Alan Pardew

In the latest of an occasional nufc.co.uk feature, we choose our top five on a host of Newcastle United topics. To celebrate Alan Pardew winning the League Managers Association Manager of the Year award, DAN KING picks out the highlights of his time on Tyneside...

He was a surprise choice to replace Chris Hughton as Newcastle United manager in December 2010 - and ever since then, Alan Pardew has continued to surprise everybody.

Last season, he steered the club to a midtable finish despite the big-money sale of his talisman Andy Carroll. This term, he has preened and tweaked his team and taken them to the Europa League with a top five finish.

Little wonder that he won the Barclays Manager of the Season award at the end of last week before scooping the League Managers Association Manager of the Year prize on Monday night.

It was the latest in a long line of memorable Pardew moments and we have chosen our five favourites - so far.

Number five - First game against Liverpool

After replacing the popular Chris Hughton, it was a case of 'sink of swim' for Pardew in his first game in charge - and he could barely have asked for a tougher test. The mighty Liverpool were in town and the Tyneside natives were restless before kick-off, but fortunately the new boss enjoyed a dream start.
Captain Kevin Nolan opened the scoring after 15 minutes and although Dirk Kuyt prodded home an equaliser shortly after half-time, Joey Barton got on the end of sub Nile Ranger's flick to steer past Pepe Reina and restore the lead.
Then Andy Carroll - soon to join the Reds for £35m - smashed home a stoppage time strike from 25 yards to seal the win. The Pardew reign was underway in style, and the manager has never looked back since.

Davide Santon and Alan Pardew

Number four - The summer of 2011

In his first pre-season as Newcastle boss, Alan Pardew set about putting his own stamp on the team and his dealings proved to be inspired. Eyebrows were raised when Kevin Nolan was allowed to join West Ham, while Jose Enrique pushed through a move to Liverpool and Joey Barton departed for Queens Park Rangers.
But in their place came Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye, Davide Santon, Gabriel Obertan, Sylvain Marveaux and Mehdi Abeid. Ba was one of the signings of the season, plundering 16 goals, while Cabaye and Santon in particular made huge contibutions in the months ahead.
Another big decision from Pardew was who to name as his captain following Nolan's exit. He chose the calm leadership of Fabricio Coloccini and it proved to be inspired.

Alan Pardew and Arsene Wenger

Number three - That comeback against Arsenal

At half-time, Newcastle were deservedly booed off as they trailed 4-0 to the Gunners at St. James' Park. Come full-time, the Magpies had produced the greatest Premier League comeback of all time and the players - and their manager - were cheered to the rafters.
Theo Walcott scored after one minute, Johan Djourou after three and then Robin van Persie after ten. By the time Van Persie got his second on 26 minutes, a rout looked on the cards and United were grateful not to concede any more before the break.
But whatever Pardew said in the dressing room worked. Abou Diaby was sent off before two Joey Barton penalties, either side of a Leon Best strike, set the scene for a remarkable final few seconds.
A corner was only half-cleared as far as Cheick Tiote, who volleyed home an equaliser to send Pardew wild on the touchline - and Newcastle almost won it when Kevin Nolan's effort flew just wide.

Alan Pardew

Number two - Three and easy against Manchester United

Pardew is a huge admirer of Sir Alex Ferguson, but he got one over on his mentor in front of the nation as his Magpies side won 3-0 against the Reds live on Sky Sports in January.
Rarely in the last 20 years have Manchester United been beaten as comfortably as they were here. Newcastle had dominated even before Demba Ba gave them a 33rd minute lead, and when Yohan Cabaye made it two with a superb free-kick on 47 minutes the result never looked in doubt, even against the reigning champions.
Phil Jones' last minute own goal rounded it off nicely as United got 2012 off the a flyer with what surely has to be the most impressive result of Pardew's reign so far - nd there have been plenty to chose from.

Alan Pardew

Number one - Award recognition

Winning the Barclays Manager of the Season award on Friday was a great achivement for Pardew, and deserved recognition for a fine first full season. But winning the League Managers Association overall Manager of the Year prize, as well as the award for Premier League Manager of the Year, was the icing on the cake.
Chosen as it was by his fellow bosses, it's no wonder Pardew described it as "the highlight of my managerial career so far."
But he refused to take all of the credit. He was proudly accompanied by his coaching staff of John Carver, Steve Stone and Andy Woodman and in his speech at the ceremony, he thanked his predecessor Chris Hughton for his role in the club's success. It was a touch of class from a manager whose reputation is growing by the week. 

What do you think? Do you disagree with our order? Have we made a glaring omission? Let us know at website@nufc.co.uk