Saturday, 1 March 2014

"I Tried To Push Him Away With My Head"

The big story from the day's Premier League action today was that Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew had headbutted Hull City midfielder David Meyler during a disagreement on the touchline, and had therefore been sent to the stands by the referee.

Obviously, Pardew's actions are disgraceful - and inexcusable.  But the reaction to this incident has been quite bizarre...

BBC Sport pundit Robbie Savage has been wrong before.  These comments make very little sense, though.  Why should Newcastle's position in the League table, or the fact they've been knocked out of both domestic cup competitions, have any bearing on this matter?  I know the FA are renowned for the inconsistency of their punishments in such situations as these, but if they base their decision about how to deal with Pardew in this instance on Newcastle's form this season they will make a mockery of the entire thing.

Various people have been calling for Pardew to be sacked by Newcastle United.  I think that's ridiculous.

Why should the club sack him because of this?  He will be given his punishment by the FA (and quite rightly so) - probably a fine, plus a ban of a certain number of matches - and of course, the club can't be seen to condone this sort of behaviour.  But to get rid of him entirely would be foolish, after he's done a very good job with the team he has this season.

When a player gets pulled up for bad conduct, he has to accept whatever punishment the FA hands him.  But he doesn't expect to be jettisoned by his club, as well.  Indeed, in the majority of recent cases the club has stood by the player involved (as in the case of Luis Suárez biting Bransislav Ivanović at the end of last season, or West Ham Captain Kevin Nolan's two Red Cards [so far] this season).

Pardew deserves a hefty fine, and he deserves a ban.  Anything more is hyperbole.  And to suggest that these cases should be judged circumstantially, rather than on their own merit (as Robbie Savage seems to) and therefore to accept - even encourage - inconsistency in FA judgements, is utterly ludicrous.

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