Alex Ferguson has always been an admirer of Alan Pardew as a manager, for a long time.
A smiling Alan Pardew last Saturday
We knew that when Alan Pardew was surprisingly signed as Newcastle manager last December, but that didn’t stop us at the time from thinking it was a poor appointment by the Newcastle Board, in fact a disastrous appointment.
But Pardew has done little less than magnificent in many different ways, since he took over the reigns at St. James’ Parka short eleven months ago, and he has the lads up to 4th place in the Premier League – just completely amazing.
That’s the highest we’ve been since the incomparable Bobby Robson was Newcastle manager, and indeed we were up to 3rd place before the loss at the Etihad Stadium in the last game.
And our very first league defeat came only last Saturday against that other Manchester side – moneybags City – literally the best side money can buy.
It only cost £850M to assemble the current City squad, with the likelihood they will spend another £30M in January to get Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani from Naples.
So much for the new Financial Fair Play Rules, and this is after after City lost £197M through the financial year that ended on June 30th.
Sir Alex has said today that Alan Pardew has instilled a fighting spirit into the Newcastle players, and that they are a side who will give the Red Devils a tough game on Saturday.
It seems that Alex is not surprised one little bit that Newcastle are so high up in the league:
“I’ve always respected Alan Pardew, I’ve always rated him,” “Alan’s done a great job at Newcastle.” “He’s galvanised them and got them fighting for each other.”
“I watched their recent 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham and it was a great game, end to end, with both teams trying to win.”
“There was a really good attitude among both sets of players. They were fighting for every ball.”
“When you’ve got a Newcastle team doing that, with their great support behind them, you know you’re going to get a difficult game.”
Alan Pardew managed Newcastle to an excellent 0-0 draw against United at St. James’ Park last April, when the lads played extremely well to get the unexpected point.
This will be the first time Pardew’s taken a team to Old Trafford since February of 2007, when he took Charlton Athletic to Old Trafford but they lost 2-0 in the Premier League.
Charlton finished second bottom that season, and were relegated with Watford and Sheffield United.
With Manchester United not at their best at the moment, Newcastle could cause a big shock on Saturday afternoon, at a ground where we haven’t won since 1972.
They could come away with that win, but we know it will be very difficult.
However, that’s just exactly what we are hoping for, and you never know with this Newcastle side, as Alex Ferguson says, they fight for each other and for every ball.
Howay The Lads!!