Following Chris Hughton’s sacking there were doubts early on when Alan Pardew was rolled out as his replacement. These mainly revolved around a perception that he could/would be a ‘yes’ man for Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias.

This season I don’t think I have heard anybody who doesn’t think Pardew is doing a good job in very difficult circumstances. Though since the final whistle at Carrow Road I have heard one or two supporters voicing concerns, which mostly concern what is (or isn’t) going to happen in the January transfer market.

What everybody sees clearly is that at Newcastle United the manager doesn’t have the final say on transfers in or out. This isn’t a unique situation as it also happens at many continental clubs plus some nearer home, such as Chelsea.

What this does mean though is that if a manager doesn’t have the final say, what happens if key players are sold against his will?

I can’t believe that in the summer Alan Pardew wouldn’t have wanted at least three more players; a striker, centre-back and either another full-back or winger. Still having to rely on people like Perch and Lovenkrands has clearly contributed to recent results, while Ryan Taylor playing well above himself has dug the team/squad out of that little hole in the short-term.

I don’t think Pardew could have got more out of this group of players this season, personally I wouldn’t have played Lovenkrands in any game whatever the circumstances but there again I wouldn’t have given Ryan Taylor house room and while he has struggled against decent players one on one, he has arguably won us maybe 4-6 points so far.

In January though things will really come to a head as we wait and see what moves Mike Ashley makes in terms of ‘backing’ the manager.

Ba and Tiote (whether fit or not) will be missing for up to half a dozen matches on international duty, which on top of the missing Steven Taylor makes things very tricky, never mind any other injuries.

Having to struggle through until the end of January with a depleted squad might not be fatal if players are brought in to enable the team to have a real go from February onwards. However, if Pardew is left with whoever is still standing then this season could have been totally thrown away.

We can’t ignore either the possibility (as it has happened several times – Given, Carroll, Milner) that a key player such as Krul, Tiote or Coloccini will be sold at the worst possible time, the question for many is what would Alan Pardew then do?

I didn’t blame Kevin Keegan for walking as he had clearly been undermined but the harsh reality for me is that if he had stayed I don’t think for one minute the team would have been relegated. Whether KK papering over the cracks for one more season would have been for the long-term health of Newcastle United is another matter.

Alan Pardew deserves the support of both the fans AND Mike Ashley for what he has achieved this season.

Whether he gets that backing from the owner remains to be see but if he is undermined he will definitely still have my support whatever he decides, I hope and trust he has yours too?

  • Ruts

    Alan is doing a superb job this season getting every inch out of the players at his disposal..The man does need backing in Jan with 2 players (CB & CF) required to continue the progress..He wasnt my choice when he came but he has proved me and everyone else that he is an outstanding manager and coach. Tactically outstanding, his motivational skills are up there with the best. In my opinion, no other manager would have given us better results with this group, this season. He has earned my trust and full backing..A top 7 finish would be testament to him

  • Anonymous

    Whether Pardew is doing a good job or not ..misses the crucial point by a country mile . Just like Hughton before him .. if Pardew ever stands up to the powers that be ..he will find himself out of a job faster than a rabbit replicates . Of course ..he wont ..he is already making noises about Tiote leaving in January ..i think that process is called softening up . Fans will have their own opinions as to how many players we need to perhaps have a stab at getting European football by the end of this season …but Ashley marches to a different drum as they say .

  • January will tells us a great deal about Ashley’s stance and what Pardew can get from him. At this stage credit where credits due, Pardew has surpassed what I expected. Who would have thought we would be where we are right now(whether we have played the big guns or not!) you can only beat what is put in front of you. I know with lots of “if” you can kid yourself but with our first 11 I reckon we could realistically expect to be 7th. January needs to bring players to provide strength in depth( too many on the bench are Championship material)

  • Anonymous

    Pardew has a done a cracking job considering who he has to work for, and I think we will probably lose cabaye and tiote in january, but surely he cant be as stupid as to let colo go now, or krul for that matter, but with harps being recalled from loan, everything thing that happens now I treat with suspicion cause were ony one greedy idiot away from a very bad decision