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Tyne Talk

Alan Pardew Talks Like A Man Who No Longer Has Anything Left To Lose

9 years ago

When Alan Pardew spoke yesterday ahead of the match against Queens Park Rangers, he was full of surprises.

After two and a half years of loyally defending Mike Ashley against any criticism, even in the face overwhelming evidence, the mask has slipped – or been torn off.

The manager and owner are universally believed to have a working relationship like no other in the Premier League. When he was plucked from literally nowhere (out of work after leaving a League One club), Alan Pardew had clearly accepted the responsibilites of his role and the limitations of his powers.

That though all went out the window on Friday as he made clear Ashley was a major factor in Newcastle’s underachievement this season;

“It will be uncomfortable for us both because we have both underachieved. Him (Mike Ashley) as an owner and me as a manager.

We need to find out what the reasons were (for Newcastle’s from this season) and then it is for Mike, hopefully with me, to then decide how we go forward.

We know that we have an uncomfortable conversation regarding our form this season and the underachievement that has been mentioned, plus everything else.

My job is to manage this club with honesty and dignity which I have done; not just with the players but also the press and most importantly, the fans.

Hopefully it will be enough to keep my job.

Mike and I will sit down as soon as we know where we are, which division we’re in, because we don’t know what division yet.

We finished fifth last season and perhaps everybody assumed that we would roll into that sort of season again – we didn’t. Those reasons I shall keep to myself for this time but I have relative views on that. In terms of ‘were we good enough?’ and well we couldn’t have been as this is where we are.”

The timing of Pardew’s change of direction and a willingness to speak more openly, and put blame at his boss’ door, hasn’t been a slip of the tongue – clearly the manager has made a conscious decision to come out with what he did.

I found his words were spoken like somebody who quite literally feels he no longer has anything left to lose by doing so.

To speak like that with safety far from certain ahead of a crucial match, is all very intriguing and unlike Alan Pardew.

In many ways much of what he said could almost have been a speech after a sacking/resignation, give or take a few words.

Rumours always blow around Tyneside but the sacking word has been heard in recent days, whether those rumours have blown the manager’s way is another question.

Alan Pardew was a strange appointment but if we stay up I would then find it an equally, if not more so, strange sacking. He had a steady first (half) season, an outstanding second one and a very poor third one, though he has helped to bring together a nucleus of what are generally agreed to be very good players who could be very capable of bouncing back next season.

Plus as Alan Pardew has mentioned (once or twice!!), Newcastle have suffered with injuries and to a degree being affected by Europe. As well as of course the shocking decision not to strengthen last summer.

Anybody believing that the unknown is guaranteed to be better than what we have currently got, obviously hasn’t supported Newcastle United for very long.

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