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Another sad picture for Pardew's wall of shame
3:00pm Wednesday 5th March 2014 in Sport
On Saturday, Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew headbutted Hull City’s midfielder David Meyler on the touchline at the KC Stadium.
Never before have I seen or heard of a manager butting an opposition player, and I’d like to think I have seen a few things in my time in football.
There have been plenty of other notorious incidents.
In 2011, AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Guttuso came to the touchline and headbutted Tottenham Hotspur assistant manager Joe Jordan in a Champions League game.
And I can also vividly remember Eric Cantona’s ‘kung fu’ kick when he jumped into the crowd at Selhurst Park in 1995.
He hurdled the advertising boards and aimed a flying kick at a heckling fan which the late, great martial arts legend Bruce Lee would have been proud of.
A two-week prison sentence was reduced to 120 hours community service for that attack by Cantona.
Pardew was fined £100,000 by Newcastle on Saturday night and still faces more punishment by the FA who view the incident as ‘serious’.
Touchline spats with Arsene Wenger, Manuel Pellegrini and Martin O’Neill, as well as pushing an assistant referee, are also on his wall of shame.
Saturday’s fracas is the most serious of them all and these touchline incidents will not have helped his standing in football, especially with a few pundits suggesting his job may now be in danger.
I am not one of those suggesting he should be sacked as I don’t wish unemployment on anyone, but he has definitely made it easier for his employers to wield the axe if they so wish. I must applaud Meyler for not replying with violence or making more of the situation by over-reacting.
It got me thinking how I would have reacted if I had been headbutted by an opposition manager when I was a player.
Would I have done the same? The angel on one shoulder says maybe, but the devil on the other shoulder says maybe not! I have to admit there were a few opposition managers I came across I really didn’t like and I would have loved to have given them a dig!
When I visualise my reaction to them headbutting me, I can envisage two scenarios.
The first replicates Saturday’s incident and I react just like Meyler, in a non-aggressive way.
In the second, however, I am no way near as passive as Meyler and instead I’m very aggressive and react in a violent way.
It was only in my head, and like most fantasies, maybe they are best just played out there and go no further.
I don’t advocate violence, especially not on the football pitch, where players are supposed to be role models and set an example.
I’m sure some of you Oxford United fans would love to read that if I had been playing against Swindon and their manager had done that, I would have cleaned him out with a punch that Mike Tyson would be proud of.
Had I done so, I think I would have started a 22-man brawl as well as a riot at the Kassam.
As much as I would have loved the legendary terrace status and urban myth hero stories for years to come, I know I wouldn’t do that.
Meanwhile, we wait to see the fate of Alan Pardew from the FA and hopefully we don’t get anymore crazy incidents from him or anyone else.
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