When Alan Pardew moved to Selhurst Park from St James Park, Newcastle fans were quick to warn Palace fans of what to expect.
They scoffed at the warnings, welcoming their former cult hero player with open arms, accusing Newcastle supporters of being clueless, ungrateful, bitter etc etc.
Amusingly, when Alan Pardew was amazingly given another chance by a Premier League club in November 2017, the warnings from Crystal Palace supporters were arguably even more severe/louder than those from Newcastle fans.
West Brom fans though wouldn’t listen, just grateful to be rid of Tony Pulis and expecting that surely nobody could be any worse than the outgoing manager, what could possibly go wrong…?
Monday brought the belated news that West Brom and Alan Pardew had ‘mutually agreed’ he should be sacked (leave the club…).
In response to the news, the local newspaper (Express and Star) that covers West Brom, has produced a damning comment piece on the Alan Pardew management spell at the Hawthorns.
The ironic thing is that none of what you will read will see Newcastle fans bat an eyelid.
Clueless tactics – Tick.
Naming and shaming individuals – Tick.
Undermining young players – Tick.
Lack of discipline – Tick.
Blaming everybody but himself – Tick.
Trips away to the sun that ended up harming the club/team – Tick.
Players confused by his tactics – Tick.
Fans seeing right through him – Tick.
Extracts from Express and Star comment piece:
Alan Pardew is destined to go down as one of the worst managers in Albion’s history, if not the worst.
But his disastrous four-month tenure will be remembered for far more than just the defeats.
Pardew may have been a great PR man in the press room, where he said all the right things, particularly early on, but it masked his deficiencies in the dugout.
There was an early warning sign when he played three strikers in his first game in charge, not because it was tactically the right thing to do against Crystal Palace, but because he wanted to make a ‘little bit of a statement’.
He persisted with two strikers after that, even for games when it left the team overrun in midfield.
The way he treated young players like Sam Field and Oliver Burke was borderline disgraceful.
Field was playing well when he arrived, and had just scored against Newcastle, but he shunted the young fan favourite out to left wing at Swansea, his second game in charge, in order to manufacture his removal from the side.
The teenager was hooked at half-time and wasn’t seen again until a trip to champions-in-waiting Manchester City, where he was made a sacrificial lamb.
Before the game, Pardew asked Field over and over again if he was ‘s….ing himself’ in front of the rest of the squad. If this was supposed to be a motivational tool, it was grossly misjudged.
Burke, too, was publicly shamed for crossing the ball into the box against West Ham in injury time with the scores level, just days after Pardew had urged his team to take more risks in order to win games.
The Hammers went up the other end and scored, but it was not the rest of team’s fault, who let the hosts sweep through them with ease, it was Burke’s.
His mistreatment of the youngsters didn’t go down well with the rest of the squad.
Those senior professionals Pardew put all his trust in, repaid him by questioning his authority.
Barcelona was the nadir. Not only was it booked because Pardew expected the team to lose to Liverpool in the FA Cup, he then decided to go through with it even though Albion only had four full days in between games.
Taxi-gate is destined to go down in Albion folklore…Afterwards, the head coach claimed they broke a 12am curfew, but there has been some suggestion that no such curfew was ever in place.
The night before, Pardew had lost his wallet, phone, and jacket on an evening out.
Albion trained for three hours in total. It was a booze cruise intended to build morale, but it turned into a nightmare.
Pardew’s reaction was unsatisfactory. By keeping Jonny Evans and Gareth Barry in the team for the FA Cup game against Southampton days later, he proved himself to be a spineless leader.
Fans started to see through the PR which had initially won them round, and players too began to openly criticise him.
On Saturday, when Pardew changed formation several times in a disastrous first half, his orders were received with confused looks by those on the pitch.
Two board members have already lost their jobs partly because he was employed, and now Pardew has finally left.
Pardew, meanwhile, will struggle to get another job in the top tier after this. And he is surely destined to go down as one of Albion’s worst ever managers.