The FA have deemed it only worthy of a slap on the wrist. Alan Pardew’s vulgar language towards Manuel Pellegrini during Newcastle’s 2-0 loss to Manchester City on Saturday, captured quite clearly on camera during the lunchtime game, is seen as far less offensive than the throwaway incidents that have preceded it in recent weeks.
Pardew is a repeat offender who, having found a calm and generally subtle approach to management these days, is prone to lashing out in unpleasant fashion, notably on the touchline.
How many times is the matter of the pick-and-choose culture of governing bodies going to come up? It’s tired and boring. It’s irritating more than anything, however. Forget for a moment that Pardew’s insult towards Pellegrini is a little strange considering the Chilean is only eight years Pardew’s senior, it’s simply the matter that if we are going to get offended by something, it’s going to be language of that nature, especially when it’s caught on national television.
But if we’re going to analyse the actions of Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott, then Pardew deserves similar considerations. Despite Newcastle’s good position in the Premier League, there is no certainty for a manager under the reign of Mike Ashley. Moreover, why shouldn’t Pardew, or any manager, be aggrieved when a goal decision goes against them in such a manner? The last thing we should do is create an image or expectancy that vulgar language is alien to a football stadium.
Credit to Pellegrini though for not rising to Pardew. The Chilean is generally unassuming and has disappointed many in this country for his “lack of copy.” There are other managers in the top flight who could have made the situation worse.
If players, however, are going to be reminded of their position in the game and a need to uphold professionalism at all times, managers need to be forced along the same line of thinking. Swearing is commonplace; Newcastle were on the end of a poor decision and Pardew wouldn’t have been the only one venting his frustration at St James’ Park. It was just a little unnerving to see another manager on the end of such language. Would the FA have been so lenient if it was referee Mike Jones who was the recipient rather than Pellegrini?
The main problem is the FA and its choosing of when to take action. If they’re going to dish it out for one, or at the very least seek to take some form of retrospective action, shouldn’t the same apply for another? Pardew has gotten away with it, though in the general context of football, it’s understandable that the language he used is commonplace. Directing it at Pellegrini, though, can’t be condoned.
I’m just struggling to see how the words Pardew used, of which there is no doubt about what he said, is less offensive than Jack Wilshere’s gesture to the Manchester City fans.