Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

In Tray facing the new Crystal Palace manager

Crystal Palace are on the lookout for a new manager after sacking Alan Pardew on Thursday.

The Eagles are currently just a point and a place above the Premier League relegation zone after one win in 11 games.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at what the pressing issues will be for Pardew's replacement at Selhurst Park.

ORGANISE THE DEFENCE

Oddly, given the experienced Scott Dann, Damien Delaney and James Tomkins are Palace's senior central defenders, they have conceded far too many goals since the start of the season. The Eagles have let in 32 in 17 Premier League games, the sort of record that leads to relegation, and while a season-ending injury suffered by Pape Souare has contributed, it is the defence which most urgently needs attention if they are to avoid the bottom three.

INSPIRE THE MATCH-WINNERS

Pardew never truly succeeded in consistently bringing the best out of the £10million Yohan Cabaye, £27million record signing Christian Benteke and £13million Andros Townsend. Cabaye and Benteke have both occasionally impressed but without maintaining the good form expected of them, while Townsend is yet to have a strong game in a Palace shirt. Together, they can transform Palace into a mid-table team.

RECRUIT A NEW LEFT-BACK

It is widely feared Souare may never play again, and either way he is highly unlikely to return this season. In the absence of a natural left-back, Palace have struggled to provide an attacking overlap or defend the left wing; there is little question a replacement is needed as soon as the January transfer window opens.

GET THE FANS ONSIDE

Despite Pardew's status as a once-popular Palace player, the club's fans - who have never previously experienced consistent Premier League football - gradually lost patience with the manager. Booing could often be heard at the final whistle of poor results, which perhaps contributed to the underwhelming performances their team sometimes produced. With Selhurst Park capable of being one of the division's most hostile grounds for a team to visit, if a new manager can again get them onside, their home fixtures could be key to rescuing their season.

DEVELOP A STYLE OF PLAY

Former player Stan Collymore recently observed that Palace were yet to commit to being either an attacking or pragmatic team. The collective abilities of Wilfried Zaha, Cabaye, Benteke and Townsend should make them strong in the final third, but occasional long-ball football limited their effectiveness. Equally, they rarely played to entirely contain their opposition, occasionally giving them a confused appearance. It does not matter which, but Pardew's successor has to decide what sort of team he wants Palace to be, and ensure they are capable of doing so effectively.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph