When Alan Pardew left the toxic atmosphere of St James’ behind him, his new team Crystal Palace were marooned in the relegation zone – 17 points from 20 games had left Palace one of the relegation favourites.
Fast forward 10 games and Palace have more than doubled their Premier League points tally. Alan Pardew has brought the best out of his new side. So how does one change make such a massive difference to a club’s fortunes?
Selhurst Park, now two years in a row have seen the benefits of a mid-season managerial change. In their first year in the top flight, they unquestionably would have got relegated, had it not been for the late season surge under Tony Pulis.
Under their previous manager, Holloway, Palace were naïve and easy to beat. Pulis’ effect on teams is clear to see, he makes them difficult to beat. Maybe not the most pleasant to watch, but effective nonetheless. His transformation skills are now being displayed in the Black Country, at West Bromwich Albion.
Why Pardew has had such a meteoric impact is more difficult to pinpoint. Not a boss who plays with a particular style or philosophy, ala Sam Allardyce. He simply seems to have the Midas effect on players, able to make average players play like top ones. Crystal Palace, have essentially the same players under Pardew as there were under Warnock. So why has there been such a marked improvement?
In contrast to the transformation at Crystal Palace, fortunes have drastically changed at Pardew’s old club on the North East.
Last weekend, saw Palace overtake Newcastle. In the games since the former manager’s move, they have amassed a grand total of eight points. John Carver has not had the desired impact he would have craved in his first role as manager.
There, admittedly have been injuries at Newcastle, but the majority of players are the ones whom were flourishing under Pardew. This is not a piece simply lauding the effects of ‘Pardiola.’ But why does a new manager, see ‘the bounce’, the sudden increase in results?
Do players simply lose motivation under a particular coach? It seems an extreme lack of professionalism to not perform due to a disagreement with management, but the amount of examples of ‘the new manager bounce’ means it is difficult to ignore.
Whether it is making a team difficult to beat or simply being a different voice in the changing room, there clearly seems to be some benefit to the mid-season swap.
So in the last two years, we have seen the benefits of a new manager coming in and saving a club. In both those years Crystal Palace have been the ones rescued. Of course, Palace fans would much rather spend all season high flying rather than a second half Houdini act, so the key for them may now be longevity.
But to any Chairman who now thinks this is always the way forward, beware.
For every Pulis, there is a Chris Ramsey or a Terry Connor.
For every Pardew, there is a Carver.