The game is delicately poised at 1-1 with 3 minutes of normal time remaining, This has been a tremendously poor game with a few dubious refereeing decisions sprinkled around to sweeten the closing minutes. Crystal Palace are in terrifying form with just 6 wins from the last 37 Premier League games. SIX. Their counterparts, Man United are not fairing much better either. The tension is crushing and the fans tentatively rustle in their seats awaiting the final whistle. As banal as it sounds, you feel both sides would welcome a draw with relief. A break in play and the 4th officials board dashes green and red, a festive reminder, and signals goal scorer James McArthur to leave the field to be replaced by Fraizer Campbell. Murmurs rumble around the terraces as the defensive holding midfielder leaves the pitch for the goal shy centre forward. Almost instantly as play restarts, Crystal Palace are found gaping and empty in midfield allowing intricate passing into the Crystal Palace danger zone. Bang. Clinical. Ibrahimovic wins the game.
In case you were wondering, Crystal Palace are no longer a football club but a circus. And every circus needs a clown. That clown is Alan Pardew.
I have to admit that a Crystal Palace related article has been a long time coming.
Being honest, I have delayed publishing the following piece but after
the agony of last week’s 5-4 defeat by Swansea City, I have a few points to get off my chest.
If you are a listener to the PUPcast you will know that I often speak passionately about the Eagles,
to a point where I tend to spew an angry ramble following yet another humbling defeat.
In Episode #10 I laid down some harsh facts that Palace fans and Premier League
fans in general may not tend to agree with.
I am no longer in a position to defend this man. Alan Pardew has no interest in any club he has managed – Alan Pardew only cares about his own ego.
Following his rollercoaster stint at Newcastle, Alan Pardew’s name has been associated with rage from
Geordie fans and with light hearted jokes from the rest of the football league.
Upon announcing Pardew as Tony Pulis’ successor, I was quietly confident that the
ex Palace player could really help us build on the stability his predecessors had somewhat created.
How fucking wrong was I.
We should have listened to the Geordies, after all they did forewarn us to Pardew’s antics. Whether it is his insufferable press conferences brushing off serious defensive issues, his comments on the England job or that pathetic dance in the FA Cup final – the bloke is a moron.
But let’s keep this to specific to his football wrong doings.
As mentioned earlier, when you are desperate for a point, especially when it is none other than against Manchester United, you do not remove your best player and goal scorer for an attacker with 3 minutes to go. Crystal Palace is not a game of poker Pardew. You have went “all-in” far too often and now you have gone bust.
In addition to this, the same occurred against Swansea and Hull (plus countless other fuck ups). Against Swansea, in the 82nd minutes McArthur was removed from the field of play at 3-3 for winger Sako – we go onto lose the game famously 5-4. Versus Hull, McArthur was removed from the field of play at 2-1 for attacking midfielder Cabaye and we end the game 3-3 against the worst side the Premier League will ever see.
Being a manger and making this mistake once is acceptable, this is football and more often than not these things happen. But in three consecutive games? Fuck right off.
Photo credit Getty Images
Moving on, Martin Kelly is not a left back. Mediocre wingers are having a field day against our full backs because Pardew refuses to acknowledge that this tactic might not be working. 3 of the 5 goals conceded against Swansea came via a Kelly error.
In PUPcast 7.5, I joked Liverpool are unable to close out games. Well Palace take the biscuit. Of the 31 goals we have conceded this season 8 have been after the 80th minute, that is a whopping 26%. 4 of our last 5 matches were lost or draw from goals after the 80th minute.
Pardew is tactically blind to defending a lead, he is incapable of killing the game.
I have been extremely patient with this man. Arguably, he should have been fired during our 13 game losing streak or after losing the FA Cup. That dance still haunts me.
Now is the time for Pardew to leave. The board should not need to sack him, if Pardew had any morsel of respect left in his body he would resign while he still had an ounce of respect shown towards him. But he will never resign, his ego is too inflated. Alan Pardew is the most selfish man in football.