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What’s the proper punishment for Pardew after “headbutt” of Hull player David Meyler?

Mar 2, 2014, 9:35 PM EDT

Britain Soccer Premier League AP

Alan Pardew‘s confrontation with Hull’s David Meyler represents many things. Unfortunately for the Newcastle manager, the most striking thing about what many are calling a headbutt is that for those who’ve watched him this year, it isn’t all that surprising.

Here’s the video. It doesn’t fit your standard definition of a headbutt, but in no way does that condone Pardew’s actions in going headfirst toward the Hull player. No place for it in life, let alone a Premier League pitch.

The problem here is that it isn’t an isolated incident, even if the only matches considered are during his time at Newcastle. In fact, he seems to be escalating. The manager pushed a referee during a match against Tottenham last year and now he’s one-upped that ridiculous moment by going after a player.

And there was his calling of Manchester City manager by a profane label earlier this season that caused him to seek penance from his daughters. Problem is, he didn’t need to return home to know his error this time. Pardew was out for his post game interview earlier than anyone expected and couldn’t get his sorries out fast enough.

Some saw his staying out of the fray versus Southampton as a growth moment, but clearly what lies in Pardew was lying in wait.

Pardew is the second longest-tenured club manager in the Premier League and the sixth-longest in the Football League. Perhaps his longevity is earning him more time from the Newcastle United higher-ups, who opted to impose a strong fine and said no more discipline is coming.

But what should the FA do? Frankly, they need to mandate disciplinary classes and evaluations while also suspending him for the duration of the season. That’s a 10-match ban, which would be harsher than Nicolas Anelka’s deemed anti-Semitic gesture (five matches) but not quite nine months a la Eric Cantona’s kung-fu kick of a supporter.

So how many matches feels right to you? Newcastle’s Joey Barton got 12 for an elbow, kick and headbutt-attempt in one swoop against Man City (taking place under Pardew, for those who want to draw a connection, and it’s no surprise that Barton has weighed in on the matter). Paolo Di Canio got 11 for pushing over a referee. Luis Suarez received a 10-match ban for a bite and another eight after the Patrice Evra racial abuse incident.

Given all those things, should Pardew’s actions be considered worse? Does the fact that his actions involve a player make it extraordinarily poor, relative to the aforementioned bans?

In any event, a strong stance is needed. I don’t think you can fire or expel him, but whenever there’s a unique act of poor form on the pitch, there has to be a message that punishment will be severe. The rest of the season seems about right to me.

  1. unclemosesgreen - Mar 3, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    This can’t be compared to the actions of a player. The heat of battle is always a mitigating factor for them. Managers do not receive dirty tackles in the course of their employment.

    I feel quite strongly that his suspension should last through the first month of next season.

    There is absolutely no excuse for a manager to get into a sideline confrontation with a player. None whatever. And Pardew’s prior bad acts must come into this as well.

  2. jylick - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Wow…soccer is far and away my favorite and most followed sport, but give me a break. The reaction to this incident is indicative of the over sensitivity and dramatic nature of the sport. It’s as if (some, not all) players are on the hunt to exploit even the most minuscule form of contact. If Pardew is suspended for the suggested period of time of the commenter above, the Hull player should’ve been red carded and fined for pushing Pardew on the touch line. I’m a City supporter btw, no bias toward NC

    Growing up in the Midwest playing football and hockey must’ve given me thicker skin. This is some ninny business.

    • Sgc - Mar 3, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      Managers should be held to a higher standard because they are paid for leadership, and their actions are supposed to set the tone for their side. I don’t know how you can presume to keep your players’ discipline when you can not discipline yourself.

      Pardew seems a little old to be this juvenile.

  3. brokenghost - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:03 AM

    I have to seriously wonder if people even watch the full incident. Pardew is backing up, away from the ball when it goes out, in his touch area where he should be. The player pushes him aside with a forearm shiver, and the incident goes off. There is no excusing what he did, but how can there be such an uproar about a manager/player incident, but the player’s actions are completely glossed over. This seems more and more like a witch hunt than any true interest in right or wrong.

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