West Ham United may have improved since Slaven Bilic took over this summer, and Claudio Ranieri’s surprise appointment at Leicester City has worked out well for the Foxes, but former Hammers boss Alan Pardew has certainly worked wonders at Crystal Palace. Having been forced out from St James’ Park by the Newcastle United fans, Pardew was pleased to take over at a club he holds close to his heart. Having enjoyed the best spell of his playing career in the red and blue of Crystal Palace, Pardew knew that he would be welcomed to Selhurst Park.
The Palace faithful has continued to support Pardew and now the Eagles are reaping the rewards having brought the former West Ham boss in to replace Neil Warnock. It is clear that Palace are one of the most improved sides since the ex-Reading boss swapped St James’ Park for Selhurst Park in January. Pardew, who led West Ham to the FA Cup Final in 2006, actually took over the reins at Palace with them in the relegation zone but led them to a 10th-place finish – the highest finish in the club’s history in the Premier League.
In leading Palace to an impressive finish, Pardew became the first manager to take over a club in the Premier League drop zone and eventually guide them to a top half finish. DANNY RUST @Danny_Rust10 Alan Pardew The former West Ham manager has re-built his reputation in London Pardew shows the Toon what they’re missing as his new-look Eagles fl y high In-form: Crystal Palace have enjoyed a fine start to the season The Daily Mirror even claimed that ‘Pardew has a legitimate form to claim to keeping two teams up this campaign’ with Newcastle ‘staying up on the final day of the season – surviving really only on their early season form’. Pardew’s win percentage at Crystal Palace is also better than at any of his previous clubs – including West Ham.
His win percentage while at the helm at Upton Park was 41.1 per cent, while he has a win percentage of 58.62 per cent at Palace at the time of writing. In 29 Premier League games, Palace have won 17 times. That is an outstanding improvement when you consider Palace were favourites to be relegated when Warnock was still in the hotseat. In fact, Warnock’s win percentage at Selhurst Park in his second spell – between August and December 2014 – was only 17.65 per cent. In 17 Premier League games, a Warnock-led Palace only won on three occasions.
Pardew’s players have also grown in confidence. Yannick Bolasie is one player who has been on fire since the managerial change. Bolasie was seen as a player with potential by Warnock, but he has become even more unpredictable on his mazy runs down the wing under the guidance of Pardew. Some top clubs were interested in the impressive winger during the summer transfer window. But Pardew slapped a £40m price tag on the Democratic Republic of Congo international, who has come up the leagues having appeared for the likes of Rushden & Diamonds and Barnet. As a result, the Eagles were able to hold onto their man .
It could also be argued that before Pardew took over in South London, that they would not have been able to attract a player with the quality of someone like Yohan Cabaye. The France international central midfielder played under his current boss at Newcastle United, but many were still doubting whether Palace would be able to bring in the midfielder. The signing of Cabaye was a real coup and he has already brought some much-needed quality to the Eagles’ midfield.
Following West Ham’s defeat at Newcastle United on the final day of last season, it was announced that Sam Allardyce’s contract would not be renewed. Famously, Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness said that West Ham fans should ‘be careful what you wish for’, and he made it clear that he felt the Hammers were making a mistake in letting Allardyce go. But it would appear that Newcastle should be careful what they wish for.
The Magpies faithful pushed Pardew out of the club by constantly calling for owner Mike Ashley to sack the ex-Hammers boss. That made him feel unwanted and, as a result, he was more than happy to leave and take over at Crystal Palace. Following Pardew’s move, Newcastle went downhill under the guidance of John Carver until the end of the season.
Newcastle only won three top flight matches under Carver and they have since replaced him with Steve McClaren, who has only won a League Cup second round tie against League Two side Northampton Town. It is clear that Newcastle would have been better off sticking with Pardew, but their loss is most certainly Crystal Palace’s gain.