15 May 2012
And if Les Reed turned up at the Valley, I think he'd get a polite, if not effusive, welcome. He never had a chance, and although he had some decent skills (I know this, because his website said so), they weren't the ones Charlton needed. Everyone knew it, including him, and everyone was relieved when he heft.
But Pardew. Oh, the loathing I feel! It's partly, of course, because he promised so much. A former player, a hero on the pitch, he seemed to have all the credentials for the Charlton job. Now we see he was a false messiah. A very false messiah and a really naughty boy.
He managed to get his squad to underperform at every turn. Then slagged them off by getting in a string of loan players who clearly didn't care, and just collected their pay cheques. And then he tried to explain it all away by the bizarrest set of post-match comments any manager has ever uttered. They were bewildering times, and you felt he only lasted as long as he did because the cost of getting rid of him was unaffordable. But finally he did go, and no doubt his payoff added financial damage to the utter wreck he'd made of the team spirit.
And of course, what's really angering is the success he's now having at Newcastle. If it's just luck then it couldn't happen to a less deserving person. If it's skill, then where the hell was it when he was at Charlton? If he ever comes back to the Valley, we'll chant "Where were you when we were shit?" and know that the answer he should honestly give is "I was here. I was shitmaster general, thank you very much."