Shaka Hislop, the former Newcastle United goalkeeper, was at the club in the 1990s when Kevin Keegan was in his first management spell at Newcastle, and he has talked today about the Newcastle manager, Alan Pardew.
Shaka Hislop – smart looking pundit at ESPN
Shaka left Newcastle for West Ham in 1998 , and he’s now a pundit with ESPN, which is where Kevin Keegan works at the moment too, and Shaka knows Alan Pardew very well from the time he was at West Ham when Pardew was the manager.
The former goalkeeper talked with the local Newcastle press today:
“He is very good at working with youngsters and I think that’s the reason that attracted Mike Ashley to appoint him in the first place.”
“He’s good at getting the best out of what he has, and that is going to be vital for Newcastle at this stage in time.” “When I was at West Ham I have to say there were only a couple of senior players in me and Teddy Sheringham.”
“It was a very young squad otherwise.” “It has been a good test for him coping with the different personalities in that Newcastle dressing room so far.” “Now he just has to get the best out of them.”
“I know Alan Pardew well, I was at West Ham with him, but in a different set of circumstances.” “It was a young West Ham team that Alan brought up from the Championship.”
“A lot of players then were the ones he bought to the club and then he made some additions like myself and Teddy Sheringham before the Premier League started.”
“Now there are different circumstances, Alan inherited a dressing room and has to build from there.” “But he’s done better than I expected because I know how tough it can be in Newcastle, I am delighted for him and the team.”
“I have to admit that I had concerns about problems in pre-season.” “There were problems behind the scenes.” “For the manager coming in last year there were also problems when he took over and I wondered how he would do under such circumstances.
“But he kept the team up, which I thought he would do anyway.” “Yet the start to this season is fantastic, especially on the back of pre-season and Joey Barton’s comments and the things that went wrong in pre-season.
“This is exactly what Newcastle needed, to start well.” “If they’d been on the wrong end of a couple of defeats it could have gone the other way.” “It’s all about confidence and Newcastle are as confident as they could be after an unbeaten start.”
There’s some good points made there by Shaka, who played 53 times for Newcastle from 1995, before moving to West Ham in 1998.
Hislop had two spells at West Ham, and in the first spell he left the Hammers for Portsmouth in July 2002 after four years on a free transfer, to rejoin former West Ham manager Harry Redknapp.
And he then rejoined West Ham in July of 2005, when Alan Pardew was already the manager, after Alan had been appointed to that position in late 2003, after leaving Reading.
It’s at that time that Shaka worked closely with Pardew, and seems to have got to know the Londoner very well.
Alan Pardew has certainly done well in the short time he has been at the Newcastle club, and it’s good to hear he’s so good with the youngsters, since that’s an important job for a Newcastle manager these days, as the club follows Arsenal’s role model in trying to bring through top youngsters.
One of Alan’s strong points, which was also true of former manager Chris Hughton, is that he talks to his players one on one, and they know exactly where they stand with the manager, and he seems to have very good relationships with his squad of players.
Pardew is a good man-manager, but we’ve also been impressed with the way he has reshaped Newcastle’s defense to be so much more resilient than last season.
All we need now is a win on Saturday at Aston Villa, and all will be very rosy in the Newcastle United garden.