Dan Pritchard offers his thoughts on THAT infamous ‘face nudge,’ and explains why Pardew’s moment madness is just the latest in a long line of his managerial misdemeanour’s….
A few weeks I wrote an article entitled “clash of the titans”. In this piece, I chose to write about spats that have occurred between managers and players during a game. Little did I know, I would only have to wait a few more weeks to witness the juiciest incident of them all.
The Alan Pardew incident is one that has already been well published in the media. It has created a platform of debate for everyone, including fans and ex-professionals – in particular, Graeme Souness – who has this to say in a recent interview:
“This is a sackable offence. I’ve been frustrated and upset by a number of things, but I’ve never gone down that road…Pardew has a track record of confronting people – he is extremely passionate, but this passion this time has gone too far.”
Souness’ comments, to most, are clearly justified – especially when you consider the track record that was previously mentioned. Pardew has always been a provocative character – something which came to everyone’s attention as early as 2006. Whilst managing West Ham United, Pardew went head to head with arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. After a poor string of results, Pardew was fired from his post at the Hammers but was announced as Newcastle United manager in 2010. It is at Newcastle where his most explosive exploits have occurred, which include once again going head to head with another manager after Pardew raucously celebrated his teams goal in front of the opposition manager, pushing linesman Peter Kirkup and the abuse of Manuel Pellegrini.
If anyone was to believe Pardew still had a leg to stand on after all of his discretions, it would definitely be the egotistical Pardew – and the current Newcastle United man was quick to defend himself regarding the comments made by Souness.
“It’s a bit strong coming from him. He’s the man who took a flag and planted it in the middle of an Istanbul derby. But people have their own opinions; I can’t do anything about that.”
In its simplest form, Pardew is right. It’s hard having your name dragged through the mud – especially when the condemnation comes from such a fiery character, someone who is also no stranger to heat of the moment decisions. In Pardew defence, he was quick to acknowledge that his actions were wrong and accepted the repercussions that were going to come from it, which includes a £100,000 fine and a probable lengthy touchline ban courtesy of the F.A.
To many, and me included, this is the bare minimum for the misconduct that has ensued. It doesn’t come down to whether he hurts the player or not – after all, in the video you can clearly see the use of the word “head butt” is overstated. However, it does come down to the position that Pardew finds himself in. As a manager of a football club there has to be a certain level of decorum in the way you handle yourself. It’s as simple as that. How can he expect to control his own players when he can’t even control his own emotions? How can he earn respect when he clearly doesn’t have respect for others? The questions are starting to pile up against Pardew, and it’s up to him to answer them and prove his critics, and myself, wrong.
And Alan, I’m afraid to say that a slap up meal just won’t do!