Despite his team winning 4-1 last weekend, Alan Pardew’s moment of madness took the spotlight from Newcastle when he was charged by the FA and fined £100,000 for head-butting Hull’s David Meyler.
Speaking after the match, Pardew said: “I did not mean any damage to the guy but I have moved my head forward. I tried to push him away with my head.”
This is possibly the most bizarre case of manager misconduct yet. Over the years we may have witnessed a slight scuffle between managers but head-butting a player on the opposition? This is unheard of in the Premier League. When it comes to the Newcastle manager touchline bust-ups aren’t unheard of – he’s previously clashed with Manuel Pellegrini, Arsene Wenger and Martin O’Neill. Ironically, when you look to find comparison with Pardew’s actions in previous seasons, the only comparison is really Pardew himself.
With emotions running high, in the most unpredictable Premier League season we have ever known, manager misconduct has become a hot topic this season. As it stands 11 Premier League managers have accepted FA misconduct charges.
Nine of these charges were in relation to comments made about the referee post–match: Jose Mourinho, Brendan Rodgers, Pellegrini, David Moyes, Sam Allardyce, Paul Lambert, Steve Bruce and former top-flight managers Paolo Di Canio and Ian Holloway. Minus Mark Hughes who made his feelings known to Referee Martin Atkinson midway through the game on Glenn Whelan’s red card.
The decisions of the referee have now become a regular Saturday night discussion on MOTD. “Was that really a sending off?” “How could that be a penalty?” “It was definitely a handball!” Now, managers are hitting back and questioning the decisions made after the game, causing them to lose their cool.
After eight managerial changes this season we have also seen owners become more willing to sack their managers for poor results. If you aren’t winning every week then you are out, which is unfortunately leaving managers more under pressure and frustrated than any other Premier League season. Surely managers being under this added level of pressure must have something to do with the rise in FA misconduct charges?
Still, there is no getting away from the fact that Pardew’s disgraceful actions topped all of the previous indiscretions this term – and possibly the whole era of the Premier League.
No matter what added pressure there are, surely there is no excuse for shameful behaviour when you are in charge of a team?
What punishment should Pardew receive for completely losing his cool? Is this the worst season ever for managerial misconduct? And what can be done to get them to behave?