Saturday must have felt like a true kick in the teeth for Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew, his team had battled back from 3-1 down to lead 4-3 against struggling Swansea as the clock reached 90 minutes, but his side travelled back home without a single point as Fernando Llorente poached 2 goals in extra time to secure Bob Bradley’s side a much needed win. submitted by
Pardew has given Palace fans some memorable moments during his stint in charge, reaching the FA cup final last year for example, but the magic seems to have worn off and the former Newcastle man is now the favourite to be the next Premier League manager to be sacked with the bookies.
The writing does appear to be on the wall for him as the Palace board surely have to be considering who could replace Pards should he depart because the 5-4 loss is just the icing on the cake of Pardew’s problems…
Inability to Arrest a Slump
This weekend marked Palace’s 6th straight defeat in the league and unsurprising they have the worst form in the division at the moment. 6 losses on the spin alone sounds like a hellish time but Pardew-lead sides have been in this position before as he often struggles to battle against the tide and prevent his side from sliding down the table.
Last season Palace suffered a similar fate as they lost 7 in 9 fixtures, which was glossed over by the aforementioned FA Cup chase, but here in November, there is no such competition to cover the cracks. An awful train of results also occurred during his time at Newcastle United as in the last 20 games of the 13/14 season the team lost 14 times and at the start of the 14/15 campaign Newcastle started horrendously and didn’t bag a win until the 8th gameweek where they beat Leicester to kickstart a their season.
Clearly then this is a problem for Alan. A drop in form often happens to different managers at different times (it’s the nature of the Premier League beast) but regularly dropping a ton of points over the last few seasons is a cause for concern. Why is he so incapable to regain momentum? Short of ideas outside his main gameplan? Is he picking the wrong 11?
No matter what the reason, inability to arrest a slump in form is almost becoming part and parcel of an Alan Pardew season and he really needs to put the brakes on Palace’s current worries otherwise he will certainly be out the door.
A Strong Squad but a Defensive Nightmare
Correct me if I am wrong Palace fans but this, in my opinion, is undoubtedly the strongest squad Crystal Palace has had in the Premier League era. This summer an already decent squad was bolstered by the arrival of record signing Christian Benteke, former West Ham defender James Tomkins, England international Andros Townsend and experienced goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.
Loan signing Loic Remy has yet to materialise due to injury but having shifted a lot of deadwood and having an impressively low net spend of just £9 million Palace’s squad looked in very good shape for the current season as many predicted a mid-table finish or higher.
But even with this strength the team are leaking a tsunami of goals, meaning that despite having only blanked once in the last 10 games, they have dropped a number of points due to conceding in every single one of these matches, shipping an average of 2.3 goals per game. Furthermore, they haven’t kept a clean sheet in 18 top flight contests.
Not only that, but Palace have conceded a season-high 13 goals from set plays this season, which is five more than the next worst side, Stoke City. Whereas last season they were joint-top in this aspect, alongside defensively sound Spurs, so something massive has changed here. Can it be as simple as Tomkins in the back line instead of Delaney? Pardew returning to his old centre back partnership could be an option to perhaps patch this up, but realistically changing one man shouldn’t cause such a large drop-off in this department.
Palace’s attacking playstyle is commendable but defensive stability is certainly favourable when enduring a relegation scrap. Just look at relegation avoiding extraordinaires Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce; the football might be shite but they get results, whereas Palace are doing the opposite, their football is pretty easy on the eye but they as porous as a sponge.
Perhaps playing with 2 very defensive midfielders in front of the back 4 could help reduce their awful record; maybe adding Joe Ledley or Mathieu Flamini in there will give the defence some much need cover, after all, their defensive record cannot get much worse.
Being a Bolton fan this seems very comparable to our relegation season under Owen Coyle as we couldn’t defend a thing despite our attacking play being pretty sharp. With no plan B under Coyle we went down and a similar situation could be very real if Pardew fails to pull a defensive remedy out of his arse.
The Worst Calendar Year in the Football League
It is no secret that Crystal Palace have the worst record in the entire football league during 2016, averaging a tiny 0.68 points per game over their 32 currently played. Simply put, that’s a farce. It’s a worse record than MK Dons, Dagenham and Redbridge, York City and Aston Villa, all of whom got relegated from their respective divisions last season, should they keep this up Palace will be joining that undesirable club.
Not only that, but Grimsby Town, who were promoted to League 2 this summer, have managed to capture more points in their 19 games in the football league this season than Palace have in their 32 – gaining 26 points so far in comparison to the Premier League team’s frankly awful 22. With Pardew’s struggle to rectify his side’s frightening form the thought of relegation must be on the mind of the board at the club and it will be Pardew who pays the price should they fall below their current position of 17th.
Realistically Pardew doesn’t have a lot of games left in the hot seat unless he starts to pick up points very, very quickly. With Swansea beating them this week, Sunderland winning 2 of their last 3 and Hull City level on points with them right now, Palace are only out of the dreaded drop zone on goal difference. So where might their next win come from?
Up next is Southampton at home, the Saints are finding their feet and their defensive rock Virgil Van Dijk is more suited to dealing with Benteke than most centre backs, so getting a victory will be tough. The side also welcome Manchester United and Chelsea to Selhurst Park before Christmas, both are challenging games, especially when then come so close to one another. But the real danger fixture in the next 4 is away at Hull on December 10th.
Should they fall to Southampton, nothing more than a win against fellow scrappers Hull will be good enough to save Pardew in my opinion and a loss would almost certainly signal his departure, especially if Swansea and Sunderland are able to pick up vital points in their December fixtures, pushing Palace into further trouble.
Overall Pardew can still save himself, usually if he is able to regain momentum he rides the crest of the wave very well, but if he can’t lead Palace to at least a couple of wins in the next month the board really will be left with little choice. After all, staying in the top division is now more important than ever due to the heaps of cash being thrown around.
A silver lining may be that there isn’t too many names out there to replace Pardew with (Big Sam looming perhaps?) but if I was a betting man I would predict that, based on all the points above, he won’t make the New Year and it may not be such a Merry Christmas for Pardew this year.
As yet again a 'Preferred Media Partner' of Newcastle United release another piece on Mike Ashley and the club, I feel the need to set some things straight. Many users here at /soccer
do not understand the reasons behind our strong dislike of 'good owner' Mike Ashley. Here comes a short history lesson, to hopefully enlighten the masses: 2007
Beginning in May, and ending in July, Mike Ashley takes full control of the club, for approximately £134 million. This was seen as a good thing, because the club was kinda in trouble, and needed debts to be paid. 2008
Things were looking good for Mike, as he appointed club legend Kevin Keegan as manager. This offset somewhat the negative press he received for hiring Chris Mort, a lawyer, as Club Chairman, and former Chelsea legend Dennis Wise in an 'executive role'. Things then started to get weirder. Mort stepped (or was pushed) down, and Ashley hired a long time associate, Derek Llambias as Chairman. This guy had an extensive background in Entertainment, Bread and NightClubs. Such a perfect fit for a football club it seems :(
Things really started going downhill, when Kevin Keegan publicly slammed the clubs management for not financially supporting the team, and also taking away all player recruitment responsibilities from the manager
. Even going so far as to reportedly sign a player based off of a viewing of a YouTube highlights video: Ignazio Gonzalez. Cheers for that Dennis Wise. By September, with the season only about a month old, Kevin Keegan resigned, to be replaced by: Joe Kinnear
There's a joke in here somewhere.... Joe Kinnear is an strange guy, and a stranger appointment. After managing clubs in the UAE, Malaysia and India, he even managed the Nepal national team. It was 1989 before he came back to England, eventually getting the top job at Wimbledon in 1992. To be fair, he did quite well with them, before leaving due to a heart attack. A few years later he gets the job at Luton Town as Director of Football. He summarily fired the manager and appointed himself. Oh oh. Luton Town were relegated from the old Second Division
He was sacked 2 years later, after gaining promotion back to the Second Division, then a poorish follow up season. About a year later he gets the job at Nottingham Forest. He saved them from relegation in his first year in the Championship
, then won only 4 games from the first 23 the next season. Sacked in 2004. 2008
We pick up the story again, as Ashley hires Joe Kinnear as the replacement for Kevin Keegan. So, a man who's been out of football for nearly 4 years at this point, and after failing miserably at his last job in the Championship (sound recently familiar?) gets the gig at Newcastle United. A solid Premier League team, an iconic club. This doesn't feel right. And it gets worse. He goes on a tirade at a journo, swearing 52 times in one interview, even going so far as to refer to a journo as a cunt. He also forced Charles N'Zogbia out of the club after calling him 'Insomnia" during an interview. After this he refused to talk to the media, instead sending First Team Coach Chris Hughton. The results were mixed to poor. In Feb 2009
, the club won their first game since Christmas. Joe Kinnear had another heart attack, and Alan Shearer came in to try and save the club from relegation. He couldn't. Newcastle United were in the Championship.
Side note: so far, these had been the 'good' years under Ashley, with the obvious exception of the Joe Kinnear disaster, the resignation of Keegan, the appointment of non footballing people into executive roles at the club, and general dirty scumbags such as Dennis Wise. Who am I kidding. This place was in a shambles. 2009/10
Chris Hughton gained automatic promotion back to the Premier League in a dominating season. Things were looking good, and the fans were happy again. On December 6 2010, Newcastle were 12th in the league. Not bad for a newly promoted side. But not good enough. Hughton was sacked due to 'lack of top level experience' and Mike Ashley's old gambling buddy Alan Pardew was hired on a FIVE YEAR DEAL!!! Alan Pardew
I'll try and keep this short. Does well at his first big job at Reading. Goes to West Ham United. Does reasonably well for them, gaining promotion in 2005. in 2006 however, he leads West Ham to their worst run of defeats for more than 70 years. Sacked. Goes to Charlton Athletic. Took over the strugglers, and couldn't keep them up. They were 19th when he took over at Christmas, but I guess that's the wrong half of the season for him. Finished 11th in the Championship. Bad. The next season he's sacked in November as they were in the bottom 3, and quite a run of games without a win. Sacked. It's 2009 now, and gets the gig at Southampton, in League One. Sacked in 2010 due to conflicts with the board and low player morale. Back to 2010/11
On deadline day in January 2010, Andy Carroll was sold to Liverpool. No repleacments were available at such short notice. SO whilst the club did very well to get £35 million for him, it's not ideal to sell a player at the last minute. Still, the club maintained and finished 12th. 2011/12
The Graham Carr years. Ashley had hired a 'manager' that he didn't trust with player recruitment, so he made that the job of head scout Graham Carr and a committee put together with club executives. This began the new transfer policy. Buy low, emerging foreign talents, and try to sell them on for max profits. We saw some incredible players come our way via France, and Pardew did really well, getting Newcastle 5th and Europa League Qualification. Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba, Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse lead the way. 2012/13
European Football is back at St James' Park. But not many players were bought in to top up the squad. This hurt. 10 losses in 13 games early in the season set the marker, and the club managed to survive on the 2nd last day of the season. By this point the fans were getting well and truly worried. Europe was good, making the final 8, before losing to Benfica. Troubling times.
I'll just put this snippet in form wikipedia. Joe Kinnear is back!
*On 16 June 2013 in a series of telephone interviews Kinnear claimed he had been appointed as Director of Football for Newcastle United. In a Talksport interview over the telephone on 17 June 2013, Kinnear claimed to have replaced someone called "Derek Lambesi" as the club's director of football, signed Dean Holdsworth at Wimbledon for £50,000 (actually £650,000), sold Robbie Earle (retired a year after Kinnear left), signed goalkeeper Tim Krul when he was previously manager (actually signed by Graeme Souness three years prior) and has been awarded the LMA Manager of the Year award three times despite only winning the award once, he also said he'd never been sacked in his life. Kinnear claimed to have signed John Hartson on a free when he in fact paid £7.5 million for the striker. He also mispronounced the names of Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa, Shola Ameobi, and others in the Talksport interview. The appointment, a three-year contract, was confirmed by Newcastle United on 18 June.The confusion around Kinnear's appointment to the role was criticised by former club chairman Freddy Shepherd in an interview with BBC Sport. Kinnear drew criticism when the 2013 summer transfer window closed with Kinnear failing to make a single permanent signing, lone recruit Loic Remy having been signed on loan from QPR. This criticism intensified at the end of the 2014 winter transfer window with Kinnear failing again to make a permanent signing, this after the £20 million sale of midfielder Yohan Cabaye, with Luuk de Jong having been brought in on loan from Monchengladbach.
On 3 February 2014, Kinnear resigned from his position of Director of Football at Newcastle United* 2013/14
Newcastle lost 15 out of 21 games to start the season. Pretty bad. Not a sighting of Mike Ashley, and the fans were pissed. just have a look here http://sackpardew.com/facts/
to see some of the things that happened during this time. Including losing 4 consecutive games at home without scoring a goal. A new record. Still nothing from the owner, and Pardew keeps his job.
In the 2014/15 season things didn't really improve, and we didn't win any of the first 7 games. That's poor form. Then a bit of a run happened, 6 wins on the bounce, and Pardew was off to Palace. He left of his own volition, he wasn't sacked. But the only reason he was able to go was because Palace paid a release to Newcastle for him. The fans were delirious. Until John Carver was appointed as the replacement. A career 'Caretaker" with his biggest job managing Toronto FC for a year. Oh boy. But I bet he was cheap. Well needless to say, nothing much happened, and the club survived relegation on the last day of the season, thanks to a goal by Jonas Gutierrez. The guy had beaten cancer, then got told he no longer had a job. Over the phone. Fuck me.
Onto the current season, and Ashley appoints a new manager. Former England boss Steve McClaren. Who had just ended the previous season with a massive implosion of form and therefore promotion chance at Derby in the Championship. Sound familiar? We all know what happened next. He spent lots of money, did jack all with it and then got the arse. But lets clarify a few things here:
- The money spent in summer, and in January was in no way from the personal fortune of Mike Ashley. All he did was give permission to spend the money. All anyone talks about is how he dug into his wallet. FUCKING BULLSHIT If the guy dug into his wallet, we wouldn't have had 9 years of dead shit managers looking for a shot at the big time. The guy is a billionaire. If he'd opened his wallet, we might be something like a Premier League club, rather than this shit show.
- He tried to re-name the stadium. In fact, he did re-name the stadium. It's bad enough that the place is plastered with his, and only his brand on every available inch, but guess how much sponsorship money the club gets for that advertising.NOT A FUCKING CENT. Free Adverstising. Stoke, Villa and Sunderland get about £1 - 2 million. Anfield gets roughly £6 million.
- There's reports / rumours that all of the hirings done by Mike Ashley, from Wise and Kinnear to Llambias and Charnley and even Pardew are those of mates, or people that owe him something. Not people with knowledge of running football clubs, of improving football clubs
I can't go on, as i doubt anybody will actually read any of this, and I also can't properly put into words the anger and frustration at the way this club has been managed, even to the way it's being 'media managed'.
Many people always talk about how Newcastle fans are too demanding, and that we think we have a right to not only Premiership football but also Champions League. THIS IS FALSE. All we want is signs of progress from the club, and 11 players showing some kind of effort on match-day. We like exciting, attacking football. If we get that, and don't always get the results, we're mostly pretty happy. There's 52,000 out there every week that would bleed to wear that shirt, and that's all we want to see from the players that represent us. And that is the key to all of football fandom. Those guys represent us, our city, our history.*
Howay the Lads!
*I'm actually not a local. 23 year fan from Australia. So take 'us' with a large grain of salt. It's the only way to articulate this point to its fullest.
If you did read all of this, thanks.
Next Leicester manager betting odds: New clear favourite emerges, latest on Alan Pardew Olly Dawes Leicester City sacked manager Claudio Ranieri last week – less than a year since winning the Next Rangers manager betting odds: Latest on Alan Pardew, two Scottish managers linked today Olly Dawes Rangers parted ways with manager Mark Warburton earlier this month. Pardew a 9/1 punt to be next England manager. Coral’s bet of the day focuses on the next England manager market, following on from the Three Lions’ fallout on Monday night, when Roy Hodgson resigned from his post after a shock Euro 2016 last 16 loss to Iceland. Alan Pardew. Alan Pardew is next in line at 9/1. Harry Redknapp was close to becoming appointed the England manager at the time Roy Hodgson was put in charge, but unfortunately he missed out By PA Sport Staff; Alan Pardew says he is likely to return to England for his next managerial role. The former Newcastle, Southampton and West Ham manager left Dutch side ADO Den Haag by mutual