Speaking in his latest interview, Alan Pardew has been getting his latest round of excuses in before the season starts, saying that Newcastle United might find it difficult to replicate 2012′s fifth placed finish in the Premier League because he hasn’t replaced Demba Ba, and the club simply can’t compete with the financial strength of behemoths such as Southampton, Swansea City and Norwich City when it comes to buying players.
Here’s what Pardew said:
“When you look at the teams now and the money that’s being spent, you have to be honest and say it’s going to be difficult replicating that fifth-place finish. But our ambition must be to try to do that,”
“Demba went to Chelsea, and that was a big blow for us last year. I think the fact that we never really replaced him got missed a little bit.
“We brought in (Yoan) Gouffran, but we weren’t really able to replace Demba like for like. If I can replace Demba into this team, I think this team is stronger than the one that finished fifth. But I think the task of finishing in the top five is more difficult for us because of the growth of some of the other clubs who were just below us.
“In particular, Liverpool and Spurs have spent a lot of money, and other clubs such as Swansea and Southampton have coordinated their financial strength really well.
“You look at a club like Southampton, and they’re in a much stronger financial position than us in terms of purchasing players. Even though my team might be slightly stronger on paper once we replace Demba – team and squad – it’ll be even more difficult to get fifth.”
Let’s probe what Pardew is saying here. According to German transfer website “Transfermarkt,” Newcastle United’s current first team squad is estimated to be worth around £150 million, the seventh highest in the Premiership. Meanwhile, Norwich City’s is estimated be worth less than half of Newcastle’s at around £72 million, with Southampton’s at £84.5 million and Swansea’s at around £105 million. Of course, as you all probably knew already, the other two teams he mentioned, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur do indeed have first team squads which are more valuable than Newcastle United’s, with Liverpool’s being estimated at £230 million with Tottenham’s rising to a mighty £265 million, due in no small part to the Gareth Bale effect, along with very astute purchases such as Jan Vertonghen (I did try to tell Newcastle to buy him), who is now worth more than double what Tottenham paid for him at the beginning of last season at £19.5 million.
But anyway, getting back to the Pardew interview, his latest festival of BS continued as moved on to speak of his “pride” at managing a “big club” like Newcastle (albeit a big club which can’t compete with Southampton), how his vision and philosophy as manager of a big club must be to bring “success,” how his tenacity in the face of adversity has made him the second longest serving manager in the Premiership, and the longest serving Newcastle United manager since Bobby Robson, and finally, how we fans admire him even more after seeing the way he dealt with said adversity last season. On these points Pardew continued:
“I’m very proud to be manager of this club, and I don’t say that lightly. There’s so many things that excite me about being here.
“When things have happened in the past and you might question certain things that have gone on, the overriding strength of this club is that I know I am the manager of a very big club, I think one of the biggest in the Premier League. Therefore, my vision and my philosophy must be to bring success, and I must drive that regardless of what obstacles get in my way.
“If there’s an obstacle in my way, I just have to jump over it. I think I’m the second longest serving Premier League manager, and longest serving manager at this club since Sir Bobby Robson. I’ve kind of earned my spurs, and sometimes in adversity I think the fans admire you more. I like to think last year I didn’t buckle and wasn’t negative about the players, the fans or the club.
“I just got us over the line, and I think that was very important last year. I’m hoping I’ll get the rewards of that this year. I like to think the fans understood I was honest and respectful when we finished fifth, and when we finished 16th.”
I want some of what he’s smoking!