It’s been a long eight years.
Back in 2012, Alan Pardew led Newcastle to fifth-place finish and was rewarded with an incredible eight-year contract. He lasted under two-and-a-half years before leaving for Crystal Palace.
Here’s how much life has changed for every Premier League club since he put pen to paper on that ridiculous deal at St. James’ Park …
That famous Arsenal trophy drought was still two years from ending back in the summer of 2012. They went on to win three FA Cups, part ways with Arsène Wenger, and are now three years without winning a trophy again.
Villa have been to an FA Cup final (2015), a League Cup final (2020) and spent three seasons in the Championship. Put another way: eight years ago today, Jack Grealish was 18 months away from his professional debut.
Eddie Howe is the longest serving manager in the Premier League. He didn’t return to Bournemouth (after a stint at Burnley) until October 2012 and in June that year they’d just finished 11th in League One.
The Seagulls had just enjoyed their first season at their new stadium, in the Championship fresh from promotion from League One. Their top scorer in 2011/12? Ashley Barnes, after Glenn Murray had joined Crystal Palace.
A decidedly average Championship side in mid-2012, Burnley had the likes of Ben Mee, Kieran Trippier, Jay Rodriguez, Danny Ings and Charlie Austin playing for them and were about to appoint Sean Dyche.
Champions of Europe and the team that won the race to sign Eden Hazard, surely Chelsea are about to become the biggest club in the world?
Dougie Freedman, Ian Holloway, Tony Pulis, Neil Warnock, Alan Pardew, Sam Allardyce, Frank de Boer, Roy Hodgson. Just the men who took permanent charge at Selhurst Park since Pardew signed that Newcastle deal.
David Moyes was still Everton manager, Tim Cahill left for NY Red Bulls and Manchester City spent £12m on Jack Rodwell eight years ago this summer.
Needless to say, Liverpool hadn’t yet won a Premier League title. They’d only just appointed Brendan Rodgers! And it would be almost another year before Luis Suárez bit Branislav Ivanović.
Man City had finally ended their long wait to be crowned Premier League champions, with THAT Sergio Agüero goal. And they were poised to pip Manchester United to the signing of Robin van Persie …
… Robin van Persie moved to Old Trafford for what was to be Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season. Since Pardew penned that deal, Man Utd have won the league, appointed David Moyes on a six-year contract, had that contract expire, and are now another 12 months on from that.
Have not had a top-half finish in the Premier League. Were relegated. Won the Championship. Have won 69 and lost 111 Premier League games. FINALLY broke their transfer record after 13 years, then broke it AGAIN six months later. And are yet to hit 50 points in a top flight season.
Norwich have been relegated from the Premier League twice in the last eight years, and promoted to the Premier League twice. And are all but certain to now be relegated a third time.
The Blades had just completed the first of six consecutive seasons in League One. Luckily for them, they appointed Chris Wilder in 2016 – when Pardew’s contract was at its halfway point – and have since climbed from the third tier to the top half of the Premier League.
Eight years ago, Southampton were gearing up for their first Premier League season since 2004 after winning promotion from the Championship. Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Morgan Schneiderlin. And nobody could’ve predicted that Mauricio Pochettino would soon be in charge.
Harry Kane? He’d scored one goal for Tottenham and not yet made his Premier League debut for the club in June 2012. Harry Redknapp had just left, André Villas-Boas was about to be appointed, and he’s since been followed by Tim Sherwood, Mauricio Pochettino, a new stadium, a Champions League final, and José Mourinho.
Eight years ago yesterday, Troy Deeney had just turned 24 and had only scored 15 goals for Watford. Just look at them now.
Oh, West Ham. Upton Park was still their home – the 2012 Olympics hadn’t even taken place at the London Stadium yet – Sam Allardyce had led the Hammers to promotion. And, incredibly, Mark Noble was already halfway through his West Ham career.
Back in June 2012, Wolves had just been relegated having finished bottom of the Premier League. And there wasn’t a single Portuguese player at the club! They made their way down to League One, then came all the way back up and qualified for Europe last season. With a lot of Portuguese players.
Remember them? They’ve had 10 permanent managers in the last eight years.