It’s all got Pete Tong for Alan Pardew. The Newcastle manager looked to have managed to escape the axe after his last troublesome boss, Joe Kinnear left the club but now he has landed himself in deeper water which he might not get out of. The former West Ham and Charlton boss faces a lengthy ban form the FA after allegedly head butting Hull’s David Meyler during Saturday’s 4-1 win. Video footage shows Pardew being pushed by Meyler as the player ran after the ball which had gone for a throw. Incensed by this, the Newcastle boss proceeded to square up to the player before pushing his head forward into the players chin and left eye. This act alone could cost Pardew his job and puts his whole career in jeopardy.
Pardew has no defense. The pictures and video show clearly that he led with his head and he knows it so an appeal against whatever punishment is handed down by the FA is unlikely. The governing body could hand him as much as a ten game ban which would suspend Pardew up until the end of the current season and a hefty fine. Newcastle has already fined their manager £100,000 but could take further action if Pardew is unable to coach for the remainder of the season. It would give owner Mike Ashley the perfect get out clause to Pardew’s contract by being able to fire him for gross misconduct. Ashley famously handed the Newcastle boss a bumper 10 year contract in 2012 which at the time was meant to encourage a long term approach for the club. But in doing so, Ashley effectively made an expensive mistake as now sacking the manager would cost the club millions in compensation. But with Pardew in breach, the contract can be ripped up with little to no payments given to the troubled manager.
If Pardew is sacked, his career as a manager may be in danger with few clubs willing to take on a hot head for a coach. Pardew’s temper has landed him in trouble before so a repeat of Saturday’s incident would be hard to rule out. Last year, he was charged by the FA for pushing a fourth official after a disagreement. In 2006, he was involved in a heated exchange with Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger after the Gunners manager took exception to an overly enthusiastic celebration by Pardew in front of him. Even this season, Pardew has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons with flare ups with Southampton boss Pochettino and with Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini calling the latter a “f*cking old c*nt”. Hardly what you would expect from a man in such an illustrious position within football. The critics are already calling for Pardew to be sacked with several coaches and former players jumping on the bandwagon. Robbie Savage has called Pardew a disgrace whilst Alan Shearer also slammed the manager insisting he should resign. Others like Joey Barton have jumped to his defense saying that whilst his actions were wrong, Pardew shouldn’t be hung out to dry based on this. Unfortunately few will agree with Barton as the FA looks to make an example of the Newcastle boss.
Whilst the pressure and stress of managing a Premiership club can get to some managers, the frequency of Pardew’s outbursts and the severity of them suggest deeper issues. Pardew may have anger issues that need to be addressed, either through counseling or treatment. He needs to control this part of his character if he is to continue to manage at the top levels of football. The FA will decide shortly what his punishment is to be and Newcastle will follow shortly after that but for Pardew the consideration starts now. He must decide how to cope with this side of his character and what the best course to take is. It might be treatment, it might be rest, or it might be some time away from the game. The latter however may not be his decision to make.