Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

No Mean Feat These Days to Survive a Managerial Minefield

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

No Mean Feat These Days to Survive a Managerial Minefield

Article excerpt

Byline: John GIBSON

THE big hitters have virtually all gone one way or the other.

They have either quit, walked off to greener pastures, or received the silver bullet.

Tony Pulis had served seven years trying to perfect the longball game at Stoke, David Moyes quit Everton after 11 years for better things at Manchester United, where Sir Alex Ferguson had reigned since Boudica was riding her chariot round these isles.

That has left Arsene Wenger standing alone as the great Premier League survivor - 17 years at Arsenal and still counting.

What is beneath him graphically reflects how the PL is a minefield for managers.

Who is now the second longest-serving boss? It's Alan Pardew at Newcastle, for goodness sake, and not because he has seen out an eight-year contract. Crikey, that's just started.

On the day Pulis was parachuted this week Pardew moved up to second behind Wenger with two years and 163 days on the clock.

And this is a guy a lot of fans have wanted bulleted - just 12 months after being voted Manager of the Year.

Pardew has plenty of critics on Tyneside after a bitterly disappointing season of many mistakes all round ended in a fifth-bottom finish to go with the fifth-top just a short while ago.

Indeed, Pardew met owner Mike Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias this week to apportion blame and in doing so seek a collective way forward.

Three Wise Men we hope, or at least a little wiser to go with their scars.

There were those who speculated that Pardew might get the sack at such a meeting, but that was never a real possibility despite the fact that at one stage just before safety was guaranteed for United the manager himself suggested it was.

However, not only has he an eight-year contract but so have his trusty coaching team of John Carver, Steve Stone and Andy Woodman which would mean a hefty pay-off should Ashley ever act like Henry VIII and get rid!

The warning has evidently gone in, however. A top-10 finish is expected after the next whirl of the merry-goround.

Sunderland, of course, are one of the 10 Premier League clubs to change their manager in the season just ended with Martin O'Neill packed off to the dole queue. …

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