Why Pardew could fall foul of the Manager of the Month curse at Newcastle

Alan Pardew

Many still believe in the infamous Manager of the Month curse and Alan Pardew could be about to find out why.

It was the news Newcastle fans had been dreading yet somehow they must have known it was almost inevitable: Alan Pardew was named Premier League Manager of the Month for November.

Not that the Magpies boss is unworthy of the accolade, having ended Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the season with last weekend’s 2-1 win over the Blues and racked up 13 points from the last 18 available in the league.

Instead, there was a sense of apprehension among those of the Geordie persuasion, all too aware of the supposed 'curse of the Manager of the Month award' that has long been pointed to by fans and pundits alike.

The Guardian’s Barry Glendenning may have gone to great lengths to demonstrate that the statistics undermine the very concept - the recipient of the award is in fact not suddenly more likely to face defeat in the game that follows - but that has not stopped people from fearing it.

People like Jose Mourinho for instance.

Back in October the Special One was quizzed on whether he had been bothered at missing out on that month’s award, which went instead to Ronald Koeman.

"No. First of all, I think Ronald deserved it," he told the Daily Express.

"And the second reason why I am happy is that the Manager of the Month always loses the next match."

To Mourinho, it boils down to superstition, supernatural causality and a kind of footballing prophecy - but some way off being grounded in reality.

However Pardew could be facing a similar prophecy of sorts this weekend, with the Newcastle boss taking his Newcastle team to the Emirates to face an Arsenal team with something of a supernatural hold over the Toon.

Newcastle United have lost each of their last five against Arsenal going into Saturday’s encounter, while the Magpies have also failed to find the net in each of the previous three meetings between the teams.

Their recent record at the Emirates makes for concerning reading too with Arsenal scoring 10 goals in their last two against Newcastle in North London.

Superstition may play a part in Pardew’s thinking going into the game, with the Newcastle manager never previously tasting victory over the Gunners throughout his time with the Toon.

And while Arsenal stumbled to a 3-2 loss to Stoke City away last weekend, they were back on song against Galatasaray winning 4-1 in Turkey to warm-up nicely for what Arsene Wenger will undoubtedly see as a must-win game.

The curse of the Manager of the Month Award may not exist, but the very notion is likely to be weighing heavy on Pardew right about now.

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