Ifs and butts: Alan Pardew lands one on Hull City's David Meyler
Alan Scott Pardew. A legend in his own mind. A list of controversies so long they demand their own section on his Wiki page.
'Pards' has always played by his own majestic and bizarre rules. He has a level of self-confidence more than bordering on arrogance, making Jose Mourinho appear humble, shy and retiring.
Pards is the kind of guy who sits on the toilet backwards, claiming he is constantly innovating. Now jobless after a string of sackings, will everyone's favourite silver fox ever grace the Premier League again? Let's consider if his other innovative managerial techniques are enough for him to bounce back to the Premier League with a vengeance.
It's May 2006. FA Cup Final time — but not in familiar territory. The bulldozers have established themselves on Wembley Stadium's hallowed turf, and for the sixth year running, the eyes of the world are on Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. It's Liverpool FC vs newly promoted underdogs, West Ham United FC, managed by the man himself: Alan Pardew. His first top-flight gig since leaving Reading under a cloud of controversy involving legal injunctions and gardening leave.
What is Pards wearing to the most prestigious event in British football, if not the world? A Reebok sweater with matching tracky pants.
Reebok: kings of making a club's crest appear like a Panini sticker stuck on a football shirt.
I mean, it's not even Nike or New Balance garms that sexy European managers such as Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp don, while prowling their technical areas like panthers.
Pure Pards arrogance. Yet that's something we've grown to become familiar with by the former tight-short-wearing midfield workhorse.
Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, and Jürgen Klopp are all fine with their initials on their training and press conference tops. Would Pards settle for AP on his tracksuit? Not on your nelly. Of course, Pards had 'PARDS' proudly emblazoned on his Crystal Palace training top.
Could anyone be more embarrassing at wearing tracky bottoms while representing their team at an FA Cup Final? "Hold my pint", said Pards 10 years later, as he did a celebratory dance in front of the cameras when Crystal Palace went one up against Man United. Yes, that's right — one up, not won up. Palace went on to lose the game, and Pardew's dance seemed even more ridiculous than when he first jigged it.
His choice of words
While as a pundit for Match of the Day, Pards stated that Chelsea Michael Essien "absolutely rapes" Manchester City player Ched Evans during a midfield tussle for the ball. The BBC later claimed he used the word 'rakes'. It was definitely "rapes", and he wasn't invited back.
His relationship with other managers
"Shut ya noise, yer f*cking old c**t", screamed Pards at Man City's then Chilean manager, Manuel Pellegrini. Manuel may have deep-set wrinkles and mangy hair but let's look at the age difference between the two: 8 years.
Pards has never been a shrinking violet on the touchline, and this was one in a long line of physical and verbal spats. He comes across as childlike and unable to keep his emotions in check, despite being in the game for 38 years.
Having a good first season and then going off the rails for the second is textbook Pards. Rumours of being unable to keep it in his pants regarding players' wives are yet unfounded. But nutting an opposing player over, well, not much at all? Probably Pards' defining moment.
With the Premier League relegation fodder currently losing ground, will Alan be sent an SOS, or will they be haunted by the ghost of Christmas Pards?
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