Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Pardew Is Fully Clued Up on What Match Means to Geordies; LEE RYDER'S FRIDAY ANALYSIS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Pardew Is Fully Clued Up on What Match Means to Geordies; LEE RYDER'S FRIDAY ANALYSIS

Article excerpt

LET'S just say Alan Pardew has done the easier part this week when it comes to preparing for the Wear-Tyne derby - and that is simply understanding the occasion for exactly what it is worth and what it means to the good folk of Tyneside. Don't think that should be an automatic assumption when it comes to Newcastle United managers either.

Infamously, Ruud Gullit played down the fixture when trying to suggest the derby wasn't on par with the Milan affair before dropping Alan Shearer, Duncan Ferguson and Rob Lee back in 1999 before enduring a defeat that cost him his job.

Then there was Joe Kinnear three years ago, who described the powder-keg fixture as "just another game" before Sunderland fans enjoyed one of the nights of their lives after edging a narrow 2-1 win to end years of Geordie dominance on Wearside.

Next comes the hard part for Pardew and that is winning it and making sure that United retain those precious bragging rights.

Pardew has been under some serious strain this summer.

As the only official voice of the club and facing up to fans and journalists alike who have both queried transfer movements Pardew has made Jim Carrey's job of answering prayers in his role in God Almighty look straightforward!

Having lived to tell the tale after the 1-1 derby draw earlier this year, Pardew knows the score.

When Pardew first arrived on Tyneside last December, he was shocked to see a local filling his car up at a service station donning Toon shorts and his United shirt amidst the big freeze conditions.

From that moment on, Pardew knew fine well this was going to be an entirely different experience to those at Reading, West Ham, Charlton and Southampton - as Steven Taylor put it this week: "Yes, it is the be all and end all."

It did not take Pardew long to put Geordies such as John Carver and Steve Stone either side of him to help give him an even greater feel for the region.

In terms of both geography and sheer significance, managing Newcastle United could not be any further away from his previous managerial elsewhere on the football map. …

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