Opinion piece: Pardew should remain in job at Newcastle

Alan Pardew

There has been plenty of opinion about Newcastle manager Alan Pardew's future after that 'head-butting' incident with Hull City's David Myler on Saturday

There have, of course, been calls for Pardew to be sacked, and every ex-player, former manager and referee appears to be expressing their view to ensure that this incident remains firmly atop the football news agenda - Pardew has even knocked Oscar Pistorius out of the sports headlines!

Now don't get me wrong, by no means can the actions of the Newcastle manager be justified. But what he did was a heat-of-the moment thing. He made a massive mistake, for which he was subsequently punished by the referee, fined and issued a formal warning by the club – and will no doubt face further sanctions from the FA.

Opinion piece - Pardew should be gone

Pardew's post-match interview said it all - the look on his face suggested that the magnitude of his blunder had struck him - he clearly wanted a big hole in the ground to open and swallow him up. In short, he knew he'd been a fool. He knew he'd let down himself, the fans and Newcastle United.

Calls for him to be sacked, however, are ridiculous - and a case of double standards. Players have fought, headbutted, bitten and kicked fans in the past, and were dealt with - but never sacked. In fact, some of the players involved in these incidents went on to even greater career heights, and are now regarded as legends by the footballing community. Do the crime, of course, and you have to do the time - but the punishment has to be proportionate.

And let's just put into perspective all this stuff about how Pardew would have lost the respect of his Newcastle players by his actions, and that he should be a role model and leader. Firstly, many leaders are flawed - Churchill, JFK, Clinton, for example - but that doesn't stop them from being great leaders. And secondly - and perhaps more importantly in footballing terms - the dressing room is a funny place. As Tony Cascarino said on Sky Sports News earlier today, the incident could quite possibly end up drawing Pardew even closer to his Newcastle players. There's a lot of banter in football, and, when the dust has settled, Pardew is bound to have the mickey taken out of him by some of the team. In a strange way, the manager's relationship with his players might actually benefit by what happened at the KC Stadium. 

So, let Pardew take whatever punishment is his due - and draw a line under it. He has done a decent job of managing Newcastle, and will probably end up a better manager and person after reflecting on his actions at the weekend. It's time to move on.

Opinion piece - Pardew should be gone

image: © Brian Minkoff - London Pixels

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