And while doing this, I stumbled across an ESPN interview from 2010, filmed just days after Hughton’s sacking and Pardew’s appointment.
The round-table discussion included the likes of Janusz Michallik, the former Newcastle United shot-stopper Shaka Hislop, and West Ham and Arsenal legend Stewart Robson.
Although the appointment of Pardew was widely unpopular among Newcastle fans at that time, seeing the much-admired Chris Hughton fired in such an unjust fashion, the man who had calmly guided Newcastle back to the top-flight first time of asking, it did surprise me, upon watching this interview, how accurately they summed up Pardew.
Pardew’s role at the club has very much become a contentious issue over the past 12 months and, personally, I think that he has been vilified beyond the port of call. I am not so much a Pardew-sympathiser, but a lot of the abuse that is repetitively directed at him week-in week-out, I feel, is very often misguided and uninformed.
To blame the man for poor transfer business, as I have often seen on my twitterfeed, is the product of ignorance. A manager, especially one under such a restrictive regime, has very little say on transfer business, except recommending targets. And when you have an owner who is so reluctant to offer up funds, and a Director of Football (RIP) who has the mental capacity of a fish, it would be unjust to ring the blame on Pardew for that reason.
Nevertheless, Pardew’s tactical nous is, in my opinion, the worst of all managers in the league – even Tony Pulis and Mark Hughes are proving their mettle. He seems to completely disregard the seemingly obvious positional strengths of our players who, under the right direction, definitely would warrant a top 8 finish. The mismanagement of Haten Ben Arfa, for example.
Anyway, I have picked out a few details from the interview that I think really say a lot: these managerial flaws that fans are complaining about on a weekly basis appear to be longstanding issues, issues that were well-known within the footballing circuit even before he was appointed.
So, here are a few direct quotes from this fascinating interview:
Here’s what Stewart Robson said when asked what Pardew will bring to the table that Christ Hughton didn’t:
“A Massive Ego… I have never been happy with his touchline antics. I’m not sure what he does on the coaching field. I know one or two people who have played under him, and weren’t too impressed… Jobi McAnuff being one of them, said he didn’t enjoy his time at West Ham because of Pardew.
“I just think that he’s got a massive ego. When West Ham were doing poorly he took a step back. When they started to do well, he became very big time and he’s promoted himself more than the team. So, I am not a fan of Pardew, and I think it’s the worst move Newcastle could make. I don’t know how he got the job. He must know someone on the board whose a friend of his.
“Alan Pardew will tell you he tries to play good football; that’s rubbish. He plays long-ball football, it’s very direct, there is no creativity in midfield. He just wants to play route one football… At times he can be a conman.”
Later on, Shake Hislop, the former Toon ‘keeper who played under him at West Ham, was asked about what he thought.
Though he admits that Pardew was very direct, he argued that his style of play won’t be detrimental to Newcastle, and that isn’t his greatest downfall. Instead, however, he warns that:
“It is how he handles these tricky characters in the dressing room, because I didn’t see him have to do it at West Ham. Again, these are players who respected and liked Chris Hughton, and I think that for Mike Ashley, this has not only been a PR disaster, but I worry he has picked the wrong man. I don’t think he’s a liked enough character to handle those lads.”
Now, it appears that the three different problems cited by the pundits – a lackluster route-one tactical preference, a tendency to avoid admitting his own flaws, and finally, his inability to handle the big characters in a team – are all problems that have been mentioned over the past few months.
Though at times their criticism of Pardew does seem to be aggressive and hasty, it is very interesting to note that these managerial flaws associated with Pardew are not new. These words perhaps foreshadowed this period of turmoil, that has, realistically, been gradually building over the past 14 months.
You can watch the interview HERE from 11:30 – 17:35.
Let us know what you think! Reply in the comments section below, or tweet us at @thespectoview.