September 28, 2012 by Hamilton Fan
The faith Mike Ashley and the Newcastle United board are showing in Alan Pardew and his coaching staff in rewarding them each with eight year contracts is admirable. However, with Newcastle’s past record of eight managers in the space of six-and-a-half years and Pardew’s own managerial record, it is hard not to question such a decision.The Newcastle board clearly believe in Alan Pardew, which is great to see in today’s footballing world of short-termism. They clearly feel Alan Pardew has the ability to take the club to where they want to go, which is presumably to continue to fight for a european place and to challenge for silverware. Giving him an eight year deal, the longest contract for a manager in the Premier League, is a huge statement of intent. However, does Pardew’s managerial record justify such faith?
There is no denying the job he has done thus far at Newcastle. A fifth placed finish last season, against the odds, was a fantastic achievement. He is clearly a capable manager, but what must be remembered is that this is a man who just over two years ago was sacked from League One Southampton because the board lost belief in his ability to achieve promotion back to the Championship. Obviously this does not mean he will not, nor could not, achieve long term success at Newcastle. Many talented managers have had jobs where it has not quite worked out for them for one reason or another. The point to be made here is that Pardew’s managerial record does not point towards someone who will deliver the long term success Newcastle crave. A successful spell at Reading where he took them to the verge of the Premier League was followed by a mixed spell at West Ham United where he was eventually sacked in late 2006 following one of their worst run of results in over half a decade. An unsuccessful spell at Charlton Athletic followed soon afterwards, seeing the club relegated from the Premier League in 2007. Pardew was sacked the following year, leaving the London club sitting in the bottom three of the Championship. A mixed record, of which has seen Pardew achieve most of his success in the football league, that would leave many questioning the Newcastle boards faith in him to achieve long term success at the top level of the English game.
This could well turn out to be a masterstroke by the Newcastle board, or it could be, as many fear, another act of misjudgement on behalf of the Newcastle board. Such faith in a manager deserves credit, but to back a manager with no previous track record of success in the Premier League in such a fashion could well be deemed as blind faith. Blind faith that could cost an awful lot in compensation if it were to all fall apart. Time will tell.