My working-class roots define my football philosophy – Pardew

HARD WORK ... Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.
HARD WORK ... Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.

VALUES are instilled at an early age.

And Alan Pardew’s upbringing has stood him in good stead for his career in football management.

Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew

Pardew was born in Wimbledon, far from Tyneside.

But his early years on a council estate – and his time in charge of West Ham United – equipped him for one of the toughest jobs in English football, managing Newcastle United.

Those experiences – and the influence of assistant John Carver – have helped him understand the mindset of the club’s supporters.

It’s often been said Pardew – who started his playing career in non-league football – “gets it” on Tyneside.

He “gets” the club and its proud traditions, the long working week and the game, and entertainment, awaiting workers at the end of it.

“I’m from a council estate, and I’m a working class person – I understand what they want,” Pardew told the Gazette.

“I understand that they want not just a winning team, but a team to play the right manner. I don’t want to ignore that.”

Pardew sees similarities between Newcastle and his former club West Ham United, where Sam Allardyce – who had an uncomfortable time at St James’s Park – is facing the same kind of criticism he had on Tyneside given the club’s own footballing traditions.

“It’s the same at West Ham,” added Pardew. “Sam Allardyce is coming under the same criticism he had here because there is a style element to these clubs.”

Pardew guided West Ham to a FA Cup final, and his time in East London helped prepare him for the biggest job of his career.

“Definitely, my experience at West Ham has helped me with this club, more so than every other club I’ve been at,” he said.

“Although there are less West Ham fans in terms of volume, the passion’s very similar.

“They love their club. It’s a working-class club. What I consider to be the main bulk of fans – even the corporate fans – are probably all from working class backgrounds. That gives it its own special feel.”

Acceptance on Tyneside, however, didn’t come easily given the popularity of his predecessor, Chris Hughton.

Hughton was unjustly sacked in December 2010, and Pardew was unwanted, and unloved, in the first few weeks of his tenure, when feelings were running high.

At the time, Pardew said all he wanted was respect.

And he’s undoubtedly got that, whatever the circumstances surrounding his arrival.

Pardew said: “I don’t necessarily think any manager wins over fans.

“What you’ve got to hope for is that you’re respected by the fans for doing the best possible job with the resources you had.

“I think I’ve done that with the exception, maybe, of Charlton, where things didn’t go my way.

“I had some issues there that were out of my control. I took over the team and we only had 10 points – there’s a million stories I could say about that.

“I didn’t think it went well on my part, as much as anything else that went on there.

“At every other job, I brought a level of success, probably West Ham’s best finish and a cup final appearance.

“At Southampton, I was only there a year and we won a trophy. I started on minus 10 points, and at Reading we got a promotion and were top of the Championship.

“I brought a level of success to those clubs that they hadn’t had before for a long period. I want to try and do that here.

“I always thought I should be a manager at a big club, and this has given me a great opportunity to do that.

“My record suggests the better the league I’ve been in, the better success I’ve had.”

Twitter: @milesstarforth