On Thursday, Alan Pardew was sacked by Crystal Palace, after an abysmal 2016 for the Eagles, in a decision which perhaps looks like the right one due to their recent form. However, roll the clock back two years and Mr Pardew found himself in a very similar position as his Newcastle tenure drew to a close. With fans on his back, Pardew sensationally quit the Magpies to return to the club at which he had his most successful times as player, Crystal Palace. However, despite a quite awful 2014 which almost perfectly mirrors that of this year with Crystal Palace, Newcastle fans were villainized by the national press labelled as deluded and aggressive in their treatment of Alan Pardew who in their eyes would never be accepted on Tyneside because he was London born.
Pardew’s tenure in charge of Newcastle was of course a mixed bag; he has to be given some credit as with a shoe-string budget, he led United to fifth place in the Premier League and then proceeded to lead Newcastle into Europe for the first time since the 2006/07 season. However, this coupled with two decent November periods in his final two seasons with the Magpies are perhaps the only highlights of his reign in charge of United. On the other hand, Pardew’s reign was coupled with some of the worst moments of recent Newcastle United history, famously Pardew only managed one derby win over Sunderland in his four years in charge of the Magpies, a Ryan Taylor free kick giving Newcastle a 0-1 victory at the Stadium of Light in 2011.
Furthermore, Pardew’s man management style led to United losing perhaps one of their finest players of recent times in Hatem Ben Arfa, now of PSG, who was hounded out of the club by Pardew as the two clashed, since then Ben Arfa has flourished and is now with PSG after a successful period with Nice. This coupled with United’s awful form in the second half of seasons, including nearly being relegated in 2012/13, the club would have been if it were not for a 2-1 victory at QPR on the penultimate day of the season, saw the United fans turn on Pardew and rightly so. The management of the club by Pardew was nothing but a shambles and it was clear that he was just a puppet controlled by Derek Llambias and Mike Ashley.
By the time of the 2014/15 season came around, Newcastle fans had an enough of Pardew’s excuses and poor management after a poor end to the previous season, which had seen United once again slump in the second half of the season after a promising start. Newcastle started poorly and the protests which had occurred at the end of the previous season once again reared their head, Newcastle fans were slaughtered in the national press for this citing that we were no longer a team that could compete for Europe anymore and we should be happy with our lot. However, in our defence, this wasn’t because we weren’t in Europe, this was because United had won five games in the 2014 section of the 2013/14 season and went on to suffer 21 defeats across the rest of the year which would normally be the sign of a manager which needs sacking.
However, when a similar thing occurred at Crystal Palace in 2016, the national press admitted that he should be doing better and that Palace were underachieving. There was no attack on fans which were asking for Pardew’s head on Twitter and if he hadn’t of had success as a player at Selhurst Park there would have been demonstrations. Still, we are told we are wrong about Pardew even now and that we wouldn’t be in the Championship if we hadn’t of hounded him out, a completely incorrect fact as we definitely had the chance to save ourselves after Pardew yet we chose another incapable manager in Steve McClaren. Pundits such as Ian Wright on Twitter attacked Newcastle fans for claiming that we were maybe owed an apology, quite frankly, it is embarrassing that those who were tipping him for England earlier in the year are now the ones to be saying the sacking is the right move.
Simply, Pardew shouldn’t be a Premier League manager, he has an inconsistent track record and has left a trail of destruction wherever he has been whether it be West Ham, Charlton or Newcastle. To see Newcastle fans be called deluded and fickle by London journalists who have no clue about the club or the city is quite simply embarrassing and wrong and now that their golden boy has quite spectacularly fell flat on his face in the capital, you don’t hear much from those who were tipping him for England anymore. So quite simply, although it will never happen, Newcastle fans are owed a big apology from many as once again many have damaged the reputation of the fantastic fans which follow United through thick and thin which have once again proven to everyone that they were right to want this man out of their club.
Feature Image credit: Martin Le Roy