Alan Pardew described Crystal Palace’s top-ten Premier League finish as ‘remarkable’ and beyond his wildest dreams, which is hard to argue with after the former Eagles midifelder pulled his new charges all the way up from 18th when he took over in early January.
That being said, past form suggests Palace’s 2014/15 campaign may merely have been a prelude to failure in south east London.
Pardew’s first top-ten finish in the top flight came at the end of his debut Premier League season as a coach with West Ham in 2005/06, when he led the Irons to ninth and an FA Cup final appearance against Liverpool, which they lost on penalties.
After overseeing just four wins from West Ham’s first 20 matches of the 2006/07 campaign, Pardew was given his marching orders, although Charlton hired him a couple of weeks later. The Addicks went down, while West Ham stayed up by the skin of their teeth on the last day of term.
The Wimbledon native’s next Premier League top-half finish came 18 months after he took over at Newcastle in December 2010, with the Geordies claiming fifth spot – ahead of Chelsea, Everton and Liverpool – thanks to the sterling efforts of Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye, among others.
Obviously such heights couldn’t be maintained, but dropping all the way down to 16th the following season, five points off being relegated, was quite a stumble.
The curse struck again this season, after Pardew’s last full term at St James’ Park saw Newcastle contently nestled in tenth.
John Carver has reached for all kinds of reasons why the club dive-bombed so spectacularly following his old boss’ departure, including the ‘hot, warm’ May climate in west London (yes, you read that right), but going by Pardew’s previous, Newcastle’s demise was simply bound to happen.
Now, having gotten the Selhurst Park faithful firmly on his side with a record of ten wins in his 18 Premier League matches in charge of Palace, Pardew risks a backlash if the latest transfer rumours are to be believed.
Captain Mile Jedinak, ostensibly a holding-midfielder who bagged five Premier League goals during 2014/15 and is largely adored by the Eagles faithful, could be sold to former boss Tony Pulis’ West Brom, according to the MailOnline.
The same article states that newly-promoted Bournemouth fancy striker Dwight Gayle, Palace’s top scorer in all competitions this season and another firm fans’ favourite.
Pardew has spoken of reinvesting the money tenth place brings, particularly up front, but doing so at the expense of settled stars such as Jedinak and Gayle means playing with fire. The 53-year-old is 3/10 with bwin to see out next season with Palace, while 11/5 says he’s replaced before then.