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Alan Pardew picks up ‘2014 Person Of The Year’ award

6 years ago
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When journalists outside the north east write about Newcastle United or the fans, there is a perception that 99% of the time it is being done via malice or ignorance – so great to see this excellent piece on Alan Pardew.

Or more often than not, a combination of the two.

So a refreshing change to see something a bit different today from Nick Miller at the excellent football365.com

Inspired by Time Magazine and their renowned choice each 12 months of a ‘person of the year’, Miller has picked his own.

While Time Magazine make their choice based on which human that has had the biggest impact on the world, good or bad, Nick Miller has chosen the most interesting and important figure in football in 2014.

Explaining his choice, Nick Miller;

Pards of course kicked off the year in flamboyant fashion, instructing Manuel Pellegrini ‘shut your noise you f***ing old c**t’, which would have been a solid gold slice of excellence even if the Chilean wasn’t only eight years Pardew’s senior. Which, of course, he is.

A few months later, as the defeats and the pressure piled up, he stuck a nut on David Meyler, the result of an argument over a throw-in, which is about as close to performance art as football gets. In a World Cup summer one would think May-August would not leave much room for a mere club manager to take the spotlight, but that reckons without Pards, who “paid tribute” to himself after the signing Remy Cabella.

He then entered the season with aplomb, and by ‘aplomb’ we do of course mean ‘not winning many games at all’: one, in fact, from Newcastle’s first nine matches, and that was against Gillingham. And herein lies the real reason Pardew is so entertaining; it’s because he’s a bit like one of those players who bumbles around the pitch for 88 minutes, then does something implausibly brilliant that makes everyone watching check their coffee for a hallucinogen, like a tramp in a rubbish comedy film. The Marlon Harewood Conundrum, as anthropologists have come to know it.

For most of the time he looks like the bluffer’s bluffer, a chancer who got his job thanks to bonhomie around the poker table and has kept it because his boss is seemingly on a one-man mission to deliberately annoy thousands of Geordies.

Then he goes on a six-game winning streak and you think, actually, he might have something this lad, isn’t someone who did the right thing by accident for a while and, like a silver-haired stopped-clock, achieved momentary success. But that’s immediately followed by a universe-balancing one win in six, that win being, obviously, for this is Pards, against Chelsea. Just enough success to feed his ego, not enough to convince most that he isn’t a hugely entertaining fraud.

Kudos, incidentally, to those Newcastle fans who staunchly stuck to their ‘Pardew out’ stance during their run of victories, rather than decimating their own and their family’s dignity by daubing ‘Back from the dead’ on a bedsheet and taking it to the ground. In this time of short-termism and transience, it’s good to see some people stick to their principles.

And then the excuses. Oh, the excuses. You’ll probably be familiar with them, but if not they’ve been helpfully collated on the internet, but should you not wish to leave Football365 even for a moment, Pardew has at various points blamed for Newcastle’s woes; fans being too loud, fans being too quiet, social media, the Europa League, the length of grass, the Notting Hill Carnival, agents, young players and the nation of Senegal. Among others.

It’s not really a surprise that when things go wrong Pards cracks out the Excuse-O-Matic-Distractionator, because obviously it can’t be because of him. Pardew is a man so consumed by his self-regard that it probably doesn’t really occur to him that any of this might be his fault: he must think ‘Well, this can’t be because of me, because I’m awesome. What dark forces are at work this time?’ Maddening for supporters of the team he’s managing, terrific for the rest of us.

And, after all of this, if you still don’t think Pardew belongs on the cover of a worldwide publication, observe how he motivates his players. Truly, quite the human being.

So here’s to Alan Scott Pardew, Profile365’s Person of the Year, 2014. If he is to retain his crown for next year, it’s going to be quite the 12 months ahead.

To read the full excellent piece by Nick Miller go here.

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