Pardew the stunt man, He’s obviously Bullet Proof!
Well the wait goes on…not for our next win (I don’t even dream of that anymore), but the wait for Pardew to be relieved of his duties. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for loyalty in football and some of the sackings over the past couple of years have been disgraceful, but surely Steve Parish must see what every other Palace fan is seeing and take the tough decision to part company with Alan Pardew.
I’m not under any circumstances sitting here believing we should be beating Chelsea (in their current form) and we played ok yesterday, but it’s not about one game, it’s the culmination of everything in 2016. It’s the inability to beat teams like Swansea and Hull, it’s the fact that we let in 8 against those two (arguably the worst two teams in the division), it’s the fact we’ve had one clean sheet in the last 22 games and so on and so on.
Not only are we not getting results but some of Pardew’s tactical decisions are baffling and are now starting to either negate the affect of our own players or costing us precious points. There have been too many occasions this week that have left us in a position where we could either nick a point or go on and win a game and we’ve either lost or drawn.
At Hull, Pardew substituted James MacArthur mid-way through the second half and replaced him with a more attack minded Yohan Cabaye. Within ten minutes we’d lost the midfield and gone a goal behind. Thankfully Wilfried Zaha had the game of his life, scored one of the goals of the season and set up our equaliser in the final minute.
Similarly, on Wednesday night against Man United Pardew’s tactics completely negated all of the threat Zaha poses to opposition full backs. Why play him up front alongside Benteke where he had no impact on the game, had to play with his back to goal and was basically used to chase down United defenders. That isn’t Wilf’s game. Wilfried Zaha is a winger, plain and simple and a bloody good one at that! Wilf has been sensational for us this season but under no circumstances is he an up top front two style of player.
To make matters worse James MacArthur who is an out and out central midfielder was asked to play on the right hand side of midfield to cut out the threat from United. What a waste. MacArthur has been one of our most consistent performers in the centre of midfield but he was half the player playing wide right.
To compound all of this and with the score at one all, Pardew made the most bizarre substitution, replacing MacArthur with Frazier Campbell. Now if he’d thrown Campbell on alongside Benteke and thrown everything at United I would have accepted it…but he didn’t. What actually happened was that Campbell did indeed join Benteke but Palace sat back. So we were now playing two up front but without a defensively minded midfield player and we paid the penalty in the 88th minute when Ibrahimovic scored the winner.
Don’t get me wrong we competed with both Man United and Chelsea and I applaud that, but let’s be honest we had one decent shot in 180 minutes that either keeper had to save, so we were hardly a threat.
So with one game left in 2016, I’ve got to say our year has been bloody terrible. 6 wins in 2016…6 wins!! I could manage Palace with the side we’ve got and get 6 wins in a year. We’re 4th from bottom in the Premier League, three points above the team at the bottom (Hull) and they don’t even have any resources. It’s a joke now. I tweeted the other day that if he’s not careful Steve Parish will end up as culpable as Pardew if this continues. I truly believe that if Pardew stays we will be in the Championship next season and that will be an absolute disgrace.
We lack leaders. We miss Jedinak massively, we miss Glenn Murray and we miss Gayle and I’d give anything to have them three in our side alongside Wilf and Puncheon. I’d take Gayle’s goals and pace rather than selling him to Newcaste and I wish we could recall Sulley Kaikai, Hirrem Boateng and Johnny Williams from their loan spells. We need to play with pace and passion and those 8 players have all of that in abundance.
Thank god we have Wilf and Puncheon. Both love Palace and both are loved by Palace fans and long may that continue. As for Pardew, I hope he does the decent thing and walks before he completely loses the Palace fans but I don’t think he will. I don’t want someone to lose their job, but it can’t go on. Our record is terrible and Pardew has to take responsibility for that, alongside some players.
2017 cannot be as bad for Palace as this year surely. If it is I’m not sure these blogs will mean quite as much writing from League one!!