'Pardew effect' found to be a placebo

TELLING clubs they are managed by Alan Pardew has the same effect as if he actually manages them, it has emerged.

Crystal Palace’s rise up the Premier League table has been attributed to the purported Pardew effect – an odd phenomenon that seems to occur in underachieving sides halfway through the season but which has no empirical proof.

The first ever scientific tests have thrown up unexpected results, suggesting that the Pardew effect may in fact be a trick of the mind.

Professor Henry Brubaker of the Institute for Studies said: “The mind wants to believe that Pardew is curing the problems, but nobody has actually satisfactorily explained how Pardew works.

“Amazingly Newcastle players are still exhibiting classic symptoms of the Pardew effect long after he has left. They also have a worrying case of John Carver syndrome, but that should work itself out in the summer.”

However, Crystal Palace players remain convinced that Pardew is working wonders at Selhurst Park.

Captain Mile Jedinak said: “The gaffer has given us a massive boost. We were the control group, weren’t we?”

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The Mash guide to the Eurozone crisis

IT IS the coming crisis that absolutely nobody, from the innumerate man in the street to the technocrats leading the EU, understands or has any idea how to stop.

What are the options for the Eurozone’s future?

— Greece wants to stay in Eurozone but is unable to pay bailout debts, goes bust leaving French and German banks with billions in write-offs, Eurozone fucked.

— Greece negotiates delay to bailout debts, situation unfolds exactly as above but nineteen months later, Eurozone fucked.

— Greece leaves Euro, pays debts with worthless new currency backed by nationalised industries of goat-herding and slapping octopi on wet rocks, Eurozone fucked.

— Greece leaves Euro and EU, says it never wanted to be in either in stream of passive-aggressive posts on social media many of which quote Radiohead lyrics, pays debts with worthless currency as above, Eurozone fucked.

— Greece leaves Euro and EU, is joined by Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland to form new cool EU for countries who prefer having a boozy laugh to working, all of whom are too irresponsible to even bother opening letters about debts, Eurozone fucked.

— Greece stays in Eurozone, agrees to banks’ demands to sell off citizens’ organs to pay debts, angry citizens elect fascist government which invades Turkey, Macedonia and Albania, war spreads across whole continent, one-third of EU population killed and economy saved by resulting boom in industry. Preferred solution of banks, IMF and Switzerland.