Does Mike Ashley Fancy A Different Premier League Manager Of The Year?
Alan Pardew, it has been suggested in some sections of the press, has the next two games to save his job.
Now we’ve all heard this before and as improbable as it seems we can but hope, but will this necessarily lead to better times?
Who could we realistically expect to take charge if this were indeed to happen?
Firstly, and most importantly, from Ashley’s point of view Pulis is out of work and no compensation therefore would be required.
Secondly, last season when Pulis was first linked to the job, I read a great comment somebody posted, stating that he would be the perfect fit as he already dresses in SD clothes.
But how good an appointment would this be?
Back when he was at Stoke I think it’s safe to say most of us wouldn’t have tolerated it, with that brutal, negative side he shaped. However, you have to admire what he did at Palace as they looked dead and buried before he took the helm.
He is last season’s Premier League Manager of the year, although we do have one of those ourselves already.
This raises questions of comparison, could Pardew have kept that Palace side afloat? Not on his run of results stretching back to the beginning of this year, is the resounding answer.
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Although not finishing as high as 5th, Pulis did qualify for European football (at Stoke…via Cup Final!) with a team less skilfully blessed than ours.
You would reasonably guess Ashley would bring in a manager currently unemployed, so who else is out here?
David Moyes is another who could be brought in on a free and allegedly a man Ashley has tried to recruit on a number of occasions.
How scarred he is after his time as the chosen one remains to be seen. He was on a hiding to nothing but you can imagine he has a massive point to prove now.
Like Pulis he’s not renowned for flair but would surely sort out the defence and be more tactically aware. Moyes has also overseen many young talents rise through the ranks at Goodison and ours would certainly be in safer hands with him.
Roberto Di Matteo, another pick Ashley could choose from the bargain bin.
He has been out of the game for a while now but worth a go?
At Chelsea he won both the Champions League and FA Cup; he could also give us that bit of flair once more. Harshly sacked by Chelsea and WBA where he had built an attractive side that finished second only to us in the Championship in 2010.
Of course you have to remember he finished second to Chris Hughton that season. Would he be tempted back? Probably not after the way he was treat, that is even if he was to be in the frame.
The last of our dignity also left with that fine man. How he steadied the ship and guided us back, storming the Championship, should never be forgotten.
Michael Laudrup up until recently was another bargain bin possibility but that can now be struck off the list, having been lured off to Qatar for the sun and the shekels presumably.
But Ashley doesn’t seem to follow logic when it comes to Newcastle United and there are also other freebie managers out there that he could turn to, that wouldn’t have such positive consequences.
God forbid it, and hopefully Ashley has finally seen the light regarding him, but there is still the nightmarish spectre of Joe Kinnear lurking in the shadows.
So the sacking of Pardew might not necessarily lead to improvement.
Ashley also has the option of promoting from within, with a Carver/ Beardsley team a possibility too. John and Peter are both local lads and know the club inside out but a step in the right direction?
The biggest stumbling block for any potential candidate would be whether they could be prepared to work under the restraints that Ashley would undoubtedly apply.
Ashley needs a yes man who can take his flak for having zero ambition at the club he owns; only Premier League survival is required.
Moyes or Pulis would virtually guarantee this for Ashley but would they bargain their souls to make such a pact?
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