You might have noticed the odd mention this week that Alan Pardew won’t be patrolling the touchline at Craven Cottage this afternoon.
All kinds of theories have been reported of how the manager is still going to be able to have contact and influence things from afar.
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All of this has been reported without actually having a look at whether Alan Pardew actually being on the spot during matches has any kind of effect. Or rather, any kind of ‘positive’ effect?
I would suggest that the manager has three main roles to perform for each match.
The first one being getting the players doing their thing in training and making sure the team are mentally & physically prepared for the next match.
The second bit then being the selection of the starting eleven and explaining what he wants them to do.
Then finally, making tactical changes during matches, telling players what they should do differently, plus of course substitutions.
Leaving aside those first two parts as Alan Pardew can still do them for matches such as today at Fulham, what about the third one?
During the game from first whistle to last whistle, what effect has Alan Pardew had on his players?
Well the most telling thing must be what happens when your team falls behind, what does your manager do to get you back into the match.
In fourteen matches this season Newcastle have fallen behind and these are the final outcomes of those matches;
0-4 Manchester City (A)
2-3 Hull (H)
2-3 Everton (A)
1-2 Mackems (A)
0-2 Man City (H) – Cup
0-3 Swansea (A)
5-1 Stoke (H)
0-1 Arsenal (H)
0-1 West Brom (A)
1-2 Cardiff (H) – Cup
0-2 Man City (H)
0-3 Mackems (H)
0-3 Chelsea (A)
0-4 Spurs (H)
Yes, in the fourteen matches where Newcastle went behind this season we lost thirteen of them, while in the one we won the referee gifted us two penalties and two players sent off!
So I ask the question, what exactly will we be losing by not having Alan Pardew inside Craven Cottage?
I would go further and block all mobiule signals in the vicinity and even cut the phone lines so Pards can’t get on the blower and influence John Carver.
Believe me, during the match today surely we can’t do any worse than letting Carver do his own thing for once.