Not sure what’s gotten into Alan Pardew lately but the man has been positively enfuego the last few days.
On Sunday he discussed how his boss, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, doesn’t understand football: “He loves football but he sometimes can’t understand how it works and it confuses and upsets him, and when he is upset, he does things that aren’t brilliant for the football club.”
But then earlier today the Magpies manager was at it again, telling new Sunderland boss Gus Poyet that he’s not experienced enough to cope with the Tyne-Wear derby.
“Gus will find it difficult there,” said Pardew. “The side that he’s managing need a bit of maintenance. They need their confidence building up.” The Englishman continued, “that first derby will be a shock to him. He might think he’s ready for it but it will be a shock.”
Bold words for a man whose side got spanked 3-0 at home in the same fixture last spring. That match, marked by Paolo Di Canio’s memorable display of suited knee slides and chest pounds, was the cherry on top of an embarrassing season for Pardew’s side.
Ironically enough, that was only Di Canio’s second match on Wearside after taking over for a squad that also lacked plenty of confidence and needed some maintenance.
Which makes Pardew’s decision to light a fire under Poyet all the more interesting. The derby, set to take place at the Stadium of Light on October 27th, will be Poyet’s second match in charge of the Black Cats following this weekend’s trip to Swansea City.
So what’s Pardew’s deal?
Tough to say. Pardew isn’t out to get Poyet (he insists he’s a fan of the Uruguayan), but at the same time the Newcastle manager is definitely stirring the up the derby pot, which you have to love. Either way, it’s Game On!
Last season Magpies defender Steven Taylor made headlines when he insisted that not a single Sunderland player would be able to get in the Newcastle team. It’s a soundbite Pardew hasn’t forgotten.
“The press are looking for an angle, a quote,” he said. “Last year Steven made a silly quote and that got really brought out into the open, and made into a massive story. It’s that sort of thing: you wake up in the morning and look at your phone and think ‘Oh god, here we go – someone’s make a rick’ and it makes it even more pressurized.”
Time to check your cell, Alan.