Alan Pardew could do no wrong last season. He took Newcastle United into Europe and won The Premier League Mangaer of the Year.
Mike Ashley, the Newcastle owner, saw this as the beginning of a brave new dawn for the Magpies and rewarded the manager with an incredible eight-year contract.
It needs to be said that Ashley deserves a lot of credit for that decision, as so many managers, particularly the young English ones, are not given much of a run, in the Premier League.
So many of the clubs are now owned by foreign business men, and they seem to think that it is far sexier to have a foreign coach at the helm.
You need only look at Southampton, who has just sacked Nigel Adkins for an Argentinian, who is best known for fouling Michael Owen in a World Cup game.
However, the problem is, since signing that contract, Pardew’s side have managed to win only three times in the last 18 games.
To make matters worse, his top striker Demba Ba has been sold to Chelsea after a release clause was activated in his contract, and Loic Remy, whose deal was almost done, chose to join bottom club Queens Park Rangers instead at the very last minute.
I feel that losing Demba Ba has had a profound psychological effect on everyone concerned at Newcastle. And to add insult to injury, now their captain Fabrizio Coloccini wants to return home to Argentina.
Reading’s win at St James’ Park was their first away win in the Premier League since 2007-08, and their first ever at Newcastle.
Yohan Cabaye scored the opener for Newcastle, but was substituted in the 70th minute, prompting boos from the Newcastle faithful. Pardew admitted that this substitution caused a wave of negativity to sweep around the ground, which subsequently affected his players.
He must turn this situation around quickly, by bringing in a couple of big signings, and reigniting the team-spirit of last season.
If he doesn’t, a new manager, probably with a more exotic sounding name, will be sitting in his office regardless of his eight-year contract.