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I wouldn’t sack Pardew but £100,000 fine is chicken feed

Alan Pardew, the Newcastle United manager, had a moment of madness last weekend against Hull City that I'm sure he wishes never happened.

I'm talking about the headbutting involving the Hull player, David Meyler, when he went to the touchline to retrieve a ball and had an altercation with Pardew, who headbutted him as they go in each others' face. Pardew was sent to the stands by the referee, he apologised immediately in his post-game interview and vowed that he will be sitting down next time.

His club were quick in their response, too, handing their manager a £100,000 fine the next day with a warning about his future conduct. The FA has also charged Pardew for misconduct, which he has accepted, and now he must await further punishment that could involve a long touchline ban.

It is a shame what happened. Football is a heated game and people do get excited at times, but Pardew must understand that he is the manager and, if he wants his players to behave themselves, then he has got to do the same thing.

I saw the footage and I don't think it was as bad as it was made out to be. If he had butted him like he could have butted him, he would have hurt him. Even so, there is no room for that type of behaviour by a manager who is trying to control his players and should be seen to be doing the right thing. The response by the club was swift and quite clear that they will not tolerate that type of behaviour, but in today's market £100,000 is chicken feed.

The fine could have been even a little higher because managers should not be doing things like that. If I were the FA, I would tell him that he could not be around the stadium for the rest of the season, give him something stiff to make him understand we are not going to tolerate that.

Some people have said he should be fired, but maybe that is a little harsh, leaving another manager out of a job. No, I think it was best to hit him in the pocket, suspend him for the rest of the season to make him think about it. He genuinely seems to have learnt his lesson. It is a high-profile game with so much pressure, but you still have to behave yourself.

Another manager, Tony Pulis of Crystal Palace, has hit out at all the friendly matches being played during the season, a comment that is timely because Arsenal have lost one of their most influential players, Jack Wilshere, for the rest of the season after a challenge from Daniel Agger during England's match with Denmark. Wilshere is expected to be out for about eight weeks with a fractured foot that could even derail his chances of being fit in time to be considered for England's World Cup squad this summer.

In truth, you have to play these games involving your national team, although I'm not sure how many games you should be playing. Do you play the games earlier in the season rather than late, I can't say but with World Cup coming up, no doubt that was the reason behind all the friendly games in midweek.

Maybe it is something they need to revisit. Arsenal pay his wages and they can rightly have a moan because he is going to be missing for the rest of the season when they are in a good position for the championship. I understand their point of view. They are also in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and play Everton today.

I wouldn't put too much into this week's friendlies, with many teams still experimenting with their squads. Daniel Sturridge, part of the feared SAS threat at Liverpool, scored the only game in the England game and certainly will keep himself very much in manager Roy Hodgson's plans.

After spells at Manchester City and Chelsea in which he failed to establish himself, Sturridge has had a good season and I'm glad for him because so many people were saying he wasn't good enough. It is nice to see a player prove the critics wrong.

It is not so much that he has found the right club, but rather the right manager because they can play a big part in a player's career. Brendan Rodgers seems to have faith in him. He plays him and Sturridge is producing the goods for him as Liverpool find themselves in the thick of the title race.

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Published March 08, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated March 08, 2014 at 11:12 am)

I wouldn’t sack Pardew but £100,000 fine is chicken feed

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