Piers Barber looks back at five moments of Alan Pardew madness…
Alan Pardew has won both the Premier League Manager of the Season and LMA Manager of the Year awards, has twice led teams to Premier League promotion and is surpassed only by Arsene Wenger as the longest serving manager in the Premier League.
Yet the current Newcastle United boss still seems determined to prove that he has a few wires loose, with his behaviour on the touchline repeatedly proving irresponsible, and often nasty. A succession of crazy moments reached a bizarre culmination on Saturday, when he was sent to the stands for headbutting Hull City’s David Meyler.
Pardew has already been fined £100,000 for his actions, and can expect more punishment in the coming days from the FA. His case is unlikely to be helped by the fact he has considerable previous in the field of managerial indiscretions. Here are five of his worst moments of madness that are coming increasingly close to defining his managerial career.
Clashes between Newcastle United and Sunderland are always highly competitive affairs, but Pardew took the Tyne-Wear competitive spirit to newly inappropriate levels in March 2012, when his overly confrontational celebration of a penalty award led to an ugly exchange with affronted Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill. Pardew has previous with ungainly touchline celebrations: a long-standing feud with Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger prompted the Newcastle manager to celebrate far too over-zealously after Marlon Harewood scored a late winner for West Ham in November 2006. His reaction provoked an ugly confrontation with the Arsenal manager, who refused to shake the hand of his opposite number at full time.
Many managers struggle to find it within themselves to treat match officials with appropriate levels of decorum, but their methods of contesting decisions have rarely extended into the realms of physical intimidation. That’s not the case for Pardew, though, who decisively crossed that line during a clash with Tottenham on the opening day of the 2012/13 season. The Newcastle boss disagreed with assistant referee Peter Kirkup’s decision that the ball had not gone out of play, and let him know as much by petulantly pushing the official in the arm. Pardew was sent to the stands and later admitted his behaviour was “ridiculous”. Quite, Alan, quite.
In March 2009, Pardew was invited onto Match of the Day’s Sunday night show to provide his expert verdict on Chelsea’s clash with Manchester City. Yet even far away from the pressures of life on the touchline, Pardew couldn’t help but commit a highly offensive moment of madness: whilst describing a tussle for possession between Michael Essien and Manchester City’s Ched Evans, he described the Chelsea player as “a strong boy, he absolutely rapes him”. Bizarrely, the BBC declined to make an on-air apology: despite receiving 35 viewer complaints, the broadcaster insisted that Pardew’s comment had been misheard as “rakes.”
2. Insulting his own fans at West Ham
Most of Pardew’s indiscretions have been directed at an outside party, when a violent temper and overly-competitive character have forced him into acting out of line in defence of his own club’s interests. But Alan has proved capable of mistreating his own fans, too. Just after Pardew had taken over as manager of Charlton, who were due to face his former club West Ham in February 2007, the Sun published a video of the manager taking a media training session whilst at his old club in which he described its fans as “w**kers” who “should all f**k off”. Much further training was clearly required for the club’s charmingly eloquent gaffer.
Perhaps Pardew’s most deplorable moment of madness came earlier this season in a league match against Manchester City, when England’s most pleasant manager launched into a foul-mouthed rant against his opposite number Manuel Pellegrini. The City boss had confronted Pardew over his persistent appeals to referees, an accusation which prompted the Newcastle boss, just eight years Pellegrini’s junior, to describe the Chilean as a “f**king old c***”. An apology from Newcastle’s honourable gaffer was forthcoming only after the press confronted him about his behaviour: “I hear my comments were picked up and I apologise for them 100 per cent,” he blushed, a real “I’m sorry you’re offended” apology if ever there was one. Somehow, Pardew escaped the incident without charge.