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Pardew on brink of managerial marathon with Newcastle United

By Lee Ryder on Apr 20, 12 09:39 AM


It's an amazing fact but Alan Pardew is on course to be the first Newcastle United manager to complete a Premier League season since Bobby Robson in 2003/04.

Graeme Souness, Glenn Roeder, Sam Allardyce, Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear, Chris Hughton and Alan Shearer were all given limited time to get it right at St James' Park, despite pleas during their time in charge for "stability" on Tyneside.

Despite those pleas none of them were able to get from game one to game 38 without enduring the dreaded chop.

So for the first time for the best part of a decade, Newcastle finally have some stability.

It's no coincidence that Newcastle's most successful chapters in modern history were written during Robson's five year tenure between 1999-2004, and Kevin Keegan's time in office from 1992-1997 resulted in finishes in the upper reaches of the Premier League.

Robson's record of 11th, 11th, 4th, 3rd and 5th was impressive enough given what Newcastle have endured in recent times.

And Keegan's record of winning the second tier before 3rd, 6th and 2nd shows that consistency and familiarity is just as important as throwing money at teams.

You only have to look down the road at Manchester United to see what longer term stability achieves under Sir Alex Ferguson - something Pardew - as a close friend of Fergie - must be looking at and taking notes.

The key has to be communication from Academy to reserve to first team level and making sure everybody is reading from the same page.

The fanbase at Newcastle will always be there too.

But Pardew's secret is a combination of things for me.

He's kept it simple when needed and he hasn't acted on impulse or been dragged in emotionally, in fact he's stated before not being a Geordie has helped him in decision making and gave him a clearer vision when making certain decisions.

Sometimes not having respect for tradition is a help for a manager.

Pardew has catered for the need to keep some things traditional by bringing in John Carver, it can't be a total coincidence that a Newcastle boss is in Champions League contention with the Geordie coach at their side.

As always the manager though gets credit for leading HIS team to the business end of the table.

Pardew can lead Newcastle to their highest finish in six years this weekend and he has already bettered Robson's points tally by seven points in the former England manager's first term in charge.

But let's not get carried away, there is still work to be done in the next five games to match Robson's feat of leading the Mags into the Champions League.

Nevertheless Pardew reaching game 38 still as manager is an achievement in itself giving the fate of those who came before him.

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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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