On Tuesday, I wrote an article asking whether Alan Pardew was the right man for the Newcastle United job.
The idea came about after the Magpies were humiliated at home by Sunderland and were caught short in terms of tactics, ideas and passion.
Some fans became disgruntled and started pointing the finger at the Toon boss, noting his tactical misjudgements and team’s poor form as factors of this season's failure.
In all honesty, I expected the poll to come out in favour of Pardew staying in his job. However, after over 500 votes, the results weighed in favour of the former West Ham boss not being the man to lead Newcastle forward.
With an eight-year contract effectively securing his job for at least another two years or more, Pardew will undoubtedly be at St James’ Park for the foreseeable future. Long-term deals have also been handed to assistant John Carver, as well as chief scout Graham Carr, who has been responsible for almost all of Newcastle’s encouraging signings.
The terms of Pardew’s contract do not automatically rule him out of the sack, though, as only one year’s compensation would have to be paid should Mike Ashley decide to wield the axe. However, with the club looking at the long-term with a structured wage strategy and improved youth facilities, it’s safe to say Pardew will survive this period of pressure.
So, what does he have to do to turn Newcastle’s fortunes around?
First, he must sign well in the summer.
A new striker is a priority for the Geordies, as Papiss Cisse struggles with the workload by himself. Cisse has been in form recently, scoring in five of Newcastle’s last seven games, but has been a shadow of his former self all season. He needs a partner up front with him, ideally to take the physical pressures off his tired shoulders.
Enter Andrew Carroll.
The man who ditched his boyhood club in favour of a £35 million move to Liverpool 18 months ago is likely to move again in the summer, and a return to St James’ Park seems the most likely outcome.
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has already admitted his club cannot afford to make Carroll’s loan deal permanent, with Carroll’s £90,000 per week wages seemingly the biggest of stumbling blocks (via Evening Standard).
With none of the other top sides seemingly fans of Carroll’s, Newcastle are in prime position to secure the services of the 6’4” striker.
Liverpool are unlikely to want to keep Carroll at Anfield, as Brendan Rodgers is keen to free up the wages for other transfer targets and recoup as much of the British record transfer fee as possible.
Newcastle are no suckers though, and will reportedly start the bidding at just £7 million—a full £28 million less than they sold him for—as they look to steal their former man back for a bargain price.
Carroll’s departure still divides opinion on Tyneside, with many believing he should return to his boyhood club while others would not welcome him back after his controversial departure.
The balance of fans who want Carroll back compared with those who do not may be similar to the ratio that want Pardew to stay or go from his post as manager of Newcastle. Ironically, it could be the signing of Carroll that turns opinions of Pardew’s tenure on Tyneside on its head.