A surprisingly high number of Newcastle fans feel as if Alan Pardew has improved the club during his four-year tenure.
Pardew moved to St James’ Park almost four years ago, and has enjoyed some incredible highs as well as incredible lows on Tyneside.
The 53-year-old guided the Magpies to a fifth place finish in 2012 - qualifying for the Europa League - before faltering in 16th place the following year. They secured a mid-table finish last term, and, having gone seven games without a win at the start of this campaign, Pardew oversaw an incredible upturn in fortunes and has since moved the club into the top-half of the Premier League table, defeating Liverpool and Chelsea in the league, and securing a League Cup quarter-final tie with Tottenham Hotspur.
Regardless of Pardew’s success on the field, the Toon faithful have struggled to take to the coach, and his association with club owner Mike Ashley makes any success enjoyed on the field slightly dampened. He has been offered begrudging respect for his ability to turn the side around despite their current injury woes, and, even during his dreadful run at the start of the campaign, there were few calls for him to be dismissed.
Regardless, Newcastle would welcome another manager were he offered to the club, and even if Pardew is able to guide the club to European football again, many feel as if he has not done enough for a club the size of the Magpies.
Despite the frosty relationship between manager and fans, the Chronicle ran a poll asking fans to judge Pardew’s four-year spell in charge of the club, and a surprising 48% of fans believe that the former West Ham and Reading man has taken the club forward since he was appointed.
39% feel as if the club has stayed at an equal level following his arrival, whilst just a lowly 13% feel as if the club has gone backwards under his stewardship.
Considering the criticism of Pardew in his spell on Tyneside, he must feel relieved that the majority of fans agree with his management of the side. Whilst it could be argued that the Magpies are still underachieving for a club of their size, another push for Europe could be the catalyst which kick-starts a period of glory at St James’ Park.