Crunch time for under-fire Pardew as Crystal Palace chiefs weigh up options
Alan Pardew is still fighting for his future as Crystal Palace manager after presiding over his sixth consecutive defeat against Swansea on Saturday.
Palace's American major shareholders David Blitzer and Josh Harris are weighing up whether to dismiss Pardew following this season's dismal start. Palace have taken just 11 points from their first 13 games and have only beaten Middlesbrough, Stoke City and Sunderland.
Palace are only out of the relegation zone because they have a superior goal difference to Hull City, where they travel to for a crucial game on Saturday, December 10.
While Blitzer and Harris are alarmed by Palace's results and form, they are also thought to have serious reservations about Pardew's methods.
Palace have habitually conceded poor goals from set-pieces in recent weeks, a problem which Pardew has not been able to fix on the training ground.
He has also not taken all of the advice from the analytics team that Blitzer and Harris brought in.
Pardew still has an ally, though, in Steve Parish, Palace's co-owner and chairman, who wants to give him time.
League results, though, have been declining, while the harmony of the squad has been disrupted by big-money signings such as Yohan Cabaye and Christian Benteke, as well as the exit of popular players such as Mile Jedinak and Yannick Bolasie.
Whether the players rally against Southampton on Saturday will be a crucial test.