Pardew gets time to turn the Toon around

Alan Pardew

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is set to remain in charge of the club for the foreseeable future, despite mounting calls for his dismissal, in the wake of his side’s dismal start to the Premier League season.

The 53-year-old conceded he faced “serious conversations” with club owner Mike Ashley after Monday’s 1-0 defeat at Stoke City left the club one place off the foot of the Premier League, with just three points from their first six games.

Some bookmakers suspended betting on Pardew being the next top-flight manager to leave yesterday morning amid a widespread assumption that Pardew’s time was surely up.

But it is understood not only will Pardew remain in charge for Saturday’s trip to Swansea and beyond, there are no “crisis” talks planned with Ashley. That does not amount to an unlimited vote of confidence from the club’s billionaire owner, but an acknowledgement that not all the problems the team is experiencing on the pitch are down to the manager.

Pardew’s squad underwent significant change during the summer, with nine new faces — Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles were immediately loaned back to Nottingham Forest — arriving at St James’ Park. As well as the fact the proven striker and commanding central defender they wanted remained tantalisingly out of their grasp, the Magpies’ concentration on the continental market once again saw them swoop for Daryl Janmaat, Siem de Jong, Remy Cabella, Emmanuel Riviere and Ayoze Perez, as well as Argentinian striker Facundo Ferreyra, leaving former Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback as the only recruit with Premier League experience.

Pardew, whose influence in transfer dealings is limited, previously spoke about the need to attract men who already had a grounding in English football, but later admitted homegrown players had come at a particularly high premium this summer.

The fact that the likes of Janmaat, Cabella and Riviere in particular have struggled to get to grips with the Premier League — De Jong’s loss to a long-term thigh injury has also proved costly — has not gone unnoticed in the boardroom, and the blame for that is not being laid at the manager’s feet.

In the circumstances, much of the pressure on the former Reading, West Ham, Charlton and Southampton boss is coming from disaffected fans, with many of those who made the trip to Stoke making their feelings known during the game and on the final whistle. However, Ashley, who told a journalist — he later insisted in jest — last week that Pardew would be sacked if the team lost at Stoke, remains in his corner, just, and will give him more time to turn things around.


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