As Alan Pardew traipsed down the tunnel after suffering yet another defeat as Newcastle United manager, the camera turned to the club’s owner Mike Ashley. The billionaire puffed o
As Alan Pardew traipsed down the tunnel after suffering yet another defeat as Newcastle United manager, the camera turned to the club’s owner Mike Ashley. The billionaire puffed out his cheeks, as if frustrated that Alan Pardew had let him down again – another lifeline wasted.
He got out of his seat and seemed to say something to managing director Lee Charnley which for many watching signalled the end of Alan Pardew’s tenure.
Alan Pardew no doubt thought it was over.
His post-match interviews were less arrogant and brash as usual, he looked like a man resigned to losing his job.
But of course this is Newcastle United we’re talking about. The simple thing is never the done thing at St James Park and especially not by Mike Ashley. The cynic would say that Mr Ashley knew the Sky Sports cameras were watching his every move and the apparent “that’s it, yeah he’s gone” his lips muttered as he took to the stairs at full time were for the viewing audience.
Much like his chance interview with an Independent journalist last week where he reportedly said Alan Pardew was “dead” should his side lose to Stoke City, it was a joke.
A good laugh at the fan’s expense.
A day later and the UK’s media with its seemingly abundant amount of sources at the club which hates journalists have reported that Alan Pardew is safe even if the Magpies lose to Swansea this Saturday.
Gambling with the club’s Premier League status
It’s a gamble, a huge gamble propped up by Mike Ashley’s stubbornness to admit his own mistakes. Does Mike Ashley honestly believe in Alan Pardew? I’m not too sure.
He’s probably more aware that sacking him firstly means he’d have to admit in the view of the world’s media that he was wrong to give Pardew such a long contract and secondly, hand over at least one-million pounds in severance payment.
But this is a gamble like Mr Ashley has never played before. If the Sports Direct tycoon is hoping that a first Premier League win this Saturday against Swansea, the first win in nine games since a 3-0 victory over relegated Cardiff City, will calm the storm then he is much mistaken.
The stats which have been well trodden over the last month: 10 defeats in the last 14 Premier League games, five wins since Boxing Day 2013 and failure to win away in 18 games, all suggest that this is much more than a one victory solution.
The problem is much deeper than both Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew would like to admit. The owner failed to properly back the manager in the transfer window – failing to secure the striker and centre-back needed and the gaffer, he’s allowed his personal feelings (or failings) to force out two of the club’s best players and has failed to change an ineffective formation.
Both have made mistakes and while Mike Ashley is here for the long run, the short term is alarming. Alan Pardew has lost the fans and degraded some great players to second rate performers. Fabricio Coloccini and Cheick Tiote are shadows of their former selves while Pardew has also failed to see the simplest of things.
Things like Remy Cabella out wide and Emmanuel Rivière up front by himself simply doesn’t work, yet he persists with his 4-2-1-1 formation.
Time for a change
A victory against Swansea City won’t solve these problems, the lack of leadership and creativity on the pitch, will take more than a victory. The club needs new ideas, new direction and a new manager.
It’s another must win game for Alan Pardew on Saturday, yet another to add to the list which arguably could number to seven or eight fixtures where his job has been on the line in the last 18 months.
And Alan Pardew might get the victory, his time might even dominate but the reality is that even a thumping of Swansea City won’t fix the issue and won’t even brush it under the carpet.
What do you think? What does the future hold for Alan Pardew? Have your say in the comments section below.