Whilst Jose Mourniho has guided his team to another Premier League victory there is one manager who has achieved the impossible.
Alan Pardew took the Crystal Palace job on the 1st January when the club sat in the bottom three after 21 league games, but as the season drew to a close the English boss had guided the Eagles to a tenth place finish, becoming the first manager in Premier League history to achieve such a ‘meteoric’ rise.
It’s great to see that Pardew has finally found his place after five years of discomfort at Newcastle ended, which nearly saw the gaffer quit the game altogether.
People were even calling for the Palace boss to get the LMA Manager of the Year trophy. Last season, Tony Pulis was given the award for keeping the team up and it is now clear that Pardew has done an even better job. Some fans are trying to say that he has technically kept two clubs in the Premier League because Newcastle haven’t played like a team since he left but, that is probably stretching the truth a little too far.
If the Premier League had started when the 53-year-old took over at the club at the beginning of the year then the Eagles would have finished 6th. Since his arrival Palace have tightened up at the back and began playing with excitement, confidence and pace that lifted them straight up off the bottom.
Out wide, Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha flourished under the new leadership and players in defence looked a lot more confident on the ball. Under Pardew the team’s statistics has shot up, too. Jason Puncheon became the second highest chance creator, after Angel di Maria, as well as being the second highest assist maker in the League behind Santi Cazorla.
Pardew’s Eagles are a better unit, they work better together both on and off the ball and every player has learnt what their role is on the pitch. The improvement has been incredible and when he took over, chairman Steve Parish was hopeful that next season the team could be guided into the top half of the table. But Pardew has exceeded all expectations and got there already.
No-one expected Palace to do the same thing two years in a row but they have and they have done it better the second time around. They always say it’s staying up for the 2nd year in a row that is the hard job so Pardew could be on to a bright future at Selhurst Park.