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Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Bit Special?

So what do we think of this boy Pardew? He's definitely got the team working again and playing with some passion. Whether passion will be enough to get us the points remains to be seen but it's obvious that things have changed at the Valley since his arrival, just look at Jimmy-F for example.

The Premiership points totals are worth comparing to show the improvement in the Addicks. With Dowie getting 8 points from the first 12 games of the season, Reid only 4 points from his 7 games in charge and Pardew now with 11 from 9 games, Pards is well ahead on points per game. Under Pardew we've also scored 11 goals, under Dowie a total of 9 and with Reid a rather sad 4 so Pardew is also the only one to get more than a goal a game even with Darren B out for 7 games.

To remind us where he's been, there's a guardian report dated May 2006 written when he was still at the Hamsters. The report spells out "Pardew's background as a tradesman, ie glazier, who played his early football as a part-time pro is the key to the man he is today. Unlike most Premiership players and managers, he has not been almost exclusively around footballing people all his working life. He learnt his banter on building sites, giving it to and getting it back from brickies and scaffolders. In this respect, it was a harder school than the enclosed one of football and helps to explain Pardew's rough-edged responses that could so upset people but have been tempered since the club provided him with a media adviser." Maybe a few reasons here why a biscuit millionaire can't see eye to eye with a glazier.

Life-long friend Lee Richardson, who played years of non-League football with Pardew and now scouts for the Addicks: "Now, he is meticulous in everything he does, and his man-management skills are second to none. He learnt a lot living in the real world and not just in the footballing wonderland.'

He's always been keen on fitness it seems. He took over at Reading in 1999 and turned the club around from being relegation fighters in Division Two ( the now Division One) to promotion candidates in Division One (now the Championship) and his régime to increase the fitness of the squad.

The only sour note in his management career, apart from the cancer growing at West Ham, was when he decided, in 2003, to break his contract at Reading to join the Hammers. He was forced to take a month's Gardening Leave before he could take over at Upton Park. The following season he took the Hamsters into the Premiership and in 2005-06 got them to the FA Cup Final and a top half finish.

His old captain at the Hammers, Nigel Reo-Coker, was also apparently impressed with Pardew. 'He runs the shop, but he's made it fun. He's made an atmosphere where youth-team players can mix with first-team players. There are no superstars."

As for his playing days, it wasn't until he was 26 that he played in League football, moving to the Palarse from non-league Yeovil. He, of course, moved on to Charlton where he became "a resolute midfielder who scored 10 goals in the 1992-93 season and 11 in the next. He was a no-nonsense box-to-box player who was good in the air, an early-days Scotty Parker,' says Keith Hollands, a Charlton watcher for 40 years".

As for now, he's been busy getting put up pictures of the players at the Training Ground with positive comments under each one. We don't know whose comments they are, obviously not Rommedahls', but they all seem to be taking note of what they say.

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