It is safe to say there weren’t too many Newcastle fans feeling disappointed when the news of Alan Pardew’s departure from the club was announced at the start of 2015. In fact plenty of the passionate Geordie fan base were probably delighted at the decision of their manager to end his tenure in the North East as he swapped St James’ Park for Selhurst.
But almost three months on from his departure, and having seen their side overtaken in the Premier League by his new employers, Newcastle fans – however reluctant to admit it – may well be missing Alan Pardew as he continues to impress in his new job.
Pardew’s decision to leave Newcastle was one that was considered beneficial to all parties despite the fact on a personal level he was leaving one of the Premier League’s biggest clubs to join a smaller club with lower expectations. There had been numerous demonstrations from Newcastle fans calling for his sacking during his four years at the club, and it seemed he was never going to win around the fans despite doing a decent job when you consider the lack of transfer funds and the club’s willingness to sell their star players.
He left Newcastle sitting in 10th place in the league, 10 points clear of Crystal Palace who at the time found themselves in the bottom three and in desperate need of a change in fortune to ensure they retained their top flight status. And following his arrival, he has overseen just that with the two clubs enduring a contrasting run of form that has seen the Eagles leapfrog the Magpies.
An impressive away victory at Stoke last weekend leaves Palace a point ahead of Newcastle with eight games remaining. With eight wins from 13 games and having collected 22 league points, Palace have quashed any fears of relegation after some exciting performances and the displays of players such as Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie have provided plenty of optimism for the future.
Newcastle on the other hand have been poor on the whole under caretaker boss John Carver, recording just two wins in 12 games. Although comfortably in mid-table, their inability to kick on and secure a top half finish has been disappointing, and there certainly hasn’t been much to cheer about in recent months. There’s nothing to say that Pardew would have faired any better in the period since his departure, but he couldn’t really have done any worse.
There were plenty of highs and lows during his spell on Tyneside, having been involved in both the battle for European places and relegation. Despite plenty of abuse and disapproval at his ability to succeed in the job, he always seemed to turn it around, failing to get the credit he deserved in what was ultimately an extremely difficult job.
The turnaround he has masterminded at Palace has highlighted what a good manager Pardew is, and the appreciation and backing he receives from the fans will be a welcome change from his time at Newcastle. However things look far less encouraging in the North East, with plenty of question marks surrounding the managerial situation and the direction of the club going forward.
It’s doubtful that many fans will feel that allowing Pardew to leave the club was the wrong decision, and for personal reasons it was certainly a justified one. But it could certainly be argued that Newcastle are missing the fact he is no longer manager and what’s more, he was unfairly treated and didn’t get the praise he warranted during his time in charge. It’s only since moving on that we are seeing just what a good job he did.