It is true in life that you can’t please everyone all of the time and that seems to be true with Alan Pardew to some Newcastle United fans. He has done a remarkable job in the time he has been in charge of the club, from the loss of key players and working on a shoe-string budget to build a side that is challenging for a European place. The late equaliser from Shola Ameobi in the Tyne-Wear Derby ensured that the Toon pride remains intact for another season, but it wasn’t enough to prevent some fans uttering nonsense that Alan Pardew is not the right man to take the team forward.
While most sensible fans will look at the league position of the team and think this is a great achievement considering the transformation of fortunes since relegation 2 years ago, others feel that Pardew has reached his maximum and should be replaced. It is a ludicrous notion to dismiss Alan Pardew’s influence on the performances of the team this season and the way the club has handled itself off the field in a professional and sensible manner. It has been a long time since the club had the stability, where everyone from the fans to the owner are pulling in the same direction.
Fans who feel that Pardew is not the right man to take the club forward should look no further than departing Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas. He was brought in at great expense and was given less than 12 months in charge, as Chelsea’s ageing team has struggled this season, much to the disillusionment of trigger-happy owner Roman Abramovich. While there isn’t a comparison to be had in terms of transfer budget, both mangers have one thing in common – that their respective clubs have a track record for dispensing of managers far too quickly.
This shows that bad judgement can be detrimental to a team and with Chelsea only two points ahead of us going into the final eleven games of this season, us sticking together and getting behind Alan Pardew could see us leapfrog them by the time the final whistle blows on this season. While our recent performances could have been better and it is only fair that every Newcastle fan can have their own opinion of Pardew, his tactics and his substitutions, I personally feel that he has given us, the fans, a team to be proud of who are working towards the unimaginable goal two seasons ago of European football.
While bringing in a manager with proven credentials would require Ashley to have an open cheque book, which is something that will not happen any time soon especially with the FIFA Fair Play rules coming into effect shortly, big money buys don’t always mean big rewards; a fine example is Fernando Torres. Spending wisely and within our means is something that Newcastle United are doing to great effect, unearthing hidden gems such as Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote and Demba Ba to name but a few examples of how we have changed as a club for the better.
This is Alan Pardew’s first full season in charge, he has brought in his own players and if he should be judged on results then fans should wait until the end of season. He will make mistakes but it’s a learning curve that in the long term will benefit our club once he has had a full season to work out his best team. A top 10 finish at the beginning of the season was the aim and while it would be disappointing to miss out on Europe this season, it also shows how well Pardew has done that we would be frustrated at missing out. Alan Pardew has done a fantastic job and I feel that we would be hard pushed to find a manager who could have done a better job under the circumstances that he found himself in.
Here’s to a positive final flourish and a European place next season.
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