- Premier League
Shearer: Pardew done enough to stay
Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer believes manager Alan Pardew has earned the right to make amends for the club's dismal showing in the Premier League last season.
The Magpies tumbled from fifth to 16th in the space of 12 months as they struggled to recreate the feats of Pardew's first full season at the club, only narrowly avoiding relegation on the penultimate weekend of the season.
And although Shearer believes the 51-year-old should be afforded the opportunity to rectify the situation, he conceded that the pressure facing Pardew will be intense from the offset.
"I think he deserves to keep his job because of the season before, he bought himself time," Shearer told the Journal. "The nature of the game is he's under pressure and he knows that, but I'm delighted they stuck with him.
"You don't become a bad manager in one season. I'm pleased they stuck by him. He'll feel they have to get off to a good start as you always do, but fingers crossed that will happen."
Shearer believes the key to Pardew's chances will be making good signings early in the transfer window.
"It was a disappointing season, everyone will tell you the same thing," Shearer said. "But they've got a chance to try and rectify that next season and hopefully they will purchase some players in the summer that will allow them to come strong again.
"I don't know how much they've got available to spend, if anything, I wouldn't like to say. Hopefully there's some money for the manager to spend and I'm sure he's hoping that as well. He needs to get them in as soon as possible so he can get his preparations started."
Keen to see the Magpies back in the top half of the table, Shearer also believes it is vital that Newcastle relieve the pressure placed on striker Papiss Cisse.
Unable to avoid the second-season curse that plagued so many of his fellow forwards, Cisse struggled to match the potent form of his first six months in England. Tagged as the Magpies' sole goal threat in their quest to avoid relegation once Demba Ba had left for Chelsea in January, the striker failed to score in Newcastle's last six games of the season, ending the campaign with 13 goals from 47 games.
Describing Cisse as looking tired, Shearer was also asked if he felt the club needed more striking options in the summer.
"Absolutely," Shearer added. "When he first came, he took the Premier League by storm, but he was really the only regular striker [this season], and I feel that told come the last couple of months of the season as he looked tired.
"It's always best to look for a striker who scores goals, but they are hard to find, and if you do find them they cost a hell of a lot of money. I don't know how much money Newcastle have got to spend.
"The manager will feel it's important to strengthen as soon as they can to get their preparations in place. And they need to. It was a poor season in the end, fortunate enough to stay away from the bottom three, but they will have to build and kick on for next season."