Without a win in the premier league this season, Newcastle have only managed a fairly poor 3 draws from 5 premier league games this season. With all the negativity flowing round Tyneside at the moment there only seems to be one source taking the brunt of the criticism, Alan Pardew. The fog on the Tyne is beginning to seriously mist over his career making it incredibly unclear if he will still have a job come Mid October. With all the uncertainty it’s time to asses him as a manager overall.
Firstly, there is no doubt that the Toon gaffer has been incredibly unlucky. He has somehow managed to make a lot of great signings and create a strong looking side, however it seems the case is that there are several of these players out of form. The likes of Cabella, Siem De Jong and Coloccini just simply have not performed so far this season and it is difficult for any manager if the players you rely on don’t step up. Along with that, Newcastle made a total of 9 signings in the last window and as proven with Tottenham last season, any team that makes that many changes needs time to find their feet, particularly considering most of these players are playing English football for their first time.
As bad as that sounds, they are both things that the manager should still be in control of. More disturbingly however, is the Newcastle motto on transfers in recent years. It seems relatively obvious that the chairman, Mike Ashley, has no interest in signing big name players for a big fee, even more obvious is the number of players Newcastle have signed that have either been a free, or under the fee of £10m. With this being what seems like the transfer policy in place, it raises serious questions about the quality of the players being bought, each seems to have potential, however seems to lack any real consistency or commitment to the club. Pardew himself can only play the hand he is dealt, the hand itself is belated and clearly flawed in desperate need of some quality and structure. What is certainly making his job as manager difficult is the constant change of players, creating a team that doesn’t really get time to gel together and create any real chemistry.
Along with this, Pardew’s record really isn’t that bad. As a manager he has won an impressive 42% of all his games. Leading West Ham to a F.A cup final and promotion, He clearly has credentials that can interest any premier league team. Although yet to prove he is a top manager, his name belongs to teams in and around the top flight and if he were to be sacked, He could be certain of finding a decent job in the football world elsewhere.
Now time for the sympathy. Although he is a good manager in a rather unfortunate situation, he is also extremely unpopular amongst fans. His interviews seem to be constantly defensive and it always feels as though he is looking for an excuse. Newcastle fans love to wear the heart on their sleeve and the one thing none of them wish to hear is how the wind on the day threw the players concentration hence the defeat and so forth.
Along with this, he has a rather embarrassing record of being undisciplined as a manager, having had scraps with the likes of Wenger, Pellegrini and Fergie, along with the infamous head-butt on David Meyler last year, it makes it really difficult to command respect and decency from players if you don’t make a good example of that to follow.
I don’t doubt he is as good a manager as any to be in charge of Newcastle, with perhaps it being more obvious that there are problems with the club structure and such more so that the man in charge, however there is something about him and Newcastle that just doesn’t click. The fans don’t seem to want him and he doesn’t seem prepared to change and adapt to the needs of the fans, creating a huge tension. I think the day is coming when Pardew will no longer be manager of the Toon, however knowing when the club will turn on him is uncertain.