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Is Pardew right for Newcastle?

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Phil McNulty | 11:35 UK time, Thursday, 9 December 2010

Alan Pardew walks into Newcastle United with his personal rating plunging off a cliff and an atmosphere of simmering unrest swirling around St James' Park.

Pardew will have got the hint that the welcome mat is unlikely to be thrust out before him on Tyneside after collecting less that 2% of more than 1,000 votes cast in local newspaper poll to find out who Newcastle fans wanted as their new manager.

He had the rather scant consolation of knowing he was kept off the bottom of the pile by his West Ham United successor Alan Curbishley, who gathered in 14 backers as opposed to Pardew's 15. Not exactly the ideal start.

The five-and-a-half-year deal Pardew has signed with Newcastle almost represents a life sentence when set alongside previous regimes, while the acrimony that still surrounds Chris Hughton's sacking will make for an uncomfortable backdrop to his first game in charge against Liverpool at St James' Park on Saturday night.

No pressure then but, at a time when he needs all the friends he can get, there are still good judges out there who believe the Magpies may have made a sound appointment.

pardspa595.jpgCan Pardew win over the fans in double-quick time? Photo: PA

There is heavy irony in the fact that Pardew will attempt to restart a stalled managerial career against Liverpool. It was against those very opponents that his star started to fall so dramatically. Pardew's West Ham United were only seconds away from winning the 2006 FA Cup final in Cardiff when Steven Gerrard struck one of the most memorable goals in the history of the competition to deny the Hammers their moment of glory.

This was as good as it got for Pardew at Upton Park. Surrounded by suggestions this relative success had caused him to become bedazzled and take his eye off the ball, the arrival of West Ham's new Icelandic owners and his reluctance to have Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano thrust upon him led to his inevitable departure.

Regarded as one of England's most progressive young managers, with a love of modern coaching techniques and motivational messages, his career drifted badly off course.

He was sacked at Charlton Athletic, not so much for taking them out of the Premier League but for never looking like he would take them back up again. He then suffered a similar fate at Southampton, although few could accuse him of doing a bad job at St Mary's in turbulent circumstances allied to an uneasy relationship with the club's rulers.

Now he has been handed an unexpected return to the top tier of English football, at one of the most unwieldy and unpredictable beasts in the game.

Hughton's popularity and the furious reaction to his sacking already puts Pardew on the back foot with supporters, while the revelation that he is an associate of managing director Derek Llambias, a key component of the club's unpopular hierarchy, is unlikely to see his stock rise.

Cut through the chaos and delve into Pardew's personality, however, and there is a character with enough confidence to sweep aside the ill-feeling and operate with a genuine belief that he can put Newcastle, and indeed his own career, on the straight and narrow once again.

He has always been an advocate of the attacking football Newcastle's followers demand and, with the brashness of his early years perhaps mellowed by harsh experience, his time could be about to come again at what may well be his final chance in the big time.

Former England defender Danny Mills had a spell under Pardew at Charlton and was only too willing to offer his support and admiration for the way his ex-boss works.

"I only worked with Alan relatively briefly at Charlton but really enjoyed it," Mills told me. "He took a bit of a gamble on me because he didn't know me and I didn't know him. He may have been a bit concerned about my reputation but he managed it very well.

"There are managers and coaches in football but Alan was one of the best I have worked under at doing both. He put on interesting coaching sessions but could also manage players as well.

"One of the things I admired about him was that he treated us all equally but also as individuals. He got the best out of those individuals for the good of the team - and that is the art of good management.

"Everybody in Newcastle seemed to want Martin O'Neill but I worked under Martin and there is no way he and Mike Ashley could have worked together under the constraints people say will be imposed there. I don't think they would have seen eye to eye.

"Martin Jol was another mentioned and is a good manager but after that you have to look around and see who is available to do the job. There aren't too many.

"Alan has managed in England, in the Premier League and knows English systems. I just hope the Newcastle fans don't rush to judge him and give him a fair amount of time.

"There is a lot of talk that his appointment isn't being welcomed by the fans but he will be fine with that because he is a strong and confident personality. There is a lot of emotion involved in the situation but sometimes emotions and football don't go together.

"Remember the Newcastle fans welcomed Kevin Keegan back with open arms and that didn't work. They welcomed Alan Shearer back with open arms and unfortunately that didn't work out either.

"Without being disrespectful to Newcastle's fans, they have to be realistic and realise they now need someone who's going to go in there and manage the club. I would just say to them to be patient and give Pardew time because, having worked with him, I regard him as a good manager and a good coach."

Mark Lawrenson spent time at Newcastle as part of Keegan's backroom staff and says the unique surroundings of this passionate football city make it a tough task for Pardew.

"He's under pressure more than any other manager that has been there to get results," he told me. "He has to win games quicker than anyone else has done because of the circumstances surrounding Chris Hughton's departure.

"This is not a case of a manager being forced out because he was unpopular with fans. Chris was very well liked, dignified and the supporters could see he was doing a job job.

"Alan Pardew is a real football man and has done pretty well at most places but there is a unique pressure at Newcastle. It is the biggest city in the country with only one football club and there is an incredible appetite to know what is happening at St James' Park.

"It's a cliche but it is like operating in a goldfish bowl. If Alan Shearer had a flat tyre, they didn't just want to know about the flat tyre, they wanted to know if he had gone to Kwikfit to have it repaired.

"It is going to be even harder for Pardew because of the supporters' relationship with Hughton. It may turn out to be an inspired choice because Pardew has proved he can be a good manager but it is a choice made very difficult by what happened to Hughton.

"When a manager is appointed, you usually get a month to six weeks to get things going. Pardew has probably got two or three games. He needs to make a connection with the fans and, as ever, the best way to do that is by winning football matches."

Pardew's early statements do not speak of a man daunted by the task facing him. His cast-iron self-belief and confidence now faces its sternest test, starting in front of the Toon Army against Liverpool.

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Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    Good Luck, Newcastle. You may need it. We Charlton fans were in footie heaven when he moved from West Ham to us just as Curbishley went to West Ham, and we trounced them 4-0 in his first game in charge. Super Super Al, Super Alan Pardew.
    It was a different game and a different tune from then on as we slid down the table out of the premiership, out of the Championship and into League One. Pardew only took us down (and out). You expect him to take you up? Maybe. Just maybe....

  • Comment number 2.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 3.

    Half of this article is merely quotes from Mills & Lawrenson. Can't help feeling you felt that you needed to rush an article out on this subject, rather than actually take your time and compose something of substance.

  • Comment number 4.

    I already have a real dislike for Pardew if the rumours are true that he negotiated with Ashley seven days before Hughton's dismissal.

    Forget football - that is not a nice person.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    Pardew is a manager with a history of failure. Hughton has won more than him in one season and this is a ludicrous and blatant display of nepotism on Ashley and Llambias' part. Hughton was sacked purely because they wanted their mate in a job and as a result i will not support Pardew and many Newcastle fans will feel the same way.

  • Comment number 7.

    ASHLEY OUT!

  • Comment number 8.

    papa shango what are you basing that on? relegation with charlton, worst run in 70 years for west ham or being sacked by s'ton?

    5 and a half years? i dont give him 5 and a half months

  • Comment number 9.

    Better to have someone who can coach & motivate than be lumbered with someone like Redknapp or O'Neill who can only succeed by over spending.

    ---------

    yeah, would much rather have alan pardew who took charlton and southampton to knowhere than someone like redknapp who has managed to get spurs into the champions legaue and out of the group stage at the first attempt. long live alan pardew.

  • Comment number 10.

    "Without being disrespectful to Newcastle's fans, they have to be realistic and realise they now need someone who's going to go in there and manage the club." I understand what Mills is saying here but could people please try and remember that the fans didn't want Hughton sacked. Not at all. The reaction against Pardew isn't anything personal, it's not really even anything to do with his past successes and failures, it's simply that we had a manager who was "someone who's going to go in there and manage the club" and we were making slow but definate progress.

    No one up here really believes we're a big club successwise (although, for attendences and stadium we are certainly one of the biggest). Most fans I've spoken to felt that actually the relegation did us good. We got rid of the dead wood and it seemed that we'd uncovered a very good manager who was moulding a side and blooding some young prospects. It might seem odd but actually we were enjoying an odd sort of thrill that comes from seeing definate slow progress.

    So please, can everyone stop suggesting that the fans are angry with Pardew's appointment because we wanted someone to come in a win us trophies. We're not stupid and not deluded. We were happy recieving the quiet praise and considered plaudits that Hughton's team earned.

  • Comment number 11.

    This is no upgrade from Chris. People can try to talk up Pardew all they can , but his record is poor and odds are now on Newcastle to get relegated. They looked decent under Houghton and looked a safe bet to survive, but all hope is lost now.

  • Comment number 12.

    Every manager has his fans and critics, couldn't you be bothered finding a Pardew critic who'd give this article some balance?

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    I was both angry and dissapointed to see that Hughton was sacked on Monday. He was loved by teh fans and the players and for once I really did believe the club was finally turning it around and creating a team which could become a solid premiership team.

    It would have been impossible for Martin o'Neill to work with Mark Ashley, and he wouldn't want to sign for a bankrupt club anyway, so I immediately disregarded him. Personally, I think Alan Curbishley would have been the better option. He saved West Ham froma worse position than this a few years ago and he would have kept the club well-grounded and focussed on staying in the division. Pardew, on the other hand, likes attacking, current football, and I am really worried that he will confuse his passion for this and trying to get the fans on side with grinding out results to keep us up this year.

    With that said, he's be given the job now and we need to work with him, support him and get behind the team. We're stuck with Ashley and need to make the best out of a bad situation.

  • Comment number 15.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 16.

    lol lol lol lol...I can't believe the appointment...five and a half year deal...lol lol lol. That'll be five years compensation money when he gets the sack in May 2011.

    What were the toon board thinking?!?

  • Comment number 17.

    All I hope and pray for is that Pardew does NOT benefit from the 'lucky fluke result of new manager's first game in charge' syndrome. As a lifelong Red that would be a very bitter pill to swallow! Happy for Pardew to gain a few decent results but only AFTER Saturday's match!!
    YNWA

  • Comment number 18.

    I think deep down the Newcastle fans won't be happy until Roy Chubby Brown wins a populist vote and ousts Mike Ashley as Chairman. Kevin Keegan arrives at St James Park on a white stallion parting the hoardes of fans in replica shirts emblazened with "King Kev" as he takes up the role of director of football. Alan Shearer is wrestled from the match of the day sofa to be installed as first team coach, captain, goalkeeper, cook, kit man and team driver. Jimmy Nail is forced to abandon the filming of Spender to answer calls for him to be the new groundsman and Gazza is hurriedly smuggled out of the priory and given full reigns on player recruitment.

  • Comment number 19.

    Five and a half years! Talk about optimism, he probably won't get five and a half months.

  • Comment number 20.

    I doubt comment 13 will stay up much longer mind AbsolutelyGlorious .

  • Comment number 21.

    So Hughton was sacked as Ashely et al. wanted a manager with more experience? Pardew has experience of taking West Ham up to the premiership, the same as Hughton did with Newcastle. The only other experience he has is of relegation and being sacked. The menial Johnstone's Paint trophy won at Southampton counts for nothing when we are now talking about managing a premiership club.

    Please Newcastle fans realise from this appointment, however ridiculous it may be that you are not a big club. This attitude of the toon army has no doubt added to your troubles of the last few years. The pressure mounted on the team/manager and the ridiculous over expectations raised every season is detrimental.

    Read the facts, you are a newly promoted team, you've never won the premiership or any domestic title for a very long time and have never been a dominant force in the English game for a sustained period of time. You have never won the European cup or ever come close to doing so, and have only competed a few times in the Champions League, many years ago and hardly set the world alight when you did. Nobody in Europe or around the world knows anything about you and neither do they care.
    You support you receive is easily explained, Newcastle and Northubria as a county is a one club city/county so who else can people support? Come out of Newcastle and nobody cares. Fans of all clubs would challenge any Newcastle fans supposed superior affection and passion for their team.

    Hughton should still be there but every cloud eh. He is clearly a gentleman and didn't deserve the treatment he got or to be surrounded by people like ashley llambias. Lucky for him aswell that he is well clear of the dillusional Newcastle fans that nodoubt would have turned on him come the end of the season when he didn't deliver fourth spot and winning the FA cup.

    Good luck with Pardew, best get yours plans for visiting Scunthorpe and Watford ready for next season.

  • Comment number 22.

    Give the poor guy a chance. Maybe the reason why Newcastle - considering its size and fan base - has had so little success is because the fans don't know how to deal with managers. They either canonize them or want to lynch them.

  • Comment number 23.

    Never took to Pardew at Southampton, although his results were OK - just OK, though, not great. He seemed a bit of a cold fish, aloof and not really involved (although the rumour mill would have it that he got rather too involved, hence his departure).

    A timely interview with Saints chairman Nicola Cortese yesterday produced this comment about Pardew, and further revealing thoughts about his successor:

    Cortese controversially sacked former manager Alan Pardew, who is set to take over at Newcastle, in August, but said he had "no regrets" about the decision.

    "I'm not going into details but there were plenty of reasons why it ended up with the sack," said Cortese. "All the attributes [current boss] Nigel Adkins has added is something we were missing before.

    "He's a great communicator and motivator and I honestly believe we made a very good choice. I think I can have a very long-term working relationship with him.

    "He's changed the attitude. His personality, his way of being, it's motivated people. People who haven't been here for a while, they come down here and they say 'it's a completely different atmosphere'."

    If Nigel Adkins has "changed the attitude" and created a "completely diferent atmosphere" in such a short time, it doesn't say much for Pardew's powers of motivation, team-building etc.

    Just the sort of attributes he's going to need in abundance to win over players and fans at Newcastle.

    Still, if he wins his first three games he'll suddenly be the new Tyneside Messiah and all will be forgotten....

  • Comment number 24.

    I feel very sorry for Newcastle's fans
    I feel pretty sorry for Hughton
    I feel somewhat sorry for Newcastle's players
    I feel slightly sorry for Pardew
    I will feel no sorrow for Ashley when he's thrown into the Tyne by fans

  • Comment number 25.

    What a crazy world. How the hell can Pardew do any better a job than Hughton. Football is one of those rare occupations that rewards failure. Pardew could end up a very, very wealthy man and Newcastle could be relegated. If I was a Newcastle fan I'd keep my shirt on and go shopping at weekend.

  • Comment number 26.

    Someone wake me up from this nightmare, please.

  • Comment number 27.

    When papa shango thinks it's a good decision, that's how you know just how terrible a decision it really is.

    McNulty: Is Pardew right for Newcastle?
    Me: No.
    McNulty(maybe): Then who is right for Newcastle?
    Me: There was this chap we had recently, can't remember his name, took us from being a disgraced Championship side to mid table Premier League....

  • Comment number 28.

    (I'm not a Newcastle fan) but my opinion is that Chris did a great job getting Newcastle back to the prem and has got them to mid table

    pardew at west ham was lucky to get them to the prem (won the play offs)and lucky in the fa cup and rubish ever were else

  • Comment number 29.

    Oh well on Saturday I shall turn up as I have done for over 40 years and support my team. It is both a strength and weakness. Ashley knows the direhards/hard core/fools (whatever you want to call us) will keep attending and so he treats us accordingly. How I hate the man, sitting there with that arrogant smirk and his white shirt so we all can see him but we are stuck with him for quite a while. Newcastle United has been part of my life since a boy and will remain part of my life until I die. Hopefully Ashley, his cronies and Britain's worst high street brand will be gone before that time. So sad to see a nice guy like Hughton spat out by the fat oaf but when Saturday comes we must get behind the team because if we do what we did after Keegan left (second time around) then we will be back on board the relegation express. Come on Newcastle and up yours Fat Mike!

  • Comment number 30.

    Pardew wasn't sacked from Charlton, because we didn't look like getting promoted to the Premiership.
    He was sacked because we were stranded in the relegation places, and looking favourites for relegation to League one!
    His reign at Charlton degenerated into a shambles, several expensive flops, a ridiculous number of panic loan signings, we never looked a settled side. A touch of the Barry Fry about him, expect lots of churning of players during the transfer windows.

  • Comment number 31.

    Regarding post 18. Surely the supporters would want Ant and Dec involved in some capacity. Perhaps physios.

  • Comment number 32.

    It bodes ill for Newcastle fans. The man's a walking disaster in the same vein as Roeder. Good luck you'll need it. Oh, and lock up your wives and daughters. Allegedly.

  • Comment number 33.

    Shameful way to treat CH who stabilised this circus of a club and put them back on the up.

    The cynicism of their board is breathtaking.

    Looking forward to the occasional bounce followed by the slide.

  • Comment number 34.

    I'm an old (very old) Westham fan, and Pardew was rather popular with the hammers faithful, from chatting with some Southampton fans, the majority didn't want to see him go either - it would appear both sackings were due to non-football related matters

    I'll admit he wasn't very popular with Chatlton fans, but anyone replacing Curbs would have been given a hard time

    Give the guy a chance, even though the treatment of Houghton was rather shameful

  • Comment number 35.

    "Give the poor guy a chance."

    I agree, but in the light of Chris Hughton. Why wasn't he given a chance? He's been fantastic, his loyalty to the club and players unquestioned and pretty much so have his results.

    He should of been given the chance.

  • Comment number 36.

    The results of a local newspaper poll are about as relevant to football as a turkey squeaking in Moscow on Christmas Day. Pardew is a good manager. As long as he regards Newcastle as just another football club like any other and nothing special, and going into his job with that attitude, he should enjoy some success, even whilst the current owner (whatever his name may be) is still about. Pardew should have a good start against Liverpool, who seem to be in dire straights currently.

  • Comment number 37.

    Hey E-Dubz, shouldn't you be in class?

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    5 and a half year contract, that's one hell of a compo package in 6 months time.

  • Comment number 40.

    McNulty. "Pardew can put Newcastle on the straight and narrow once again". Isn't that exactly where Hughton has put them ?

    Danny Mills. "Newcastle's fans have to be realistic and realise they now need someone who's going to go in there and manage the club". Hughton was already doing that rather well wasn't he?

    Lawro. "Newcastle is the biggest city in the country with only one football club". I'll think you will find Leeds is bigger.

    This article is not very accurate. As for the question "Is Pardew right for Newcastle", the answer NO springs to mind. But Pardew must have good negotiating skills to get a five and a half year contract on £750,000 a year with a hire and fire addict like Ashley. His incentive to fail and get a big pay-off is enormous !!

  • Comment number 41.

    Mills you are misinformed, unsurprisingly.
    Keegan was doing well until Mike Cashley and co decided who to bring in to the club. Noone could have saved the sinking ship that season, not even Shearer.
    You dismissed Martin Jol in one brief sentence. Why?
    Also, have you not heard of Leeds? It is about 4 times bigger than Newcastle and has only one team.

  • Comment number 42.

    Ah yes, Nessun Dorma's comment just reminded me, the owner is called Ashley. Isn't he in Coronation Street, with some strange fate befalling him?

  • Comment number 43.

    MUFC fan in peace. For starters sacking Houghton was a joke.

    Switching sports as far as rugby's concerned I'm an Exeter Chiefs fan.

    Both NUFC and the Chiefs have been promoted to the Premiership in their respective sports this season. Both have had very impressive seasons so far, midtable with relegation looking unlikely.

    The Chiefs owner would never even think about sacking coach Rob Baxter so what the hell is Ashley trying to achieve by booting Houghton and replacing him with Pardew? It's been over a decade since the Toon were last in the Premiership title race and they're not going to be back there any time soon.

  • Comment number 44.

    I must disagree with the dismissive comment regarding Southampton. Pardrew took a team docked points with morale in the basement and (after a sluggish start) missed out on the playoffs by a whisker, and won the trophy. This was in a year with Leeds, Norwich and Cholchester(?) blitzing all in front of them. The second season brought unbelievable pressure from the board, they wanted the same level of performance, less the docked points, but new owners (due to the passing away of the owner) and A slightly poor start to the second season and he was dismissed in circumstances similar to Hughton leaving Newcastle - shock to the fans! Many in this case suspected it was non-footballing reasons. Therefore your application of the statement "never looking like he would take them back up again" is untrue to anyone in Southampton (other than the Southampton owners). As a measure of the accuracy of this, the team's performaces dropped for quite a lot of games after he left, showing cleary the players had no desire for him to leave.

  • Comment number 45.

    At 1:51pm on 09 Dec 2010, U14538189 wrote:
    I think deep down the Newcastle fans won't be happy until Roy Chubby Brown wins a populist vote and ousts Mike Ashley as Chairman. Kevin Keegan arrives at St James Park on a white stallion parting the hoardes of fans in replica shirts emblazened with "King Kev" as he takes up the role of director of football. Alan Shearer is wrestled from the match of the day sofa to be installed as first team coach, captain, goalkeeper, cook, kit man and team driver. Jimmy Nail is forced to abandon the filming of Spender to answer calls for him to be the new groundsman and Gazza is hurriedly smuggled out of the priory and given full reigns on player recruitment.

    ---------------------------------------------------

    Almost the worst thing about this whole carry on is having to read the same old “jokes” from the kind of deluded clowns who spot Richard Wilson in the street and shout “I don’t believe it!” at him

    Roy chubby brown is from Middlesbrough, by the way... historically in North Yorkshire and a good way from Newcastle. They used to have their own football club, I think

  • Comment number 46.

    @18: "Roy Chubby Brown"? I think not - Chubby's from MIDDLESBROUGH.

    I am a Boro fan but, talking to my Geordie friends, not one of them is convinced that this appointment is anything but imbecilic. A manager who's stabilsed a choppy dressing room and got the team perfoming at a decent level again (their current position is one that most of the fans I've spoken to are content with; staying in the diision this year is the target) is removed to be replaced by one who's had a fairly chequered career. Ahsly is quoted as saying that he wanted "more experience". Excellent. That Johnstones Paint Trophy glory with Southampton wasn't a waste then, eh Alan?

    If Mr A thinks that shooing his gambling/drinking buddy into the post is going to help, boy has he got something coming. He must really hate the club to foist this on them.

  • Comment number 47.

    Papa Shango - you clearly know as much about football as you do about cricket - Pardew rather than O'Neill - Doherty rather than Swann - probably Widdecombe rather than Cheryl Cole too.

  • Comment number 48.

    The decisions get more and more ridiculous with every passing day. 5 1/2 year contract! Why set themselves up for paying out 5 years of compensation when they will probably sack him in 6 months time?
    If he does poorly and Toon slip down the table, he will probably be sacked. If he does, what I would consider extremely well, and continues the progress (and PL position) Hughton made - is that enough to be considered taking the club forward? or will they look for someone with "more experience"?
    Stupid to sack Hughton, stupid to appoint Pardew, stupid to give him such a lengthy deal.

  • Comment number 49.

    As a Newcastle fan I'm worried. The difference between our team now and the one that took us down is team spirit and confidence, certainly not quality. If the players don't react well to this, we are headed in one direction and that is down. However, the influence of Messrs Nolan, Barton, Smith and Harper can hopefully help us through this.

  • Comment number 50.

    As a Villa fan I have always liked Newcastle, we have had some good games. (except the mauling this year) However this conduct has made me re-think my position and I hope Ashely lives to regret the way he has treated Hughton.

  • Comment number 51.

    I think Alan Partridge would have been a more popular appointment. What the

    What the Newcastle Board statement SHOULD have said:

    http://toonbarmy.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/alternative-nufc-board-statement/

  • Comment number 52.

    he is an averagely poor football manager. not disastrous but nothing particularly special. his tactical nous during a game is non-existent and he cant react to another manager`s substitutions.

    But, these are all trivial points compared to his horrid character as a human being. ask any one in the know at reading, west ham, charlton and saints...literally 10-15 stories, of which at least 2 have been litigated

  • Comment number 53.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 54.

    Five and a half years?

    Given recent past performance, NUFC will be paying out a huge severance payment when, inevitably, they sack him long before he finishes his contract.

    I can't say what I want to for legal reasons but it makes you wonder about the purpose of the length of the contract.

  • Comment number 55.

    Dear Danny Mills,

    Our realistic viewpoint is that sacking Chris Hughton was a disgraceful decision. Or maybe you think we were being deluded for supporting our manager?

  • Comment number 56.

    Quote - "Read the facts, you are a newly promoted team, you've never won the premiership or any domestic title for a very long time and have never been a dominant force in the English game for a sustained period of time. You have never won the European cup or ever come close to doing so, and have only competed a few times in the Champions League, many years ago and hardly set the world alight when you did. Nobody in Europe or around the world knows anything about you and neither do they care.
    You support you receive is easily explained, Newcastle and Northubria as a county is a one club city/county so who else can people support? Come out of Newcastle and nobody cares. Fans of all clubs would challenge any Newcastle fans supposed superior affection and passion for their team."

    I have no idea who the above poster supports.
    But it's clear he knows nothing about Newcastle - the city, the region or the fans.
    Just for starters, there is no such place as Northumbria. The county is Northumberland. And Newcastle fans come from further afield in the north-east too. Just as some people north of the Tyne might support Sunderland, there are Newcastle fans in County Durham, where Middlesbrough is also an option.
    And while some fans may have unrealistic expectations, many others, like myself, were quite happy with what Chris Hughton was achieving. We DON'T expect European or even domestic glory on the limited resources which Mike Ashley makes available and in the climate of uncertainty which his feckless stewardship of the club creates.
    We wanted to see Hughton given the chance to build up a team which could compete and survive in the top flight.
    Nothing more, nothing less than the fans of many other clubs want.
    And, just like those other teams, we can dream of maybe one day things coming good and us winning something.


  • Comment number 57.

    Alan Pardew walked out of his first real job at Reading, then screwed up West Ham ,Charlton and Southampton. So his career is on the way down. Then he gets offeread a five and a half year contract at Newcastle! So if he fails and Newcastle want to sack him they have to pay him over four years salary. Whether or not this is a good football decision pales into insignificence with the absurdity of the business decision. It sounds like a fairy tale or a wild dream !

  • Comment number 58.

    Boro fan (in peace).

    OK here's the theory doing the rounds in London.

    Ashley is already in advanced negotiations with the Qatari Royal family to sell the club.

    What better way than to look after your mate than to appoint you mate on an unfeasibly long contract which he will have to be bought out of when the Qataris take over and appoint King Kev in his place.

    Makes perfect sense to me.

  • Comment number 59.

    This is crazy. Just when you think that Newcastle and ashley have turned a corner they go and do this. Chris Hughton was doing a good job. ok results were not too good the last few games so Ashley sacks hughton and replace with the same ilk of manager on a long deal. Whats the sense in that!. Im a disgruntled villa fan and we having probs with our manager, results have been poor and we are looking over our shoulder at relegation. But you can be assured my spirits have just arisen by hearing this story as i have no doubt that pardew will not do a good job and newcastle will be in a relegation dog fight which newcastle are in danger of going back to the championship.

  • Comment number 60.

    papa shango

    are those figures for the greater metropolitan areas or the city and whose had the most snow

  • Comment number 61.

    Great post there #10.

    That people are already talking about Pardew's qualities is already a victory for Ashley, whether good or bad. Hughton was precisely what you needed right now. A loyal manager who the fans were willing to get behind even if they dropped some points here or there.

    The first season back in the premiership is all about consolidating - finding a group of players you can rely on, building a team spirit and building up the squad. Once you've been there a couple of seasons then its time to start looking at what's possible. This is what all recently promoted sides have done. Hughton was the perfect match for this ambition. And who knows, he may have grown as a manager with the club that could that take them further. He certainly has several years experience in the game as a coach.

  • Comment number 62.

    #53

    Leeds: 770,800
    Newcastle: 273,600
    Apparantly they do
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_districts_by_population

  • Comment number 63.

    The thing is, you can't blame Pardew. I think the fans should get behind him.

    If any of you were offered £750k a year on a five & a half year contract to manage a Prem team. Would you? I know I would.

  • Comment number 64.

    It's a tough call to be honest here. On one hand we all agree that Chris Hughton has done wonders for us and we are all in his debt for the quick recovery and his efforts in galvanising the team to get us promoted at the first attempt. But his appointment was always one of convenience rather than a long term plan. He did well so we kept with him till we were promoted...but I don't think he was ever a long term plan. Our decent start to the season was based mainly on our team spirit, our togetherness and a bit of luck (how different would the Villa game turned out if Carew had slotted home his penalty?).

    In more recent times though, Hughton pulled off some great results. Away wins at Everton and Arsenal got us hoping for a better season than anyone could have imagined. A mauling of Sunderland will see Hughton go down in NUFC history. But interspersed amongst these were some awful performances and results against the likes of Stoke and Blackpool at home and of course the awful shelacking by Bolton away not to mention the fact West Brom played us off the pitch.

    Hughton may have done well, but the bottom line is, with our squad, he SHOULD have got us promoted, so in that sense he delivered what was reasonable to expect. BUT, has he shown he possesses any tactical nouse to eek out a result when we don't need to rely on luck or better players? I for one think certain games he has been lacking in this department. Hughton however has been learning his trade, and hopefully getting to grips with his own mistakes and improving all the time. Does Pardew offer any more tactical knowledge or a proven track record? However, no matter what we feel as fans, Ashley is the owner, and it is his perogative. No-one will be caring if Pardew turns out to be a good manager for us and sees us build on this good start and start to pick up more points at home. I personally just think it is the way this has happened that is unfair to both the fans and hughton...once again the club making a mockery of itself through no-ones fault but the owners. Fingers crossed things work out alright, otherwise it could be another long long season!

  • Comment number 65.

    If Pardue wants to work for Ashley, he is, ipso facto, not the right man for the job.

  • Comment number 66.

    At 2:23pm on 09 Dec 2010, mattf5 wrote:
    #53

    Leeds: 770,800
    Newcastle: 273,600
    Apparantly they do
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_districts_by_population

    --------------------------------------------------

    Look, I know all about population statistics and neither of you know what you are talking about. Let's just say that it depends upon were you draw the boundries and even then it's complicated.

    Now stop clogging up the thread with your nonsense

  • Comment number 67.

    Alan Pardew is the right man to drive Newcastle United to League One. He was given all required time to achieve that.

  • Comment number 68.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 69.

    Newcastle is a really strange football club.

  • Comment number 70.

    Alan Pardew is a more experienced manager, experienced at getting clubs relegated!

    5 year deal (ha,ha), he'll be lucky to last until the end of the season knowing Ashley.

    Another 'Cockney Mafia Casino' buddy like Dennis Wise to replace an honest, dignified manager like Chris Hughton...what a joke!

    Personally I think Hughton over achieved while toon boss. He won promotion in his first season and has stabilised the club in the Premiership with no support and very little money.

    The way Hughton was treated is disgraceful, but let's face it, Ashley did the same to Allardyce,Keegan and Shearer as well.

    I predict a January clearout with Carroll,Taylor,Nolan,etc leaving. . .budget average replacements for them,relegation at the end of the season,Pardew sacked and then the club up for sale again. . .

    Mike Ashley has no class,creditability, no clue!

  • Comment number 71.

    5 and a half years?! Well Pardew get ready for a big pay off at the end of the season!! I know it's not fair to blame Pardew in this and this is not a personal assault on him but we haven't taken a step forward here, he isn't going to do better than Hughton is he, being realistic. I can't think of many managers that could do better than Hughton because he had the respect and the full support of everyone at that club (except for that STUPID owner we have) but i'm not going to write Pardew off fair play, he deserves a crack at it......right?

  • Comment number 72.

    A very risky appointment to say the least, and 5 1/2 years? I wonder how much of that he will serve. oh and papa shago re your comments about 'arry, you aren't a Portsmouth supporter are you?

  • Comment number 73.

    Is there a football fan anywhere that doesn't have sympathy with Hughton? He has done a great job and has put a couple of difficult players back on the tracks. I like Pardew. He is a gentleman, but I wonder if he is going to be able to win over players and fans.

  • Comment number 74.

    "Is there a football fan anywhere that doesn't have sympathy with Hughton? "


    Alan's mum might be a football fan

  • Comment number 75.

    Mcnulty's diplomatic analysis of Pardew's sacking at Saints.

    "in turbulent circumstances allied to an uneasy relationship with the club's rulers."

    hahahahhahahaha

  • Comment number 76.

    Phil, i am perplexed by your blog-any writing that includes 'advocate of attacking football' and 'motivational messages' jar completely with the moronic clueless character bypass of a manager that is Pardew.I truly hope that Newcastle fans have the sense to boycott all games.What other reasonable and effective action will underline the supporters unhappiness of this appointment but also hit the bank balance of the man who made it.

  • Comment number 77.

    The world is going to be crazy day by day. How come Ashley sacked the Chris? He was outstanding, when last time Newcastle won the game an away game against Arsenal? He was the spot on in charge of Newcastle.
    Pardew? He is weak i guess, he will lead the team to the relegation zone and they will figh out there toward the season.
    Really sorry for Toon Army being a ManUtd supporter.
    Time will tell us who was right
    BUT Chris didn't deserve what he have got, i mean it, really.
    I like him so much, even when he was with Spurs along with Jol.

  • Comment number 78.

    Newcastle population over 800,000? Really? I don't think so, and it never has been. If it's to do with "redrawing boundaries", you need to include places that are, well, not Newcastle.

    Let's just redraw the boundary to include the Scottish Borders, Sunderland, Carlise, Cumbria and North Yorkshire.

  • Comment number 79.

    an a quasi-newcastle follower but west ham being my main team, i would be delighted if we could get hold of hughton

  • Comment number 80.

    37. At 2:05pm on 09 Dec 2010, Why Did You Ngog Rafa wrote:

    Hey E-Dubz, shouldn't you be in class?
    _____________________________________________

    Pots and kettles from the milk monitor there I think.

    Please pay no attention to Papa Shango.He's a WUM.

  • Comment number 81.

    Hey Jacks, shouldn't you be having your bath?

  • Comment number 82.

    You are 84 you know.

  • Comment number 83.

    Well I have finally lost patience and can't tolerate the plonker that is Mike Ashley. I will not be re-newing my season ticket next season until that man is out of my club. Lots of Newcastle fans will be demonstrating and venting there anger on saturday but for what? Mike Ashley has thicker skin than a crocodile and the only thing that affects him is money. The only thing we can do now to hit back at him is to drastically affect his finances. That means voting with our feet not renewing season tickets and boycotting all club merchandise and Sports Direct. Next season when we are in the Championship again if we are getting crowds of 10000 instead of the 40000+ that is the norm, it will hit him in the pocket, only then will we be able to make an impact.

    Unfortunately Mike Ashley relies on our loyalty and incredible support to our club and uses it against us, he knows he can do whatever he wants to us and we will moan on and come back again and again buying the shirts eating his pies and drinking his beer! We have put up with him for long enough and now the time has come to make a stand. Mike Ashley is not going away on his own free will he needs some encouragement. Until we can all rally together and be United and cut the cancer that is Mike Ashley from our club we will always be in turmoil.

    As for the appointment of Pardew what a joke. He is statistically a poorer manager than Chris Hughton. His win ratio is 42% compared to Hughtons respectable 55%. Also Hughton has won more in his short career (The Championship) than Pardew has won in 500 games (Vans Paint Trophy League 1!!). As for Premier League Experience, Pardew has a season and a half! Sacked from his last 3 jobs, and when he was at Reading the first time West Ham showed an interest he dropped them like a hot potato and resigned to goto West Ham. (At least he has the same sense of loyalty as Mike Ashley).

    Thank you Chris Hughton and good luck you deserved so much better.

  • Comment number 84.

    I love the bit where the say Pardew "doesn't look like a man daunted by the task"
    I bet he isn't with a 5 and a half year contract to recompense him when he fails. Which he will.
    I think of him in the same list as Dowie, Curbishley, Strachan who do the rounds of the yo-yo clubs like Charlton, Middlesborugh,WestHam.

  • Comment number 85.

    I see Ngog has been at the haribos again.Was it sweeties for lunch again?

  • Comment number 86.

    "Without being disrespectful to Newcastle's fans, they have to be realistic and realise they now need someone who's going to go in there and manage the club. I would just say to them to be patient and give Pardew time because, having worked with him, I regard him as a good manager and a good coach."

    Look, mate, we had a manager. His name was Chris Hughton. We were in the Championship, we won it with ease, now we are mid table. Bearing in mind that awful season the year before last, what Hughton did and was doing for the club was nigh on miraculous. In other circumstances, yes Pardew would be accepted. If we were struggling and Hughton had to go, for example. It is not about NUFC fans being unrealistic. We just don't understand why a good manager doing a great job has been treated so badly and replaced for someone who is clearly a gamble. Gamble being the right word to use if you believe the stories tha Pardew met Ashley in a casino. Mr Ashley has unnecessarily turned the club back into the circus it was when Keegan resigned. It's unfair, and the fans are quite right to be upset about it.

  • Comment number 87.

    Whilst the 'optimism' of NUFC fans often leaves them open to criticism, we all have to acknowledge that their loyalty deserves so much better than it's getting at the moment.

    They have an owner who seems uncomfortable unless he's surrounded by mates of his and seems to have no concept of the fact that continuity is crucial to building long term success at clubs that don't have a bottomless pit of oil revenues. NUFC should be a club that can attract top quality coaches at any time, but Ashley has now reduced them to scrabbling around for Championship quality managers at best.

    Good luck for the rest of the season, under Pardew you're going to need it.

  • Comment number 88.

    At least he won't end up at Wolves if Mick gets the 'vote of confidence'.

  • Comment number 89.

    What a pathetic appointment!
    More experienced in what? A failure everywhere as far as I am concerned.
    I was expecting someone with a real track record in success the way Ashley was talking, oh well they will get on well together, particularly in the casino according to the BBC.

  • Comment number 90.

    I Dunno what the board up at Newcastle are smoking but they ought to swap it for something milder. A Good guy like Chris Hughton couldn't get a contract and here you have an umpteen times loser being given a
    5-1/2 year contract. I Mean there is already enormous resentment at the way Chris H was treated so he hardly has the crowd on his side to kick off with but still if you've got a contract that length, why worry....

  • Comment number 91.

    Firstly, before descending into demographics and population, the comment from Lawrenson was that this was the biggest "city" with one team. North Shields, Gateshead, Washington, Morpeth, Alnwick etc are NOT part of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The population of these places may, to a greater or lesser extent, be part of the where the NUFC support comes from, but that's not what ML said. I'm pretty safe in saying that all clubs, particularly bigger ones, draw fans from further afield than their immediate locus.

    Anyway, back to the main point, here's an observation I raised elsewhere earlier today.

    This is not a dig at NUFC fans (notwithstanding my first football love), but an attempt at a serious viewpoint (whether or not anyone agrees!)

    Real football fans are fiercely loyal, whether it's ManUre (I'm sure they have SOME proper fans!) or Bedlington Rovers. There will always be a hard core of fans who will not be swayed by other teams or ever consider "glory" hunting.

    That, at times, causes problems for clubs in crisis, and my view is that this is exactly what is happening at NUFC now.

    Ashley is not daft, he's a very astute, very successful businessman. He's also not a NUFC fan, so for him, it's purely business, and if in his NUFC adventure, he becomes a Geordie messiah, that's a bonus.

    He clearly took a view last year that it was not worth selling due to the loss he would take, so keep it going. Now, there will be a trigger point for him where it's either losing too much money in terms of cashflow every week, or that it's valuable enough to sell. My view is until either happens, he will be in charge.

    That's where the fans come in. Loyal as they are, they are clearly generating sufficient weekly/monthly cashflow for him to consider that it remains a viable investment. At some point his investment may become valuable enough again to offload, but for that, the club needs sustained success.

    So, whilst the faithful moan, protest, scream and shout about what Ashley is doing to the club, nothing will change whilst he continues to see a good cashflow stream.

    Only when it really starts biting where it hurts, namely Ashley's pocket, will there be change in NUFC.

    You guys could be in for a very depressing view years.

  • Comment number 92.

    By my reckoning, the 5 year contract gives him ample time to achieve Mike Ashley's long term aim. Non-League football derbies between Newcastle and Gateshead.

    http://toonbarmy.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 93.

    I couldn't agree with #10 more. I was thouroughly enjoying the slow and steady rebuilding of the club with a young manager who was learning as he went along and was doing a doing in my opinion a very good job. I doubt we would have won anything anytime soon with him but the club was looking in better shape than it had done for a long time. And now that has all been ripped down and spat upon by our owner for reasons no-one understands and I think that is the hardest part of excepting this, why did Hughton go??

    I for one am done with this regime of Ashley and co. I will keep an eye on results and hope that the team does well but I will not hand over one penny that will end up in ashley's pocket as his only interest in the club is money, money and money.

    I'm done with it.

  • Comment number 94.

    18. At 1:51pm on 09 Dec 2010, U14538189 wrote:

    Roy Chubby Brown isn't a geordie he's a smoggie. But megalolz on everything else though. Funny.

  • Comment number 95.

    What I wonder about is this: I haven't come across anyone in footbal who hasn't commented on what a brilliant job Chris Hughton had done and was doing; and it's hard to see how anyone could. Now, it seems that Alan Pardew socialises with Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias and one must assume they have talked about football and about Newcastle United and about Chris Hughton. So, what has Pardew been saying? Has he been saying 'Chris Hughton is doing a great job'? Because, if Ashley and Llambias have any respect for his opinion then they surely would have kept Hughton. Or has he been saying something else? Exactly how long has he been angling for this job - I note he doesn't try to pretend to any surpriose about it.
    It's hard to escape the obvious conclusion.

  • Comment number 96.

    Well, as an NUFC fan I'm not happy, this is no improvement on Chris Hughton. However, the length of the contract could be a good thing - it could suggest that Mike Ashley is once again going to try and sell, and that he's trying to help a mate screw as much money as possible out of Newcastle when he makes that sale.

    However, it could also mean that Ashleys happy for us to get relegated again, back to where most of Pardews experience is, though hes no good at that level either. He's unlikely to be sacked so it really looks like he'll become our longest serving manager in ages. Seaosn ticket sales next season will interesting.

  • Comment number 97.

    Never mind all that Phil, "Ashley and Pardew" is an anagram of "player hades dawn" so it isn't looking good 'Toon fans!

  • Comment number 98.

    @ 91

    Vinny, youre spot on. All I'd add is that this is the reason Mike Ashley didnt scak CH in the summer. He wanted to make as much money from season ticket sales as possible before doing it. Now fans are tied into their season tickets till the summer, and its silly not to attend somthing you've already paid for.

    Its time for us NUFC fans to stop buying merchandise, stop buying food and drink in the ground, and to stop frequenting Shearers bar. Then next summer, we can all refuse to buy season tickets for next year. Thats the only way we can really hurt him.

  • Comment number 99.

    Got any Werthers originals jacks?

  • Comment number 100.

    "a character to get newcastle, and his own career, back on the straight on narrow"??

    We were on the straight and narrow making solid, steady progress under Hughton. This wasn't a footballing decision, it's Ashley surrounding himself with yes men and his cronies. All the more true when the BBC reports they were in talks 10 days ago.

    Yeah let's get behind a manager that does that? Dont think so

 

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