Interesting article on The Mag on Saturday, outlining how Newcastle United had been well and truly Pardewed.
That piece basically just related the facts, what position Crystal Palace and Newcastle United were in before Alan Pardew jumped clubs, and what has happened since.
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The bare facts show that after Pardew’s last NUFC match against Everton on 28 December, Newcastle had 26 points and Palace had 16.
Then 11 matches later Newcastle have 35 points and Palace have 36.
There is no doubt that Crystal Palace have performed well over those 11 games and Pardew deserves to share the credit, though it doesn’t exactly tell the whole story.
The real tale is one of two very different clubs and what is happening within them.
Palace looked to bring in a manager who they obviously believed could help drag them out of relegation trouble but just as importnatly, they saw him as part of an overall jigsaw that could take the club forward.
The mood at Palace is buoyant with an owner, manager, players and fans all pulling together in the same direction.
At Newcastle….this isn’t the case.
Mike Ashley’s reaction to Pardew leaving was to let things drift for a month before giving the job to John Carver, to the astonishment of a fanbase who had been told there was a worldwide search for a new manager/head coach.
The opportunity for a new man to give everybody a lift at United with ideas of ambition and a new way of doing things was wasted.
In the transfer market, Palace backed Alan Pardew with six new January signings: Jordan Mutch, Pape Souare, Shola Ameobi, Wilfried Zaha, Keshi Anderson and Lee Chung-Yong.
Mike Ashley sold two international defenders in Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Davide Santon and brought nobody in.
The net result being Newcastle having to play a midfielder at full-back and a full-back at centre-half.
Whilst Palace is a club pulling together, Newcastle Uniuted is a club being pulled apart.
The reason Crystal Palace are now above Newcastle is at least as much, if not more, about the circus at St. James’ Park.
Winning every other game would have seen United comfortably clear of Palace, though of course it sums up how hopeless the situation is at Newcastle when we are even talking about where we’re at compared to the team from Selhurst Park.