Alan Pardew, the Barclays Premier League Manager of the Season, thinks that European competition will help keep his players on Tyneside.
Alan Pardew – massively over-achieved at Newcastle this season
But Alan says he is still looking to bring up to three three players in this summer, but that could be more if players leave the club, and both Guthrie and Simpson are very likely to leave Newcastle this summer.
The very fact that Newcastle will finish above two of the perennial top four clubs, Chelsea and Liverpool, is testament to what a great first full season Pardew has had as the Newcastle manager, but we’ll have to keep it up next season.
This is what Alan Pardew said about European football:
“European football helps keep players. To some of our players, European football has a bigger profile than the Premier League.” “This club is a much easier sell now – I don’t have to take my iPad and all my presentations.”
“But if we’re around the right figures, they can’t look me in the eye and say ‘I want European football’ because they can get it here.” “We will need to expand our squad to cope with the extra demands of Europe, and also to make sure we can challenge the elite Premier League clubs.”
“We’re still looking to bring in two or three players, which I think we need because the underbelly of this side is weaker than the top teams.” “We might lose one or two this summer, but the year after – if we break into the Champions League or in a couple of years’ time – we probably won’t lose them then.”
“Expectations are going to be greater next season and I accept that. That is why we are already planning for the next campaign.” “We can still finish third – it will be my greatest achievement as a manager, even if we don’t finish third.”
“The fans know it’s a massive bonus if we get into the Champions League.” “But to finish above Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton, all these teams – and Sunderland, who spent a lot of money in the summer – is a fantastic achievement.”
“If somebody had said at the start of the season that we would finish above Chelsea, I wouldn’t have believed them. We’re now competing with the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool, at the end of last season we weren’t.
“We’ve competed with the top teams all season and that’s what we have to try to achieve again.”
Newcastle have put themselves back among the top clubs in England, and this is the highest we will have finished in the Premier League since 2004.
That’s when Bobby Robson had us in 5th place, following the 3rd and 4th positions he held in the previous two seasons, which qualified Newcastle for the Champions League.
That achievement of Bobby’s plus his other sterling management achievements for Ipswich and England, among others, earned him a bronze statue that now stands in St. James’ Park.
But Bobby was sacked in late August of 2004, because 5th place wasn’t good enough, back in those days of Freddy Shepherd, but Alan will not be getting fired for 5th place.
In fact we hope the bonus structure of his contract at Newcastle pays him well, for a season in which he and Newcastle have massively over-achieved.