When Alan Pardew made that difficult entry into the manager job at Newcastle, in early December of 2010, he had a very tricky situation to handle on many fronts.
Alan Pardew – fairness and equality have worked well on Tyneside
He came in on the Thursday, after surprisingly being appointed manager, and there was a game at home to Liverpool on the following weekend.
Newcastle fans were annoyed, and that’s putting it mildly, that the man who got us promoted so brilliantly from the Championship – Chris Hughton – had just been fired – apparently for no real reason.
And the player committee. which included strong characters in captain Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton were furious about the situation.
I remember well when my son Neil called me and said how great Pardew had appeared in his first press conference, and of course he handled the situation just brilliantly, and even displayed political skills that he could even run for Parliament one day.
Alan was down to earth, honest and fair to a fault in those first few days on Tyneside, and that specific characteristics of fairness has made him into a top manager at Newcastle.
Pardew had this to say to the Evening Chronicle today:
“There was a different mentality on the training ground that I wanted to bring to the football club.”
“Players come and go – but the mentality must stay the same.”
“I would like to think I’m fair with players, though.” “I can still look all the players in the eye, Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton, Enrique and even young Greg McDermott and say that I was fair.”
“I was fair with them – and it is the same for Nile Ranger now.” “That’s what I wanted as a player and that’s what I got from Steve Coppell at Crystal Palace.”
“I know I didn’t get that at other clubs.” “I just wanted them to be fair and say ‘You’re not playing for this reason, you’re not selected, go and train harder and get in the team’.
“If I did something wrong I wanted to be treated fairly.” “I’ve done that here, even with Nile Ranger.”
And of course he was able to unite the players before the Liverpool game at St. James’ Park, and we hammered them 3-1.
Alan has surprised a number of us by just how good he has been in his first almost two years as Newcastle manager, and it culminated in Alan winning both the LMA Manager of the Year Award and the Premier League Manager of the Year award for last season.
And of course Alan and his coaching staff have recently been rewarded with massive eight year contract to try to restore some stability to Newcastle United.
It all seems to be working quite well at the moment , and now if we can only beat Sunderland on Sunday!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org