7. Gross misconduct
This is a man who repeatedly gets in trouble for his touchline antics. Whilst comfortably 3-1 up in a meaningless game at Hull, Pardew decided to head butt David Meyler for no reason. Such actions are unheard of in this country but he still kept his job, despite a seven game ban from the FA. This followed being caught on camera calling Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini “a fucking old cunt” and previous incidents with Arsené Wenger and Martin O’Neill. Against Tottenham in August 2012, his tendency to assault saw him inexplicably push an assistant referee. He was smiling throughout the post-match interviews though! Most managers wouldn’t be able to survive one or two of these episodes, yet he ploughs on.
Counter-argument: He’s a passionate man, fighting for a passionate fan base.
The weakest of the counter-arguments, it’s almost impossible to defend serial assaults. Away from the passions of a matchday dugout, his bad taste took him to the Match of the Day 2 sofa in 2009. He thought “absolutely rapes him” was an acceptable way to describe Michael Essien’s tackle on Ched Evans, sparking 35 complaints from viewers. This isn’t passion, it is stupidity. Again and again. Assaulting players and officials are sackable offences on their own. Surely he lost his players’ respect by headbutting Meyler. How can you demand professionalism from your players when you’ve just done that?