Spanish football expert and author Graham Hunter has conducted an absolutely fantastic interview with Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew, discussing the 54-year-old’s rise in the game, both as a player and a manager, offering a brilliant insight into his mindset heading into 2016.
This interview with Alan Pardew offers a brilliant insight into his views on the game and the romance attached to it, whilst also going into extreme detail over his views on management, motivation, tactical nous and fate across the professional ranks. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Full to the brim with intriguing anecdotes and musings on the start Pardew had in the game, first at Yeovil and then as a player at Palace, Hunter gains a true feel for the events that have shaped the Eagles’ supremo into the man he has become today. You’ll shake your head in disbelief at the sacrifices Alan made to continue playing whilst on Yeovil’s books; it’s a huge departure from the comfortable life of a modern pro, that’s for sure.
Crediting his experience of non-league as a pivotal factor is his development as a coach, a great deal of the interview focuses on the mental side of management; an aspect of the profession which Pardew feels is absolutely imperative across the top leagues in Europe. Touching on the methodology adopted by the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, the Palace boss muses openly about the characteristics that set the game’s top managers apart from the rest, allowing for plenty of anecdotes that are sure to pique your interest.
One story in particular, referencing the now infamous FA Cup final between Pardew’s West Ham and Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool in 2006, offers an opportunity for reflection on the infinitely tiny margins that can impact upon a manager’s success and failure. Without wanting to ruin the story for you before listening, it involves Steven Gerrard and Nigel Reo-Coker’s battle in midfield, and is sure to provoke some serious thought on your part over the influence of fate in the game we all love so dearly.
Lasting just over an hour, I can honestly say that I loved every second of the above interview. Never boring, constantly engaging and packed with interesting stories, it offers a perfect view into the man behind the image of Alan Pardew. Set aside some time to listen when you get the chance, you won’t regret it.