Julen Loptegui is living on borrowed time, but luckily Alan Pardew also happens to be between jobs – it’s a match made in heaven.
It turns out that selling one of the two best players in the world and not replacing him isn’t the best of ideas and Real Madrid boss Loptegui is set to be the fall guy, freeing up one of the most prestigious roles in the football world.
So far Antonio Conte, Santiago Solari and even Arsene Wenger have been linked with the Merengues bench, but one name is conspicuous by its absence – Alan Pardew. Maybe Real have cleverly kept a veil of secrecy over their midnight meetings with Pards at a fancy Madrid eatery, but there’s no way they could overlook his credentials.
Conte and Wenger may have their Premier League titles, but have they ever won a Full Members’ Cup or brought home a solid 0.44 points per game for a season?
So, what unique skills will Pardew bring to the Real job?
One area where Pardew puts any Real boss to shame is finding a way to deflect the blame for a defeat.
In his time Pards has blamed everything from poor refereeing and fixture congestion to the Notting Hill Carnival and the whole field of science for results going the wrong way.
Can you even imagine the kind of excuses he could come up with on a midweek night in Levante?
Wizard in the window
Newcastle fans will remember fondly how devastatingly effective Pardew was in the transfer market and there’s every chance he might be able to get Joe Kinnear on a plane to help him.
Real fans will be queueing for hours to get in to the Bernabeu for the unveiling of Facundo Ferreyra and Romain Amalfitano.
After all, with Pardew’s long history of getting the best out of players who wouldn’t want to come and play for him?
Conquer the Clasico
There are very few games in football that carry the weight of pressure of El Clasico and some top coaches have buckled under the strain.
Fortunately, Pardew has proven his mettle in derbies with his inspirational command of Newcastle against Sunderland. It boggles the mind to think of what he said in the dressing room to get those kind of performances.
Plus, Pards has history with Barcelona and can certainly direct some of his players on how to get hold of a taxi there if needed.
There’s a stereotype that the Spanish are fiery with their ‘Latin temperament’, but they’ve never seen Pardew in full flow – he’s a force of nature.
Whether he’s berating an opposition manager, pushing a linesman, insulting a ref or inexplicably head-butting a player, Pards certainly can’t be accused of lacking passion.
Where better for Pardew to bring his fire than the land of the matador? If La Liga doesn’t work out there’s almost certainly work for him strutting around in a cape and trash talking an animal that could gore him in its sleep.
Feel the rhythm
Pardew has the rhythm in him. It’s not his fault, he was born to dance, as we all saw at the 2016 FA Cup final.
The kind of moves we could expect to see when Real score would be mind-blowing with Pards creating a new embarrassing uncle at a wedding / salsa fusion.
Real owe it to dance to let Pardew loose.
One thing is certain, wherever Pardew goes he always endears himself to the fans, or as he once famously called his own supporters ‘w*****s who all should f*** off’.
A master of linguistics, Pardew has surely already mastered the pronunciation of that useful phrase in Spanish, which will set him in good stead for his departure press conference, scheduled for around a week after his arrival.