Premier League managers aren’t strangers to being criticised for the decisions they make and find themselves coming under fire on a regular basis.
When Newcastle United lost 1-0 away at Stoke City on September 29, they were condemned to their third defeat of the season in just six games.
At the time, it looked as though there was only going to be one outcome for manager Alan Pardew and his eventual departure seemed to be a case of when as opposed to if it will happen.
There was certainly a feeling of inevitability that he will be sacked as we have seen only too often when teams are struggling as it’s very rare that any manager is given time to make amends these days and most chairmen hit the panic button.
During the defeat at Stoke and in previous games, fans held up signs calling for Pardew to be axed and even set up a website named sackpardew.com.
Six games later and how things have changed as 42 days is a very long time in football and the turnaround in performances, results, atmosphere and the general feeling around the whole club is quite remarkable.
Following the Stoke game, Pardew said:
“I’m not going to hide from it – I know there is a big question mark about me being at this club and the only way I can answer it is to do the job to the best of my ability and try to come up with the answers.”
It’s fair to say that he is on his way to answering those questions.
Of course there will still be those who want Pardew gone – that may never change – but grumblings from the crowd have hit a lull which shows just how fickle a sport it can be at times.
He appears to have saved his job for the time being and has turned how the season looks so far completely on its head.
Credit where it is due must be given and the manner in which he has dealt with the situation with a fantastic level of maturity and professionalism is impressive.
He’s managed to stay strong in the face of adversity, never shied away from the challenge and simply let the results do the talking.
It’s easy for negative energy to spread from the stands on to the pitch and the players feel those vibes and the way he has controlled the situation has been excellent.
The capability to motivate the players to perform when morale couldn’t possibly get any lower is a real credit to the man who is currently the second longest serving manager in the Premier League with one club.
It’s very refreshing to see a Premier League manager pull through a whirlwind of abuse and tough times to bounce back and recover when there looked to be no way back.
Good run of form
Newcastle are now on a five-game unbeaten run in league with four wins and a draw since the Stoke loss.
They’re also six games unbeaten in all competitions courtesy of a stunning 2-0 win at Manchester City in the League Cup on October 29.
They host Queens Park Rangers on November 22 at St James’ Park and will fancy their chances of extending their unbeaten run against the struggling Londoners.
How high can Newcastle United finish in the Premier League?