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You Don't Have to be Mad to Work Here, But It Helps

By Lee Ryder on Dec 17, 10 08:43 AM

Those who can't handle the madness need not apply - or at least that could the be the job advert if Alan Pardew decided to go public with his Newcastle United recruitment drive.

The new United manager has only been in the job eight days but already admits he feels like it's been "four dog years" since taking the reins at St James' Park.

He was joking of course, but in his media conference ahead of the Birmingham game he admitted that plans to bring in new faces were already well under way.

Interestingly, Pardew spoke of a special breed of player that was required to fit the bill at Newcastle.

He used Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton as examples of the sort of characters that are needed to help keep the club where they are to begin with and then build.

Too often United have signed players who can't handle the heat on Tyneside, or the madness as some might prefer to put it with many over-rated and overpaid overseas stars quickly moving on.

As a former member of this Parish once put it: "You're never more than five minutes away from a problem."

One time it was uttered he was stopped by Glenn Roeder who said: "No you're wrong, you're never more than two minutes away!"

Such banter is part of the madness but Pardew is right in that whoever comes to Newcastle should know they aren't in for a picnic.

Intense speculation about transfers, a mooted takeover bid by Qatari investors, a swift denial on that same bid, one manager out after leading the team to promotion, one manager in and fan protests before and after the game - AND that was only the last week!!!

You couldn't blame anybody for putting up a sign proclaiming: "You Don't Have to be Mad to Work Here, But It Helps" at St James' Park.

However, we all know how the good times can roll on Tyneside.

The first Keegan era was only halted by a refusal to start shutting shop in games during at title race that the Magpies well and truly "lost" in 1996.

The Sir Bobby Robson team of the early Noughties was almost as talented but when the former chairman stopped putting the money in to back the Toon great, the decline that led to relegation years later set in.

For all, the doom and gloom at the moment there are still straws to clutch at.

Hatem Ben Arfa, Andy Carroll, Joey Barton, Jose Enrique, Cheik Tiote and Tim Krul are all good enough and young enough to build a team around for the future - all of them must be tied down to longer-term deals.

But they must be supported by more quality signings and it is now down to Pardew to convince the owner of that - or pay the price of mid-table mediocrity at the very best or another painful slide into the Championship at worst.

Throw in rocks like Kevin Nolan, Fabricio Coloccini, the inside club knowledge and experience of Steve Harper and Shola Ameobi and there are also rough diamonds beneath first team level such as Haris Vuckic, Phil Airey, Brad Inman and Samuel Adjei who could all be stars of the future with the correct amount of nurturing.

However, as far as the now is concerned, the next January transfer window is an important one.

Chris Hughton said he wouldn't be bringing anybody in January when in charge.

Pardew has already said he will.

And if Newcastle are close to or beyond that 30 point tally before the window opens for play in a fortnight, should Pardew get the players he wants on his shopping list, talk of relegation could be banished much sooner than expected.

3 Comments

Matt said:

Just read on skysports, that Newcastle is prepared to sell Joey Barton for 1.5 million during the January transfer window. If they do that, I am done. I can't take it anymore.

toon4life said:

This FAT IDIOT onwer is a ridiculars joke and his stop gap manager of ours. A yes man who said just a day or so ago that Barton would not be going anywhere. Jobs for boys that's what it is. FCB has no concept of what our football club means to us as long he gets as much money from us as possible. I say GET OUT OF OUR BELOVED CLUB NOW!!

relton said:

Just read that ManUre are looking for a deal on Carroll - whch is significantly higher than the stakes offered by the Spurs deal. Maybe they could give us back Owen (and that was said with irony - not a Christmas wish!!!!).

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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