Alan Pardew. On the face of it a good English manager. Given the competition.
That's as nice as it gets.
There's always a sense that he's prepared to do whatever it takes to keep the job. A job he knows he'll never surpass in terms of stature in the game. We all love a trier, James Perch is fondly remembered by people who ritually buy the Sky Sports almanac each year, or subscribe to Premier Sports. But there's certain roles you don't want the lucky chancer filling. Namely the role of Newcastle United manager.
Now I've no idea what criteria Alan Pardew could have filled if, let's pretend, there was a serious look at candidates for the role. A canny pro, nowt special with couple cracks at getting West Ham promoted via the playoffs, and subsequently an FA Cup Final defeat aren't the CV of a man likely to lure the names in. Affix Keegan/Robson comparison here.
When we think of what Pardew was famous for, what do we have? "He" signed Tevez and Mascherano. More on Alan's shrewd moves to come. But what else? He was at Southampton. He had good players. Some of them went on to sell for tens of millions in the Premiership. He had these lads in League One. Couldn't get promoted. Yes Southampton had a points reduction but it was 10 points. Southampton couldn't even reach the playoffs.
Dismissed by Southampton with reports of low morale about the place and a fallout with the owners. Where else does this League One manager end up? Newcastle! The answer we were all expecting.
So here we are. Yes, we had a great run in a few years ago. 5th in the league and all that. But since then we've swayed wildly back and forth. From players who are seemingly his favourites, to tactics which at times seem straight from the Sunday League. Pardew ultimately has not taken us anywhere else but mediocrity.
Happy to play mouthpiece for a board who'll drop a bi-monthly reminder you don't particularly matter much outside of season ticket renewals time.
How does Alan Pardew get footballers, some of them young lads desperate to show their worth up for a cup tie the club itself has made perfectly clear to all who'll listen is no priority? He doesn't. He agrees with the smartly dressed chaps upstairs. He's certainly never voiced a contrary argument to anything publicly the board have handed down.
Do you think Pardew picks this club's signings?
Perhaps he may have had more of a say in matters lately. But the recruitment policy of this club is shrouded in mystery. People who claim he rules over transfer policy are just kidding themselves. They're the same people who (rightly) also claim Kinnear was the one offering Cabaye round for most money. Who, left to his own devices we should be thankful wasn't swapped for a bag of magic beans.
The best footballers Pardew has managed were handed to him by others. Then, with this vast array of talent. Pardew has struggled to adapt his own game to suit what he's given. He has been handed superstars, and kept the cloggers in the side. Simple "YES!" men who'll do as Pardew wishes.
The current Pardew buggerabout is with Hatem Ben Arfa. I've no idea how to view this. It's been labelled weight issues for a while now. Then we see photos of the lad looking relatively trim the word from the club is that it's more HBA's professionalism at question.
Maybe. Maybe it's Alan taking orders from upstairs again. HBA's contract expires next Summer. There's £1/2 million there to be earned. Plus a saving on wages.. Let's force him out.. Make him train with the kids.
Jonas Gutierrez has been banished from club training. Why? No word on him being unprofessional. Just asked not to come in it would seem. Previously thought to be a Pardew favourite amongst us. Again, cut. Pardew not a word.
Jonas Gutierrez' contract expires next Summer. Tinfoil hats off.
So where will this end? Who knows. Pardew himself won't know for sure. As another season comes round he's still pretty much the unsackable, bar him really putting us in the shit. Not impossible. This is a man who has run around his open prison of a technical area shoving linesmen and headbutting the gormless. He could run over the field to the disabled supporters section and roundhouse people, he'd still be "the right man" in a club statement.
Actually if I was Alan Pardew I'd see how far I can push it. I'd certainly enjoy that much more than those bastard W*nga half time shows they put on.
Anyway. I don't trust Alan Pardew. He isn't a football manager, he's very well paid middle-management at a PR firm for the devil.
This blog post was too sensible. Sorry.
Here's a firework display that I personally reckon looks like Mark Hughes: