Alan Pardew is set for talks with Joe Kinnear this week, primarily with Darren Bent at the top of the agenda. And while Newcastle’s surprise appointment of Kinnear will be afforded full license over transfer matters, it would be too swift and perhaps too reckless a move for Pardew to resign.
Maybe a wider question here is what Mike Ashley actually wants from all this. Why did he buy Newcastle if he’s willing to make such misguided and categorically stupid decisions? Alan Pardew himself was seen as a bad move when Chris Hughton guided Newcastle back into the Premier League, though Pardew proved his worth by taking the club to fifth place in the Premier League.
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If Ashley absolutely doesn’t trust Pardew for his abilities as a football manager – and of course that now spans the on-pitch coaching to behind the scenes work with transfers – then why appoint him in the first place? The Newcastle owner failed to back his manager last summer and in turn saw the club fall so far from competing for European places that they found themselves in a relegation battle. And now, in order to “right the ship” of his own mess, he’s brought in Kinnear.
We don’t know yet whether Kinnear and Pardew can have a working relationship. The manager wants Darren Bent as his big-name forward signing this summer and Kinnear would do well to oblige him, especially considering the general feeling among most football supporters in England of his return to the game. There could be grounds for something positive moving forward between the two, as much as a stretch as that may seem.
Yet for Pardew to resign now would be a huge risk on his part. English managers are not “in fashion” at the moment, with clubs wanting to explore their options with those based abroad. There is a feeling that a manager with an exotic name and a CV that has prominent football nations listed as previous places of employment will bring greater reward than those from England. Where Pardew was seen as to have greater experience in the Premier League over Hughton, or something ridiculous, the same line of thinking may not be considered when he’s weighed up against those arriving in England for the first time with European progressive thinking.
For Pardew, he’d do well to remain on board for the time being, gathering an understanding what it will be like to work with Kinnear. When names are being airdropped in and assets sold without the manager’s consent, then there is cause for concern – as we’ve seen in the past at St James’ Park.
There is little faith in what Ashley can bring to the table in terms of footballing matters, but somewhere there has to be a degree of hope that Kinnear and Pardew can see eye to eye and put the best interests of the club first, rather than a potential internal battle that should never have been a possibility through ill-judged appointments.
Should Pardew take a stand and resign?
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