Whoever Mike Ashley brought in as the new manager on Tyneside last week, we were hoping he would be a manager who could get on with his players, and would have very strong man-management skills.
Alan Pardew – excellent man management skills
Well it seems that Alan Pardew may be very close to having those exact skills, if you listen to what Sunderland striker Darren Bent has said about his former manager.
Bent played with Pardew at Charlton Athletic, and were near the bottom of the league when Alan took over on Christmas Eve of 2006.
This is what Darren said today – it makes for very interesting reading:
“Charlton were struggling at the time – we’d won something like one game out of 10 in all competitions – but he came in and was absolutely brilliant. He settled all the players down and got us playing as a team again. Results picked up straight away.”
“His man-management was superb. He made me captain, so I’ve got a lot to be grateful to him for, but it’s not just that. He was top-drawer. He got us relaxed, got us playing football. He told us to try to forget what was going on around the club and just concentrate on what we did best. I’m sure he’ll be doing the same at Newcastle.”
“The first day he got to Charlton he called me in to his office and said ‘look, we’ve got to do something about the team and what’s going on’. He talked to me about my strengths as a player and said he’d spoken to all the managers in the Premier League and they’d said that they would love to have me in their teams.”
“It was his way of building me up and he did it with others, too. He called everyone together, told them I’d be the new captain and said that we had to relax, to enjoy our work. He was full of ideas and innovation.”
“He was always honest and always good with the players. He’d said to me from the moment he got to Charlton that if a big club came in for me, he wouldn’t stand in my way, as long as I always gave 100%.”
“He was as good as his word. I tried my heart out for him and he repaid me after Charlton were relegated by working hard to help me go to Spurs.” “He was respectful and kind to my parents – he was close to my mum and dad and talked to them on a regular basis – and both my family and I will always be grateful to him.”
That’s all very interesting but Charton were still relegated in May, 2007 in second bottom place on 34 points, but it’s good to hear at least that Darren seems to think the world of Pardew.
And Bent continued to say he thinks Alan may be a perfect choice for Newcastle, as the England International continued:
“To be fair, he’s a great fit for the Newcastle job,” he said. “He won’t be scared of it – a lot of people would be – but he’s got the character and personality and to do really well in the North East. It’s a great part of the world – coming to Sunderland has been brilliant for me and I’ve loved every minute of it.”
“And the people aren’t just passionate about their football, they’re also welcoming.” “I saw him again at the weekend and he’s still full of the same passion and ideas. It says a lot about him that only a couple of days after taking the job, he was out and about in the region, mixing with fans and journalists, at an awards dinner.”
“He’s not here for a holiday, he’s here to do a good job and make a difference. He’s here for the long-term. It was great to say hello.”
“Chris Hughton was a popular figure and rightly so because he did really well for Newcastle, but I’m sure that Alan can take that on,” “He’ll know all about the passion already, but he’s the kind of man who’ll be respectful to the area’s history and traditions and he’ll tap into that.”
“They’re in a far better position than Charlton were back then and I’m sure he’ll be given his chance.”
Good words from Darren, to be sure, and of course what Alan has done in his first 7 days on Tyneside, is very consistent with the view Bent has of his former manager.
He has come in and immediately gelled with all the players, and quickly gained the confidence of the senior players at the club.
And we’re sure he will have had one-on-one talks with the likes of Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton, Steve Harper, Andy Carroll and other important players at the club.
What Darren has said has made us feel a lot better about things at Newcastle – but of course the proof of the pudding is in the eating – and we need another win at St. Andrew’s on Saturday.
Then we’ll all talk some more about Alan. 😀
Comments always welcome.