Alan Pardew has explained the reasons why he decided to call time on his Newcastle United career to accept a challenge at Crystal Palace.
Pardew had been in charge at St James’ Park since December 2010, and whilst he struggled to win over the support of the fans during the majority of this time, it must be remembered that he led the Magpies to a fifth-place finish in the 2011-12 Premier League. However, despite the backing of owner Mike Ashley, he always seemed to be on the brink of an exit from the club.
And that departure finally came earlier this month, when it emerged Palace, a club he played for from 1987 to 1991, had earmarked him to succeed the sacked Neil Warnock. Newcastle were prepared to let Pardew leave, and it has since been suggested that he decided to go as Ashley was looking to sell the club. Yet the 53-year-old claims it was much simpler than this.
“It was simple equation really. Crystal Palace wanted me and met my clause, Newcastle told me and I had a choice whether to stay or go,” said Pardew. “I decided this new challenge would be a good one for me. I think I’m a good fit for them. I understand the football community having concerns over why that happened, for me it was the right time and it’s the right time for Newcastle.
“I’ve left a good club, with a good base of young players. Some fantastic professionals, which I’ll miss, we’ve pulled above our weight at times. I had tremendous support and I want to thank all Geordies for their support. You can’t help but grow as a manager there. It would have been easier to stay at Newcastle and finish in the top 10 but I chose this challenge.”
Pardew oversaw the Eagles comfortable FA Cup win over non-league Dover Athletic on Sunday afternoon, but he knows the real task for him is to keep Premier League football on the agenda at Selhurst Park. The first of the remaining 18 matches comes on Saturday, when he hopes three points at home to Tottenham Hotspur will see his new side edge out of the relegation zone.
Meanwhile, it still remains unclear who will replace Pardew at Newcastle. Steve McClaren, the Derby County manager, has already ruled himself out of the running, whilst a recent poll by the Newcastle Chronicle revealed somewhat surprisingly that former Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel was the choice of the supporters. Ajax boss Frank de Boer, who has led the Amsterdam club to four league titles, and ex-Lyon coach Remi Garde, a former Arsenal midfielder, are other contenders.
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