Yes he was...
1 Unlike Manchester United, a foreign-owned corporation with a shop in Macau, Newcastle have retained the quaint practice of drawing fans from the local area.
2 Only a small club would appoint, in Alan Pardew, a manager who was last seen getting sacked by a League One club. Who here has heard of Southampton, anyway?
3 If the measure of being a big club is trophies, then Newcastle have not been big for a very long time. Unless you count the Championship title.
4 United's local derbies are invariably title deciders that the world will watch. Newcastle's derbies generally decide that all-important battle for 12th place.
5 The club's community department remains truly parochial, running sports clubs across Tyneside. When United do community work, they go to Switzerland.
no he wasn't...
1 With a capacity of around 52,000, St James' Park is bigger than Stamford Bridge, the Etihad Stadium or Anfield. And they never feel the need to exaggerate attendances.
2 They awarded Pardew an eight-year contract. Most small clubs cannot scrape together enough cash for the next eight weeks.
3 The club's scouting network is considered one of the best in Europe, generating new signings such as Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa and - um, Xisco.
4 Newcastle have twice smashed the world transfer record: paying pounds 700 for Andy McCombie in 1904 and pounds 15?million for Alan Shearer in 1996. United were also part of a record deal: Real Madrid signing Cristiano Ronaldo.
5 In James Perch, who bestrides roles while also redefining them, Newcastle have the only player who could legitimately claim to be bigger than the sport.
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