Hull City 1 Newcastle 4 match report: Alan Pardew apologises – but it can’t undo the damage or escape club fine and formal warning

It was a comprehensive and much-needed win for Newcastle – totally overshadowed by the most inglorious episode in this manager’s career

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The Independent Football

There will have been a moment last night, perhaps on the team bus, when Alan Pardew will have questioned what on earth had just happened to his life, why, with his team cruising towards victory, he ended up being sent off for head-butting the Hull midfielder David Meyler.

In the 72nd minute of yesterday’s match, his team led 3-1 and were set for victory. Then the ball went out in front of the Newcastle dugout, he became involved in an exchange with Meyler, and then, as the pair somehow came together, he put his head into the face of the former Sunderland midfielder and moved it forward.

Pardew was later fined £100,000 and received a formal warning from the club.

Pardew has made mistakes before, and, as Hull manager Steve Bruce, accepted, everyone does, but they will never have had the gravity of this one. Meyler’s reaction was one of fury. Bruce said afterwards that Pardew was lucky Meyler had not flattened him. He tried to. Thankfully, apart from initially hitting the Newcastle manager in the chest, he was kept at bay before the referee, Kevin Friend, raised his hand and signalled the end of the most inglorious part of Pardew’s career in football.


He walked down the tunnel and, again, it is impossible to imagine what was going through his head. He said afterwards there had not been a red mist. If there had not been and his head was clear at that point, the regrets must have been overwhelming. The game ended with a comprehensive 4-1 win,  leaving Pardew the second- highest-placed English manager in the Premier League. But none of that mattered.

In trying to explain what had happened at least he was forthright. “I shouldn’t be there really,” he said. “The incident was right on top of me. He pushed me away, I tried to ease him away and I obviously  put my head in a forward motion. You just can’t do that. I apologised to him, to everyone at Hull  and in particular to my own fans as well.

“From now I will definitely have to sit down and keep out of the way because that’s the second incident I have been involved in this year. Sometimes when you are on the sidelines you can get involved in an incident like that.

“It was an incident that just flared up all around me. I just wanted to get the guy away from me, but, as I said, it was a forward motion with your head and you can’t do that.

“I don’t think it was a head-butt. It wasn’t a motion that was quick like a head-butt; I just pushed him away. To get him out my face, basically.

“I am not stupid enough to accept that there’s going to be no punishment. I just have to accept what comes my way.”

That is likely to be a lengthy ban by the Football Association. Pardew has already been in trouble with the FA this season for the touchline language he used in a clash with the Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Bruce said he had never seen anything like Pardew’s clash with the player in his entire career. That was fairly damning, but he accepted the apology from the Newcastle manager.

“I’m still trying to come to terms with it, it’s just happened in front of me,” he said. “They’ve had time to digest it. It wouldn’t be right for me to comment but I would imagine Alan will be in serious trouble. Willie Donachie lost his job three weeks ago [Newcastle’s then reserve-team coach resigned after allegedly hitting one of his players]. I’ve seen it before in dressing rooms and I’ve seen it with your own players but never from an opposition manager. So it’s for Alan to deal with the consequences. I’m sure he regrets it but the seriousness of it will be the big talking point from what was a really difficult afternoon for us. “

And therein lied the further folly of Pardew. His team may have carried a small element of fortune in eh first half, but they were ultimately good value for an emphatic victory away from home. Such days are not supposed to be sullied by a head-butt, attempted or otherwise.

Newcastle led early through Moussa Sissoko and Loic Remy. Curtis Davies pounced on a Tim Krul mistake at the start of the second half, but a second goal soon followed for Sissoko, and in the 93rd minute Vurnon Anita made certain it  was an emphatic victory, albeit at great cost.


Hull City (5-3-2): McGregor; Elmohamady, Davies (Chester, 86), Bruce, Figueroa (Koren, 62), Rosenior; Livermore (Aluko, 62), Huddlestone, Meyler; Long, Jelavic.

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett; Sissoko, Tiote, Anita, Gouffran; Remy, de Jong (Gosling, 90).

Referee: Kevin Friend.

Man of the match: Sissoko (Newcastle)

Match rating: 7/10