Pressure builds on Pardew
Alan Pardew's position as Crystal Palace manager looks to be coming under increasing scrutiny after a fifth successive league defeat at the weekend. The 2-1 home defeat by Manchester City leaves the club in 16th place in the Premier League table and the Eagles are now facing up to the very real prospect of a relegation battle.
Palace's league form has been pretty wretched throughout the whole of 2016, as they have picked up just 22 points from their 31 games this calendar year. That gives them the worst points per game ratio of any football league side in England so it is little surprise to see Pardew under pressure. Rumours are circulating that he could face the sack if he were to fail to beat fellow strugglers Swansea next time out and the bookies' have seen plenty of interest on him in the 'next Premier League manager to leave their post' market. Pardew has seen odds on him slashed as short as 3/1 in places though his available at a best price of 4/1 with William Hill.
Former England boss Sam Allardyce has been touted as a possibility for Palace should they decide to dispense with Pardew's services. Allardyce is well adverse to taking over at clubs struggling towards the lower echelons of the Premier League table and keeping them up so he would surely represent an attractive proposition. Wales manager Chris Coleman, who made over 150 appearances for Palace during his playing career, has also been suggested as a potential replacement.
Pressure on Pardew has stemmed not only from Palace's form this season but as previously mentioned the whole of 2016. At the turn of the year, the club sat in 5th place in the Premier League but their truly miserable calendar year saw them dragged towards the relegation zone and this season looks like being more of the same. Pardew's saving grace last season was perhaps the fact he led the club to the FA Cup final, where they were beaten 2-1 by Manchester United. The board clearly backed him as well this summer, allowing him to spend in excess of £50 million on new players including the club record signing of Christian Benteke.
Pardew reportedly travelled to the United States during the international break for talks with Palace shareholder Josh Harris over the club's form. Things are certainly not looking particularly rosy for Palace or Pardew at present and the game with Swansea at the weekend could prove pivotal. The Welsh side are currently rock-bottom of the Premier League, having not won a game since the opening day of the season. If they were to end that run on Saturday at the Liberty Stadium, the pressure on Alan Pardew really would be ramped up.