It is all a bit surreal watching Alan Pardew from afar these days.
When he was at St James Park, the 24/7 exposure to his management and behaviour meant it all became a blur of nonsense and excuses much of the time.
Now he is at Crystal Palace, it is easier to dip in and out of what he is up to, both the bad and indeed the good.
Alan Pardew has done a pretty good job at Palace, getting the backing of his club’s owners and then convincing the likes of Yohan Cabaye to join a squad that features some very good quick young players, along with some solid defenders that he inherited.
However, every so often the cracks appear and we see the Alan Pardew we came to know and ‘love’ at Newcastle, making outrageous comments/excuses that the journalists never properly questioned/question.
A blind spot for Pardew has been strikers at Selhurst Park, the club still haven’t really got one worthy of the name and they allowed the manager to waste a good chunk of cash on Connor Wickham from the mackems.
The good times have stalled at Palace with no goals in the last four Premier League matches and an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to Villa in their last game.
Alan Pardew has now admitted that he is considering a move for Emmanuel Adebayor, the wayward striker who hasn’t been able to find a club since Spurs binned him in the summer.
Talking about the possibility of signing a player who most clubs wouldn’t now touch with a bargepole, Pardew said ‘I have had difficult players before, none more difficult than Hatem Ben Arfa at Newcastle. If I can deal with him, I can deal with Adebayor for sure…’
Yes we all saw how Alan Pardew dealt with Hatem Ben Arfa at Newcastle United.
A talented player that Pardew bought at Newcastle for a decent fee and on big wages, he didn’t have a clue how to manage him.
Regularly dropping him, very publicly criticising him, often using him as a scapegoat to cover his own deficiencies, lambasting Newcastle’s most talented player for not defending better when he should have been encouraging him to use his talents in the best way possible…and playing the likes of Yoan Gouffran, Gabriel Obertan and Sammy Ameobi ahead of him.
Then forcing him out of the club, with Mike Ashley paying him off and the club receiving no fee.
Yes, Alan Pardew really showed us how he can handle a player like Hatem Ben Arfa…or Emmanuel Adebayor.
Newcastle fans had never seen such a clever handling of a player since Graeme Souness came in and made it his business to go to war with Craig Bellamy, arguably our most talented and effective player at the time. The striker eventually leaving on loan and then a cut price £4m permanent deal.
Alan Pardew on Emmanuel Adebayor/Hatem Ben Arfa:
“Now Adebayor is a player who is there for somebody and it is a question of ourselves wondering whether we are the right club for him is and he is the right player for us.
“Although we are in a little negative period of results, two or three wins and we would be really kicking ourselves if we didn’t strengthen.”
“Whenever he has played against me he has been totally committed and he’s a dangerous world player. You have only got to look at his clubs. For whatever reason there has been a fall-out at Spurs but he remains a player that can have great impact and would improve us.
“And I have had difficult players before, none more difficult than Hatem Ben Arfa at Newcastle. If I can deal with him, I can deal with Adebayor for sure…”