If I was Pards
If I was Pards, what would I be thinking driving to Bexley tonight
to sit in front of a hundred or so fans, each I suspect mightily disgruntled. A lot of people would be filling up with dread, but I reckon Pardew actually thrives on these situations. Let's face it, many managers in the same situation would have made an excuse, but credit to Pardew for keeping the appointment.
Pardew is a confident, articulate and media savvy man. He will be content that he knows more about what is going on than the audience, and therefore be confident that he will have the psychological advantage in this kind of situation.
I think Pards plays a lot with the psyche of others, a cognitive applitude that frankly has come back to bite him on the arse recently it seems with his players and us, the fans. The board meanwhile appear to be ingesting his defiant bravado. Worringly, to me anyway, is the silence coming from the boardroom. I think Pardew has elicited a lot of support among the senior directors these past 23 months. I suspect they admire his understanding of the finances, honesty and self-assurance, something that obviously wasn't part of the relationship with Dowie.
If I was Pards I would still count on some support in the boardroom and if we can get a couple of results, I think he reckons our shortermism will bring some belief back on the terraces. We are in a results business and there are plenty of other examples of short-termed memories from fans, Cardiff and Dave Jones last season is a great example as is Colin Calderwood at Forest, and I think if I was Pards, I would take some comfort from that.
Pards has undeniably looked and appeared very insular during recent weeks. His touchline performances are light years away from the days he was running up and down the sidelines kissing supporters. It's probably his way of dealing with our current fate. Am I too close to the players, people say that he is. Am I too hard on some and too lenient on others? Evidence shows that he is. Do I tinker too much, and do I play to transfer market too much?
One thing is for sure, Pardew is a proud man, he is proud of his record and his knowledge of the game and I think he is proud of his ability to ride out tough situations. Tonight at the Bexley Sports and Social Club, he will come face to face with a tricky situation.
However if I was Pards, why would I walk away? The financial motives aside. I think I would take responsibility, show some contrition, work doubly hard and use it to enhance my reputation, which at the present is in tatters, and that will hurt Pardew the most. Walking away never solved anything. Sir Alex Ferguson could tell you that.