TWO MORE GAMES FOR PARDEW
ALAN PARDEW has two games to save his job as Crystal Palace manager. After six consecutive Premier League defeats Pardew is under intense pressure, but American major shareholders David Blitzer and Josh Harris have not decided to remove him yet. While Blitzer and Harris are alarmed by Palace’s direction, Pardew has support from chairman Steve Parish. So Pardew has been given two more games, at home against Southampton this Saturday, and then away at Hull City the following Saturday, to prove that the players are still responding to him. If Palace’s losing run continues through those, to eight straight games, he will be dismissed. Parish oversaw the recruitment of Pardew from Newcastle United two years ago, and improved results after Neil Warnock’s brief tenure. Pardew guided Palace from the relegation zone to finish in 10th place, their best ever Premier League finish, before taking the team to the FA Cup final at Wembley in 2016. Parish is loyal to Pardew and has pushed for him to be given time to turn the situation around. League results, though, have been declining for some time while the harmony of the squad has been disrupted by big-money signings such as Yohan Cabaye and Christian Benteke, as well as the departures of popular players such as Mile Jedinak and Yannick Bolasie. Whether the players rally behind Pardew and perform for him against Southampton and Hull will be the crucial test.