Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Pardew appointment adds to the Newcastle humiliation

Mike Ashley Owner watches from the Stands at Old Trafford Newcastle United 2010/11 Manchester United V Newcastle United (3-0) 16/08/10 The Premier League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

This piece was going to be headlined "Ashley needs big appointment to appease Newcastle fans," But given the news filtering through this morning I think my new one is far more accurate.

 Make no mistake Hughton's departure was not at the behest of the fans, who have been accused in the past of allowing their hearts to rule their heads when it comes to whoever the latest 'messiah' is.

No the Newcastle supporters new Hughton was the sort of manager they have needed for years and deserved some loyalty from the board given he picked the club up from it's knees when no one else would in 2009, turning them into Championship title winners and guiding them to mid-table Premier League security in the space of 18 months.

The fact he seemed a nice bloke just adds to the feeling of disbelief. Newcastle’s relegation was partly down to the trigger happy nature of the board and their determination to go for big name bosses who often had style but very little substance.

So what if he has spent a lot of time as an assistant in the past? Coaches can make good managers and his results speak for themselves.

I have yet to meet a football fan – be is a supporter of Newcastle or not – who has seen the sense in Mike Ashley’s decision to sack him.

 Hughton was the sort of quiet, unassuming character they needed. He wasn’t one for headlines and press attention. He instead focused on getting the best out of his players and with combustable players like Joey Barton and Andy Carroll in the side that is no mean feat.
The board say they want someone with more experience. But Alan Pardew, though more experienced than Hughton, hardly has the glittering CV required to justify the sacking of the 51-year-old. It is hard to see him doing any better than Hughton did. Especially as he will have to win over a mystified set of supporters and players first.

The fact some reports claim Pardew was mates with Ashley and director Derek Lllambas due to a shared love of a London casino just adds to the 'jobs for my mates' feeling surrounding the whole deal.
Ashley will never be a popular figure on Tyneside given the nature of his turbulent tenure at St James’ Park. But his latest indiscretion, just when he looked to be getting things right, will plunge his popularity to new depths.

I just hope, for the fans sake, Newcastle’s Premier League survival hopes don’t tumble down with him.

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