Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew is a big fan of the NFL, Green Bay Packers and Vince Lombardi, so for part of their ‘Football Meets Football’ series, the BBC’s ‘The NFL Show’ visited the Palace training ground in Beckenham, on the borders of London and Kent, where Super Bowl winner Jason Bell interviewed Pardew.
The interview covered Pardew’s interest in the game, the similarities and differences between the two sports and his management style.
A Head For The Game have helpfully transcribed the whole interview for you below. Enjoy.
Watch the interview HERE (starts at 13:40).
*Only available on BBC iPlayer for UK licence-fee holders and until 14 November 2016.
Alan Pardew (to Jason Bell): I wish I knew how to coach in the NFL, I’d love it. I think you can be more influential [as a coach].
Alan Pardew [to Jason Bell as they prepare to start the interview]: We can always get you some kit if you want a run around.
Jason Bell: I like how you feel about me; I don’t want to change that.
Alan Pardew: I can see you’ve got a set of guys here who are going to drag you down. You work with this guy in this jumper – unbelievable.
Jason Bell: I heard you are a [Vince] Lombardi fan?
Alan Pardew: I am. Early on in my coaching career I stumbled across his quotes, his books; he’s a real inspirational character and something I can relate to at this football club. Because Green Bay, not being the most glamorous of teams like ourselves, so trying to do it against the odds, is just really up my street.
Jason Bell: You’re a former player and I’m not just saying it because of you but I always liked being coaching by former players as I felt like they could connect. Do you feel like that’s been advantageous for you?
Alan Pardew: Of course, I’ve played with managers that have not played the game and, of course, the structure and everything else is fine but the emotion sometimes gets lost with them. Being an ex-player you probably have bit more a feel for that than you would if you weren’t [an ex-player].
Jason Bell: I feel the same way. In football [NFL] we have the offensive coordinator and the defensive coordinator. It seems like you’re doing it all?
Alan Pardew: No, no, no. Actually, from the NFL I did take that, sort of, policy. Because our game is so fluid and it kind of filters through your defence and attack, they’re obviously on the pitch at the same time – you’re all defending, you’re all attacking. I do have, within my team, a coach I designate for the defence and a coach I designate for the attackers. It’s not as defined as the NFL of course.
Jason Bell: In the NFL, as a player, it’s all these one-on-one match-ups. You’ve got to learn your opponent. So as a player you would really study a guy…
Alan Pardew: We have an app, where a player can go on and see his opponent – all the clips, everything. What he eats, what he drinks. The dances he likes (jokes). And you know what? We know when they’ve been on there too because it registers on our main computer. So, if I say to a player ‘have you been watching so and so….’ and they say ‘yeah, yeah gaffer’ and then I see he hasn’t hit it right, then I know you haven’t looked at it.
If you concentrate too much on the opposition you’re going to take away a little bit of positivity and maybe a bit of flair out of your team. Momentum is about you being in a place where you naturally do good things, because you’re confident. And when you’re not confident there is no momentum so you’ve got to try and find it.
Once you get momentum, suddenly the game becomes easy. You can’t fine tune if you haven’t got momentum – you know that. Sometimes it can get worse.
Jason Bell: For me, it’s a pleasure because most of the time, when I had time with the coach it was because I was in trouble. But this [conversation] is good…
Alan Pardew: My staff always say, you know, really only worry about the gaffer when he starts ignoring you, that’s when you’re in trouble. I think it’s important to speak to players so my door’s always open. You’re welcome to come in if you have some issues; we’ll talk about it, no problem.
Jason Bell: I might have to come by and say hello…I’ll let you coach your team now.
Alan Pardew: It’s been nice speaking to you.
Jason Bell: Hopefully you’ll let me back?
Alan Pardew: I like your outfit.
Jason Bell: You’re a sharp man, I like how you look on the side, I will say that.
Alan Pardew: It’s important to me, that’s why I was disappointed with your crew. Guys you know you’re welcome to have a cup of tea…its freezing.
Studio (after interview)
Mark Chapman (presenter): When you met him, were you surprised how much he’s taken from the NFL and brought into his management?
Jason Bell: I was, but then he explained about being a fan of Green Bay and studying other sports and other teams – it makes sense that he takes whatever he can from whatever sport that would help him.
Mark Chapman: Who has the harder job – a football manager in this country or an NFL coach?
Jason Bell: I think a football manager in this country. It seems like he has control of a lot of aspects of his organisation and sometimes head (NFL) football coaches have to just try and keep everything together and handle emotions and are the pep talk guys.
Osi Umenyiora (co-presenter and double Super Bowl winner): Honestly, no to belittle the job of a NFL Head Coach, but I’ve always wondered why they get paid so much money. In most instances they’re not offensive coordinators or defensive coordinators or special team coordinators.
Their job is to manage the teams and manage the ego of those teams and get people in the right positions. I never really thought that they did that much, but I could be wrong as I’ve never been a head coach.
Mark Chapman: You enjoyed that chat with Pardew? What did you learn from your time with Alan?
Jason Bell: I did. I learnt a lot. He was a cool cat. I like it. He’s my friend now.