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Mertesacker: I've never played in back 3


Pardew joins Newcastle

Alan Pardew has been named the new manager of Newcastle United on a five-and-a-half year deal which will run until the summer of 2016.

• Andy Carroll staying at St James's
• First XI: Harsh dismissals
• Paper Round: No honeymoon
• Shepherd: Toon fans must move on
• Johnson: Toon in disarray
• 'No rewards for failure' under Ashley
• Nolan 'upset' by Hughton exit
• Sol: Sacking makes no sense
• Newcastle sack Chris Hughton

Pardew's first match in charge will be the visit of Liverpool to St James' on Saturday evening and he said he was "privileged" to be taking the reins.

''I am honoured and privileged to have been given this opportunity at Newcastle United, one of the truly great clubs in English football. I understand what this club means to its supporters," he said. "Throughout the football world people recognise that this is a unique club in many ways, with supporters who are second to none in their loyalty, passion and devotion to the team.

"I'm not a Geordie of course, but I'm a football person with a love of the game and I can assure you I bring great drive, desire and commitment to the job."

Pardew acknowledged the job sacked Chris Hughton did in stabilising the Magpies and is determined to build upon his work.

''Chris Hughton did a great job last season, guiding the club back to the Premier League, and he continued that good work this season,'' he said. ''It is my aim to build on that now and take this club forward.

''I have always managed teams that have played attacking positive football, something I know the supporters here appreciate.

''At the same time, I intend to focus on developing exciting young players through the club's excellent Academy and development squad, and I know the board here at St James' Park are very committed to that too.

''I can't wait to get started, and what better way to kick-off than welcoming Liverpool to St James' Park on Saturday?''

However, in a poll of 1,000 fans by the Newcastle Evening Chronicle on Wednesday, Pardew attracted just 15 votes - less than 2% of the vote - while the sacked Chris Hughton managed three times that. Martin O'Neill was a runaway favourite with a 42.3% share, while Martin Jol attracted 32.8% of the vote.

Pardew left League One side Southampton in August, reportedly after falling out with the club's hierarchy. He took Saints to the brink of the play-offs last season despite starting the season on -10 points, and won the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. But his step back up to the Premier League is a surprise, though maybe not as shocking as Joe Kinnear's return to the game two years ago.


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