Alan Pardews sacking marks the end of one of the London clubs biggest love affairs. As a player with Palace, he was a commanding midfielder, appearing for the side to the FA Cup final loss to Manchester United in 1990, and amassing 128 appearances.
He returned to South London in January of last year from a Newcastle United side seemingly incapable of seeing the good work he was doing there. Even being awarded LMA Manager of the Year in 2012 didn’t secure the affections of the Toon. Whereas Palace were always able to see the good in a side and a manager that were falling increasingly faster as the weeks went by.
Pardew zipped into action after replacing Tony Pulis, spending lavishly on Yohan Cabaye and Christian Benteke, overseeing the return of prodigious winger Wilfried Zaha, and revelling in Palace fans adoration for him as they climbed the table, The side peaked when they battled past Arsenal and others with typical old school football – a hallmark of Pardews philosophy – for a trip to Wembley and the FA Cup final. Admittedly, Jesse Lingard’s late winner for Manchester United took the gloss off the day, but it seemed like things would only get better.
Instead, the autumn and winter months brought turmoil for Pardew. His players were not performing, and there was clear disharmony between the manager and Palace’s new owners, American businessmen David Blitzer and Joshua Harris. Pardew did little to mix it with the pair by suggesting that “they don’t know much about English football”
So, he is out opthe door, with half the season for Sam Allardyce to turn round their fortunes. He may very well have a seamless record of hauling clubs out of the mire, but oh how the Palace faithful wish it was one of their own doing it.