Alan Pardew’s managerial persona has long been defined by a sense of alarming self-confidence but even for him, the tale recounted via the link below is outrageously over the top.
You could argue quite fairly, that modern day managers require a sense of unshakable self-confidence if they are to survive in the cut-throat environment of the Premier League but even by those standards, the tale referred to in the link above will raise an eyebrow or two.
It comes from West Ham’s former photographer, Stevie Bacon (no, seriously). A man known to Hammers fans everywhere during his time with the club as a larger than life character who pulled no punches when articulating his views on all manner of subjects. Perhaps unsurprisingly given his specific circumstances, Stevie saw fit to publish a book in 2012, documenting a series of anecdotes drawn from a life spent working within the beautiful game. It is from those pages that the aforementioned story of Pardew comes to light and my word is it a good one.
It would be remiss of me at this juncture not to mention the fact that the chapter in question begins with the sentence, “I don’t like Alan Pardew, there, I’ve said it. In fact, I don’t think I’ve known a more arrogant person in my life.” Straight away you get the impression that Stevie won’t be holding back when musing on the former Irons’ gaffer, if only to cleanse his own soul after years of brooding in painful silence.
The story Stevie then chooses to tell in full literally made my toes curl in my shoes as I read it at my desk. We all know Pardew as a man who is irrationally sure of himself but even so, it smacks of the behaviour you would expect to hear about from America’s new President elect rather than an English football manager.
I should add that this is not a case of me bringing a story to you with any hidden agenda. My own views on our porous defence and questionable tactical choices are for another time; instead I reference this yarn from Mr Bacon for the simple joy of raising a smile (or a disbelieving shake of the head) from you on this fine Friday morning.
Try not to cringe too hard when you finish it, your face might end up stuck in that position if you let it stay like that for too long.