Alan Pardew reveals Mike Ashley's continued "support" at Newcastle United

Alan Pardew says Mike Ashley continues to be "supportive" of him and he has welcomed the increased presence of Director of Football Joe Kinnear at Newcastle's matches

Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear watch Newcastle United in action
Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear watch Newcastle United in action

Alan Pardew says Mike Ashley continues to be "supportive" of him and he has welcomed the increased presence of Director of Football Joe Kinnear at Newcastle's matches.

Pardew was the subject of unfounded rumours surrounding his position this week which he blames on the “saturation coverage” of social media. While they were "completely unfounded" there is no doubt Pardew is under scrutiny after his team delivered another fatally-inconsistent performance at Goodison Park.

They head to Cardiff City tomorrow with Pardew considering the drastic measure of dropping Hatem Ben Arfa while also pondering a recall for Mike Williamson, whose Newcastle career had appeared to be over this summer.

The Premier League newcomers have made an impressive start to life in the top flight but Pardew cannot afford to lose. Defeat in South Wales will make it an uncomfortable and searching international fortnight for a Newcastle manager who admits it sometimes feels like he “cannot please anyone”.

Addressing the rumours about his own future, he said: “There’s always scrutiny on managers when you’ve lost two games and you’re at a big club. There’s going to be pressure and social media has added to it.

“Most of that rumour (sacking) started on social media, probably by young fans or whoever and it makes some sort of headway. The only way you can deal with it – and I’ve been a manager here for nearly three years – is you kind of have to cut yourself off and just focus on the job.

“That’s all I’m doing really. I have to focus on my job and ignore you guys (the media) and everything else that goes around it. I had a couple of calls from (head of communications) Wendy Taylor on Wednesday. None of that had any foundation but the bottom line is at a big club you’ve got to win games. Then it (speculation) stops. I don’t actually think at this particular time it’s the press or media, it’s the saturation we have especially from social media and it’s the old saying you can’t keep all the people happy all of the time.

“Well, I can’t keep any of the people happy any of the time!

“It’s there even when you win. After we’d won at Villa, there were suggestions perhaps we should have played with two strikers or we might have scored more goals.

“Some of it is so far removed, you’ve got to cut through it, really.”

One theory at St James’ Park is Pardew’s meeting with Ashley after the game on Monday sparked much of the speculation.

Club sources have been at pains to point out Pardew meets Ashley at every match he comes to but with the nature of the defeat – and Kinnear’s presence – it certainly cranked up the rumour mill.

Pardew insists Ashley was nothing but supportiveand feels Kinnear’s presence is with a view to the January transfer window.

The manager is understood to have appealed for more Premier League experience over the summer – a plea which fell on deaf ears – but there is a suggestion they are coming around to his view now.

Pardew added: “Yes, Mike (was supportive). Along with Joe they wanted to know how they could help.

“Particularly when the transfer window’s shut, Joe needs to understands exactly what we need.

“He’s an ex-manager so he needs to know exactly what the issues and problems are if we have any, so it’s just an explanation of those and going into the game. I think that’s a general chat most managers have with their owners.

“Joe can help with gathering information so when we come to January when I say ‘I think we should do this’, it makes some sort of sense.

“A football director at Manchester City, the director at Tottenham, if they’re not getting that information after games I’d be surprised. I don’t think it’s unique.”

The perception of Kinnear’s presence at games is it has been calculated to put pressure on Pardew - but he does not agree.

He said: “I think in his role as football director it’s only right that he is at the game. I think you’d be asking questions if he wasn’t.”


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer