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Pardew Really Is Skating On Thin Ice

Think I’ve seen what I needed to see.

Despite wanting to give it more time, a change is needed. Alan Pardew’s time in charge of Palace is very much teetering on the edge.

Let’s get this clear, it wasn’t just the result against United. It’s a combination of things which has led me to change my stance.

In my last TEB article I spoke about how Pardew had to rally the troops off the back of a six game losing streak. He might have done that because we picked up a victory against Southampton and then rescued a point at Hull City last weekend. However, the flaws in this side are patently obvious at the moment and it just seems Pardew is struggling to address them.

It is getting to a point where something has to give. If you’re anything like me, you want to see a manager succeed, and I would love to see Pardew succeed, and to a certain degree he has. This season has been one almighty struggle already, and to be honest, I cannot believe I’m saying that my club is well and truly in a relegation battle now. Before you question that comment, let me put some context behind it.

When I sat back at the start of the season and saw what potentially could be out strongest starting line up, I thought blimey, that’s probably one of the best sides we’ve had for a very long time. Steve Mandanda, Yohan Cabaye, Scott Dann, Wilfried Zaha, Andros Townsend, Christian Benteke, and Loic Remy all in the same side. On paper that is a top ten side, even a top eight side if things go to plan.

We all know that Premier League football doesn’t go to plan, and we have found that out the hard way this season.

No Palace fan can deny that this squad has talent. We have a number of top quality players and I just think Pardew is not getting the maximum out of them, and that was clear as day in performance the other night.

We’re in an extremely delicate position now after that loss, and with Chelsea and Arsenal coming up in our next three games we could be in a whole heap of trouble before the transfer window.

We need freshening up. We need a change, and I think we need the board to make a tough decision.

Right, it was a bit of long interlude but I felt it was needed. I can ramble, rant (I would say it’s been an informed and constructive rant) all I want, but what’s the point of saying ‘Pardew out’ without any basis behind it? We have too many of those on social media, week in, week out. Here at TEB, we try to bring you informed and balanced explanations.

After watching the loss to United, it seems the management team lost all common sense on the night. The performance was okay, we looked to restrict and frustrate United, and to a point it worked. But we had no threat going the opposite way, and in my opinion a lot of that was to do with how we lined up.

James McArthur is much more influential in the middle of the park, and we have already seen how  Zaha is so tricky on the wing. Both were played out of position and I couldn’t get my head around it.

I just feel Pardew got it horrible wrong. Zaha has been superb this season, and against Hull we saw a man at the peak of his powers. We were hoping it would transcend into the United game but he barely had a sniff which was a right pity.

We also can’t forget that we were on the end of some questionable decisions. Paul Pogba was offside for the first goal, and Marcus Rojo should have been sent off for a reckless lunge on Zaha in the first half. In my opinion the only saving grace for Rojo was that he didn’t catch Zaha higher, if he did I’m certain the Argentine would have seen red.

We were also a tad fortunate with some of the decisions. Joe Ledley handled inside the box just before Juan Mata put the ball into the net which was a legitimate goal unlike their first one.

Again, I just feel Pardew got it wrong. A lot was made of his substitutions, and I agree they were odd. Taking off McArthur was a mistake, and to me a lot of our problems have been because of a total lack of common sense.

I understand the pressure cooker environment of the Premier League. Football is a results business and if you like it or not a money driven business as well, and I don’t how I would cope if I was in Pardew’s situation. But, I would like to think that I would use some common sense, and I’m afraid the changes he made smacked of desperation.

It doesn’t get any easier for us as leaders Chelsea are next up at Selhurst for the early kick off on Saturday. I hope Pardew realises that we have to match Chelsea. Despite lacking key personnel we have to play three at the back because otherwise we will be overrun in the middle.

Thankfully I’m not Pardew to make the decisions, but please Palace, give the supporters something to shout about as patience really is wearing thin at the moment.

 

 

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Michael Stokoe

Michael Stokoe

Michael is an avid football fan growing up through the highs and lows of following Palace. Currently pursuing a career in journalism at the University of Brighton.

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