sports gazette

Alan Pardew BBC Interview: Humour, Honesty and Home.

Published: 21 Oct 2016

After exploring the various Crystal Palace forums and examining the numerous posts you would almost start to believe that there is almost a vendetta against Palace directed from the BBC.

Preposterous of course, but some idealists would argue to the end of the earth. It normally stems from the coverage given to the club and it’s routinely position of broadcast on television show Match of the Day. Perhaps that simply comes down to the quality of the games, the importance of them, and the larger fan-scape that other teams wield in comparison of their own, but that to some could be deemed too simplistic a perspective to harness.

The BBC is a highly regarded institution who both fairly and justly broadcast the nations sport evenly. This week, former England footballer and now renowned MOTD presenter Gary Lineker travelled to south east London to chat with Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew. The 15 minute documentary analysed a whole host of subjects and really exhibited Pardew and Palace in both a naturalistic and commendable light.

Of course, the segment wouldn’t feel right if it didn’t start with the inevitably clichéd footage of Pardew scoring the iconic header against Liverpool in the F.A Cup semi-final of 1990.

Once in direct contact with Pardew, the first thing that emerges is that the man is funny. His light hearted approach to describing club legend Mark Bright as ‘Director Brighty’ shows that not only is Pardew an entertaining man, but also he has the relationship with his staff to be so. Later he is shown within a training session speaking to Palace starlet Wilfred Zaha playfully teasing ‘you love closing down Wilf, don’t pretend you don’t. Wilf, you love it. Look at that smile’. This warm, favourable environment exudes through the screen and instantly appeals to the audience.

He further goes on to show a relatable, humorous side when describing his reaction to Leicester City’s (Crystal Palace’s next fixture) momentous 2015/16 Premiership winning campaign, telling the BBC ‘I know it’s your team (directed at Lineker) but I loved it, my players loved it, we all wanted Leicester (to win the league).’ This charming persona goes to lengths to distance him from any previous negative media coverage he has had in the past.

This England thing, if I’m honest, is becoming bit of a problem for a manager. I think it might be time to let Gareth (Southgate) have it

It is perhaps this negative unfavourable recounting that has affected his chances of getting the formidable role of England Manager. With the team and staff clearly in disarray, his name, along with few other Englishmen has been thrown into the churning hat of potential candidates. It is with a refreshing honesty that Pardew describes the circumstances, informing the BBC ‘This England thing, if I’m honest, is becoming bit of a problem for a manager. I think it might be time to let Gareth (Southgate) have it’.

Although there is no denial in the temptation of earning the job, after all a managers’ ego is part and parcel of the modern game and their statue, but Pardew is able to put sense before ego, distancing himself from the job for the time being, and gentlemanly encouraging ex-eagle Gareth Southgate to continue with the managerial task at hand.

Pardew is also stimulatingly honest regarding his relationship with both his chairman and his players. Regarding Chairman Steve Parish, he told the BBC ‘I think we’ve got a good balance. I admire him in what he has done in business and the way he conducts himself at this football club. He want’s my decision, he wants my final say on all the stuff we do in recruitment’.

Regarding the players Pardew acknowledges the ‘changing of times’ and has tried to evolve his managerial style to do so. No longer can you simply berate a team for poor performances, but rather speak in a specific way to certain individuals. ‘If I had 11 English players in the dressing room I could probably still do that (get angry), but the cultures of other Countries are different.’ It’s invigorating to hear that these undeniable changes in football have made their way through to the manager’s thought process.

As the documentary comes to a close, whether you are a Crystal Palace fan, a football fan, or a supporter who has evolved their own positive or negative opinion on Pardew, it is incomprehensible to walk away thinking anything but this man is a fine example of a modern football manager. Despite the pressures, the changes, and the constant life of a football manager, Alan Pardew is a man who knows what he wants and how he is going to get it.

Perhaps the North East would disagree.

To watch the documentary please click the link below.

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