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If Wenger Does Go, I Want Pardew for Arsenal

Monday 3rd April 2017
It's highly unlikely anything will happen between now and season's end. Moreover, I don't want Arsène Wenger to leave. But should Stan Kroenke and upper management feel Arsène's time is up, I think they should appoint Alan Pardew for Arsenal boss.

It's important to stress, I don't think changing manager would actually benefit Arsenal. Pardew is simply my desired appointment should there be a switch. He might be a surprising choice but, for where Arsenal is at the minute, the former Newcastle and Crystal Palace manager would be a prime candidate to return the Gunners to English football's fore. Further, he'd be a real change in pace. Here are four qualities that make Alan Pardew ideal for the Emirates.

Temperament

Whilst there's nothing wrong with the cool, calm, collected mindset Wenger exudes, over the last twenty years it's left the Arsenal players in a halcyon state. Chasing and winning titles doesn't seem a priority.

Pardew might just be the polar opposite. Certainly, he'd be a shock to the system. He wouldn't stand for poor performances or player strops. Rather, he'd be blunt with everyone. Pardew would adopt a very different approach to the Alexis Sánchez situation, ensuring the proud Chilean knows his place as a player, not the player.

Pardew would also be a breath of fresh air in the dugout.

Wenger rarely becomes animated, sitting quietly in the player's box. If he does, it is to complain to the fourth official, which is altogether fruitless, or to destroy his own plastic water bottle.

Conversely, Pardew lets everyone know how he thinks a game is going, usually from the edge of the technical area. Sometimes, however, he oversteps his mark, becoming physically involved with players. While such behaviour seems counterproductive in a gaffer, it would be a lift for Arsenal supporters, offering them a managerial presence unseen for most of the contemporary Wenger era.

Pardew's abrasive mentality could be beneficial to Arsenal.
Ability to Turn Clubs Around

Pardew has a very good record for turning around a new club's fortunes. His first managerial role, at Reading, saw him remake the Royals, a mid-table third-tier side, into a club chasing a place in the Premier League in just three seasons.

He continued to progress the club until his departure for West Ham; where he managed promotion to the top tier in just two seasons. His ability isn't limited to a flair for promotion. The Hammers didn't struggle to stay up the next season, instead finishing a comfortable ninth and making an FA Cup Final appearance.

More recently, he managed both Newcastle United and Crystal Palace, enjoying elements of success with both. He took Toon from a dwindling state to the Europa League, a result of finishing fifth in the league. Then, with the Eagles, he was tasked with the impossible: keep them up during the '14/15 season after only being appointed in January. Pardew again proved his transitional skills securing safety despite having very little time to do so. In the next season, he led the South London club to its best Premier League finish (tenth), and, again, a trip to Wembley for the FA Cup Final.

Whilst Arsenal aren't in the same straits, it is still off its targets. Pardew proved he can thrive near the top of the table with Newcastle. Given Arsenal's resources and patience, there's no telling what he could achieve in North London.

Transfer Policy

Pardew also has an eye for spotting influential players and bringing them into clubs he's managing. Yohan Cabaye is a good example. The Frenchman signed for both Newcastle and Crystal Palace after being recruited by Pardew. Cabaye was Pardew's most-used player, a consummate professional.

Pardewed also recruited Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano at West Ham. The deals will go down in infamy for their third party ownership issues. Regardless, they remain a testament to Pardew's pull when it comes to attracting top quality players.

Most recently, he signed Christian Benteke for Crystal Palace, a key signing for the club. Just ask Antonio Conte and Chelsea if you doubt me.
Given Arsenal's wealth, there's no limit to Pardew's potential transfers. His policies could go a long way towards appeasing fans who, for years, have wanted Wenger to spend. Pardew has no trouble at all pulling out the chequebook and spending money.

Tactics

Hand in hand with the players he likes to buy, Pardew plays a very expansive game, utilising the entire pitch. Whilst it's been said his open style didn't always work, especially at Crystal Palace, Arsenal already play a positive style. The club seems ready-made to be stamped with Pardew's influence.

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Pardew's tenure admittedly seems to end only one way: abruptly, with him being shown the door. Results sour over time. It's true, as well, he bears some responsibility for that. Yet, how many among his clubs had the funds to continue investing in his style of football?

Like Wenger's, his game has been likened to Barcelona's, even if that's a little ambitious. When Wenger goes, however, Arsenal will prescribe the sacking mentality to successors it has not applied to him. Manchester United did after Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement. If Pardew doesn't look to be turning up trumps, transforming the Gunners back into champions, Kroenke can just sack him in December.

 
Warren Smith

A British and J.League soccer enthusiast, now local to Yokohama, Japan. A keen Arsenal supporter. Has been known to play the game every once in awhile, once likened to Xherdan Shaqiri. 


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