By, Kyle Gibson
I think most of the EPL community was slightly surprised yesterday when a report from the Guardian said that Crystal Palace was pursuing Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew for its vacant managerial slot.
Pardew only fueled the fires more by refusing to talk to any media after the team’s 3-2 comeback win against Everton Sunday.
At first, this may seem a bit confusing. After all, Newcastle is currently in the top half of the table in ninth, while Crystal Palace sits in a relegation spot in 18th. United is also a much larger club than Crystal Palace.
However, here are three reasons why I think a move to Crystal Palace would actually benefit Pardew:
1. No More Extreme Pressure
Pardew has been under fire since a slow start this season that found Newcastle winless in the EPL until mid-October. This put him directly in the line of fire with owner Mike Ashley and the club’s ravenous fans. Not only is winning expected at Newcastle United, but the winning is also expected to be stylish.
Pardew hasn’t exactly had the most transfer backing from billionaire owner Ashley, who, in my humble opinion, has not made things very easy for his manager.
Sure, United is doing well at the moment, but what about when the team starts to slide again? Can Pardew really survive another downward spiral at such an intense club? If he does get fired, what are the odds a Premier League job is open at the time?
2. A History with Palace
Pardew actually suited up for Palace during his playing days, from 1987-1991, making 128 league appearances and scoring eight league goals. It is always a dream for a manager to take charge of a club he played at.
Pardew also has to know, both from playing and managing there, that Crystal Palace has an extraordinary home-field advantage. Selhurst Park is small (around 26,000), but the supporters make the stadium a fortress.
3. A real chance to change a club
Tony Pulis brought a real steady-hand to Crystal Palace last season when he took over for Ian Holloway, but he also left the club scrambling when he left right before the season and it hired Neil Warnock, who lasted four months.
Pardew would be in a bit of a relegation scrap, but the team he would be taking over survived last season and should know how to do it again.
After that, perhaps Pardew could convince the ownership to make some real transfers in the summer (or even the January window, depending on when the new manager takes the job).
To me, Crystal Palace has a feel like Fulham did. If you survive, you could maybe even thrive for an extended run.
Again, this is only in the early stages, but I have a feeling that Alan Pardew and Crystal Palace would be a good match for each other, which is exactly the opposite of what he looks like at Newcastle United.
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