After we had been beaten by Reading at home in January last season, and it was the 10th defeat in the previous 13 league games, the bookies had Alan Pardew odds-on to lose his job at Newcastle.
Last January things were not going well for Alan Pardew and Newcastle
And that was the first time in seven games in our history that we hadn’t beaten Reading, and if Alan was going to be sacked it would have been then.
But Mike Ashley didn’t take that course of action, and instead brought in Moussa Sissoko, Massadio Haidara, Yoan Gouffran and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, and although it was hardly plain sailing from then through the end of the season, we managed to survive in 5th bottom place – after finishing 5th top in the previous season.
And of course this season we have already seen Paolo Di Canio of Sunderland, Crystal Palace’s Ian Holloway, Fulham’s Martin Jol, West Brom’s Steve Clark and Tottenham’s André Villas-Boas fired from their jobs, and Malky Mackay of Cardiff is said to be on the brink.
And Pardew is amazingly the Premier League’s second-longest serving manager – behind Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger,
and is one an eight year deal at Newcastle, which he got about 14 months ago:
“All managers want that, but sometimes you’ve got to earn it – that little bit of time – to a degree.” “Maybe I earned it the year before when we finished fifth.”
“I had a few rocky times last year, but got the nod to stay on. You never know how close to come as a manager to the sack. You just try and focus on the next result. That’s all I’ve ever done.”
“I’ve had many people mention to me that they never expected me to be a manager, let alone manager of Newcastle.” “But I love it here, and it’s going well at the minute. I’m really pleased with the team.”
“I always felt that I had something in me to pass on to others.” “Even then, I was quite a vocal player in the team. I was never captain, as I wasn’t good enough, if I’m honest.”
“But when I played, I was a voice on the pitch. I’m still doing that now.”
It seems few at Selhust Park expected Alan to become a manager, and maybe that was because he was only an average player at best.
But so was Jose Mourinho of Chelsea and that hasn’t stopped Jose from becoming one of the best managers around, even through he is struggling to get Chelsea going in his first season back at Stamford Bridge.
One thing is true – and that’s Alan is a better manager than he ever was a player – and he now has the chance to get Newcastle into the top six in the Premier League for the second time in three seasons – and that would be simply great.
And it would be good to get all 3 points this afternoon at Selhust Park.
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