What next for Newcastle? Four questions to set St James’ talking

Peter Beardsley could be a stop-gap after Alan Pardew’s departure to Crystal Palace but Frank de Boer is a better long-term bet
• Alan Pardew tells Newcastle he wants to leave

As Mike Ashley, Newcastle United’s owner, ups his vitamin D levels in Barbados he has much to ponder. Foremost among the dilemmas he must confront is precisely how to deal with life after Alan Pardew.

Ashley’s staff in Newcastle spent early Monday maintaining that everything was business as usual with Pardew – who, like his players, enjoyed a day off – scheduled to hold a press conference on Tuesday lunchtime regarding the home game against Burnley on New Year’s Day. Behind the scenes the sports retail tycoon was playing long-distance hardball during compensation talks with Crystal Palace. By the time Burnley’s team coach pulls up outside St James’ Park, the Premier League landscape will have altered quite dramatically and the hunt for a new Newcastle manager should be well under way.

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