Newcastle manager: Let’s rejoice that Alan Pardew is going but his Newcastle successor faces the same problem – Mike Ashley


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Good old Newcastle United, the comedy club run by Mike Ashley that prides itself on lurching from one surreal episode to the next. Only the joke has been wearing thin for far too long now.

While most of Tyneside rejoices at the fact the Alan Pardew reign is over, what lies around the corner could swiftly wipe the smile off the faces of the Geordie faithful. Seeing Joe Kinnear back for another foul-mouthed stint at the club would not be a massive shock.

That Pardew survived this long is a miracle in itself. He has been constantly undermined by Ashley throughout his tenure. How little power Pardew held was shown inside two months when star striker and local hero Andy Carroll was sold, despite the manager’s regular assurances that he was not for sale. It made him look stupid and weak – and he knew it.

Pardew again lost his key player in the last January transfer window when Yohan Cabaye was sold and not replaced. The team plummeted down the table and the fans’ wrath turned on their manager.

Newcastle skipper Fabricio Coloccini is set to take charge

The vitriol directed at Pardew throughout most of 2014 has been nothing short of vicious. While managers being abused at St James’ Park is nothing new – just ask the likes of Graeme Souness or Sam Allardyce how tough it can be – this was at another level.

Being scared to leave your home dugout for fear of enraging fans is never a good sign. Nor is having a website set up solely for the purpose of wanting you sacked, nor is having 30,000 sheets of paper printed, calling for your dismissal, for fans to wave at the next match. And Pardew certainly has not helped himself.

Being caught calling Manuel Pellegrini “a fucking old cunt” was bad enough but he was incredibly lucky to keep his job after headbutting Hull City’s David Meyler, escaping with a stadium and touchline ban and a hefty fine. Also, his record in the cups and against local rivals Sunderland is nothing short of dreadful.

Now Pardew has decided to walk, and club captain Fabricio Coloccini is in line to take over. The Argentine is popular with the fans but he has no managerial experience – a bizarre and cheap appointment. Very Mike Ashley.

And he will face the same problems: an owner happy to meander in mid-table in the league, rake in the television money and sell the best players if the right offer comes in. Unless Ashley suddenly decides to strive for something other than mediocrity, there is only frustration ahead. And that is no laughing matter.