Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Your Blog; THIS Week, United Season Ticket-Holder of Almost 40 Years, Paul Dixon, Reflects on Alan Pardew's Three Years at United

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Your Blog; THIS Week, United Season Ticket-Holder of Almost 40 Years, Paul Dixon, Reflects on Alan Pardew's Three Years at United

Article excerpt

THREE years ago this week, a silver-haired bloke walked into St James' Park and announced himself as the manager.

At the time we didn't know what to expect, he may have been the DHL man for all we know, as he sat all by himself and fended off questions bordering on the incredulous.

To the surprise of nobody at the time, his employers remembered a previous appointment, and cowardly sloped off out of it to avoid answering any questions, like "Who's this?" and "We've just beaten Arsenal away, and you've sacked the manager, if we'd beaten Man Utd, would you have sacked the coaching staff as well?".

Three years later, and it would be fair to say that it's rarely been boring in the wider context of the club.

If you made a graph of our progress, if progress it be, in the last three years it would exactly resemble a rollercoaster.

From the highs of qualifying for Europe, to the lows of last season and a relief that there were three more appalling teams than us. I honestly didn't know what to expect this season, but I think it fair to say I didn't expect the return of Joe Kinnear. By the near-three days' silence from Pardew, he didn't expect it either.

I thought he played it cannily at first - neither confrontational nor overtly supportive - and went against type by announcing his transfer intentions from a loudhailer's atop Grey's Monument, to put pressure on Kinnear.

"Ah," we thought. "The worm has turned, the fightback starts here". Sadly, for whatever reason, instead of welcoming a plethora of strikers and defenders to bolster the squad, he didn't even get to shake hands in the photograph with our one loanee arrival.

Most supporters I converse with are just resigned to being lumbered with Ashley, and grit our teeth at the stadium being turned into a giant advert for a cut-price warehouse and a loan company. …

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