Alan Pardew

West Ham failed to kick on in 2006/07 and found themselves battling against relegation for much of the season. Pardew was gifted Corinthians pair Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano on 31st August 2006 in a controversial double transfer. He struggled to fit the Argentinians into the side however, and even bizarrely dropped Mascherano for the likes of Hayden Mullins. Results failed to improve and Pardew was starting to feel the heat from the supporters again. The final straw came on 9th December 2006. Pardew was sacked following a 4-0 defeat at Bolton. West Ham had suffered their worst run of form for 70 years and even lost a League Cup tie to lowly Chesterfield.

Pardew became Charlton manager just two weeks after leaving West Ham. He took over with The Addicks looking doomed in 19th place. Results initially improved and it looked as though Pardew's men could mount a serious survival challenge. The 4-0 win over old side West Ham on 24th February 2007 must have been especially pleasing. The goals dried up towards the end however and Charlton were relegated. There was little blame attached to Pardew, with most believing the damaged had already been done prior to his arrival.

Pardew set about building a team to bounce straight back to the Premier League prior to 2007/08. In came Zheng Zhi, Izale Mcleod and Luke Varney. The Addicks were in contention for most of the season, but in typical Charlton style fell away at the end to finish up a disappointing 11th. Things got even worse the following campaign. Charlton plummeted to the bottom end of the Championship table, with Pardew's men looking devoid of ideas. After weeks of fan protests, he was eventually sacked on 22nd November 2008 following a dismal 5-2 home defeat to Sheffield United. Charlton were relegated to League 1 at the end of the season.

While in between jobs Pardew did some punditry work for the BBC. That was until he stated that Michael Essien had 'absolutely raped' Ched Evans (Of all people). It wasn't the first time Pardew had upset someone with comments made to the media. He had previously criticised Arsenal for not fielding a single Englishman in a Champions League win over Real Madrid. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger responded by accusing Pardew of Xenophobia. The two managers clashed on the touchline at the conclusion of West Ham's 1-0 win over Arsenal on 5th November 2006.

On 17th July 2009 Pardew became Southampton's new first team manager. He was the first boss to be appointed under the new ownership of Markus Liebherr and Nicola Cortese. Pardew was heavily backed in the transfer market, but still faced a challenge of completely rebuilding a side that was facing a ten point penalty in League One. With the assistance of the club's transfer committee Pardew brought in the likes of Dan Harding, Dean Hammond and goalscoring machine Rickie Lambert. Experienced head Radhi Jaidi added some presence to the defence, while Papa Waigo provided unpredictability up front.

Saints got off to a slow start during 2009/10. Pardew had taken over during the middle of pre-season and as a result, struggled to implement his ideas at first. There were positive signs however. Lambert was scoring goals, but Saints didn't win their first league game until 19th September when Yeovil were seen off 2-0 at St Marys. Pardew oversaw the development of youngsters like Adam Lallana and Morgan Schneiderlin, who improved considerably under his stewardship.

Pardew's Saints didn't really get going until October 2009. By that time promotion looked out of reach. The arrival of David Connolly on a free transfer added some much needed class to the team's attacking play. Saints recorded a number of impressive 3-1 wins (The standard score that season) over the likes of MK Dons, Oldham and Hartlepool. Things were going well in the cups too. Saints snuck into the Johnstone's Paint semi-final with slightly fortunate penalty wins over Torquay and Norwich. Bristol Rovers and Northampton were seen off in entertaining FA Cup clashes.

Cup form had started to take its toll over the winter period and Saints suffered in the league as a result. New signings Jose Fonte, Dan Seaborne, Lee Barnard, Jon Otsemobor and Jason Puncheon settled in well with Saints securing a place in the JPT final following a comfortable semi-final victory over MK Dons. A win over Ipswich in the FA Cup 4th round set up a South Coast derby with Portsmouth at St Marys. Not everyone was happy however. In a BBC interview Chairman Nicola Cortese stated he wasn't satisfied with the team's league performances. He said he expected Pardew to be doing a lot better with the generous budget he had been handed. There had been tension between Cortese and Pardew for months and would continue to be.

Saints lost their FA Cup 5th round tie to Portsmouth, squandering some great early chances. Things did improve in the league however. Saints ran out 2-0 winners in a superb showing at league leaders Norwich on 20th February 2010, and followed that up with 5 star showings over Walsall and Huddersfield. Just when it looked like Saints were getting some consistency going they fell to Tranmere and Swindon in March. Pardew delivered Saints fans a trophy and a great day out on 28th March at Wembley. Carlisle were dispatched 4-1 in the JPT final in a comfortable outing.

The play-offs looked pretty much out of reach for Saints following a 2-2 draw at Brighton on 1st April 2010. A last gasp Lee Barnard winner at Yeovil on 17th April gave everyone hope that it might be possible however. That was until the dreary 0-0 stalemate with Oldham a few days later. Saints would go on to finish 7th, just outside the League One play-off zone. Pardew's future had been the subject of rabid speculation at the end of the 2009/10 season. Many expected him to be sacked for not meeting Cortese's objectives, and the rumours only intensified when the match-day programme for the end of season Southend game was pulled from sale. Saints quelled the speculation in May 2010 by issuing a statement saying Pardew would remain in charge.

Saints suffered an incredibly disruptive 2010/11 pre-season. Many players were injured during the training camp in Switzerland, and lowly opposition like Farnborough and Sutton did little to prepare the team ahead of another long season in League 1. It's unclear from the outside who was to blame for the club's lacklustre early showings but it was clear something wasn't right, especially when Saints lost their opener 1-0 at home to Plymouth. Then came the tragic death of club owner Markus Liebherr. Once the team returned to action they were still looking distinctly below par. Things only started to click on 28th August, when Saints won 4-0 at Bristol Rovers. That turned out to be Pardew's final match in charge. He was sacked two days later, much to the dismay of the vast majority of the Southampton fans, who continued to chant his name at matches until Nigel Adkins was appointed his successor. Very few people know the precise reasons behind Pardew's sacking, although it's fair to say his personality clash with Cortese did him no favours.

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