Class and Dignity

“Bobby Robson does a jig of delight on the touchline then remembers that he’s nearly 69!”

- Jon Champion, December 22, 2001


“Alan Pardew and Meyler just squaring up to each other, and Pardew… Oh dear, dear, dear! He looked there as though he might have put his forehead into the face of David Meyler.”

- Steve Bower, March 1, 2014


Class and dignity within football is becoming somewhat rare in the modern era. Sporting behaviour is fast evaporating from the game we have come to love and enjoy each weekend with players throwing themselves to the floor all too often whilst directing expletive language towards match officials as millions of young children around the world look on.

It’s not a good example to set to the younger generation and much is written about the need for role models within the beautiful game. Whilst we cannot absolve players from blame, questions must also be asked of those manning the touchline.

Sir Alex Ferguson was known to harass both linesman and the fourth official when he felt there was insufficient injury time at the end of a game and Arsene Wenger showed his childish side when he was sent from the touchline at Old Trafford.

However, their actions can be considered somewhat insignificant when you consider the actions of a certain Alan Pardew. Four years before he became the manager of Newcastle United, Pardew goaded Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the touchline, provoking the relatively mild-mannered Wenger into pushing him. Pardew’s actions were not ones of joy, but to openly taunt his opposite number.


This behaviour was then repeated some time later in his first Tyne-Wear derby at St. James’ Park. With Newcastle trailing their fiercest rivals by a single goal, the home side were awarded a penalty after Fraizer Campbell fouled Shola Ameobi. Martin O’Neill was enraged by the decision. Alan Pardew was elated. So much so he immediately confronted the Northern Irishman in his technical area, waving his fist in his face. However, the brief moment of relief soon evaporated when Demba Ba missed the spot kick. Only a late equaliser from Shola Ameobi spared him total humiliation.


Fast-forward a little to a balmy August evening on the opening day of the 2012-13 season. Newcastle were at home to Tottenham Hotspur when the ball appeared to go out of play. Linesman Peter Kirkup made a mistake, as human beings are prone to do every once in a while – he deemed that the ball had stayed in play.

Rather than go running to the fourth official like many managers do, a rather incensed Pardew approached Kirkup, pushing him in an act of behaviour mirroring that of a small child in the playground. Pardew was immediately sent to the stands and later received a two-game touchline ban and a fine of £20,000.


Less than 18 months on and Pardew again found himself involved in a petty touchline confrontation. In a game against Manchester City at St James’ Park. Pardew was approached by Manuel Pellegrini who accused him of contesting every decision made by the officials. Clearly unhappy at the accusations and forgetting that that his every move was being televised live throughout the world, Pardew responded by telling Pellegrini to ‘shut his noise’ before calling him “a f***ing old c***”.

A sheepish-looking Pardew attempted to brush off his actions by offering an apology but he was unable to escape the scathing opinions of the media, who widely condemned his behaviour.


Perhaps the most stand-out and shameful incident involving Alan Pardew on the touchline is the most recent. It’s March 2014 and his side are winning comfortably away at Hull City. Hull’s David Meyler, desperate to drag his side back into the game, brushed past Pardew to retrieve the ball after it had gone out of play. Taking exception to the audacity shown by Meyler to go within a foot of him, Pardew decided to confront the Irishman. Later stating that he had attempted to ‘push him away with my head’ the Newcastle manager appeared to headbutt the midfielder.

Pardew’s actions did not go unseen and he was promptly sent to the stands before being handed a fine of £100,000 by the club’s hierarchy and issued with a formal warning. On March 11 the FA banned Pardew from attending the stadium where Newcastle United would be playing for three games and banned him from taking up his seat in the dugout for a further four matches.


Whilst Pardew’s touchline antics end there, there is one other damning blot on his file. In March 2009 he was invited to give his insight into the weekend’s action on Match of the Day 2. In a quite frankly embarrassing attempt to highlight the strength shown by Chelsea’s Michael Essien in disposing Manchester City’s Ched Evans of possession he said that Essien ‘absolutely rapes’ Evans as footage played to masses glued to their television sets.

More than 35 viewer complaints were lodged and the BBC failed to make an on-air apology, stating that it had been misheard as ‘rakes’. Despite this, an overwhelming majority of viewers know what they had heard.

Players cannot escape the blame themselves. We all like to see some passion in a manager. Alan Pardew more than those on the pitch has a duty to represent the club in the best possible manner.

Pardew’s antics have also seem to have rubbed off on his staff. This piece was originally written before the Southampton debacle. However, it seems relevant to mention the behaviour of Alan’s assistant – John Carver. Although he’s never been known for his mild-mannered approach to things, reports surfaced at half-time that he had confronted a group of fans holding “” banners during the pre-match warm-up. Reports soon circled across social media that he had used foul and abusive language, questioned the integrity of their support and invited them to the training ground on Monday where he would “sort them out.” This is the man second in command at the club, not a fellow fan – a man who is paid handsomely to devise tactics capable of winning games.

Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson were passionate about Newcastle United but managed to retain their class and dignity on the touchline. Alan Pardew once said that he hoped to emulate Sir Bobby. Without digressing too much from the context of this article, he said: “I am looking forward to us putting in a display that he would be proud of. Hopefully it will be an offensive display, which was the hallmark of his teams.”

There is very little in common between Alan Pardew and Sir Bobby Robson. The latter was a man of class and dignity. Pardew is the polar opposite, his track record shows that he is devoid of class and has an uncanny knack of conducting himself in the most undignified manner far too often.

  • Parkenstein

    The weird thing about Pardew is that he has a massive ego and I would challenge anybody on what he bases this…Then as you watch him over a period of time you begin to realise that it’s not actually a massive ego it’s bluster and a defence mechanism borne out of the fact that he is totally out of his depth as a PL manager.

    The tactical mural of the PL has changed considerably over the last couple of decades, mainly due to the influx of foreign coaches rejecting the luddite and archaic 442 (Pardew;s favoured modus operandi) in favour of more technical position play and pressing and harnessing tempo changes during matches..(Pochettino the prime example)…We see even average coaches like Mark Hughes begin to transform Stoke..We see the immediate impact of the Dutchman at S’hampton. Pardew is a million miles away from this and even when he had a brief and succesful flirtation with 433 he dumped it first chance to try and shoehorn in players (often in alien positons).

    Pardew is defence based, he is rigid, his players have no license to roam, to express to be creative in the attacking phase…Balls often lumped from (of all people) Williamson to Riviere (who must be shell shocked at the vacum of nous and tactics) roaming alone and pointlessly upfront in aimless patterns of despair. To make sure we are totally screwed Pardew the ‘egoist’ has dispensed with the flair and attacking threat of HBA just when he might have been there for the odd wonder goal in games where we have run out of ideas, games where Pardew is pointing at the sky as his only idea in getting the ball forward as quick as possible.

    This time however he is done as there is no Ba or Remy scoring from nothing for fun, there is no Cabaye orchestrating the odd attacking move with cohesion and vision. ‘The King’ has painted himself into a corner from which this time he will not emerge..Pardew is lost in a world of 80’s football and the rest of the PL are passing Newcastle by…

    • Jimboandcody123

      Totally agree. We need to move along with the times and do what more and more clubs are doing, appointing young dynamic managers. For me, the only one who can take us forward in this regime, is De Boer. Moyes/Sherwood/Bruce/Pulis/Di matteo are all sidesteps to pardew

      • likelylad

        De Boer or klopp.
        If tiny Southampton can get a manager like Koeman who has won the super cup, lots of league titles and other cups then that is the MINIMUM to expect.

        For Ashley’s vision to work we need a foreign technique based manager who believes in freeflowing, creative attacking football with a cavalier approach.

        Someone who expects to be successful playing that way.

        A British manager will go out of his way to prove the vision cant work. See Shearers comments on MOTD.

        A foreign manager will embrace the ideology because that’s exactly what they are used to and have been very successful working under those exact same constraints.

        • Robbo

          All due respect to Shearer, fact is he blagged his way thru his badges, know he is inept at best in coaching (hence cry for help to Ian Dowie while at Newcastle). As a player true legend sorry it stops there.

  • Tropicalmag

    Pardew had more escapes than Houdini….

  • Jordan

    That’s two games in a row he has blamed the fans for the result. Apparently we are effecting the team in a negative way. It is also two games in a row we have conceded very early(30 seconds in and 6 minutes in) . I would say the man has lost the plot but I think that happened when he moved Cisse right wing.

  • ToonTang

    Hahahaha these sum up Pards nicely. Good comedy value at very least…

  • Andrew

    I am praying for the day that he tries this again and gets thumped in the chin. It’s a complete tragedy that we were once managed by Sir Bobby, and now we’ve got this cretin in charge, with his pet bulldog Carver barking next to him.

    Serious question – are there any fans out there who are planning to take Carver up on his offer of a ‘clear the air conversation’ at Benton on Monday? I’m obviously not advocating violence (honest!) but it would be interesting to see exactly what he’s got to say for himself in the cold light of day. Personally I’d love to have the opportunity to tell him and Pardew just how God-awful their tactics are.

    • Albert Stubbins

      Carver was a supposed Lad in the 80’s, seen him many a time, including losing his a£$e down West Spam, the tw%t couldn’t fight a cold!!

    • Albert Stubbins

      Carver was a supposed Lad in the 80’s, seen him many a time, including losing his BOTTOM down West Spam, the tw%t couldn’t fight a cold!

    • Albert Stubbins

      Carver was a supposed Lad in the 80’s, seen him many a time, including losing his bottom down West Spam, he couldn’t fight a cold!

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Someone told me once that Pardew was the worst person they’d ever met. Quite a bold statement, but I guess this article echoes that perception. He’s doing all this disgraceful activity in the onlooking public area, imagine his crass character in a less professional place.

    He’s glued to his seat, scared to leave the dugout and has the look of a rabbit in headlights as well. Yet, he’ll sit like a dummy and collect his wages without walking out, no matter how much his inept management drags us down.

    Parasite Pardew, the serial underachiever and delusional lying glutton.

    Pardew out.

  • bimpy

    god I hate Pardew like

  • Ken

    This is the man that couldn’t find a regular place for Tevez in a nearly relegated West Ham, this is the man that sold Wayne Routledge – remember him – a wide man having a great time at Swansea supplying the forwards we couldn’t get over the like, who incidentally we cannot complete financially with according to Pardew

  • Jan

    Another abysmal weekend for NUFC.
    Bring in Tony Pulis and let him make SJP a fortress and the team a winning one!

  • ToonTang

    Excellent read… THE NORTH WILL RISE AGAIN

  • Laurent Robert 32

    That he is.