4 Mar 2014

'Appalling': Hansen, Nicol and Lawro demand 'severe' sanction for 'crazy' boss. Worse Than Racism...?

Liverpool legends are lining up to stick the knife into beleaguered Newcastle boss Alan Pardew for his so-called head-butt on Hull City star David Meylor.

I say 'so-called' because, as usual, the media have totally blown the incident out of proportion in a bid to make the incident seem more serious than it actually is.

Describing the tame forward motion of Pardew's forehead as a 'headbutt' is stretching credibility (IMO); he barely even connects with Meylor, and I doubt his intention was to seriously 'butt' the guy.

Pardew clearly had some form of intent, though, and therefore deserves punishment, but the overwrought, hand-wringing criticism is massively exaggerated.

In his column for The Mirror today, Mark Lawrenson described the incident as 'appalling'; accused Pardew of having 'anger issues', and called for the FA to ban him for the rest of the season. He scathed:

"The FA have to make an example of Pardew and show that they will not tolerate such terrible conduct. [They should] hand down a severe punishment to maintain the integrity of the game and ensure ugly scenes like Saturday’s don’t happen again".

For me, the idea that the FA is capable of maintaining the 'integrity of the game' is far more offensive than Pardew's alleged 'headbutt'. On Match of the Day, Alan Hansen added further fuel to the fire:

"There's outrage and understandably so. It's terribly sad to see these pictures, sad for Pardew, sad for Newcastle and sad for the game. Meyler doesn't do a lot to provoke him and yet he still lost it totally. The pictures are very, very bad."

Speaking to On ESPN, Steve Nicol had zero sympathy for Pardew. He barked:

"He goes looking for it. He's supposed to be calm and methodical on the sidelines. It's crazy, and he deserves all the punishment he gets".

Don't get me wrong: Pardew deserves punishment, but whether people choose to accept it or not, Meylor provoked the incident by classlessly pushing the Newcastle boss out of the way, which is a petty and needless act of gross disrespect. Pardew obviously felt slighted, and responded in an ill-advised manner.

What Pardew did is wrong, but I can definitely understand his irritation. Some may find this hard to believe, but if Luis Suarez got involved in a similar incident, I'd be arguing the same thing right now. Yes, reacting that way is wrong, but it's not on the same level as biting someone, or deliberately trying to break a fellow professional's leg.

Hansen et al are more than entitled to their opinions, but the crass, opportunist hysteria over the issue really is amusing to behold. I don't recall Lawro - or any high-profile pundit - calling for Zinedine Zidane to get a lengthy ban after head-butting Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup Final, an incident that is far more serious than Pardew's baby-tap on Meylor.

FIFA's five-man disciplinary committee hit Zidane with a meagre £3260 fine and a three-match ban for an incident, which, I don't know if I mentioned, took place in a WORLD CUP FINAL, the highest profile (and most viewed) game in world football. Additionally, Zidane showed no remorse whatsoever, and said that he'd 'rather die' than apologise to Materazzi.

Conversely, Pardew quickly apologised, and showed genuine remorse for his actions, but still got slammed with a grossly disproportionate £100K fine for a comparatively tame incident, which occurred during a nothing-game with no significant TV audience.

Where is the consistency? Clubs have been fined less for RACISM in the past! For example, in 2012, UEFA fined Lazio a pathetic £32,500 after their Neanderthal fans directed monkey chants at Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend. And yet...Pardew gets a £100k fine? How is this a proportionate response?

The moral of this story is clear: A failed display of male bravado is obviously more serious than rampant racism in football.

To top it all off, I wouldn't be surprised if Pardew loses his job over this. After Mike Ashley's breathtakingly stupid decision to hand his manager an 8-year contract, he now has an easy way to get out of that deal. All Newcastle have to do is call it gross misconduct, and they'll have an airtight case for dismissal.

Having said all that, if Newcastle give Pardew the red card, I'll find it hard to sympathise, but not because of this incident. I still hold a grudge against him for scoring Crystal Palace's extra-time winner against LFC in the 1990 FA Cup semi-final, a defeat that signalled the beginning of the end of Reds' long period of success.

I knew karma would get Pardew sometime. Payback's a b1tch ;-D



  1. In my opinion physical violence is worse than racism and should therefor have a greater punishment

  2. Pardew's baby-tap is hardly 'physical violence'.

  3. A well-reasoned article mate..
    Nothing has really been reported of Mellor lifting his hands to Pardew, in both
    the run-up and during the altercation.. as for all the "pundits"
    bleating about 10 game bans etc.. Points to sensationalism and nothing to do
    with the actual act itself, it is no worse than Remy 4 games ago.. result 3
    match ban and a fine.. as for the racism element of this, I had the exact same
    thought, disproportionate to the extreme……….. Although I do accept that
    Newcastle got it right with the fine.. to many passed examples of issues on the
    touchline, he deserves at least this amount..

  4. Sometimes I wonder Why Liverpool Legends are constantly scathing, Fuelling fire and Barking. They must be off their rockers??

  5. Once again Jamie you have read my mind on this matter. I agree completely with this. Granted his behavior was not appropriate in the least but the media are treating like he stabbed the guy!

    Pure sensationalism and opportunism from the media.

    Where is the consistency?

    I don't condone his behavior but please give me a break. These "pundits" need to seat down and relax themselves.

    Always adding fuel to the fire.

    The FA are such a bunch of hypocrites...remember when Rooney kicked that player and received a red card, then they got the ban overturned?

    I mean on what basis?

    Ah this is getting my annoyed with football.

  6. Great point! I forgot about the Rooney issue :-)

  7. AndWithSuchSimplicity3:43 pm, March 04, 2014

    When I heard about it I was horrified, but I must confess the "butt" was weak in the extreme. Having said that, there's no place for that sort of thing, especially from a Manager. Pardew has previous for a few incidents that may well be taken into consideration - his treatment of Pellegrini was crass in the extreme - so he deserves to be brought down a peg or two. Can't see how a touchline or even stadium ban will have any effect as he will be allowed to train them all week. Maybe he could do some cage fighting for Sport Relief???!!
    With regard to Zidane, it would have been pointless giving him a lengthier ban when the bloke had retired anyway !!! That's on a par with United fans burning EMPTY season ticket books when the Glaziers took over.....
    I think you've only mentioned the racism aspect to get more people to reply to your blog. Personally, physical violence (or even attempted, poncy "head-butts") should ALWAYS be deemed worse than a few cruel words.

  8. I don't write things to get 'more people to reply'. I only write what I genuinely believe, and the disparity between fines for various infractions is something that irritates me, and I've raised the issues several times before. Plus, only 0.001% of overall site visitors actually comment, so that doesn't even make sense.

  9. It doesn't matter how hard it was it still sends out the same message

  10. Player was equally guilty. IMO

  11. Alan Pardew scored against Liverpool in 1990? meaning he played football before 24 years? He looks 65 to me, googled it, 52. Quite young actually but doesn't look like one.

  12. AndWithSuchSimplicity4:28 pm, March 04, 2014

    I rarely do ...... :(

  13. AndWithSuchSimplicity4:29 pm, March 04, 2014

    Check out Steve McMahon's goal from that day. Pure class....

  14. Chirag, your a prick.

  15. Great article - totally agree! Somewhat funny for the ultra calm Mr Souness also calling for him to be sacked!

  16. Neither do I, most of the time, apparently :-)

  17. 3 game ban should cut it. More of a Glasgow peck than a kiss.
    He was rattled got up in the dudes face, not much more than that. Still not professional behavior, and some discipline is due, but 10 games? Nah. Players often get away with the same without even a card being shown, at most a yellow - for that degree of head to head contact.

  18. No way. A one off incidenrt is nothing like tolerating racism virtually everyday