We’re just a little surprised the Newcastle manager has come in for so much heat from some Newcastle fans.
Alan Pardew – working within strict financial constraints
Alan Pardew, when he signed on last December will have been told how things operated at Newcastle, and what he was expected to do as part of his job as manager of Newcastle United.
We thought Alan made a good start at Newcastle, and seemed to realize in January that when bids were presumably coming in for top players like Andy Carroll and Cheick Tiote, amongst others, he came to the conclusion that one important thing was to tie down the best players at the club. Good call.
In January those players included Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan, Jose Enrique, Cheick Tiote and Joey Barton – probably five of Newcastle’s very best players last season.
And in January Alan kept telling anybody who would listen to him, that Newcastle would not sell And Carroll, and then the unbelievable happened, and Andy was gone to Liverpool – for £35M.
Alan didn’t look good, but it was not his decision to sell the player, it was essentially Mike Ashley’s decision, and £35M was an unbelievable price for a player still unproven in the Premier League.
Alan then said he wanted Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan, Cheick Tiote and Jose Enrique tied down to long term contracts at Newcastle, but the only one to sign along the dotted line has been Check Tiote.
It turned out that Joey Barton and Jose Enrique were both turned off by Newcastle selling Andy, and they questioned Newcastle’s ambition.
As it has turned out, Newcastle finally withdrew Joey’s deal that was on the table in early June, and told Barton and his agent that he would not be getting a new deal.
Jose Enrique balked at having discussions on a new contract, and it’s now clear he wants to move elsewhere, as he made only too clear last night via his tweets.
And Kevin Nolan seemed so close to signing a new deal but never did.
And then he surprisingly moved out last month when he could get the Newcastle hierarchy to give him a five year deal to stay on Tyneside.
In five years Kevin would be 33 years old, and Alan Pardew had said that Ben Arfa was going to play in the laid back striker position that Kevin had done so well in, over the last two seasons, when he scored 30 goals.
We think Kevin saw the writing on the wall, that his place would be under severe pressure next season from both Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye.
Alan Pardew does not run the Newcastle club, he simply runs the playing side of the club, and he doesn’t decide who gets to leave the club, or even who comes into the club.
While Pardew identifies players he wants in, Mike Ashley then decides if Newcastle will sign those players, depending on how much they will cost and what their wages will be.
And as it turned out this summer, two players Alan was very keen on – Charles N’Zogbia and Daniel Sturridge – were too expensive for Newcastle, and that was hardly Alan’s fault.
Alan is simply living within the rather strict financial guidelines he is operating under on Tyneside, and it seems to us to be doing his very best, in what is hardly an easy situation for him to be in.
Pardew is also the only one at the club who regularly talks to the fans and the press, and he is often asked questions that should really be answered by Derek LLambias, and not Alan himself.
We remember well on February 1st, that he was left to explain to the press why And Carroll was sold – where was Derek LLambias?
We never hear much at all from Derek LLambias or Mike Ashley – well we did hear from Mike in September of 2009 as I recall, when he said he was going to sell the club, almost forgot about that one.
So it seems just a little disingenuous on Alan Pardew to level all the criticism at the manager, and from what we can tell, the man’s doing his very best to make Newcastle into a great side again.
But you have to remember he is working within the limits Mike Ashley has set for him and the club, and at least financially, they appear to be rather strict at the moment.
That’s really the way it is.