Monday, 29 September 2014

The tension will be palpable as Newcastle United take on Stoke City

Alan Pardew's job appears to be on the line in tonight's game for Newcastle United at Stoke City. It makes an otherwise dull-looking encounter appear quite interesting.

Yet even if Newcastle United successfully take three points at the Britannia Stadium this evening, you can't help but feel that unless Pardew puts together a run of half-a-dozen unbeaten games and takes Newcastle firmly into the top half, then he will remain a dead man walking.

No manager resigns these days - the pay-offs for being sacked are too lucrative - otherwise, Pardew might have decided himself that enough was enough after owner Mike Ashley's "joke" comments about sacking Pardew to a reporter recently.

A manager of any club these days is only ever three-successive defeats away from a potential P45, but some jobs are tougher than others. Ashley's loyalty to his managers doesn't seem to steeped in longevity, so, let's face it, Pardew's days are numbered.

As for the game tonight, Stoke City haven't won a league game at home yet this season (two 0-1 defeats), and Newcastle United haven't won a league game away since 1 March. Stoke City themselves only have two more points than the Geordies, and Mark Hughes might be a little more nervous than usual tonight.

It actually sounds like a recipe for a 0-0 draw, but the tension will be palpable.

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