Alan Pardew is nearly two years into his role as Crystal Palace manager and, despite keeping Palace’s survival in the Premier League, it should be noted that Palace could achieve far greater success without Pardew at the helm.
The former Palace defender started his managerial stint at Selhurst Park in January 2015. A great FA Cup run last season should not overshadow by the club’s under achievements of the past 12 months and with a good manager in charge, they would have a better chance of improving.
Palace have not started this season in glorious fashion and have been lucky to achieve as many points as they have done so far. Pardew seems unable to capitalise on the good summer signings made by the club and the team have dropped silly points at home to West Brom and Bournemouth.
Their squad is certainly the best of the mid-table teams fighting to finish in the top half. Christian Benteke is proving his worth along with Andros Townsend providing much needed width down the wing. Wilfired Zaha, Joe Ledley and James McArthur are all capable of guiding Palace to the top half of the Premier League table and defenders Scott Dann and Pape Souare could play for teams much bigger than Palace.
But despite all this, Pardew seems incapable of bringing any success to the club who were nearly relegated last season after achieving two league wins between Christmas and the end of the season.
However, this is familiar territory for Pardew.. At Newcastle, the 11/12 season was one of the most iconic in recent history for the Magpies as they remained in contention for Champions League football up until the final game of the season. The following two seasons became somewhat of an embarrassment, though, as their imperious slide down the table caused many to believe Pardew was a fraud.
A shockingly poor Premier League run convinced most Newcastle fans that Pardew was not quite as good as he thought he was. In 2014, a run of form prompted Newcastle United fans to unveil a banner with the following on display: ‘LLWDLLLWWLWLLLLLLWLLDDLD – Not a Welsh town, our form in 2014 under Pardew’.
Palace’s form was reminiscent of his time in the North East and it further shows his inability to achieve success over a prolonged period. Could any top-class manager achieve such mediocrity like Pardew has at Palace with the squad he has at his disposal? It’s highly unlikely and if Palace convinced someone like Eddie Howe to make the move to South London, where exactly could Palace finish?
People will argue that Pardew is indeed a very talented manager and isn’t being linked to the vacant managerial position at the England national team for no reason. However, Pardew is actually the best of a bad bunch of English managers currently in the game. Eddie Howe is considered too inexperienced while Pardew’s name continues to crop up.
But it’s clear as the day is long that Pardew is way below the standard of manager a national team like England should be aiming for, and Palace are no different.
Crystal Palace are certainly a club underachieving. Alan Pardew may be the manager but, like a long-term relationship that is simply not working, it’s the fear of separation that may be keeping the pair together, which is unhealthy for all involved. The truth will not appear until Pardew leaves Palace but maybe then fans will realise that he is indeed not the manager to achieve greatness at the club with such grand ambitions.
An established Premier League club like Palace, who have spent such fortunes on building a Premier League squad, should be aiming for a higher and until Pardew leaves Croydon, Palace will struggle to build on their success of maintaining their status in England’s top-flight.