Alan Pardew has dismissed the opinion that Newcastle United are something of a shambles, insisting the club is in a good place.
The Magpies received plenty of criticism and mockery when they appointed Joe Kinnear as director of football in the summer, and following their battle to avoid relegation last season, it was widely thought that the writing was on the wall for Pardew, despite him signing a lengthy new contract last year.
Matters weren’t improved when Kinnear took to national radio and mispronounced a number of first team players’ names, whilst also blasting the fans who have been critical of him. And when Yohan Cabaye sought a transfer on the eve of the new season, most pundits could see nothing but another campaign of struggle.
However, Newcastle have since gone about their business quietly, and their 3-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon keeps them well placed in sixth place in the table. Not only this, but Cabaye has long since returned to the fold and is again a key player, whilst Kinnear has largely remained behind the scenes.
As clubs prepare for the January transfer window, Pardew is looking to add to his squad rather than offload any of his existing options. So all in all, there is every reason for optimism at St James Park, and the manager has hit back at those critics who seem to delight in labelling them as a crisis club.
“We’re in a good place as a club,” he said in The Guardian. “I know we’ve had some strange opinions about us from outside but we’re working well together. The owner is really pleased, I’m really pleased and, more importantly, the players are really pleased because if they are not you can’t get those sort of performances.
“The transfer window is open soon and that might be an opportunity for us to galvanise ourselves. I haven’t really talked too much about the finance available but we’ve talked about players. We’re making sure that we don’t miss what might be a key signing. So Graham Carr, Joe, myself and the owner are very much on the ball for this January window. That is really the committee for transfers.
“We sit down and discuss and make sure we make the right decision for the club. The finance comes into that, of course, but so does selection of what I need. With Joe’s knowledge of football he knows that the manager needs certain things and that has helped, in my opinion. I don’t really want to say any more than that but I think that gives you a little bit of insight.”