In a move that stunned the entire sporting world, Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew headbutted Hull City midfielder Kevin Meyler during the 72nd minute of what turned into a 4-1 victory for the manager’s side. And while some will cross the incident off as a heat of the moment clash, there is no doubting that Pardew is going to be reprimanded by the FA with a suspension. That suspension should last the remainder of the Barclays Premier League.
The incident in question occurred when Newcastle United were already comfortably ahead by a scoreline of 3-1, and Pardew got in the way of Meyler as the Hull City player was attempting to pick up a football for a throw-in. The two men would then go head-to-head in what was clearly a heated conversation, when Pardew moved his head forward and hit the midfielder. Directly after the incident, referee Kevin Friend sent the manager off the touchline and into the stands, clearly taking issue with what had just occurred.
While it should be made clear that in football there are intense moments and people do things that are regrettable without really thinking about it, Pardew should not be excused because he is making a pattern out of these incidents. Only in January the manager was caught on camera in a touchline altercation with Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini, and Pardew was caught on camera saying, “a fu—ing old c–t.” Furthermore, during the opening day of the 2012-13 campaign, he pushed an official over an argument over whether a football went out of bounds.And these are only incidents that have occurred since the manager took over Newcastle United in 2010, as many others occurred before then.
At some point, talent in preparing players becomes overshadowed by actions that simply cannot be accepted, and Pardew is beginning to approach that line. At eighth place in the Barclays Premier League, Newcastle United is once again experiencing a surprisingly strong season for a squad that has been a perennial overachiever under Pardew, but the club is also now beginning to become a general source of controversy. Controversy and success are not usually synonymous terms, and with time, the former normally outweighs the latter.
Moving forward in the current season, there are nine games left on Newcastle United’s Barclays Premier League campaign, which equates to 23.6 percent of the total campaign. The FA would be wise to ensure that Pardew doesn’t see the touchline for the totality of this period, which would send a clear message to the manager and others around England that acting foolishly will not be accepted from players or managers, and will be reprimanded with a heavy suspension.