Alan Pardew – From ‘Yes’ Man to Best Man

When Alan Pardew was appointed as Chris Hughton’s replacement, eyebrows were raised. The majority of supporters saw him as little more than Chairman Mike Ashley’s puppet, a ‘yes’ man, whilst Ashley and MD Derek Llambias continued their reign of the club amidst mass outcry from Newcastle United’s fan base.

Yet 17 months later he has transformed the hopes of Tyneside and taken the club back into Europe, and today it was announced that he has deservedly been named as Barclay’s Manager of the Season – undoubtedly his greatest achievement as a manager.

With 19 wins, 8 draws and 10 defeats, Pardew has taken a team who just two years ago were winning promotion from the Championship to fighting for a Champions League place against some of the nation’s best teams.

Chris Hughton was sacked following a poor run of results ahead of the Christmas period and many, admittedly myself included, questioned Pardew’s appointment. But his track record as a manager and player in the lower leagues was impressive – winning the Second Division with Crystal Palace in 1989, taking Reading to second in the same league in 2002, plus earning West Ham promotion and an FA Cup Final appearance in 2005 and 2006.

After finishing 12th in the Premier League, after a final day collapse against West Brom which cost the Magpies 10th place, fans were ready to give Pardew the benefit of the doubt ahead of his first full season in charge – that is until the club lost three of its most important players.

After Andy Carroll was sold to Liverpool in January, and a replacement yet to be found, many people including players were questioning the ambition of the manager and the club.

Joey Barton and Jose Enrique took to Twitter to show their views and were promptly shown the exit door, while Kevin Nolan was sold to West Ham after contract talks broke down at Newcastle.

However, Pardew’s transfer policy in the Summer included a number of shrewd signings including Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Davide Santon to name a few.

The aforementioned have now turned into first names on the team sheet and Ba has scored 16 goals in a season which saw Newcastle play their first 11 games without defeat – eventually falling to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in November – the club’s best start to a season for 17 years.

The Magpies hadn’t dropped below eighth place in the league this season, and January signing Papiss Demba Cisse can also be thanked for their run of form which has seen them take Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur to the final day of the league in the battle for Champion’s League football.

Cisse’s incredible run of 13 goals in 13 games also coincided with Newcastle on their best winning run since 1996 – six consecutive victories.

It’s difficult not to wax lyrical about a manager who has turned the fortunes of this club around. We were seen as the laughing stock of the Premier League following a number of failed signings, relegation, Dennis Wise and Joe Kinnear.

The club’s run of form has even seen fans starting to back Mike Ashley for the first time since he took over as owner in 2007.

No matter the result on Sunday, and which European competition Newcastle play in, fans can once again take pride in the club knowing that they have the Best Manager in the League at the helm.


mactoon 5pts

Good call but I don't think they want players they need money hence the fee and the reason why no exchange deal will work

Artie Fufkin
Artie Fufkin 5pts

Good piece, Villa have signed a striker today and is likely to get Adebeyor too. Austin may not have as many options as he hoped. 

ArtyH 5pts

£10m cash and take your pick from Williamson, Gouffran, Abeid, or Obertan , can't get fairer than that, take it or leave it, answer by next Saturday.

mactoon 5pts

Following his shoulder injury (dislocation which is highly fixable) in September 2010 he went on to score 17 in 27 games during 2010/11

In 2013 he failed a medical due to issues with his knee which haven't affected him before it happened or since. Before the Feb 2015 fixture between Hull and QPR Steve Bruce admitted he made a huge mistake in not signing him as he too had failed a medical due to a knee injury but still got signed by Man U without any more problems. Austin went on to score 20 in 31 games during 13/14 and 18 in 35 during 14/15

Do the board have injury concerns or are they predictably using it as an excuse to get a lower price?

Just pay the damn £15 million for a proven goalscorer with huge potential.

v0ices 5pts

@mactoon and add a pl experienced cb too, does not have to be a world beater solid and reliable will do.

mactoon 5pts

@v0ices @mactoon  definately. Willo, Collo and Taylor are just not good enough and we need a proven CB to raise the bar to make them fight for a place, historically all three have been woeful due to the lack of competition and if we buy a proven CB to play alongside Mbemba these three will be on the bench at best. Too long have we had players lacking the quality required playing because of the squad lacking the quality required.

Mal44 5pts

I'm with the posters below who are saying CB is the priority. It's very quiet and calm on that front; hopefully Charnley is paddling like hell under the surface.

yeahweekes 5pts

Its actually really clever business from Cashley to be fair. Austin's contract expires in a year, meaning that he would leave for free.... which would be a disaster for QPR.... they will be forced to let him go for around £10m or less if we can hold out for the last few days of the window..... 

1957 5pts

With the current contractual situation he's not worth £15m, he's good but not an exceptional player that would command that fee with only a years contract left. I also agree the first club to blink and offer the reported fee will be kept waiting in case a better offer comes in, by QPR and Austin.

For me spend the money on defenders, we are in greater need of not conceding than scoring, at the moment whatever we score the opposition can get the same or one more.

wor monga
wor monga 5pts

Good read, and shows exactly why clubs can’t just go in waving the price QPR have put on him as a benchmark, and the deal will be done…I think this will go on until late in the window, and possibly any action held off until an offer can be made that is too late in the day for QPR/Austin to knock it back, and also too late for any other club to come in and trump it… 

...If any interested party threw in the £15m now it would just raise the bar.

...Don’t know how much faith can be placed on the injury history…seeing as he got through 36 games last season, and that’s generally a good guide to show that there’s no recurring damage!!

DownUnderMag 5pts

I don't see any other clubs lining up to pay that fee either.  I suspect a deal could be done closer to the window closing and with Mitrovic on board already and no sign of Cisse leaving just yet, Newcastle can actually play hard ball on this one.

What is more concerning is the lack of apparent activity on any more defenders.  If the heirarchy think what we currently have will be good enough then we are in for another long season, unless Colo finds form again and Mbemba turns out to be the next big thing in centre halves.

IainElrick 5pts

He's 12mil max if he wasn't British he's be around 9mil

Dubaiexpat 5pts

I think the fact that no club has met the 15m valuation tells you it's not just NUFC who think he is overpriced.

There are clearly genuine concerns overs his medical fitness and personally I think we're right to be cautious with this one. 

Would I want him at St James - absolutely. Would I pay 15million for him - not so sure. 

Personally think we have more pressing priorities in defence.