Multiple high-profile outlets in England are reporting that under-fire Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew will be keeping his job despite just three points through the club’s first six matches.
Pardew has made himself an enemy to a good deal of Newcastle fans, inspiring some fervent detractors to start the web site SackPardew.com and stage a protest outside St. James Park. From the head butting of Hull player David Meyler to seemingly blaming the fans for some of the club’s poor performances, he’s not beloved.
And then came the reports that owner Mike Ashley said Monday’s match against Stoke City was win or bust for the manager.
They lost, but it looks like it’ll be bust-free… for the time being.
[ RELATED: Pardew expects “serious conversations” with owner ]
Both Sky Sports and the BBC are reporting that Pardew is safe in charge of the Magpies, which is both surprising and somewhat-logical. Newcastle spent a boatload of money on new players this summer for the first time in years, so if Pardew was fit to keep his job heading into the season, it follows he’s still fit to lead the players into the end of 2014.
At the same time, there have been some insipid performances under Pardew, including a historically-bad run of form at the end of last season that included his head butting suspension (yes, that happened) and a number of big blowout losses including a 4-0 decision against Southampton this year.
Ashley has dug in his heels, and is willing to give Pardew more time (though the manager expects “serious conversations” about his future). And perhaps it’s not as absurd as we think. If they players have his back — the owner would know better than us — this is a manager that led the club into the Europa League a few years back and started red-hot last season before Joe Kinnear okayed the sale of talisman Yohan Cabaye.
But if it’s simply a case of Ashley being headstrong against his fans in an “I know better” stance, well…
Maybe, just maybe, Newcastle will win against Swansea City this week and take another step toward getting well. But the alternative, another step toward life in the Championship, could make the fan furor harder to withstand. What say you?