Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Was Pardew the worst Charlton manager ever?

This was the claim made by Richard Murray in the question and answer session at the Family Fun Day. Perhaps he was referring just to his own time at Charlton as it's quite a competitive league. Murray held his hands up to making a mistake about P45DUE as he is known at Newcastle, but pointed out that he had had many e-mails, texts and other messages from fans welcoming the appointment. I confess that I thought it was a good move at the time.

I was thinking of writing an assessment of the whole video, although the sound quality is not that good. In particular, one can't generally hear the question being asked. However, by kind permission of editor Rick Everitt (Whom God Preserve), I am writing about Katrien in the next Voice of the Valley. If the dispute between Rick and his gnomes about whether they should be paid the living rather than minimum wage is resolved, that should be available at the Wigan game (although the gnomes are also protesting against a proposal that they should wear the third kit which would certainly make them stand out).

So let's take a look at what Richard Murray said. Murray's role at recent events at The Valley is an enigma. I remember asking someone who is better informed than me about it a year ago (not the tea lady) and I got the reply, 'That's a good question.' Is Murray the fans' friend as he likes to portray himself, the guardian of the spirit of Charlton? Of course, Murray (or Murray-Obodynski to give his full surname) was originally a Wolves fan, but then he certainly put a lot of his own cash into Charlton. I appreciate his openness to fans in the past, particularly the meeting he held for Charlton bloggers. He could see that social media were becoming as important as news media.

Some fans have taken exception to his view that we should not expand the ground until we have sold out, i.e., have a waiting list for season tickets. Given that expanding the ground would be expensive, his stance seems a reasonable view to take. It would be adequate for a first year in the Premier League and if we stayed up, the position could be reviewed.

Katrien Meire looked understandably blank when Murray talked about events in the past, but the wise old owl was keen to demonstrate their rapport by slapping her on the back, at which point la belle Katrien managed a rather forced smile. As she pointed out, it was her close working relationship with Bob Peeters that was important, although this was emphasised by a comment that has a double meaning in English.

On Peeters, Murray said that he was a 'larger than life' character who was prepared to have some banter with the players but also drew strict limits to any familiarity. That sounds fine to me. I don't think that Alan Curbishley was all that keen on talking to the players and indeed complained to me about 'players knocking on my door' more than once, making it clear that he gave them short shrift. Keith Peacock was left to smooth any ruffled feathers and indeed that was a very good working partnership. I think the best insight I saw into it was on Chinese television. (I am shortly due to visit China again but I doubt whether I see any reflections on the current arrangements at the club).

But I digress. The events that surrounded Chris Powell's departure remain contentious and probably always will be. Richard Murray insisted, 'Roland was not picking the team. He was giving opinions.' Murray explained that when Powell asked for additional players, he was asked why he did not make more use of the players sent over from Belgium. Well, the problem was that most of them were not up to Championship standard, and that, along with the sale of Kermorgant, got the new owners off to a bad start with the fans. It has also been suggested in some quarters that Murray's account of these events was economic with the actualité. Chris Powell is too honourable a person to give his account of events publicly.

It was Murray, with Peter Varney and other directors, who got Charlton into the Premier League and, after a relegation, got us back up and kept us there. Charlton were punching above their weight. However, then was the disastrous appointment of Dowie, followed by Les Reed, who was out of his depth, and then Pardew.

We don't know what Murray said or did behind the scenes when the previous regime ran into difficulties. In all fairness, it should be said that Murray still has a lot of money at stake and that his own lifestyle has been reportedly curtailed. I don't doubt the sincerity of his attachment to Charlton, but whether he quite fits the 'elder statesman' mantle he would like to adopt is an open question. I wouldn't think that he has much influence on major decisions, and, as Katrien pointed out, the club does have a core philosophy under its new owners which is a refreshing change in football.

Katrien doesn't have a lot of real life decision-making experience and, I would suspect, little prior knowledge of football, but she is clearly intelligent and a quick learner who is capable of thinking strategically. Whilst it won't be from a bottle of wine from the Blackheath Addick, I am more than happy to raise a glass of Belgian beer to the new regime, particularly at a time when we are remembering how Belgian suffered during the First World War.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

No. Statistically I'm guessing that was Reed.

Andy said...

Iain Dowie has to be the worst appointment, he was allowed to practically bankrupt Charlton buying loads of very expensive duds, remember Amdy Faye, Djimi Traore, Souleymane Diawara.

It was then a very odd decision to give the job to Les Reed, he should have been given the job as caretaker manager first and then once it became evident he was going to fail miserably replaced. Instead they let him go on a run of something like 10 successive defeats, by which time it was too late.

There was a whole raft of incompetent decision around this time to be honest though.

Anonymous said...

He was universally known as Super Alan Pardew, following Reed's departure. He had nearly all believing that the great escape was on - the humiliation of West Ham playing Tevez and Mascherano 4-0 at the Valley and with an earlier appointment of him, could have stayed up.

However, like his entire career, Pardew can anly maintain a good run in a team for about twelve months, whereafter the wheels fall off, as seen at West Ham, Charlton and Newcastle.

A special mention needs to go to Phil Parkinson who has, throughout his entire career, been incapable of managing anything above League 2. He presided over our longest ever winless streak and would gladly nominate him as the WORST ever manager who took us down to league one.

Brian G said...

I have to agree with Andy about Dowie. I had the inside story on what happened with him elsewhere immediately before his appointment from a third party who was then personally financially involved in the Premiership and so I'll admit to having prejudged him anyway. However, his purchases were clearly vastly over-priced and poor on the pitch.Until RD came in, we were still paying for that profligacy. You have to question the Board's decision making at that time too.Reed was a good club man who was not suited to being manager but was asked by the Board to take on the impossible task of recreating the homely, well-run feeling of the Curbishley era. His continuing career has shown where his strengths really lie. I can add nothing to the previous comments on Pardew but strangely I always liked Parkinson, who would have continued to have been a sound No. 2 at both Premiership and Championship level.

jonathan acworth said...

yes he winds me up big time i have walked past him several times up around london bridge area over the past 2 years hes always smartly dressed when see him with a broad grin on him i nearly had words with him last time i saw him walk past me he knew exactly who i was! I dont like how this idiot gets away with fucking up this great club he never seems to recall his time at charlton in his interviews which really winds me up as well,newcastle fans i know cant stand him severall last month did a big banner which read pardew your a cxxt.!I was so annoyed that day in his last game in charge with us i walked out at half time with 5 angry fans and we did a 5 man protest behind the west stand that day shouting furiously at the west stand "WE WANT PARDEW OUT" THIS TURNED INTO AROUND 900 BY 430!.
Pardew was a superb player for us at upton park scored mostly every week if i recall but has failed misrably as a manager i love to interview this bloke i will certainly ask him some home truths....if someone can set it up for me ill do it

jonathan acworth said...

the crettin got 1.6m for being shit at his job great that

Kentish Man said...

I am sure Richard Murray may have more experience of Pardew at first hand but it's hard to see how you could say he was worse than Iain Dowie or Les Reed. As for Parkinson that coincided with some of the worst football I have ever seen us play. However when Pardew got the boot from Charlton it was not before time.
Every manager will have career highs and lows. I personally think he's played a tough hand well under Mike Ashley although as Mr Acworth points out he's been there a while and his luck may be running out. But he's been at the Toon for nearly four years which marks him out as second longest serving manager of a Premiership club.

DRN said...

If you analyse the four based on budget given it becomes clearer, although possibly not proven. Dowie - the largest budget given to a CAFC manager in a window. Pardew - a reasonable budget, but not what he was promised (according to him anyway). Reed - no budget but a reasonable set of players. Parkinson - no budget and a poor squad.

Wasnt the last game of Pardew's "reign" an evening match v SheffU? 5-2 as i recall. 900 people still there at 4-30am?

Brian Cowan said...

Home to Sheffield United, 22 November 2008, was a Saturday game, notable for not only being Pardew's last match in charge but also the game in which Gary Speed scored his last ever goal.

DRN said...

Sorry, I remember the game well, but thought it was midweek, probably got very drunk afterwards! If ever there was a game to drown your sorrows that was one.

Anonymous said...

We all found out that Pardew was awful at managing during his time and what a complete bellend he was. The other bellend in the crowd was Acworth and still is . With his imaginary ideas and beliefs and millionaire friends.......lol.

Anonymous said...

Dowie was dire Pardew became dire. But the worst manager for me was Nelson he of the ' Village Idiots' comment about his own supporters.

As for Murray, time to go, was responsible for Dowie and Pardew but worst of all having no plan when Curbs clearly wanted to go.
I also see Murray as 'less than honourable' and having a nasty snide way of whispering about critics..

Anonymous said...

Dowie was dire Pardew became dire. But the worst manager for me was Nelson he of the ' Village Idiots' comment about his own supporters.

As for Murray, time to go, was responsible for Dowie and Pardew but worst of all having no plan when Curbs clearly wanted to go.
I also see Murray as 'less than honourable' and having a nasty snide way of whispering about critics..

Wyn Grant said...

Interesting that you are the first person to mention Nelson of 'village idiots' fame. He would have been my first choice.

Brian G said...

Nelson is a good choice but he did get us promoted before he fell apart. Not the worst but one of the most disappointing managers was Alan Mullery. Ken Craggs was, of course, the Les Reed of the 80s. However, no one can touch Dowie.

Geoff said...

Dead right. Dowie by a mile, what with his brother bringing in "players" if I recall correctly. Poor old Les Reed, a brilliant coach for us in earlier days, got the hospital pass.

jonathan acworth said...

Aparantly rumoures has it di canio wise and clarke all applied for the job after curb yet we gave it to dowie why ffs

jonathan acworth said...

GOD ANDY NELSON WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO HIM AFTER CHARLTON ANY IDEAS>?