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Are Newcastle close to sacking Alan Pardew?

Is Mike Ashley finally fed up with Alan Pardew?

Matthew Lewis

The story of Alan Pardew as the Newcastle United manager could be soon coming to a close, if a report in The Independent is to be believed. Martin Hardy of The Independent reports that the "mood within the club" has drastically changed towards Alan Pardew given how the end of the transfer window concluded, dove tailing with the first four games of the new season.

Changed so much so, that Pardew may have just two games left to prove to Ashley and the board he's right for the job, or he's sacked.

Newcastle have just two points in three premier league games, including scraping by Gillingham in the league cup prior to their 3-3 draw against Crystal Palace. Pardew was able to bring in a plethora of new signings, predominantly on the attack, but the results have yet to materialize on the pitch. Newcastle has been in poor form since Yohan Cabaye was sold last January and since that date, have won just a total of five matches out of their last 24 premier league contest.

Simply put, they've been arguably the worst team in the Premier League since January 2014.

via The Independent:

Alan Pardew is fighting for his future as Newcastle United manager, just four games into the new season. The Independent understands there has been a change of mood within the club towards Pardew.

The Newcastle owner Mike Ashley stood by the 53-year-old last season when he head-butted the Hull midfielder David Meyler, although he was fined £100,000 and accepted a formal warning for his behaviour. However, the club spent nearly £40 million on nine new players in the transfer window and there has failed to be an upturn in results.

Newcastle's next two fixtures feature Southampton away, a team which has looked much better than most thought they would given the fact their squad was essentially raided by other Premier League teams, and Hull at St. James Park. Hull, like Newcastle, have made quite a few additions this transfer window but produced mixed results.

In reality, Mike Ashley probably should have sacked Pardew after the head-butting incident, but that contract he gave Pardew constantly seems to be the holdup. It sounds like Ashley might have wanted to, given how quickly Pardew has moved to being nearly sacked, if this report is true.

Pardew's contract though, is also the issue if he is indeed sacked. Ashley would still be footing the bill for Pardew, even if he's not the manager, so it would probably limit Pardew's replacement options to managers who are currently out of work.

Of the top of my head, I can think of David Moyes, Tony Pulis, Steve Clarke and Martin Jol as possible replacements. It's unlikely Ashley would attempt to hire a manager who's already at a club. It's also possible Ashley goes for a foreign manager, which means you can insert a joke about the French here.

It will be interesting to what happens if the Toon drop next two matches, or even end up with bore draws.