It’s fair to say Alan Pardew wasn’t exactly the most popular of appointments when he was announced as the successor to Chris Hughton’s Newcastle throne in early December 2010.
The Geordie nation, still seething following Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias’ decision to dump the likeable Hughton, made their feelings perfectly clear when it came to voting who they wanted as the club’s fifth manager in three years. Interestingly Martin O’Neill topped a poll initiated by local newspaper the Evening Chronicle gaining 42.3 per cent of the final votes. Pardew received a measly 1.8 per cent.
Fast forward 17-months to the present day and O’Neill is at the reins of North East rivals Sunderland whilst Pardew has led the Magpies into European competition for the first time in six-years. There’s even talk of the Champions League making a return to Tyneside. With the club destined for a top five finish and Pardew altering initial perceptions the Toon Army have willingly tucked into a substantial batch of humble pies this season.
But what has the 50-year-old, formerly manager of Reading, West Ham and Southampton, done to be dubbed the best Toon boss since Sir Bobby Robson? Replacing Hughton, who had steered Newcastle back into the Premier League following relegation, was never going to be an easy feat but Pardew has slowly but surely won over the Geordie nation with a mix of charisma and passion on the touchline. Delving deeper his formula for success has instigated the rebirth of a fallen football giant.
1: Harmonising the dressing room
If there is one thing a Newcastle dressing room hasn’t been short of over the years it’s egos. In the summer the task of flushing those influential figures out of the dressing room left Pardew in a compromising position. Kevin Nolan, Jose Enrique and Joey Barton were all popular with supporters and perceived rulers off the field.
Pardew sought to make them a distant memory and remove the potential for disruption in his aim to unite the squad. Despite initial reservations from the black and white clad figures in the stands the Magpies boss has seemingly pulled off a master stroke. In the face of a legion of doubters he’s brought the dressing room together embedding an ‘all for one and one for all’ philosophy into the players’ minds. There’s now an unwavering work ethic and willingness to fight for one another. It’s a characteristic that has been absent from the club for a long while. The players are all finely tuned towards a collective goal putting their personal ambitions aside to bring success to Tyneside.