Newcastle have called a press conference for 2.30pm this afternoon where they are expected to unveil Alan Pardew as their new manager. The ex-Southampton boss has been out of work since being sacked by the Saints in August.
Pardew, who has a season-and-a-half of experience of Premier League management (of which the half was disastrous), replaces Chris Hughton, who was sacked on Monday after half-a-season of Premier League experience because the Magpies hierarchy wanted someone “with more experience”.
When owner Mike Ashley was last seriously in the doghouse with the Toon Army, the accusation levelled against him was that he had infiltrated the club with a ‘Cockney Mafia’.
He has moved quickly to counter those suggestions this time around by appointing Pardew, a former London cab driver who befriended Ashley when they were both clients at a casino in the capital owned by Newcastle chairman Derek Llambias.
In a local newspaper poll which asked 1,000 Newcastle fans about their preferred new manager, Pardew received just 14 votes. Former Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill was the fans’ firm favourite with 42.3 per cent of the vote.