Glenn Hoddle, Tony Pulis and Ian Holloway. Just three of the names bookmakers in the United Kingdom believe are as likely to be handed the England manager’s position on a full-time basis as current Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew.
After the season the Wimbledon-born 50-year-old has endured this season, it’s noting short of insulting that he’s even mentioned in the same breath as the aforementioned trio.
There’s little doubt the credentials of Pardew fall some way short of his rivals for the position. Alas he has no Champions League experience, nor has he ever taken charge of a so called ‘big club’ but the skills he’s developed during his managerial career make him tailor-made for a role with the national team.
During his spells with West Ham United and now with Newcastle, the expectation on Pardew has been among the highest in English football.
You need only assess supporters’ reception to disappointment to realise that the job Pardew took on could easily have been the breaking of him. During his second season at Upton Park, Pardew was staring down the barrel of missing out on promotion from the Championship, after losing in the playoff final the season before.
In the face of adversity, a run of one defeat in ten saw The Hammers finish in the top six, and subsequently beat Preston North End in Cardiff. Once in the Premier League, Pardew had West Ham playing the sort of football that supporters would yearn for; and under Sam Allardyce are craving for in their current guise.
There’s little doubt that now at Newcastle, expectations have swelled, resources have decreased all while Pardew has been forced to swim against the tide.
But like every good manager, making a lot of very little is as useful a trait as any in the modern day, and with Newcastle closing in on a European spot have a frugal summer, Pardew must be considered not so much a contender for LMA manager of the year, but more like the only plausible candidate.
Working well in an environment where expectations are sky high, and making a lot from the very little available are ideal skills of a perspective England manager. However, people will rightly question his experience at the top level, but frankly where has that got England before.
Sven Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello came with burgeoning résumé’s from Serie A, but yet failed to bond a group of players with the talent to succeed.
There’s no question the likes of Roy Hodgson and Harry Redknapp deserve to be higher in the pecking order to succeed Capello, but Pardew should be considered as strong a contender as any of the chasing pack.