Pardew is a gamble, but his contract is foolish, proving that Newcastle have not learned their managerial lesson

Some gambles are simply worth taking. With evidence to support the gamblers speculation a trip into the unknown can prove to be a worthwhile experiment.

Michael Jackson’s decision to leave Motown records for Epic is an example of a huge gamble reaping rewards, with the belief that his creativity was being stifled by Berry Gordy’s label, as was George Soros’ decision to borrow £6.5 billion of sterling in 1992 and convert it into a mixture of French francs and Deutschmarks, as he believed the pound had to be devalued. His gamble was rewarded and he trousered a £1billion.

Both of these decisions were viewed as baffling at the time, as they ran against the grain of what was perceived to be the sensible course of action. Newcastle’s sacking of Chris Hughton and appointment of Alan Pardew as manager has been received with similar befuddlement and a general air of confusion amongst followers of the game.

In the week since his appointment though Pardew has seemingly galvanised his players and managed an impressive 3-1 victory over Liverpool on his managerial debut, which suggests that the unpopular gamble could against all odds pay dividends. However, the decision to offer Pardew a five and half year contract defies the logic of a gamble, as there is only ever going to be one benefactor from this deal.

Whilst his appointment prompted fans to angrily demonstrate their displeasure with the hugely unpopular owner Mike Ashley, Pardew stands a reasonable chance of being a success at Newcastle.

His track record is far from trophy laden, but he has proved himself to be a manager who is able to perform under pressure with little money and/or recognisable talent at his disposal, as he proved during spells at Reading and West Ham.

Difficult spells in charge of Charlton and Southampton helped reinforce the notion though that his appointment certainly is a gamble, as he failed to return both the former Premier League clubs to former glories, as they stuttered under his charge.

Whether or not he will prove to be a success is open for debate and in a certain corner of the country this is being done so fiercely, but ultimately only time will be able to tell this. The decision to sack a manager who returned the club to the glamour of the top flight with minimal fuss and secured their position in the league with a number of authoritative and impressive performances is also open for debate.

These choices though represent a gamble where something is being traded for another in the hope of a better outcome, but Pardew’s contract doesn’t fall into this bracket.

History suggests that he won’t fulfil his contract, as he’s the clubs eighth manager in five years.

It could be argued that the trend has to buck sometime and Pardew could conceivably stamp his mark on the club and satisfy the expectations of the passionate supporters and trigger happy owner.

If he does manage to stay at the club for the duration of his contract, he’ll do what no manager has done for well over thirty years and that’s remain in the hotseat for over five and half years, as Joe Harvey did between 1962 and 1975.

The offer then of such a lucrative contract suggests that the manager is a great authority in the game who had to be lured to the job with the aid of a big bag of swag, but this isn’t the case, as without being overly disrespectful to Pardew, he isn’t and has been unemployed since the start of the season after being sacked by a club two leagues below his current employer.

He would have surely arrived at the club with the same surprised smirk on his face with a two and half year contract tucked under his arm or perhaps even something less, which reflects the short life expectancy of Newcastle managers.

Whatever the outcome of Pardew’s tenure he has proved it pays to have friends in high places and if he succeeds in his new position, he’ll be welcomed into the warm bosom of the Newcastle faithful as padre Pardew and if he fails he’ll go home with a mighty severance pay as so many have done before him and he could well do in the future.

Either way he wins, with common sense being the loser and if history is to repeat itself the club’s bank balance will also lose out.

Tags: Newcastle United, Premier League

Share this article

Leave a comment

Chris Waddle – The French Way (1993)
Aston Villa Season Review 1991 - 1992 Denmark 2 Germany 0 (Euro 92 final) Saint and Greavsie (April 18 1992)