Well, a lot happened this last week; great comeback and win but then Alan Pardew doesn’t turn up for the after match press conference.
John Carver stated that he was asked, last minute, by Pardew to take over the duties and my first thought was that he may have been desperate for the bog, but, over the last few days we have seen that that was not the case. Pardew may very well have gone to the netty, but that wasn’t the main issue.
I was prepared to give him a chance when he first came, whereas many ‘fans’ disliked him for numerous reasons: being a cockney; being a cockney; and mainly, for being a cockney.
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Following consolidation and the sale of our main striker, Andy Carroll, Pardew got us up to 5th the following season and we found ourselves in Europe. Some say it was luck, for whatever reason they want to believe, but I for one enjoyed a great season.
We had some great matches, especially wins against Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool and a fabulous comeback draw against Arsenal. Pardew also has picked up Manager of the Season and has recently won Manager of the Month again.
It’s not all been plain sailing, though, far from it, and many have thrown statistics to prove various points. The main statistics being many losses and, most especially, very bad form in the second half of last season. The bigger picture is mostly ignored though.
Players have been sold from under Pardew’s rug and not been replaced. We’ve never really replaced Demba Ba and Cisse has had injuries and some poor form to contend with. The player that he built the whole team around, Yohan Cabaye, was sold to PSG and has not really been replaced. It was hoped that Cabella would fill that role, but he’s yet to find his feet, the ball or the net, only showing a small glimmer of what may be.
We played some great passing football, with pace, when we finished 5th, but Ashley refused to build on that, despite more matches in Europe making the season ahead much harder and the pleas for reinforcements and another striker, central midfielder etc. etc. fell on deaf ears. This refusal to part with any cash, plus injuries, meant that we struggled in that season. Anyone would have struggled and we’re not the only team to fall foul of reaching the Europa League without the resources of the big boys.
Last season, we relied on a loan striker who didn’t want to be here and the team was built around Cabaye. We were bound to struggle when he left. Pardew kept his mouth shut and didn’t publicly call Ashley. He was slagged off for it, but how many managers do you see calling or denouncing their chairmen/owners and actually keeping their jobs?
Ashley was obviously calling the shots when it came to cup games, telling Pardew that consolidation in the league and a better form of income, from not getting relegated, was the way to go. His hands have been tied. Some fans slag off his tactics or lack of them, but Pardew is seen by his peers as a top coach.
I was embarrassed to see some of the personal vitriol that was thrown at Pardew in the last year. It was from a minority of fans, but a very vocal minority. Any show of support for him or the team led to trolling and personal remarks made to whoever supported the team at these times. Dark days and the press had a field day with it. They always do.
This has to be a major reason for him wanting to go. Who wouldn’t. He’s kept his head held high throughout it all and the team showed support and we had some great wins as a result. I reckon that the great form of Ayoze Perez is, partially, a reason for Pardew leaving now.
We all know how it works. We’ve craved a striker for ages now and Ashley will be saying that he’s not giving anymore cash for a striker, when we have Perez. Cue Pardew tearing his hair out. Add to that the probable scenario of being told that Sissoko is available for sale, with no replacement, as De Jong will be due back soon. Final straw? It would have been for many managers and I think he’s had enough. The fact that he’s played for Palace and is revered in comparison to how he is regarded up here, his family live down that way and he’s supposedly going to have his wages doubled, are more reasons for him to think that he’d be daft not to leave.
Next, is the question of who comes in to replace him. Many have been mentioned. I reckon Carver will be given the job, to continue with everything that’s already in place, not have to pay a new manager top dollar, or pay compensation to a club if any idiot decides that he’d like the challenge of coming here. Business same as usual!
I hope Ashley disappears to Rangers and leaves us to start afresh, but I hope he doesn’t appoint Kinnear or Sherwood, McCoist etc., who have no Premier League pedigree. We are a laughing stock once again and he doesn’t care. We do though!
The likes of Mourinho and Pellegrini constantly go on about how great they are, but I reckon my guinea pigs could do a similar job at their respective clubs, with the money they have to spend. I’d have more respect for their type if they came here and actually turned the club around with the same resources that Pardew has had to work with. Of course, they won’t and will continue to tell the world that they are hard done by.
Best wishes to all Mags across the globe and here’s to a brighter black ‘n’ white future. We can only dream…..again!