Rob Lyons argues that Alan Pardew’s imminent departure at Newcastle will be a hindrance for the Magpies as they aim to find some form of consistency, starting with their clash against Burnley.
Looking at the Magpies’ recent turnaround, albeit it with a few losses of late, Pardew has turned around a ship that looked to be sinking along the north east coastline up until mid-October.
One can look at the players having a big part to play in this and there clearly has been a change in attitude but the focus of attention is often laid at the feet of mangers when times are tough; the positivity that has engulfed the club since October must now be accredited to Pardew.
His style of play will not be winning any plaudits for its intricacy or originality anytime soon but what he has done with this Newcastle side in a short space of time – with plenty pressure to soak up – is deserving of at least some credit.
Crystal Palace now appear to see Pardew as their saviour in what is a very tight bottom of the table relegation fight. Neil Warnock’s reign at the club was largely forgettable and although they possess some talented players, particularly in forward areas such as Dwight Gayle, Wilfried Zaha and Jason Puncheon, Pardew has a major task on his hands if he is to take over this side.
Pardew would be coming to a club that very much has its own future in its hands, and for the Eagles this appointment could well prove to be a masterstroke when looking at what Pardew has done in such a short space of time at Newcastle when considering their disastrous start this year. There is however an apprehension always involved with this appointment and that is the sporadic form of the Magpies under the 53-year-old.
At Palace he may paper over the cracks and may keep them in the top flight. If he succeeds, the pressure will be on for the following season to show that he is capable of progressing Palace beyond a side which is consistently threatened by relegation.
Newcastle face Burnley at one of the Lancashire side’s high points – at least confidence-wise – when they face them on new year’s day at St. James’ Park. Burnley are coming into the game off the back of a fantastic comeback against Manchester City at the Ethiad.
This will be a tough task for Newcastle. Sean Dyche’s side are not the most potent of sides, finding themselves as the Premier League’s least successful side going forward, but Newcastle must be wary of their main threats through Danny Ings and Ashley Barnes. Any side that can claw their way back at the home of the champions deserves credit.
Add to this that Burnley are a particularly organised side, and with one or two additions in the transfer window they could find themselves in a safer position come May.
Managerial appointments and departures effect teams in different ways, however this writer believes that this could not be a worse time for Pardew to make his exit having just brought his side back from the mire of relegation form.
Newcastle are aiming to find some form of consistency and Pardew is definitely moving closer to cracking the code, however a move to Crystal Palace could easily put the Magpies back to square one in terms of consistent performances.
Burnley will be confident going into the clash but won’t have enough to stifle Newcastle, despite the distraction of Pardew’s future.
Newcastle 3-1 Burnley
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena
Featured image By craigcb (St James park panorama) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons