Connect in the back of the net

Crystal Palace’s terrible run under Alan Pardew has been well documented. They have been in rotten form and this dates well back to December of last year.

Here is their run of results over the last 34 games:

Five wins from 34 games represents relegation form. 24 points in 34 games across one season would result in that very fate. 

Fortunately for the South London club, it’s across two seasons and there is plenty of time to turn this around.

It’s stark contrast to Pardew’s first 35 Premier League games with Palace, where they gathered 19 wins and three draws, totalling 60 points.

Delving further, here are some stats comparing the two runs of results:

Is there a case to say that Palace have just been a bit unlucky? The wins, losses and goals for and against are night and day, but the rest remain pretty close.

Goal attempts conceded is significantly lower and whilst Palace have been criticised for conceded from so many set pieces, their attempts conceded is marginally lower.

Pardew has offloaded an enormous list of dead wood from the club, whilst bringing in Yohan Cabaye, Christian Benteke, Andros Townsend and Steve Mandanda, to name a few.

Whilst money has been spent, expectation rises and results are key.

 

The yo-yo manager?

Like his time at Palace, Pardew has a history for contrasting results in Jekyll & Hyde fashion. Going over Pardew’s career from the last ten years shows this streakiness.

In his first full season at Charlton, in the Championship, they began with five wins and three draws from the opening nine games.

Then came no wins from five (four defeats), followed by four consecutive wins and then one win from nine going into the new year.

One win from the final 11 games meant a 12th place finish. Charlton had come down from the Premier League and perhaps more was expected. Pardew was gone by November of the following season after a run of no wins from eight games.

Pardew only spent one season at Southampton and his record whilst they were in League One in 2009/10 was good. However, their ten-point deduction carried for breaching insolvency regulations made it difficult and one win from the first ten games made it harder still.

He typically turned it around with 22 wins from the following 36 matches which saw the Saints finish seventh (only outside the play-offs due to the deduction). Despite also winning the Football League trophy, Pardew reportedly fell out with chairman Nicola Cortese and was dismissed.

A few months later Pardew joined Newcastle. In his first full season at Newcastle, he led them to fifth place. 19 wins from 38 was an excellent record that saw his side punch above their weight.

The following year, in 2012/13, Newcastle won 11 matches, losing 19 and finished 16th.

In his third full season, his side were fifth after 13 games but after the halfway stage of the campaign they lost 14 of their final 20 matches, including a losing streak of six on the bounce. They finished a respectable tenth.

The 2014/15 season was Pardew’s last in the north east, before he left for Palace in January 2015. Newcastle managed no wins from the opening seven – this meant a run of five wins from the previous 27 matches, with 17 losses.

His side turned a slight corner with five straight victories but that was followed by two wins from seven before leaving for Crystal Palace.

Quite why this happens is anyone’s guess. Some managers struggle to beat the top sides, most show inconsistencies across the season as a whole.

Pardew has not managed a club that regularly challenges for silverware so inconsistencies are expected but his ability to go on long winning and then losing runs is remarkable. 

 

Palace’s next seven games:

Looking at these games, the Hull and Swansea games are crucial, whilst a trip to Watford is one that Pardew’s side should probably hold some hope of gaining something.

With six consecutive losses to now, this is a run that cannot continue. Palace are 17th and outside the relegation zone only on goal difference as bottom place Sunderland are just three points behind.

A scalp against one of the big boys would buy Pardew some time, but if a winning run hasn’t begun again by the new year, he might not be trusted to guide them through the rest of January and February.

Not only will Palace hope to strengthen the squad in the transfer window, but they then face a run of games against West Ham (a), Everton (h), Bournemouth (a), Sunderland (h), Stoke (a), Middlesbrough (h).

A loss to Hull on 10 December might seal Pardew’s fate if there’s no return against Southampton.

Steve Parish is a patient and understanding owner and it’s a case of stick or twist – Pardew has shown he can turn things back into a winning run again – but his patience might be about to run out. 

It would leave Pardew’s reputation in tatters.

 

Written by Richard Clark

Follow Richard on Twitter @richardtheclark

Check out his excellent football blog, Blog of the Net and follow them on Twitter @BlogOfTheNet

Like O-Posts on Facebook

You can also follow O-Posts on Twitter @OPosts