Palace’s Pardew feel­ing the heat

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

MANCH­ESTER, Eng­land (AP): T TOOK Swansea’s new Amer­i­can own­ers less than three months to make their first man­age­rial change, in­stalling Bob Bradley in a bid to steer the club to Premier League safety.

The US busi­ness­men in part­con­trol of Crys­tal Palace have been in situ for nearly a year and now have their own coach­ing de­ci­sion to take.

Is it time to get rid of Alan Pardew?

Pardew’s po­si­tion as Palace man­ager looks in­creas­ingly frag­ile, with the team los­ing its last six league games and con­ced­ing goals at an alarm­ing rate. The chaotic 5-4 loss at Bradley’s Swansea last week­end saw Palace at its in­fu­ri­at­ing worst, un­able to de­fend set pieces or a lead go­ing into in­jury time.

Pardew has re­port­edly held talks with Palace chair­man Steve Parish, who along with Amer­i­can co-own­ers David Bl­itzer and Josh Har­ris will de­cide on the man­ager’s fu­ture. A home loss to Southamp­ton to­mor­row could drop Palace, who are cur­rently fourth-to-last in the stand­ings, into the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

“They are very pa­tient and loyal,” Pardew said two weeks ago of his Amer­i­can bosses, ad­ding: “They’re not look­ing for a short-term fix or a quick profit mar­gin.”

Yet, the sta­tis­tics don’t make good read­ing for Pardew: Palace have the worst points-per-game record of all teams in Eng­land’s four leagues in 2016, have the sec­ond-worst de­fen­sive record in the Premier League (26 goals against in 13 games), and have con­ceded 13 goals from set pieces this sea­son.

ICrys­tal Palace man­ager Alan Pardew.

Pardew joined Palace in Jan­uary 2015 af­ter quit­ting New­cas­tle, where he made head­lines be­cause of his fre­quent flare-ups in the coaches’ tech­ni­cal area – in­clud­ing head­but­ting an op­pos­ing player as they jos­tled for a ball at a throw-in. He is calmer on the touch­line now, while much of the ar­ro­gance some ac­cused Pardew of hav­ing ap­pears to have gone.

Palace fin­ished in a clu­brecord 10th place in the Premier League in Pardew’s first sea­son in charge, then started last sea­son well be­fore a dras­tic dip in form saw them nar­rowly avoid­ing rel­e­ga­tion. A run to the FA Cup fi­nal, where Palace lost to Manch­ester United, spared

Pardew from more scru­tiny.

Palace broke their trans­fer record twice in the off­sea­son to sign Eng­land winger An­dros Townsend and then Bel­gium striker Chris­tian Ben­teke. Scor­ing hasn’t been a prob­lem for the team nick­named ‘The Ea­gles,’ who are the fifth-high­est scor­ers in the league, but they can’t keep the goals out at the other end.

The loss of Pape Souare, who broke his leg in a car crash in Septem­ber, has de­prived Pardew of his start­ing left back and the coach has been un­able to im­prove Palace’s de­fend­ing at set pieces, even though the team is spend­ing more time on that area on the training ground. Three of Swansea’s goals came Crys­tal Palace’s Yo­han Cabaye (right) chal­lenges Swansea City’s Gylfi Sig­urds­son for the ball dur­ing the English Premier League match at the Lib­erty Sta­dium, Swansea, Wales, on Satur­day, Novem­ber 26. Swansea won 5-4.

via that route last week­end.

Southamp­ton, mean­while, are buoy­ant af­ter beat­ing Arse­nal 20 on Wed­nes­day to reach the semi-fi­nals of the English League Cup.

Also, sec­ond-place Liver­pool be­gin a five-week spell with­out play­maker Philippe Coutinho in a match at Bournemouth to­mor­row when fourth-place Arse­nal visit West Ham and Tot­ten­ham host Swansea.

De­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Le­ices­ter are two points above the bot­tom three go­ing into a match at last-place Sun­der­land.


There was no hid­ing Pep Guardi­ola’s ap­pre­ci­a­tion of An­to­nio Conte when the

Manch­ester City man­ager was asked who his ma­jor coach­ing ri­vals might be in his first sea­son in English foot­ball.

“Conte is a master tac­ti­cian,” Guardi­ola said at his pre­sen­ta­tion news con­fer­ence in July. “A great sign­ing for Chelsea.”

Guardi­ola has been proved cor­rect. Chelsea ar­rive at Eti­had Sta­dium to­mor­row in the stand­out game of the round in first place, and on a seven-game win­ning run since switch­ing to a three-man de­fence.

Guardi­ola can­not seem to set­tle on his best for­ma­tion, reg­u­larly switch­ing from a four­man de­fence to three at the back — even dur­ing games. City are third in the stand­ings.

It should be an in­trigu­ing

bat­tle be­tween two of the most re­spected tac­ti­cians in foot­ball.


United cap­tain Wayne Rooney will miss the game against his for­mer club be­cause of sus­pen­sion af­ter col­lect­ing his fifth book­ing of the sea­son in the 4-1 win over West Ham in the League Cup on Wed­nes­day.

Paul Pogba returns from sus­pen­sion for United, how­ever.

There could be some spik­i­ness on the touch­line, with United man­ager Jose Mour­inho un­happy that his Ever­ton coun­ter­part, Ronald Koe­man, has pub­licly said he would like to sign Rooney and fel­low United player Mem­phis De­pay.


TO­MOR­ROW Manch­ester City vs Chelsea

Crys­tal Palace vs Southamp­ton Stoke City vs Burn­ley Sun­der­land vs Le­ices­ter Tot­ten­ham vs Swansea West Brom vs Wat­ford

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