|Pardew - Newcastle's latest Messiah?|
Just where is this infamous corner? This corner where Premier League teams may turn to get themselves out of a 'crisis.' Does it have a shop? To feed and water the many Geordies and Scousers that frequent that corner each season? One good result it seems, a change of manager maybe, can steer you safely away from impending doom and kindly guide you around the bend that intersects Mark Lawrenson's Avenue of Witty and Insightful Punditry with Kris 'Unbelievable Jeff!' Camara Broadway. A simple change in angle it seems, is all it needs to reignite a lost season.
There's been a lot of corner-turning throughout this Premier League season. Aston Villa, Liverpool, (a few times) Manchester City have all bravely made the trek around that corner and on Saturday they could well be followed by Newcastle. Chelsea, still mired in crisis, must wait their turn.
Ahh Newcastle. The most frequent of all corner-turners. Yet again they self destruct midway through a season. Yet again they make another farcical decision and sack the manager. Yet again Mike Ashley has proved to be a lardy, Geordie buffoon incapable of not stepping in and interfering with the club he 'loves.' Yet again Newcastle hire Kevin Keegan as manag-... wait... hang on. No not this time. Phew!
Alan Pardew just became the next victim in Mike Ashley's reign of terror. The ex West Ham, Charlton and Southampton manager has made the move north to sign a contract with the Magpies lasting, remarkably considering recent events, until 2016.
Apparently Chris Hughton was sacked because he lacked Premier League experience. Well Alan Pardew is hardly going to give you much. Of his 500 games as a manager very few have been in the Premier League. And those were with West Ham, now at the foot of the table. During his time at West Ham Pardew spent his time winding up Arsene Wenger. A manager never far from controversy on Match Of The Day in 2009 he likened a challenge by Michael Essien on young striker Ched Evans to sexual abuse.
Besides, it's not like Hughton was doing a particularly bad job. While there have been some disappointing defeats, most notably to Blackpool and West Brom there have also been some fantastic results. A win at Stamford Bridge for example. Beating Sunderland 5-1. It was an exciting roller-coaster ride at Newcastle, the team were playing well. They had the next great England striker up front and a healthy blend of young talent and experienced players.
The Andy Carroll/Kevin Nolan arrangement was an inspired decision from Hughton and managed itself. At the same time creating a strong bond between the two players that benefited Newcastle on the pitch as well as off. He managed to keep a volatile player in check, taking all the bad publicity off him and helping him to nine goals already this season. It was fast becoming another controversy to loom over a club that's had more than it's fair share of trouble of the pitch in recent years. Whether this proves that Hughton has the required man management skills for a Premier League manager remains to be seen. And unfortunately it won't be at Newcastle.
It would be a shame if Hughton doesn't quickly get back into management. At Newcastle he was the worst paid manager in the league but did a solid job. He won the Championship at the first time of asking, all the time rumours circulating about whether or not he would get to stay in the job. And while Pardew doesn't seem like a brilliant choice given his past managerial record we have to consider who else Ashley could've signed.
Martin O'Neil was a name mentioned although whether or not he would have gotten on without full backing of the board is debatable. Martin Jol was also available and if Ashley wants Premier League experience then he would've been a good choice. As ever Alan Curbishley was mentioned and Alan Shearer even piped up to say he'd be interested in the job. At least Pardew isn't being hailed as the next Messiah.
One man who may have been the new Messiah is Diego Maradona. His name was being tentatively whispered. Of course Maradona has put himself in the line for pretty any job that becomes vacant recently but imagine if he had ended up at Newcastle?! It would be mayhem. Magnificent mayhem! How I would've loved to see that. Let's not forget, it is Newcastle United. Just how surprising would the appointment of El Diego have been?
Whatever Ashley's reasons for this, quite frankly, stupid decision Newcastle's next match against corner-turning Liverpool could prove fascinating. No doubt our over-reactive-prone media will heap praise on the winner and condemn the loser to yet another 'crisis.' Wherever this corner is it's fast becoming a roundabout.