If the Newcastle players need something to inspire them on Wednesday night, then it’s that their current manager, Alan Pardew, was ruthlessly fired by the West Ham club a short four years ago.
Alan Pardew – no love lost with West Ham
Pardew did terrifically well in the 2004-2005 season at West Ham, to get them back into the Premier League from the Championship, after Glenn Roeder had been the manager when they were relegated but suffered a serious brain tumor.
And Trevor Brooking came in and took over the last few games of the season, but with no success.
And in the next season the Hammers finished in 9th place in the Premier League and got to the FA Cup final in 2006, when they were unlucky not to beat Liverpool in regulation time.
Steven Gerrard once again came to Liverpool’s rescue when all seemed lost, when he hit an amazing equalizer in injury time for Liverpool, to send the game into extra time and then Liverpool finally won on penalties.
But we remember West Ham were just terrific in that game, and of course were the underdogs, and they almost pulled it off.
But the Hammers didn’t start the following season very well at all, and West Ham’s owner at the time, Icelandic businessman Eggert Magnusson, fired Pardew.
Alan talked about his old club West Ham visiting Newcatsle on Wednesday night, and he told the Evening Chronicle today:
“There is no love lost there, I’m concentrating on the next game.”
“It is an important game for us. We have to make sure we turn up on Wednesday night and West Ham feel the real force from us.”
“And us winning like this and West Ham winning makes it a really good game, because the confidence is coming from both camps.”
Pardew skillfully framed the game yesterday as one where the Newcastle players could prove they could score goals and still win without Andy Carroll, and of course that’s just exactly what they did,
It wasn’t the greatest performance of the season, but it was solid when it needed to be, and the lads ground out the result easily in the end, with Wigan offering surprisingly little in the second half.
There’s not many teams this season who will out-fight the current bunch in the famous black and white shirts – that’s for sure – and Wigan were not much of a match for the Magpies yesterday.
“The most pleasing factor I think was our discipline and the fact that all of the players reacted very well to losing Andy Carroll.”
“He’s part of the team, but we decided to show it wasn’t about Andy Carroll – it was about the squad and the group.”
“I’m sure Andy was jumping up and down at home but it was a brilliant performance from the players.”
It looked like Pardew and the coaches had spent some time on the training ground, especially with the back four, who looked strong yesterday, and generally played well.
“We have focused a little bit on some our indiscipline in defending and, at Wigan, I could not fault them.” “It was an outstanding performance.”
The Newcastle defense did look well organized and comfortable yesterday, and we have to think that Steven Taylor has made a huge impact since he returned, and probably because of his previous experience in the Premier League.
He’s now looking like he could be a top signing for the club for the future.
And it’s interesting that Alan has gone for experience at the back by bringing back Steve Harper in goal too, and Steve looked very solid yesterday.
It was hard luck on Tim Krul to be sure, but Tim at least has time on his side, being only 22 years old.
Maybe we can get more clean sheets as the season progresses, and the defensive play has certainly been one of Newcastle’s weaknesses so far this season, with far too many sloppy goals being conceded.