Just in case you haven’t heard of the ‘Secret Footballer’, as a player in the Premier League he wondered whether people would be interested in knowing what life is really like inside football.
A weekly anonymous column in The Guardian was a massive success and then followed up with two acclaimed best seller books, get hold of them if you can because they are a cracking read and give a great insight into what goes on. Many guesses have been made as to his identity but still the public don’t know who he is.
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Following the Pardew debacle at Hull, the Secret Footballer has written a great piece on the Newcastle manager’s character and has an intriguing overview of the Ashley and Pardew relationship.
The full piece can be read at Teamtalk but here are the edited highlights;
‘I don’t know what was going through Alan Pardew’s mind when he squared up to David Meyler….bad enough seeing players squaring up to another.
Regardless of how soft the headbutt may have been, what Pardew did was a disgrace.
Pardew’s biggest problem, as I have written before, is that he has a massive ego and doesn’t take kindly when he feels he’s been shown up…as when a player bundles him out of the way to retrieve the ball. His ego won’t allow him to be portrayed as a pushover and, in some cases, that probably serves him well. In the wrong situation though, it is a bomb waiting to go off.
Newcastle acted quickly following the incident, fining Pardew £100,000, but quite a few people…surprised the fifty two year old held on to his job.
It’s been alleged in the past that Pardew and Ashley have a financial arrangement away from football that involves substantial monies owed by the former to the latter, claims strenuously denied by Pardew, but it’s again been suggested to me several times over the past week that the relationship between the pair is linked to more than on-field success.
It would certainly explain why, even when Newcastle are performing woefully on the pitch, there is never anything to be read about a potential successor to Pardew. Make of it all, amid the claim and counter-claim, what you will…’