Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughPardew's unsurprising second season syndrome. - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Pardew's unsurprising second season syndrome. - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Pardew’s unsurprising second season syndrome.

There was great satisfaction on Tyneside last May as Newcastle secured fifth spot, and manager Alan Pardew earned the LMA and Premier League manager of the year awards. As their current season lies in ruins after a 3-0 home defeat to bitter rivals on Sunday, a cursory glance at the history books reminds we have been here before.

The 2005/06 season had been similarly successful for West Ham, with a ninth place finish and an FA Cup Final. Indeed, the Hammers were a penalty shootout away from actually winning the trophy. Still, with European football and a new Argentine duo in Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, hopes were high for a sustained period of success.

The next season proved disasterous. Pardew was out by December having presided over the club’s worst run for 70 years. The 51 year-old has recently spoken about acting a bit too big for his boots in the past, thinking he was invincible. I would wager this was in the summer of 2006.

At Charlton, he took a side battling relegation from the top flight and left them battling relegation from the Championship. In his defence, the club was stuck in a post-Curbishley downward spiral, but it is hardly a glowing reference on the Londoner’s CV.

Southampton saw Pardew overcome a ten-point deficit to bring the club to the brink of the League One play-offs. Another sacking followed at the start of the next season, amid reports of bust-ups with players and staff. Three sackings unsurprisingly made him a more humble character, and Newcastle have undoubtedly felt the benefit of that more rounded character.

Pardew’s time at Newcastle has been the highlight of his career, but he is yet to prove he can turn around a losing team that has no confidence. The dark months of winter were overcome, but not without a host of overdue new signings. He, and the clubs board, were probably guilty of the same arrogance of the past when they thought they could repeat the success of last season with the same squad.

Instead, it’s taken the likes of Moussa Sissoko and Mathieu Debuchy to haul Newcastle above the waterline. We can all sit and wonder how Newcastle would have done if they had started the season with all their recent new signings. The reality is, they are not yet safe from relegation, and if Pardew survives the summer he will be under tremendous pressure to prove that the 2011/12 season was not a flash in the pan, and to rewrite his own history books.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *