Premier League

Why Alan Pardew was wrong to brand Scottish Football ‘poor’

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Alan Pardew

Towards the end of May Newcastle manager was responding to interest from Celtic in bringing Fraser Forster back to Glasgow for next season following his year long loan when he said this;

“We have watched that division and watched him all year. We’ve been very disappointed with the quality of the games, other than the occasional Rangers versus Celtic game.

“And even some of those have been poor, if I’m honest. He is coming to a completely different level of football.”

So what actually makes Alan Pardew think he has the authority to say this? This is a guy who has been sacked from three previous clubs and only got the Newcastle job because their previous manager was wrongly sacked. Off the top of my head I can think of three top managers in England who learned their trade in Scotland, those being David Moyes, Kenny Dalglish and one Sir Alex Ferguson. Not bad for a league which such a poor standard. He has done next to nothing as a manager apart from draw controversy with his rash comments,  when he was West Ham manager theyeven had to appoint a media advisor to him to help him win over fans, that doesn’t sound like the kind of guy who should be talking without thinking carefully first.

I’m not for one minute saying that the quality of the SPL is better than the EPL, of course it isn’t, but I can’t count all the English games I’ve had to turn off because of the poor quality. Where is the appeal in watching Newcastle vs Wolves unless you actually support one of those teams? I’d rather watch Rangers/Celtic play Hibs/Hearts any day of the week. Not forgetting Rangers beat Newcastle 2-1, albeit in a pre season friendly and then kept the only clean sheet at Old Trafford this season when they played in the Champions League. Both halves of the Old Firm have been in a European final in the last ten years, again, not bad going for poor quality. Then look across Europe and what do you see? Look at the La Liga, just because Barcelona and Real Madrid are there does it automatically make it have great quality? I recall a game near the end of the season where Real Madrid beat Almeria 8-1, hardly engrossing stuff is it? Compare that to a 6-6 between Hibernian and Motherwell and I know what I’d prefer to watch.

Hamilton were recently relegated from the SPL, yet in the past couple of years an established EPL club have signed two of their players in James McCarthy and James McArthur. A quick look at a Newcastle forum and you’ll immediately see their fans asking who would walk into their team like Peter Houston said. A few spring to mind, Birim Kayal, Emilio Izaquirre, Scott Brown, Gary Hooper, Allan McGregor, Steven Davis, Steven Naismith and Nikica Jelavic. They would walk in because the Newcastle team is average with very little experience of winning trophies whereas these old firm players are all internationals who know what it takes to have to win week in week out. Getting back to Fraser Forster and Pardews comments, he said that he wasn’t tested playing here, but I can remember one save in particular against St Johnstone, a stunning save that any keeper would be proud of. Forster had a very tough job replacing Artur Boruc and done a very good job, a couple of mistakes here and there but what goalkeeper hasn’t? He has to face pressure playing for Celtic that Newcastle players can only imagine.

And finally, who knows how many players have come up to Scotland with their big reputation and swagger and had to run back to the land of the rich with their tails between their legs. Maybe Alan Pardew should take a leaf out of his Scottish managerial counterparts and keep his mouth closed when it comes to commenting on other leagues that he doesn’t know the first thing about.

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  • scotsmag says:

    nobody is saying Pardew is wrong, but it’s clear by saying it to the press, it’s disrespectful. end of…

    • Dave says:

      Yes, whilst I agree with him to an extent, it certainly shows a lack of tact and respect.

  • Jock McPoopyPants says:

    The irony in some of these comments is fantastic! The Scots seem to be hailing the quality of their beloved SPL (the original point of the article I believe) whilst at the same time begging the English to allow the Old Firm to join the Premier League! Haha

  • david morgan says:

    oh buy the way did you lot of shit trucks who have wonm f@#k all ever, cash in on Carrol???

  • Alan says:

    Scottish fans are delusional! You really think your teams can compete week in week out in the epl! What a joke, we don’t want you in our league cos your 2 sets of main fans are bigoted idiots, Scotland will never have a European cup finalist while I’m still alive, just look at the state of your national team! Scottish fans are just jealous at the superior teams in the epl! Next season there could be 5 teams in the league competing to win it, with 5-6 more that could try and squeeze in amongst them, in your league it will be rangers and Celtic, with a few fights and the odd shock results and death threats, yeah, the Scottish league is truly awful. Sunday pub football at it’s best.

    • Michael says:

      Celtic are not bigots – Fact. scotland is a bigoted country – fact. Its not only the blue team from glasgow that are responsible for this, as is demonstrated in most cities I travel to watch the hoops at. Hearts, motherwell, kilmarnock, dundee united.
      For the record I wouldnt wan’t rangers coming to play in my league either you saw what they did to manchester on a day trip. Whereas we get fifa and uefa awards for our week and a half in seville!

      • Alan says:

        Well ya certainly didn’t win awards for poppy appeal did ya?

        • Bhoy oh Bhoy says:

          Like Michael said, Celtic won awards from Fifa and Uefa for our (Celtic) fans behaviour…. but you chose to dismiss that. I’d be forgiven for thinking you’re a tw@t! Seriously, no other club can touch Celtic as far as tradition, culture, fans and history goes. Seriously. Jealousy will no doubt bring argument to that statement though…. unless i’m clearly correct. Which i am.

  • Dave C says:

    Pardew said that apart from Celtic and Rangers, the quality of the SPL is poor. It’s funny, but I haven’t heard any of the SPL supporters here mention how great any SPL team (apart from Celtic and Rangers) is – does that mean that you all agree with him?

  • AMCG1888 says:

    As a Celtic fan i’ll be first to admit that ourselves an Rangers would struggle in the EPL and probably have a tough time of it in the Championship too, we play in a league which unfortunately lacks any real long term challenges and a lack of TV money which provides the EPL with the coverage and funds for clubs to challenge at home and in Europe.

    Now ask yourself the question if Celtic and Rangers were in an environmdnt like that over a period of time collecting monies that are astronomical in comparison to ghe pittance we receive now where would they be? Challenging for a European place? Possibly, theres no definite in that statement but it is z possibility, the Champions in Scotland receive £2.5m for winning the league and now have to play 2 qualifiers for the UEFA CL, relegation in England gives you £45m? theres a definite imbalance there and anyone can see that. Celtic and Rangers have maybe 5 players that eould not look out of place in the EPL- IZAGUIRRE, KAYAL, JELAVIC and MCGREGOR in my opinion.

    Lastly isnt it funny how Pardew slags off the Scottish Premierand at the same time is reported to be interested in signing Scott Brown (10/6) eho isnt even Celtics best midfielder, and btw hd can have Forster back coz hes too slow and cant get down to pass backs (see S.Davis goal League Cup Final)

    • John says:

      I agree with everything you say except .. Newcastle are not in for Brown !!! Tiote would eat him for breakfast, and personally I rather Barton and from what ive seen of Cabaye he is fantastic footballer, And when newcastle got relegated they reported a loss of 30m

      • AMCG1888 says:

        You may have posted a loss but thats because the millions that get wasted, an £8m transfer in England is common place for a nobody, look at Henderson….. £16-£20m FFS! I know its not his fault but clubs in England WILL go the way the italians of the 80’s. Its unsustainable!!!


    • Dave says:

      Agreed with most of your comment mate. Can’t see us signing Brown though, our midfield is pretty set (depending on the Barton/Nolan contract negotiations). I think the press have taken the Nolan contract issue, decided we’d look for someone to replace him and taken a punt at Scott Brown.

    • Tony says:

      If any Scotish team entered the EPL they would get alot more money, this is without a doubt true.
      But what they would also face is the prospect of having to pay over the top for an average player, pay them over the top wages.
      This is not by choice, but the way the league has turned out.
      If you don’t want to pay the wages or transfer fee, then another EPL club will and you end up having to look for a good bargain or as the case usually is a below average player for the fee and wage you are willing to pay.
      So even though they do get more money they would still be in the same situation that alot of mid to lower table EPL teams find themselves in.

      The number of fans, the passion they bring to the stadium etc. is not enough to capture big signings for low wages and a cheap transfer fee.
      See clubs like Newcastle, Leeds, Man City(before they were taken over) etc. who have always had big crowds, loyal fans etc.
      They have all had their low points and have been relegated.
      The EPL is not an easy league to stay in, even for clubs that have been there a long time, so a team coming in to the league will struggle even more.
      Trying to obtain a European spot in at least a 5-10 year plan on top of the initial survival.

  • The Toon is a shithole !! says:

    I can’t wait to see Rangers or Celtic playing Newcastle in Europe next year ….oh wait a minute !!!

    • John says:

      If u can get through the qualifiers !! they only reason your in a chance to qualify for europe is because the rest of the league is crap, hearts were what 20pt behind in 3rd

      • Michael says:

        If that was the only reason, then why would both clubs have got to the final in recent years. And both clubs getting through the group stage of the champs league.
        Only one club in england would remain bigger than Celtic in the premiership and that is man u. Given time i think even that might change. Our famous green and white hoops are appreciated throughout the world – add to that a david beckham and cristiano ronaldo type plying their trade in it and I dont think there would be anything to stop us! Glasgow and barcelona are the football worlds capital. Only liverpool run them close!

    • Alan says:

      If Newcastle played in your pub league every season, we’d be in Europe to.

      • Bhoy oh Bhoy says:

        No chance! Newcastle once the cash run dry would simply die for they are a weak club with no direction or future. Say thanks to your sponsors……. for now!

  • Tim Molloy says:

    What a shower of deluded arrogant people. Best league in the world?? Richest at the moment perhaps, but Barca showed your best team who really is the best. Outclassed them in fact. English clubs outside the top four are scared stiff of Celtic and Rangers joining the Premiership because they are only too aware of the sheer size of these two Glasgow giants, their fan base and world wide merchandising they have maintained for generations. If these clubs had access to the mega millions from Sky that English clubs squander on average players they wouldn’t be shopping at Lidl for players as they do now. So well known and supported are they across the worl that both Rangers and Celtic could easily attract some of the worlds finest players if they could offer the same grossly inflated transfer fees and salaries as English clubs. I think you’d find they wouldn’t be mid table or relegation candidates. Things will change anyway, like it or not. There’s still talk of a Euro league. Money will dictate that sooner or later. There are too many huge “super clubs” pulling in 50,000 plus fans every week like Ajax, Benfica, Porto, Celtic, Rangers, Red Star and many many more but just can’t compete for top players in the present European financial set-up. Change is inevitible.

  • Liambhoy says:

    Hooper > Ameobi
    Jelavic > best
    Kayal > tiote
    Commons > guitierrez
    Bougherra > steven Taylor
    Izaguirre > Enrique
    Mcgregor > harper

    I can’t think of any Newcastle players that would get into the Celtic team apart from Nolan and Barton.

    • Dave C says:

      What about Forster?

      • Liambhoy says:

        Why would I want Forster when we’re being linked with shay given and craig Gordon?

        • Tony says:

          True why would you want a Newcastle reserve
          When you can have a Man City reserve or a Sunderland reserve.

          I guess the EPL reserve players must be better than the 1st team players 😉

          Did Jim Henson make you ?

        • Dave C says:

          Think you missed the point… you say can’t think of any Newcastle players that would get into the Celtic team but ignore the one who actually WAS in the team last season (albeit a 3rd choice Newcastle player)!!

    • Glasgae is a shitehole says:

      I can’t think of any Newcastle players that would get into the Celtic team apart from Nolan and Barton.

      Showing your lack of footballing knowledge aren’t you then sonny.
      Never heard of Ben Arfa or Coloccini?

      I cant think of any player from a Scottish team other than Rangers and Celtic who would get a game for Wycombe Wanderers.

  • Barry Bumhead says:

    “I can’t wait to see Rangers or Celtic playing Newcastle in Europe next year ….oh wait a minute !!!”

    Love the way that Rangers and Celtic class themselves as big clubs on the grounds that they win all the trophies in a two team league and qualify for Europe every year.
    When Rangers played Newcastle in Europe I can remember who won, can you?

    (Having said that Pardew IS an arse!)

  • Kyle Laffatme says:

    “oh buy the way did you lot of shit trucks who have wonm f@#k all ever, cash in on Carrol???”

    If we count who the top dogs are with our local rivals in a 2 team league like you sweaties do, you will find the Newcastle have won about 112 major trophies to Sunderlands miserly 98.
    Ergo we have won more major trophies than the ” shit trucks” called Rangers and Celtic.
    Middlesbrough would muller you lot as well and they are crap.

    Jocks are horrible coonts and the quicker they are booted out of the UK the better.

  • Danny says:

    Pardew is right the SPL last season was only intersting when rangers played celtic and the fight for 1st and 2nd place. Fraser Forster needs to be playing a better level of football to see if he is good enough!

  • spikeybhoy says:

    Best League in the world.
    I give you Barcelona.

  • Glasgae is a shitehole says:

    “I can’t wait to see Rangers or Celtic playing Newcastle in Europe next year ….oh wait a minute !!!”

    I remember Newcastle playing a certain Scottish team in a European competition and I remember who won.

    Qualifying for Europe is easy in a 2 team league.
    Winning loads of trophies is easy in a 2 team league.
    Your clubs achievements bar Celtics 67 European Cup and Rangers 72 Cup Winners Cup mean absolutely nothing.
    You are winning trophies playing teams that would struggle to beat Crewe and Stockport.

  • Joe says:

    Imagine all the money Newcastle have and they are still rubbish. Imagine how “good” they’d be if they had to survive on the money Celtic and rangers do? They would probably be where their level of game deserves. Newcastle are no longer worth a mention, They are the third best team in the North East.

    • Glasgae is a shitehole says:

      Would you like some Sarson’s to go with those chips on your shoulder, O destitute one.


  • ciaran says:

    Newcastle fans shutttttttt up your team is pish your managers pish and yous will never win anything. Unless of course yous get relegated again and might win the Championship!! Hail Hail

  • Glasgae is a shitehole says:

    Listen to the fans of the 2 team league desperately clinging on to the belief that their League and Cup trophies are of any relevance.
    Have you thought of asking any teams from the Faroe Islands to join your league. They will probably improve it if they do.
    Admit it, you really want to join the big boys south of the border.
    Unfortunately for you, you have no chance.
    Hahahaha….Tuff titties. 😀

  • Jock The Ripper says:

    Listen guys Pardew is 100% correct, the Scottish league is pish, we have 2 teams who are capable of anything, but there are some young players in Scotland who are showing signs of becoming top notch, E.g Conway- Dundee Utd, McGuire- Aberdeen, Forrest- Celtic. In my opinion Scott Brown on form could boss any midfield in Europe, Davis is no where near as good as Sky/BBC/Papers make him out to be, Lafferty is a thug and a cheat, Forster & McGregor are both over-rated, but Hey who gives a fuck, so is Wayne Rooney, Stevie Gerrard, Lampard and (insert name of any semi-passable english player here) as for Newcastle, I liked the way they played last year, with Carroll, without him you went back to the same old, Enrique is a good left-back, but so is Izzaguire, Tiote wouldn’t get a game for a bigger team, The Toon Army have a massive fanbase, but it’s not on par with Celtic or Rangers, Both of whom have bigger followings than Arsenal or Chelsea. Being honest wouldn’t want Coloccini the guys a bomb scare, Ben Arfa isn’t too great and couldn’t keep up with the physical nature of the spl. Given time both Glasgow teams would be challenging for major honours in England, FA Cup and at least top 6, in no way am I saying that this would be immediate, Maybe 4-6 years to build up the finances. But by the same measure the rest of the teams in the SPL in that time with the lower tiers money, could maybe start to climb the divisions, right now League 1 or 2 would probably be the best starting point.
    And now for my main point.
    Directed towards the Xenophobic masses, No wonder the rest of the world can’t stand you, you vile square jawed, uneducated people. You complain about our Sectarianism, our crowd fighting etc. Have you ever stopped to take a look at yourselves? Everywhere the English go, trouble soon follows, Whether it be Spain, Greece, Turkey, Italy. You just can’t go without trying to start a fight. Just out of interest how many people were lifted after the last Tyne and Wear Derby? The last Merseyside Derby? How many separate “ultra” groups do your teams have? which country has has glorified football hooliganism in film, books and Television?
    In Closing, Who are the horrible “coonts”?

  • Tony says:

    Whitley Bay won the FA Vase in 2009, 2010 & 2011.
    Compare it to the quality of teams in the Jockish cups and Whitley should have been playing European football for the past few years, and they have a smaller budget than most teams north of the border 😀

    oh and as for the EPL being the EWPL due to the Welsh now joining the ranks of the top division, remember your leagues have an English team in it, one day they might win a tenner on a scratch card, buy a new team, and join you in the SPL.

  • mick mac says:

    for all the money the engerlanders have theres still not one team who`s half the team barca for the EPL its a bit to WWE for me the devil almost always wins.charlie adams counldn`t get a game for der hun but looks like Zinedine Zidane in the EPL ,its a funny old world . as for celtic in the EPL that would be a case of wolf amongst the chickens,why because celtic would become one of the richest clubs in the world over night FACT

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