exercise in Public Relations for the FA and has no reality.
    I suggest people ignore such nonsense and use their own judgement, which for the most part is more reliable than that put out, by the bought and paid for media whores and fat cats at the FA.
    Who instead of giving out questionable awards, should be concentrating on bringing the game into the twenty first century, using goal line technology and instant replay video to ensure the correct decissions are made by officials.
    But then just one mans opinion!

  7. The funny thing is that everybody knew we needed a defender in January so that was a mistake by Pardew. If we had bought an expensive defender instead of Cisse we probably would have ended up in fifth anyway, but it wouldn’t have been half the fun.

    Our defence was an accident waiting to happen but Pardew mostly managed to play to our strengths and masked our weakness aginst most teams.

    I know some will say we wouldn’t have had to pay that much for a centre half. Really, name one we could have got on the cheap? Maybe Douglas from Holland, but I have seen that people have reservations about him.

  8. And a well done also to TATTY HEED and CLINT FlICK, and erm also include UTD111, for portraying a sycophantic if missplaced faith in a guy who stated, following the defeat at Eastlands, we came up with a different system….
    Does that translate into, he only knew how to play one system ?
    Cause from my viewpoint he has’nt differed much for the whole season, indicating, tactically he is limited.
    If he’s still here next season (and i’m hoping he’s not)it will all become apparent.

  9. Sammy J says:
    May 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    “I live in London but have been in Amsterdam the last few days. Just wanted to say thanks again for being a portal to all things black & white. For those like me who don’t live in the north east you may not have heard the Pard & Carr phone in”

    Thanks, Sammy J, and so do I (live in London, that is).

    Aye, I’ve been digesting that interview, and I may write something related to it in the future.

  10. Chuck’s right……

    5th Place and Europe is not good enough.

    Pards should have played some different systems and won the league.

    Simples.

  11. It is nice to see recognition of Pardew and NUFC, even if it is only by his peers. There was recognition for Rodgers and others as well because most managers recognize how much money determines results more than ever. The fact that ALL league managers voted and Pardew was considered best in ALL leagues says something.

    There can be no doubt that we are going in the right direction and hopefully Ashley will make the money available to improve the defense and we can push on.

    Maybe then we will see if Pardew is as tactically naive as some people think, I mean when he has set up the rest of the club to be a success (no mean feat in itself). I know, Hughton and Carr etc. etc.

    One last observation, the most successful manager in English Football History is always being second guessed for his tactics, which includes team selection and formation. Therefore, I guess the debate about Pardew and his tactics will never end.

    The grass is always greener…

  12. Hell according to some fans, you would think we had won the league, European championship and the FA cup rolled into one.
    Wake up folks we barely made the top quarter, a position that resulted in the great SBR being fired, not so long ago.
    We now face the off season speculation about commings and goings.
    Of course we have been made aware by Ashley (through his mouthpiece Llambias) that we may have to sell some of our top assets.
    What we have to remember is we are still a work in progress and are still owned by the same parsimonious owner, which leaves us in doubt as to what direction he wants to take.
    Will it be hang onto what we have, plus strengthen the defense, then try for a championship spot?
    Or make a killing in the transfer market and back to square one.
    We should know soon enough !

  13. At the risk of contradicting myself, I think Mancini should have won because of the weight of expectations and he was under enormous pressure.

  14. I just find it hard to believe that after the season we have just had, there are still some people moaning loud and long about perceived faults and not giving credit for what has been achieved.

    Fans who apparently know better than Pardew how to run the team, organise the tactics, training, media interviews etc etc They could probably teach the catering staff a thing or two about pies as well.

    No wonder other clubs’ fans point at us as “deluded”.

  15. UTD111
    Can you explain the euphoria surrounding a fifth place finish with Pardew as opposed to the fan rejection of a fifth place spot and subsiquent firing of the great SBR ?

  16. GS a good point, but who was in a better position to win it all.
    My point, when you got the horses it’s not so hard.

  17. chuck says:
    May 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm
    UTD111
    Can you explain the euphoria surrounding a fifth place finish with Pardew as opposed to the fan rejection of a fifth place spot and subsiquent firing of the great SBR ?
    ____________________________________

    Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy…..

    Expectations were much higher of the “great” SBR because he was the “great” SBR (even though his greatness had been earned elsewhere)

    Expectations for this season were low after being in the Championship then selling off a few of the better players who got us out of it.

  18. UTD111 says:

    “No wonder other clubs’ fans point at us as “deluded””

    Are you bothered about other clubs fans view UTD ?

  19. Chuck @20:

    A mistake. Fans are fickle and Freddy Shepherd is an idiot. Still, after a couple of wins the fans would have come back and supported Robson… because they are fickle.

  20. AndyMac says:
    May 15, 2012 at 7:40 pm (Edit)
    UTD111 says:

    “No wonder other clubs’ fans point at us as “deluded””

    Are you bothered about other clubs fans view UTD ?
    _________________________________________

    I am when those views are wrong – for example when their views have been fed by the sort of “shoes off” kids outside SJP being interviewed by Sky.

    Which is why I spend so much time on other fans’ blogs trying to counter the incorrect perceptions.

  21. UTD111
    Are you suggesting that if some fans see a different Pardew to the one you see, they dont get it?
    Could it be you may be mistaken ?
    If AP is still with us for the upcoming season, it will be made obvious what kind of manager he is.

  22. “Which is why I spend so much time on other fans’ blogs trying to counter the incorrect perceptions”

    So you are the arbiter ?

  23. Chuck

    Everyone is entitled to their view. I have mine.

    I’m basing mine on facts – finishing 5th and Europe being 2 of them.

    I doubt if we could have done any better with the current squad even if he’d fiddled with the formation a few times as suggested by some.

  24. Chuck @26:

    Don’t you see the inherent contradiction in what you are saying? You are accusing UTD111 of expressing his opinion as fact and then in the next sentence express your own opinion as fact.

  25. AndyMac – I’ve been called many things in my life but never an “Arbiter”

    Anyway, no – if I see somebody slagging off NUFC fans, and I disagree, I respond with my own view. Don’t think that makes me an arbiter, no.

  26. UTD111
    You are really concerned about what other fans think about NUFC fans.
    And try to counter incorrect perceptions on other blogs ?
    Errrmm ! good luck with that!
    Hmmm ! bit wierd if you ask me !

  27. Chuck

    If you were next to a mate and somebody slagged him off – you’d walk away because to defend him would be wierd?

  28. chuck,

    you made some good points @ 11 mate.

    I think a well done from me is the least i can offer whilst maintaining a cool exterior.
    We cry when it sucks, we laugh when it rocks!
    Until the summer window, when it all kicks off again, back to zero for me.
    I won’t be doing no cartwheels in the street but donning the shirt hundreds of miles from hyem, thousands for some, begets a whole new conversation with football fans of all hue.
    Canny craic!

  29. UTD111, I agree with others. You should take up less frustrating passtimes, such as solving the European debt crisis, ending the war in Afganistan or finding a cure for cancer.

  30. GS
    I disagree, in 26# all i did was inquire as to whether he could be wrong about Pardew
    I made no statement other than to state we will find out in the coming seaon, if AP is still with us.

  31. GS – other clubs fans are the same as ours there’s the nutters & gobshites, but the majority are ordinary reasonable folk who just enjoy supporting their team.

    The latter category are open-minded enough to have a sensible exchange with.

    I’ve got lots of pastimes – but I enjoy the debate with other fans and the chance to perhaps show them that we’re not all typified by the bedsheet brigade outside SJP who come out with stuff like “whey aa think it’s wrang like, y’knaar” in response to Sky’s questions.

  32. UTD says:

    “No wonder other clubs’ fans point at us as “deluded”.”

    “So you’re not bothered about fans on this site being deluded ?”

  33. Chuck:

    I have seen you make some very positive comments about the team recently. Can you not give Pardew at least a bit of credit as well?

    We have moved forward. We are not playing the soul destroying stuff of Sam Allardyce or the choppy changy manager merry-go-round crap of the relegation season.

    Even if we regress next year it is likely we will finish no lower than mid-table.

  34. UTD111: I will talk with sensible fans as well, just saying that often on the internet you are on a hiding to nothing because people become Billy Big Bollocks on their keyboards.

  35. GS – aye the “keyboard warriors” LOL

    Well, I just do what I can in my own small way to show people that United fans are reasonable and not the stereotype that is out there

    Sounds like you do a bit of that too

  36. Chuck: don’t worry about it. I just thought you were expressing an opinion as fact, but you said you weren’t so I accept that.

  37. UTD111
    So are you ashamed of certain fans and what they may say to the tv cameras.
    Things that portray the average NUFC as a badly spoken and perhaps, not exactly the type you would like to see represent your image of a NUFC fan to the general public?
    If so, perhaps you can get some help from WORKEY, he seems fairly familiar with Jung and Freud, but i would try not to worry too much about what the general public think about anything.

  38. UTD111 says:

    AndyMac @ 37

    “You think there are fans on this site who are deluded?”

    “I just find it hard to believe that after the season we have just had, there are still some people moaning loud and long about perceived faults and not giving credit for what has been achieved.

    Fans who apparently know better than Pardew how to run the team, organise the tactics, training, media interviews etc etc They could probably teach the catering staff a thing or two about pies as well.

    No wonder other clubs’ fans point at us as “deluded”

    You tell me ?

  39. AndyMac says:
    May 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    “BTW Worky the transfer window is open now if you’re buying British.”

    Andy, if you’re referring to the “Transfer window countdown” in the sidebar, that’s Hugh’s department.

  40. AndyMac @ 46

    I don’t think anyone with those views is “deluded” – not from what I understand delusion to be, anyway.

    I think it’s just the difference between “glass half full” and “glass half empty” folk.

  41. I think the reason he has been given it over the likes of Martinez, Rodgers et al. is because of the poisonous environment he has managed to turn around. The players we lost the fans initial reaction to Pardew & all the others issues which he has ridden out. His optimism & self belief combined with the support he has helped build within the club to create a positive place to be again would be greatly admired by his peers. He clearly is forming a strong bond with the club & the city. Newcastle are an attractive proposition again & that is good for football as a whole. It’s difficult to quantify how well a manager has performed in terms of results over just one season because it doesn’t give the necessary time to develop the managers vision. Managers are all egotistical & this type of success is probably easier for the to recognise because og thr unique set of circumstances.

  42. OK here’s my first shot at the “Manager of the Year”. Are these results acceptable for a “MOTY”

    Blackburn (LC) (a) 3-4
    Norwich City (a) 2-4
    West Brom (h) 2-3
    Fulham (a) 2-5
    Brighton (FAC) (a) 0-1
    Tottenham (a) 0-5
    Wolves (h) 2-2
    Wigan (a) 0-4
    Everton (a) 1-3

  43. I think Pardew has set up the club well. For the most part his man management and team selection is good. His substitutions usually work. I really think he did a good job of giving Ben Arfa his best chance to succeed after his limited time in the premiership and career threatening injury.

    However, we are sometimes flat to start a game and when things go wrong they can spiral out of control.

    So, we have good players, need some steel and pace in defense and Pardew needs to get better on some things.

    I think we are in a good place.

  44. AndyMac @ 54

    Apparently they are, aye – that’s why he’s got not one award but two!

    Sure we lost those games – but on his overall achievements he was jusdged to be worthy of the awards.

    Sammy J @ 52

    Aye – turning round the “poisonous environment” – that’s a really good point, and I’m pretty sure you’re right that they took that into account when assessing these awards too

  45. I think we’re in a good place as GS says, and there is plenty to be happy about.

    However our best formation and team is the one in which gives our forwards freedom. It’s the one that helped us win all those games towards the end of the season.

    But Pardew seems to opt for the flat 4-2-2 a lot. I don’t know why.

    Tiote sitting, with either Guthrie or Jonas beside, with Cabaye advanced. HBA, Cisse and Ba up top. Keeping it simple in the midfield, and not being so direct.

    Also it is a concern that we didn’t win last season if we fell behind first during a match.

    I read an interview with Guthrie in the Bolton match program about how the 4-3-3 suits the players better.

    Maybe he went back to 4-2-2 to please Ba? I dunno.

    Either way next season will be very interesting and I can’t wait.

  46. AndyMac @54:

    Man United:

    Basel (Swiss, be scared) 3-3
    Man City 1-6
    Crystal Palace (LC) 1-2
    Blackburn 2-3
    Newcastle 0-3
    Liverpool (FAC) 1-2
    Bilbao 2-3 (mid-table Spanish League, 46 points I think)
    Bilbao 1-2
    Wigan 0-1
    Man City 0-1

  47. I can’t agree that we wouldn’t have picked up more points if we had a more progressive approach to our set up in the matches against Fulham (A), Norwich (A), Swansea (H) and Wigan (A) specifically.

    I do wonder where we may have finished if we gotten that handful of points. But oh well-I still can’t complain about this term or the job AP’s done. He deserves his awards. But note: this does not make him above criticism. If that were how it worked, nobody would ever criticize SAF now would they?

    UTD-I appreciate your perspective and you make a lot of good points. But it bothers me that while you defend us from incorrect perceptions, you use the term “bedsheet brigade” and repeat the absurd media mantra that we’re deluded (no NUFC supporter I know thought we’d be in the hunt for the CL; did read/hear a lot of LFC supporters assume same).

    GS: If we finish midtable next season, it will necessarily represent failure unless we win a trophy. (Assuming our squad is not dismantled this summer.)

  48. Tunyc: see my post just before yours.

    Mid-table would be a disappointment, not failure. We are NUFC and have been conditioned over many years to expect the worst. Failure is appointing Alex McLeish.

  49. Oh, and Martinez does not merit a “MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARD.” He was, you know, Wigan’s manager early in the season when they were a soft touch and looked doomed to relegation. I’ll be real impressed with him when he shows me he can do it for an entire season, rather than just long enough to save his side from relegation.

  50. Tunyc

    “bedsheet brigade” wasn’t meant to be derogatory – to me it conjures up a reminder of the edited coverage on Sky – edited to put United fans in the worst possible light for their own purposes.

    I repeated the “deluded” accusation amongst friends (I hope!) irrespective of this season’s events, quite a few other fans still appear to see us that way.

  51. UTD111 says:
    May 15, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    “to me it conjures up a reminder of the edited coverage on Sky – edited to put United fans in the worst possible light for their own purposes.”

    UTD, Sky’s camera’s are contantly following Stephen C around and doing interviews with him on his Newcastle United thoughts (he’s posted some on here).

    Enough said ;-)

  52. When we hit a bad patch in a game, the sequence always seems to be like:

    Shots: 3
    Shots on Target: 3
    Goals: 3

    I don’t know why.

  53. OK got you talking so how about………………

    “Pardwho has never managed to win a game, when going behind, since he joined NUFC ?”

  54. Thats really stretching things !
    Searching for something complimentery about AP, apart from the fact he got us barely into the top quarter of the league.
    My favorate was “the Poisonous environment he has managed to turn around”
    How can such a statement be justified when only this evening during his speech, AP thanked Hughton for the positive dressing room he inherited ?
    Was he lying ?

  55. Jimbob @ 60- is he placating Ba & to the detriment of the team? Yes – is it a gamble worth taking probably not ad it didn’t work so doubt he’ll stay.

  56. Man this Chuck character likes to complain, I think he would still be complaining if we won the league, a few cups, but lost in the Champs League final!

    Come on man, getting into the “top quarter” as you say is great considering where we in fact were only 2 years ago! From the Championship, to mid-table, to then 5th place, fighting on the last day to get in the CL is incredible movement in two years, especially with the amount of in and out player-wise in that time.

    Sure Pardew has a bit to work on, but then again Guardiola didn’t get everything right this year, nor did Mourinho..to say Pardew didn’t’ deserve it is completely unfair

  57. To further my point even arguably the greatest manager in football history screwed up quite a few times this year tactically, arguably cost his team the title with team selection, and won as many trophies as the Toon did this year.(Fergie, you can disagree with me, just making a point)

  58. AndyMac:

    As I was suggesting @61 it is easy to twist results to your own point of view. Ferguson lost the league on goal difference but had some very bad results along the way. A humiliation in one Derby and a capitulation in terms of team selection in the other (as decided by pundits after the fact, of course).

    Fulham and Wolves we were in control and seemingly out of nowhere we crashed. I would say that was the players on those occasions and not Pardew.

  59. AndaMac @ 56 – dies Pardew know his best team/formation?

    Why wasn’t this asked in the bbc Newcastle phone in? Most fans believe 4-3-3 is our best formation yet we also believe pardew prefers 4-4-2. Does anyone know if he had ever been asked?

  60. Sammy J says:

    AndaMac @ 56 – dies Pardew know his best team/formation?

    “Why wasn’t this asked in the bbc Newcastle phone in? Most fans believe 4-3-3 is our best formation yet we also believe pardew prefers 4-4-2. Does anyone know if he had ever been asked?”

    Interrupting the “Pardwho cannot change a game when losing” topic, I asked a question prior to the “Pards and Carv” love in on local radio with the most unlikely man to ever win “Slimmer of the Year” contest and I got no reply.

    My question was

    “Dear Mr Pardew given the results at

    Blackburn (LC) (a) 3-4
    Norwich City (a) 2-4
    West Brom (h) 2-3
    Fulham (a) 2-5
    Brighton (FAC) (a) 0-1
    Tottenham (a) 0-5
    Wolves (h) 2-2
    Wigan (a) 0-4

    what, if anything, did you learn from those results or do you consider them to be part of just another bad day at the office ?”

  61. Hoosiertoon @72:

    Chuck is the calming influence when we get ahead of ourselves. The enema when we get backed up on Pardew love. The downer when we have too many uppers. The wise owl who keeps us straight.

  62. GS says:

    “Chuck is the calming influence when we get ahead of ourselves. The enema when we get backed up on Pardew love”

    and if all else fails, AndyMac is the BBC that shoves it up you just in case you’re wavering on Pardwho :lol:

  63. Thanks GS but I’d rather be the BBC just in case you feel like moving to the “dark side” !! :)

  64. hoosiertoon says:
    May 15, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    “To further my point even arguably the greatest manager in football history”

    Hoosiertoon, football didn’t start in the 1980s, and there are many other great managers apart from him, and their greatness can’t just be measured in the amount of trophies they have won. How has Alex Ferguson changed football tactically?

    Did you know that Bob Paisley was only ever a manager for nine years, yet he won six leagues and three European Cups in that time, along with numerous other domestic and European trophies. Have you ever heard of managers such as Jimmy Hogan, Victor Maslov, Herbert Chapman, Rinus Michels, Johan Cruyff, Valeriy Lobanovskyi, Helenio Herrera, Vittorio Pozzo etc? All of them changed football more than Alex Ferguson ever has. however they would usually just prove their point by winning a few trophies, then they would move on to a new challenge, starting all over again from scratch. That’s real genius.

  65. worky @ 83

    starting all over again from scratch. That’s real genius.

    you can throw Sir Bobby into that as well, but not doubt hoosier would have heard about him already.

    to get the best out of a play is one thing but to get people to do things against their better judgement without even know what they are doing is more Genius than you can imagine.

    there is something about the Sir Bobby, john Carver and Craig Bellemy at Newcastle Airport that get me every time.

    to take a situation and turn it around and get ready for take off without a person realizing is something i could spend a life time studying and never work out.

  66. Stephen C says:
    May 16, 2012 at 1:27 am

    “there is something about the Sir Bobby, john Carver and Craig Bellemy at Newcastle Airport that get me every time.”

    Stephen:

    “The thing people don’t know is that John Carver is one of my best friends. He was at my wedding. As a coach and player, we used to go out in the evenings together. I liked him a lot.

    “The row before the Mallorca game had started at training a few hours earlier. I parked in his parking space. He’s a coach, he should have been in before me so I parked in his space.

    “I knew he was upset about it and I kept winding him up. We had a bit of a confrontation at the airport and I was fuming then because he had had a go at me.

    “So I had a big go at him. But we didn’t know what to do because we are friends so we were not going to punch each other so we ended up wrestling stupidly.

    “I didn’t throw a chair at him. I threw a chair out of the way to go and argue with him and it nearly hit Shay Given but that was it.

    “Someone went to get the manager and Bobby Robson came in and yelled at everyone to get out and get on the plane. I was saying ’I’m not going, I’m not getting on the plane, I’m going home to see my missus’.

    “Bobby Robson told John Carver to get on the plane and I was still saying I was going home. He put his arm round me and said ’walk with me son’.

    “So I walked with him and he started asking me about how my kids were, how they were doing at school, how was my missus. The next thing I knew I was on the plane.

    “I was thinking ’how the f*** did I get here’. If he’d told me I had to get on the plane, I wouldn’t have got on.

    “That evening, I was in my room in Majorca and still not happy. It didn’t take much in those days to put me on edge. So Bobby Robson has come round to my room and brought John Carver and Alan Shearer with him.

    “I thought they had come to gang up on me so I was ready to have a right go back. I thought ’I’ll have a right go here’.

    “But then Sir Bobby started blaming everything on John Carver and made him apologise to me. Then he told Alan what a great player I was and Alan had to agree.

    “Sir Bobby gave me no room to argue. I was just sitting there taking compliments. I had been desperate to have an argument but I had nothing to go against.

    “The next thing I know, I’m shaking everybody’s hand and we’re all friends. I ended up apologising to John Carver as well. Bobby Robson was a great man. I found it very hard to feel the same about Newcastle when he was fired.”

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