After a poor run of just one victory in 11 games, leaving the London outfit down in 17th place, Crystal Palace have decided to ask Alan Pardew to step down as manager of the club.
In the club statement on behalf of Chairman, Steve Parish, the board wanted to go on record to state their gratitude for the service given to the club by Pardew both as a player and as their manager:
“Following a fantastic second half of 2014/15, the 2015/16 season culminated in only narrowly missing out on winning the FA cup as well as securing our Premier League place for a record breaking fourth time. During his tenure Alan’s hard work and dedication were without question, he has improved so many areas of the Club and we wish him the very best for the future.”
Alan Pardew has since released his own statement, in which he spoke of his disappointment that his time at Palace has come to an end:
“I would just like to take the opportunity to thank everybody at Crystal Palace for their fantastic support. I feel that I have a special bond with the club and hope that hasn’t been affected, I wish everybody associated with the Club the best of luck in the future including of course the fans who have been magnificent.”
The ex-West Ham and Newcastle United boss was appointed as Palace manager in January of 2015. He had a brilliant start to life as manager and after being in the relegation places at Christmas, they ended up finishing in 10th place.
The following season was overshadowed by their brilliant FA Cup run. They reached the final but were eventually defeated by Manchester United in what was a dramatic conclusion to the 2015/16 FA Cup competition.
Pardew made some very good signings in the summer, with Andros Townsend, Christian Benteke and James Tomkins signing for the Londoners, alongside the highly-talented duo of Wilfried Zaha and Jason Puncheon who were already at the club.
Despite this though, Palace have continued to struggle in the league and in the end, it is no real surprise that Steve Parish has decided to part ways with his much-loved manager.
In 2016, Palace have only won 26 points from their 36 league games, which gives them the worst points per game record in the entire football league:
It's not been a great 2016* for #CrystalPalace
*apart from the FA Cup final
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 22, 2016
Gary Rowett, Roy Hodgson and Chris Coleman are amongst the most favoured to replace Pardew as manager but the clear favourite for the job is the recently dismissed England manager, Sam Allardyce.
According to Sky Sources, no agreement is yet in place between Allardyce’s representatives or Crystal Palace’s board, but they are due to meet for talks in the next 24 hours:
Sam Allardyce’s representatives will meet for talks with Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish in the next 24 hours
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) December 22, 2016
Allardyce is the obvious choice, in my view, to replace Pardew as Palace manager. Given his record with clubs in similar positions in the league – most recently with Sunderland – he seems to have the ideal characteristics and man-management skills needed to move the club up the table.
Whoever takes over will inherit a highly-capable and talented squad which has been clearly under-performing so far this season.
Should Allardyce take over, you would expect them to get back to basics and fight valiantly to earn much-needed points to see them advance up the table, where they should be given the quality of players on their books.