As is generally the case, there is plenty to talk about in the world of football this week. The main story that jumped out at me, other than the John Terry case, was Alan Pardew’s new eight-year contract at Newcastle United.
I’ve advocated managers getting longer stints at their clubs for years now. A club can’t have stability if they are constantly chopping and changing their manager every year.
The most successful clubs tend to be those who stick by their managers and give them time.
It is a feature of the modern game that club owners tend to listen to the fans’ frustrations and angers when a club is struggling and react to that by sacking the manager.
Newcastle United’s owner Mike Ashley has been ridiculed in the past for certain decisions he has made, but he feels he has found a manager that can take the club forward and he has acted on it by rewarding him with a long contract.
Pardew has done a great job at Newcastle so far. He has had help from their chief scout Graham Carr and has got a good backroom staff set up, and they look a more stable club than they have been in recent years.
They are looking to build for the future, which can only be a good thing.
On the other side of the coin is the argument that an eight-year deal ties the club to Pardew for a lengthy period of time.
What happens when the club go through a sticky period? Will Ashley part with a huge sum of cash to rip up this huge contract?
I don’t think contracts are worth the paper they’re written on anymore anyway, so there probably isn’t the risk that some might think there is.
Plus the longer-serving managers in the country have done great jobs.
Look at Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, David Moyes and even Dario Gradi at Crewe Alexandra. They have all done well because when the clubs went through tricky periods they were loyal to their managers.
Newcastle look really stable at the moment under Pardew. They look like they could challenge for European football again this season and have assembled a good squad.
Newcastle are a big club in my opinion. They regularly get over 50,000 to their home games and they have some of the most passionate fans in the game.
One thing I would like to see from clubs like Newcastle and Everton is for them to take the League Cup more seriously,
It is the best chance for the lower end Premier League clubs to win silverware, and we saw Manchester United rest a host of players on Wednesday night, yet they still managed to beat an under-strength Newcastle side.
If Newcastle had fielded a full strength team, they may still be in the competition - who knows?
The draw for the last 16 has thrown up a couple of interesting ties, with Chelsea hosting Manchester United and a North East derby between Sunderland and Middlesbrough.
They will both be interesting games for different reasons. It will be good to see who the Chelsea and United managers pick and the Wear-Tees derby will be a blood and thunder clash with an excellent atmosphere.
I had the misfortune of missing a sitter in the derby playing for Boro at Roker Park, We lost the game 1-0 as well, which didn’t help.