Pardew Takes Over
Friday, 17th Jul 2009 09:01
Alan Pardew is the latest to take over at St Mary's
Saints are about to celebrate their 8th anniversary at St Mary's, amazingly in that time there have been 9 managers with Alan Pardew taking us into double figures being the 10th and this does not include short term temporary appointments like Dave Bassett & Dennis Wise nor Jason Dodd & John Gorman.
Hopefully Pardew might last a little bit longer than most of them.
So what is Pardew bringing to the club ? well although he might not have been the first choice for many, he is perhaps as well qualified as any of the other candidates.
He cut his managerial teeth at Reading, taking them up from what is now League 1 into the Championship in 2001/02 and then the following season to 4th place and a play off spot, which sadly they lost to Wolves.
With Reading well placed in the promotion race in season 03/04 West Ham came calling in October 2003, Reading refused permision but Pardew controversially resigned and took up the post, with Reading fans branding him a Judas.
His time at West Ham was initially succesful, in his first season the Club lost to Palace in the play off final at Cardiff, however the next season was better with the Hammers this time winning the play off final.
His first season in the Premiership saw him guide West Ham to a respectable place, but also take them to the FA Cup final when they were within seconds of winning the trophy, before Steve Gerrard stepped up and equalised in the dying seconds of injury time, before leading Liverpool to a penalties win.
But if Pardew thought this was the start of something big, he was wrong.
2006/07 started badly with the Hammers worst run of defeats in 70 years and with new owners came a new broom and Pardew was sacked at the start of December.
He was only out of work though for a fortnight, he joined Charlton, then ensconsed at the foot of the Premier with only 12 points in free fall and half the season already gone, it was a near impossible task to save them and relegation was the only realistic outcome.
The following season Charlton started as one of the favourites to bounce back up, but they never got into gear and finished 11th.
2008/09 saw Charlton start well,but it was a false dawn and they soon started to drop down the table and it was inevitable that Pardew would go, that happened in November of last year, although in his defence Charlton's results after his departure perhaps proved that as with many clubs relegated from the premier, financial problems soon loom and impact on to the field.
So whilst its true that not too many Saints fans will be completely enthused about his arrival, the truth is Pardew is probabaly just what Saints need at this time, someone steady and there to build foundations rather than getting the team running before it can walk.
From this point of view Saints fans should be happy that the Club has resisted the urge to make a populist appointment to apppease supporters and put bums on seats, instead they have proved that they have a vision in how to take the club forward and they are prepared to stick to their guns, no matter what the temptations.
Pardew seems to fit their bill, young, experienced in the job in hand, willing to embrace modern thinking and with good contacts in the English game.
For Pardews part he has perhaps more time than any other Saints manager to prove he can take the Club forward, in truth although some Saints fans seem to now view promotion as a formality with the arrival of Markus Liebherr, being blunt it is far from that, most Saints fans are starting to realise that and adjusting their expectations accordingley, we are a League 1 club now, albeit a big fish in the sea, however we have to build the foundations, of course the new board would be delighted if we were to mount a promotion push, but they are not expecting it, nor demanding it and nor should the fans.
Pardew effectively has a season of grace, a chance to build slowly but surely, with no pressure to get us promoted, having done that the pressure will be in 2010/11 when with those foundations built, fans will be expecting a little more.
Welcome Alan Pardew, he seems to be just what we need at this present moment.
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