Our defeat against Palace prompted the old ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’ chant from the Bobby Moore lower, and while I wouldn’t go that far – I think time has come for club and manager to part ways.
Firstly, I appreciate what Sam has done for the club. Relegated, in a mess, with a number of players who either weren’t good enough or just couldn’t be arsed – Sam turned things around. Promoted in his first season and finishing impressively in the top half of the table back in the top flight. I will never and have never shouted ‘Sam Out’ or tweeted David Gold abuse, begging him to get rid of our manager, but I do think it is time to part ways.
The owners may want stability, but with the number of people not renewing their season ticket next season, Upton Park could be half empty by the time we leave for the Olympic Stadium should Sam still be in charge. I was fortunate enough to be in the press box for the Palace game and having seen Allardyce’s manor after the game – you could tell the pressure was getting to him. I think Mr Gold and Sullivan will do the right thing this summer and put us out of our misery. But when it comes to a new manager, the board really have to think hard.
For me – I want Premier League experience, a West Ham connection and a bit of passion and adaptability about a manager. One man crops up every time I think about it – Alan Pardew. Newcastle fans are sick of him but having guided West Ham back to the Premier League and then to the Uefa Cup, I still have a lot of time for the bloke. Behind the scenes issues cropped up last time at Upton Park, but the fans have a good relationship with him and his passion is there for all to see, even if he takes it too far sometimes.
After doing a fine job at West Ham and Southampton, Pardew then took Newcastle to Europe and very nearly the Champions League on a fraction of the budget compared to his competitors. But the fans at St James’ Park don’t want Pardew and I really think a return to West Ham could work.
A two year contract for Pardew, which would expire just as we move to the Olympic Stadium, would make sense for club and employee and give everyone involved with the club the chance to try and get back to the way we want to play. Pardew is tactically astute and adaptable, something that Allardyce really isn’t, and can get the best out of players who are struggling for form.
Should Newcastle inevitably sack the unwanted gaffer, I see no better option than to bring him back to Upton Park and see if we can get the feeling buzzing around the ground from his previous time. The options are limited for Gold and Sullivan – Laudrup was considered not good enough for Swansea, Bilic has never managed in the Premier League and Malky Mackay is still struggling to find work even with West Brom and Norwich needing a new boss.
The more you think about it, the more Pardew makes sense – no?