Early Doors

So if it wasn’t a headbutt, what was it? Six things Pardew may have been trying to do

Early Doors

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In case you hadn't heard, Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is in a world of boo-boo for landing a headbutt on Hull City midfielder David Meyler on Saturday.


The Toon boss was contrite afterwards, apologising for the act and admitting he has a problem with his temper.

But somewhat ludicrously, the former Reading, Charlton, West Ham and Southampton gaffer - who has form for touchline outbursts - tried to claim that, while his head moved towards Meyler's, he was not trying to headbutt the former Sunderland player:

"He was right on top of me and I wanted to just ease him away from me but obviously I put my head in a forward motion.

"I want to apologise to him, everyone at Hull and obviously my own fans as well.

"I don't think it was a headbutt. It wasn't a motion that was quick."

Early Doors reaction to those words was part incredulity, and part hilarity. If it wasn't a headbutt, Alan, then what on earth were you trying to do with your head?

But, in the spirit of judge-not-lest-ye-be-judged and all that malarkey, ED decided to keep an open mind and ponder a few suggestions for what the Newcastle boss was trying to do.

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1. Mopping his opponent's brow

Having suddenly realised that Meyler was sweating profusely, Pardew decided to mop up the perspiration in a staggeringly thoughtful and magnanimous gesture. Not having any flannels to hand, he decided to use his hair in place of a cloth.

In retrospect, the brief brush of his grey hair was probably not going to absorb much sweat; but hey, you can't blame Pards for trying.

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2. Victim of a spontaneous cranial spasm

Pardew simply may have had no control over the movement of his head and neck due to a neurological problem. There are a variety of such cranial nerve disorders, most of which result in irregular outbreaks of twitching, or a sharp, brief pain.

Pardew may simply have a more serious version of such a condition - in which case, he needs medical attention and sympathy, not punishment and cruel jibes from outraged fans. Tsk.

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What Pardew's brain may look like when Mike Ashley is done with him

3. Bowing down in awe of Meyler's skill

No manager rises to Pardew's level of success without knowing how to butter up young talent with a view to persuading them to join Newcastle. So given that Pardew recently lost his best midfielder, Yohan Cabaye, it's pretty clear that the Magpies boss must have been using his unexpected proximity to bow down before Meyler in order to praise him to the hilt, and thereby lay the foundations for a possible summer transfer.

Okay, so he misjudged his bow slightly. But he's in his 50s now, and possibly his distance perception isn't what it used to be.

4. Grooming his fellow ape

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Without meaning to offend believers in intelligent design, humans are merely an advanced species of ape. Evolution tells us this. Pardew, who has previously displayed basic simian behaviour, may well have spotted a flea or speck of dirt in the hair of Meyler. Pardew's act of moving his head towards Meyler's could simply have been an attempt to chew the little bug away. Aw.

5. Suffering from Tourette's

The regularity of Pardew's unusual antics under pressure imply that he may have a Tourette's style disorder, where he temporarily loses control of his physical or verbal faculties in times of stress. Perhaps, when he has the "sit down" he has promised, he should invite Tim Howard - a Tourette's sufferer - for some advice. He should probably leave Ben Thatcher - another sufferer - out of it though...

6. Trying to kiss him

What with football being the last bastion of heterosexuality, this is a potentially controversial suggestion. But Pards is known for his liberal attitudes, and would probably prefer the 'stigma' of being thought a man-lover than lose his job, which is sadly a distinct possibility. So let's hint at a more caring context to his Glasgow kiss, and leave it at that.

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By Norbert Utter

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