“Pardew doing a better job than people realise this season”
It’s fair to say that eight-year contracts aren’t exactly commonplace in football. So you can imagine everyone’s surprise when Newcastle owner Mike Ashley made sure his manager Alan Pardew was signed up until 2020. The Life’s a Pitch team were also a little shocked at this show of committment, but as they point out, Pardew is simply being rewarded for doing a superb job on Tyneside.
“Well done, Mike Ashley, for showing this statement of commitment and intent,” says the Daily Mirror’s Martin Lipton. “Yes, of course there is the other side, which is that if someone comes for him [Pardew], maybe England in two years, then Newcastle can get a lot of compensation, so it’s not just protecting Pardew. But it’s a commitment as much as anyone can make.”
And Martin reckons that last season’s manager of the year is once again showing his talents. “Pardew is doing a better job than people realise this season, because look at the players that he’s not got available,” he says of an injury list that has included first-team regulars Ryan Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tioté, Danny Simpson and Steven Taylor.
“But the players that are coming in are doing a really good job. They’re buying into what Pardew wants them to do. And even if they would normally be reserve players, substitutes, when they get their chance, they’re taking it. And that’s because they trust the manager.”
One of their star performers this season is Demba Ba, and even though the Senegalese striker is continually linked with a move away from St James’ Park, Martin’s colleague at the Daily Mirror, John Cross, expects him to stay on Tyneside until next summer at least.
“[Buying] clubs clearly have a worry,” says John of Ba’s perceived fitness issues. “He needs to carry on scoring. Maybe his time will come next season if he’s fulfilled another season scoring and one of the Champions League clubs might come knocking. But until then, where could he go that improves his position? I think Newcastle will be pushing harder for the top four than Liverpool.”
The panel also looks ahead to Newcastle’s match against Manchester United this weekend.
Watch the full video discussion by clicking on the play button in the image above.
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Watch Newcastle live on BT Vision:
Newcastle v Bordeaux, 8pm, 4 October, ESPN
Newcastle v Man Utd, 3.30pm, 7 October, Sky Sports 1
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