RYAN Giggs was once booed by Manchester United fans.
Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard had the same while representing England. Wembley once rose almost to the last fan to jeer John Barnes. This season, Sam Allardyce received the treatment after West Ham United had actually won.
Football supporters give their own players and managers a hard time a lot of the time.
Yet last Saturday at St James’ Park was the worst I have seen anyone have to endure, when the sight of Alan Pardew was so badly taken by those in the stands, the boos and jeers which reigned down could hardly be ignored.
Managers can come back from bad seasons. Pardew’s season has been, all in, average, great mixed with the awful and two touchline incidents which shamed him and his football club.
Yet none of this is enough, maybe, for Mike Ashley to hand him his P45 next week.
What might lead the owner to conclude it’s time for a change is it may be nigh on impossible for Pardew to carry on when he is unable to get off his seat in the dugout without being hissed like a pantomime baddy.
“I remember losing to Millwall 3-0 when I was at West Ham and as West Ham manager that is not really a good thing to do,” Pardew recalled yesterday when asked if he had ever before he treated with such outright hostility. “I had a few tricky weeks there.
“At a club like Newcastle, you are going to have down times, it is going to be a rocky road. Every manager has experienced that.
“In the last seven Premier League seasons I think I have won more points than any other manager, even this year. So I have to try and lean towards the positives for myself, but not hide away from the fact I have to do to better, and that’s what I want to try and do.
“I turned it around at West Ham and as a manager it happens more times than you think.
“I’ve had periods here as well where it’s been very difficult.
“There are games in your career you really need to win to give yourself breathing space or give yourself a chance to take the club forward. At Reading I had moments, I lost a play-off final with West Ham to Crystal Palace who had come from nowhere. There many moments. It is not just one or two.”
Pardew wants to fight on, although I believe he has been hit hard by the fans’ reaction. Those who go to games, especially away fixtures, had until the last few weeks continued to chant his name in a favourable manner.
He tried to blame the media again and, while nobody in our business should pretend what is written doesn’t have an influence, what matters more is results and performances. Newcastle have delivered neither of late.
Pardew added: “It’s a situation that social media and the media are making it more difficult for managers.
“Chairman, chief executives, managers will all have a look at this season and draw breath a little bit, about how to go forward together and make sure that everyone is doing it with honest and integrity.
“I think two managers lost their jobs this year when really and truly were they treated with the right integrity and honesty? The LMA has a big role this coming season to make sure the owners give the opportunities to managers that are fair and honest.
“All managers want is a fair and honest chance.
“I have to say at this club I have had so I can’t complain but at some other clubs I don’t think that has happened.”
His one big regret is an obvious one.
Pardew said: “The Hull incident was a turning point I definitely didn’t want to have.
“I think that affected me and the team. I will make sure that never happens again.”
There have been highlights. The 52-year-old pointed to the win at Old Trafford and the 2-0 victory over Chelsea when “we were terrific” but he was let down by Yohan Cabaye’s departure.
Pardew added: “You always want to replace if you lose. I think that is something we’d look to do and make sure we get a bit more cover.
“We need to be careful if we lose a top player we have back-up.
“In that particular position, that role he (Cabaye) had, we didn’t really have that back-up in the squad.
“You can still get good results in the Premier League when your top players are missing.
“We have done that before, but we haven’t done it lately.
“We haven’t done it in the second half of the season. When your top players are missing, and we had Loic Remy missing for a long period of time, we need to get better results at this club.”
As for his summer plans, Pardew said: “I will work hard on making myself a stronger manager and trying to improve the club.”