Well, he's gone hasn't he. Sacked on Tuesday night. It had to happen really. Just 4 wins in 22 games, the team has crashed down 11 places from 4th place in October and the crowd were anything but happy with the situation.
An away defeat last weekend was the killer and occurred despite the fact that everyone knew exactly what was an stake. Surprisingly, the players underperformed, once again, and the manager's on his bike.
Who we talking about? Why Ronald Koeman, of course, handed his cards this week at Valencia. Oh, I see, you thought I was talking about Pards. Well, I suppose the numbers are remarkably similar.
But there is a difference. Valencia are a big club used to success, ie winning things, we are not. Valencia have pots of money, we do not. And Valencia have enough standing in the football world to be able to attract a top line manager, the Addicks sadly have now lost any we might have had. But with Saturdays loss finally putting Pardew's totals into the negative - 23 wins, 22 draws and 24 defeats in 69 games in charge at the Valley - is it time for a change?
The obvious answer is, of course, that no it's not. The very good article in wharf that Forever Charlton have somehow unearthed compares us, not to Valencia, but to fellow ex-Premiership Southampton. Redknapp was in charge when they were relegated in 2005 and since then George Burley and now Nigel Pearson have tried to get them back. After last seasons 6th place they are now in 21st spot, one point away from another relegation. Its their first year without any parachute money and they are clearly struggling.
So yet another change of manager for us is quite simply not on the cards. One senses that stability has always been one of Richard Murrays watchwords and perhaps Pardew should be thankful that there was a singular failure in the short terms of Dowie and Reid to make his job all the more secure. After those two failures, it was apparent that even some short-term problems would be tolerated. For how long we don't know but success next season is obviously vital before the money disappears.
On a brighter not, seems we can all sleep easily because Pardew claims he knows what the problem is and is quoted as saying "I think I know the reasons why we are not up there challenging and I need to put them right, I’m certainly planning to make three or four changes to this team to give us a bit more steel and a bit more strength. We’ve dominated games but haven’t got the goals some of our play has suggested we would. If we don’t get those goals, we’re always open to scary moments and defenders get edgy, and we’ve drawn games or lost games that we shouldn’t have."
So now its steel and strength that's needed now with apparently 3 or 4 changes to get it right and, if you believe the Wharf, apparently another 11M to spend. But Pardew's record in the market place for some reason doesn't exactly inspire does it. What's he's spend so far, you might ask? Altogether, on 14 players, it adds up to a rough total of 11.1m with Bougherra at 2.5m, Varney 2m, ZiZi 2m, Gray 1.5, McLeod 1.1m, McCarthy 650k, Thatcher 500k, Moutaouakil 400k, Racon 400k, Dickson 35k, with four others Weaver, Iwelumo, Semedo and Todorov all arriving on a free.
Obviously, it'll be very interesting to see which 3 or 4 Pards chooses to replace although it would appear that steel and strength would go some way to replace our famous superior technique which has failed to achieve very much. And not surprisingly it has to be said that after a total of eleven million spent to get us to 11th place it's not really surprising that Pards is apparently putting his faith in a couple of youngsters before the season's over. Because Murray won't want to spend another 11 million for an anonymous mid-table place.