When you've a Championship record of just 74 points from 55 games, but a reptuation as one of the brightest young managers in the game to protect, it certainly helps to have a few ready-made excuses available for post-match press conferences.
I suggested that Pardew might be reading from a prepared script, and indeed a more scientific review provides considerable evidence that this may not be far from the truth.
When he can't blame the referee, individual performances, or a need for new signings, he can always take comfort from the effort his team showed, and look forward to the next game.
And when none of those will do, he'll not shy way from turning full circle, or reverting to the plain ridiculous. After all, it's better than blaming himself....ON REFEREES...."Unfortunately for us, the referee didn't help us one iota."
(Hull H, 07/08) - Pards reminds the ref of the 9th letter of the Greek alphabet."From where I was standing I thought it was a harsh decision."
(Watford A, 08/09) - Pards asks ref to officiate from the touchline."The referee has a duty, in my opinion, to the paying public, and he didn't help us at all in terms of trying to speed the opposition up."
(Scunthorpe H, 07/08) - the paying public from Scunthorpe didn't seem to mind (or don't they count?)"I can only assume because of the John Terry thing this week that the referee has made a call that in my view was wrong."
(Forest A, 08/09) - the subtle influence of Chelsea makes its mark even at the City Ground."The free-kick which subsequently led to their penalty wasn't a free-kick and those two harsh decisions cost us."
(Wolves H, 08/09) - Pards rewinds the tape."The whistle never stopped - he seemed to be antagonised by everybody."
(Plymouth H, 07/08) - Pards antagonised by Rob Styles (ok, fair point)."I think we were [roughed up] and I don't think the referee helped in all honesty."
(Wolves A, 07/08) - Pards gets honest."The referee surprised me all day actually."
(Barnsley A, 07/08) - Pards still touched by his surprise pre-match gift from the ref."Without attaching blame to anyone, the referee didn't do us any favours."
(QPR A, 07/08) - Pards blames the ref. "I actually thought Watford's first goal changed the game. It looked offside and we were shocked, and then they scored a second."
(Watford, 07/08) - Pards bemoans acute case of post-traumatic stress syndrome."I don't think he really had control of the game."
(Scunthorpe A, 07/08) - Pards angry as game descends into anarchy.ON EFFORT...."The boys in the dressing room were fully committed in terms of their performance."
(Palace A, 08/09) - but once they left the dressing room...."I feel real sympathy for the players; they gave everything."
(Burnley A, 07/08) - Pards gets all warm and cuddly."I was pleased with the character of the team, but that was about all I could be pleased with."
(Hull H, 07/08) - Pards gets life in perspective."Perhaps it was character and grit that got us the point."
(Leicester A, 07/08) - or perhaps it was Paddy McCarthy's equaliser? Pards gets philosophical."I couldn't be more pleased with the team at the moment in terms of their character and commitment."
(WBA A [FA Cup], 07/08) - Pards most pleased by a run of 1 win in 8."Again, it was an unbelievable first goal, but I couldn't fault the application and attitude of the players."
(Ipswich A, 07/08) - who could argue with that?"The least we deserved in terms of the commitment we had to match with them."
(Scunthorpe A, 07/08) - Pards comes to terms with defeat at Scunthorpe."The honesty and commitment of this team I don't think you can question."
(Wolves H, 07/08) - who could?"I can't fault the players whose application was strong and in the end we were undone by a good little team in Luton."
(Luton A [Carling Cup], 07/08) - Pards risks being accused of being 'sizeist' "The players gave everything they had."
(Coventry H, 07/08) - Pards pontificates on the season as a whole. So if effort wasn't to blame, and we still finished 11th, what was? Or more pertinently, who?"We wore our heart on our sleeves."
(Norwich H, 07/08) - Charlton risk a colour clash."I couldn't fault the players' attitude today."
(Barnsley H, 07/08) - Alan, we get the message.ON THE NEED FOR NEW SIGNINGS...."So we really need to bring another centre half in..."
(Watford A, 08/09) - Pards states the bleedin' obvious."We are short of defenders and need nous in and around the team."
(Preston A, 08/09) - .....and again"I think we are going to need to strengthen in the window, looking at what we have seen in the first half of the season."
(WBA A, 07/08) - but at least you can't fault the effort."Now I need to patient in the market in bringing in two more players. If I get the ones I want, I think we'll do better."
(Swansea H, 08/09) - were Bailey, Cranie and Primus the ones he wanted? If so, we're not doing any better."The squad was a little bit short..."
(Coventry H, 07/08) - 'big' Chris Iwelumo expresses surprise at Pardew's observation."When the window opens I may have to bring in a player to improve us in that [Ambrose's] area."
(Leicester H, 07/08) - Pardew teases us."We've got a good base so we shouldn't panic but we need to bring in three or four first-team players."
(Coventry H, 07/08) - and get rid of 15."We've been talking and we're looking to make some moves because the first 23 games have shown that we're not good enough."
(Colchester H, 07/08) - unfortunately the second 23 showed we were even worse."There are some flaws in the side that we did not correct in the last window; we will in the summer."
(QPR A, 07/08) - phew, so what where they again?"We need to bring in one or two players to make sure we're stronger."
(Hull H, 07/08) - we brought in five....and got weaker.ON INDIVIDUAL FORM...."Some were not at their best, but they were committed no less."
(Palace A, 08/09) - you can't question their commitment"We certainly had four or five below the performances they have been giving."
(Sheff Utd H, 07/08) - at least the other 55% of the team rose to the occasion."We had a few low performances today..."
(Sheff Weds H, 08/09) - here we go again...."Some players were just a wee bit below [par]..."
(Wolves H, 08/09) - Pards rediscovers his Scottish roots."There are a few players who have to take a good look at themselves tonight. A few were way below par."
(Preston A, 08/09) - Pards gets into the spirit for the forthcoming Ryder Cup."Three players didn't train all week and that showed..."
(Hull H, 07/08) - so why pick them then?"I'm very disappointed with today. I expect a lot more from certain individuals."
(Blackpool A, 07/08) - we certainly do.ON NEVER LOOKING BACK...."Now we really need to start looking after ourselves in terms of making sure we get a run together or else we will find ourselves in trouble."
(Palace A, 08/09) - Pards forgets about the play-offs."Unfortunately we got defeated so we have to come back quickly and we've got two more games this week to get back on track."
(Sheff Weds H, 08/09) - well at least there's still Ipswich on Saturday."With a home game to come next week I'm hoping a win will put us in the top six."
(Forest A, 08/09) - erm, we lost 2-1 and are now 17th."Sometimes you have to accept defeat but the performance level will make us stronger for Saturday."
(Burnley A, 07/08) - Pards rallies the troops ahead of a 2-0 defeat at Ipswich"Preston deserved to win and we have to go to Burnley and do better."
(Preston H, 07/08) - we did much better....we only lost 1-0."We're in decent shape for Saturday's game and the league table might be looking prettier on Saturday night than it is tonight."
(Sheff U, 07/08) - Pards pretty
certain we'll beat Burnley at home (we didn't, we lost 3-1)"After the two defeats the crowd will be a bit edgy on Saturday, so we need to be big and brave. We need to be better than we were tonight, and a win would put us right back in contention."
(Plymouth H, 07/08) - Pards looks for bravery ahead of the 1-0 defeat to QPRON TURNING FULL CIRCLE...."It was always going to be a difficult game as there was no real focus for us."
(Barnsley A, 07/08)
THEN A WEEK LATER...."I just felt we played with freedom today as there was no pressure on us."
(Coventry H, 07/08) - nothing quite like freedom, so long as you win."Perhaps we've got to be a bit more dogged, and not be as ambitious as we are at home at times."
(Burnley H, 07/08)
THEN 3 WEEKS LATER..."I am happy with a point, as much as I don't like to say that because everyone who knows me knows I like to win."
(Hull H, 07/08) - Pards reminds doubting fans where his managerial focus really lies."I felt a bit disappointed in the first half as we seemed too up for the war and couldn't seem to settle ourselves down and keep possession."
(Doncaster A, 08/09)
AND THEN TEN SECONDS LATER..."We were comfortable to let them have it." (Doncaster A, 08/09)
- if your team can't keep possession, just pretend it's the game plan."We've been strong at home."
(Bristol City H, 07/08)
AND THEN 5 WEEKS LATER..."Our away form has probably been good enough to put us in the play-offs, and the way the points have gone this season, perhaps even in the automatic promotion spots as well."
(Soton H, 07/08) - Pards wonders if the League table is lying."Every time we got three or four passes we looked like we were going to create something, but there was not enough of that."
(Sheff Weds A, 07/08)
AND THEN THE FOLLOWING SEASON..."We were trying small passes which were cut out, and we were inviting pressure."
(Palace A, Sep 08) - Charlton's confused players wonder whether they're meant to be passing or not.ON THE PLAIN RIDICULOUS...."They started strongly as you would expect for a side that have not won for a while."
(Palace A, 08/09) - who would want to face a team full of confidence from 1 in in 8?"It's been a good week, and I include Wolves in that."
(Forest A, 08/09) - Pards delighted after a 3-1 home defeat to mighty Wolves."We just could not stop their string of attacks and this game could have been 6-5 in the end."
(Preston A, 08/09) - or maybe just 6-1..."If you look at us, you have to say we've come close."
(Coventry H, 07/08) - Pards frustrated as Charlton miss out on play-offs and promotion by just 6 and 15 points respectively."I think we have shown today that we still carry a major threat."
(Ipswich A, 07/08) - rest of division terrified as Charlton lose 2-0 at Ipswich."We lost our way today and that's unusual for one of my teams."
(Preston H, 07/08) - as Tom Jones once said, "It's not unusual.""I thought Scunthorpe were brilliant, fighting for their lives today."
(Scunthorpe H, 07/08) - Pards congratulates the 'Iron' for their relegation scrap....on opening day"They came and played and made the pitch too big for us really..."
(Barnsley H, 07/08) - is that allowed? Surely teams can't just alter the dimensions of the playing surface?"On any other day we would have won the game, but unfortunately we haven't."
(Burnley, 07/08) - Pards demands a replay. "There was always doubt in their minds and we fell between two stools."
(Colchester H, 07/08) - Pards angry as stools begin interfering with play."I was conscious that Ipswich would know how we would play, so I changed it a bit,"
(Ipswich H, 07/08) - Pards keeps Jim Magilton guessing."I felt that there wasn't a lot of electricity on the pitch in the first 35 minutes or so, with both teams probably playing at about 95 per cent of their capacity. That was probably a good thing for us though, because it allowed our quality to come through."
(Cardiff H, 07/08) - Pards finds the winning formula...stop trying so hard."Nobody would remember it if we reached the quarter finals and finished eighth in the league."
(Luton A [Carling Cup], Sep 08) - what about if we lost in the 2nd Round and finished 11th?"The difference between the two sides was that little edge they had in the game, especially in the box."
(Barnsley A, 07/08) - so just the entire purpose of the game of football, then. Pards philosophical after narrow 3-0 reverse."When I analyse us, I have to say we have this ability to gift situations to teams."
(Burnley H, 07/08) - Charlton get into the Xmas spirit early."I'm not too disheartened as the application of the players has been very good during what has been a very tough logistical run for us."
(Barnsley H, 07/08) - Pards becomes first manager to use word 'logistical' in post-match press conference."Sometimes events unfold that can knock you out from where you've been."
(Sheff Utd H, 07/08) - no sorry Alan, you've definitely stumped me with this one.