This evening I’ve been reading comments like “Pardew calms rumours over Newcastle United exit” and “Pardew holds crunch talks with Ashley” and while to most of the footballing world it would make sense why Pardew should be under pressure following a diabolical season last season being followed by a couple of pretty shocking performances, the reality is that sacking Alan Pardew would be one of the worst things Ashley could do in respect to his own position – for the time being anyway.
As things currently stand, many Newcastle fans are getting swept up in the pros and cons of Pardew’s management. Looking at his tactics, his substitutions, how we are playing as a team etc and I do it as well. In fact a great number of my articles are geared towards my fears over who Pardew will select on match-day, what formation I think he should use, and other general footballing trifles that should make up the “nuts and bolts” of a Newcastle fan’s concerns. However, while many people are ready to point the finger of blame at Pardew, I think we need to look at the bigger picture that is going on at Newcastle United.
Pardew does exactly what he was hired to do. Put up with the ludicrous decisions and omissions by Ashley and walk out to the camera and say exactly what he is told to say. Make excuse after excuse and hope that someone buys it. He is a mouthpiece, nothing more, nothing less. He certainly isn’t at the standard required for where most Newcastle United fans want to see the club operate at.
Hypothetically, let’s say Ashley decides to sack Pardew, who would replace him? Bearing in mind that Ashley is not going to go for a manager who will excite the fans, or endear him to the Geordie public, he will base his decision the same way he has based pretty much every decision that he has taken in his time as Newcastle United owner – for his own personal and financial interests. That means that we will likely see yet another version of Pardew be brought into the club – the most likely of candidate being Joe Kinnear. Hardly an exciting prospect is it?
If (not when) Ashley decides to sack Pardew, it will be to try to buy some time for himself. Say more and more fans start getting wise to the world of Mike Ashley, and the growing discontent in the city begins to come to the fore, and people are questioning Ashley more and more, maybe then he will decide to cut Pardew loose. Kinnear (or some other stooge) will walk into the club and the fans will be back to saying “give the manager time” or “let’s see if the 5 year plan will work now” or some other placatory nonsense that will see Mike Ashley safe in his ivory tower for a little while longer.
Back to my original point, why would Ashley sack Pardew when he is doing a bang up job masking the real problems at the club. While we all may feel frustrated with Alan Pardew, even to the point of despair, it is important to remember that Pardew is only a symptom. The real disease is Mike Ashley.
What do you think? Do you think Pardew’s days are numbered? Do you think Ashley will keep a hold of Pardew for a little while longer? Will he last the season? I’d love to hear your views.