What happened to ‘Super Al’, were the media wrong?
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on March 2, 2016
In the wake of a disastrous run for Crystal Palace, I look at whether or not the media were right when heavily criticising Newcastle fans for the way in which they ‘forced out’ Alan Pardew.
Alan Pardew was Newcastle manager for 4 years. During this time he led Newcastle to the Europa League by finishing 5th in the 2011/2012 season. Throughout his tenure he was seen as a puppet, he agreed with everything that Mike Ashley said, he didn’t complain when players were sold and he strung the supporters along in terms of signings being made. As Michael Martin – Editor of the True Faith fanzine – stated in the telegraph ‘There is a negative stereotype of the cockney in the North East, the fast talking, sharp dressed, pointy shoe wearing , bull**** merchant, who hides behind a front of arrogance and bluster. Pardew, for us, was that stereotype.’ Before people say this was an anti-cockney thing it wasn’t. Chris Hughton, another cockney, will always be welcomed with open arms in the north-east. He had a positive impact on the club and was well-liked and respected.
Newcastle fans dislike for Alan Pardew was well documented by the media. To many it was seen as unfair treatment for a man that managed to get Newcastle Europa League football. The media portrayed Newcastle fans as horrible people who were going above and beyond to create unrest at the club. We simply just wanted Pardew to leave so we could move on. In December 2014 Alan Pardew finally left Newcastle for Crystal Palace. This was welcomed with open arms by the Geordie faithful who could not wait to see the back of the smarmy man from Croydon.
Alan Pardew kicked off his tenure with Crystal Palace under impressive form, gaining 25 points from 15 games in the remainder of the 2014/2015 season. Pardew infamously came out and said ‘I bet Newcastle fans wish I’d never left.’ During the summer of 2015 Stan Collymore and Ian Wright both came out saying how Pardew was unfairly treated at Newcastle and that he was much better off at Crystal Palace where the fans appreciated him. Such was the media hype around Alan Pardew that Paul Merson predicted Crystal Palace to finish 5th this Premier League Season. After a starting the 2015/2016 season as they finished the last, 4 games in an Palace were 2nd. It was around this moment in time that Pardew was starting to be linked with the England job!
Now 28 games into the season and the cracks are beginning to show at Selhurst Park. It is bringing back some memories to Newcastle fans. Alan Pardew has now failed to win a game for just over 3 months, and palace are sliding down the league at a rapid pace. I have no doubt that they will survive, however, Crystal Palace fans seem to be slowly turning on their manager. He is failing to get enough out of what is undoubtably a talented squad. His flaws are starting to shine through and ‘Super Al’ isn’t looking so super anymore.
So were the various media outlets who criticised the behaviour of Newcastle fans right? Absolutely not. It is clear that Pardew is still the same man that was in charge of Newcastle. I have always said, Pardew is a great impact manager, he can be seen by the players as ‘one of the lads’ but, his impact is now over. Alan Pardew must do what he failed to do at Newcastle, and that is to make the most out of the talented squad he has. Since Pardew’s results have deteriorated the media have suddenly gone away. No longer is he being mentioned week-in week-out that he should be the next England manager, and no longer are Newcastle fans being criticsed for ‘forcing’ him out of the club. Long may it stay this way.
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