Boxing Day defeat sees Warnock sacked as Palace boss

Keith Millen will take charge of Crystal Palace at Queens Park Rangers tomorrow, following the sacking of manager Neil Warnock, announced just before midday today.

Gone: Neil Warnock, sacked in the morning, as the song goes

Gone: Neil Warnock, sacked in the morning, as the song goes

Steve Parish, the club’s co-owner, made the decision this morning, having seen the team disintegrate to a 3-1 home defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day, placing the club in the bottom three drop zone of the Premier League.

Tomorrow’s fixture against fellow relegation strugglers (QPR are two places and two points above Palace) was always going to be a key fixture, but it now takes on greater import after the departure of Warnock, the first managerial casualty in the Premier League this season.

The team’s performances had been deteriorating match-by-match, and Warnock, 66, seemed incapable of turning matters around. He summed up the side’s own short-comings in one of his post-match interviews on Friday when asked what his side was missing: “Clean sheets and goals”.

“Neil is a great guy and he wanted to do it at Palace,” Parish was quoted on Twitter this lunchtime. “It just hasn’t happened. It just wasn’t working.

“We need a result and we need a reaction at QPR. Let’s hope that’s what they give us.”

Warnock had begun his second spell in charge at Palace in extraordinary circumstances in August, after Tony Pulis – the Manager of the Year, no less – walked out on the eve of the new season in a dispute over the club’s transfer policy. Notably, Iain Moody, them the director of football, was soon to leave the club in controversial circumstances and Palace’s first selection as new manager, Malky Mackay, was dropped like a cold turd over a dispute involving their former club, Cardiff City.

Over here! Tony Pulis might make a good manager at Palace...

Over here! Tony Pulis might make a good manager at Palace…

Notably, Pulis has not yet taken another job, though even in the unreal world of Premier League football, it seems something of a stretch to imagine he will take over at Selhurst Park for a second time in 14 months to retrieve a dire situation. Clinton Morrison, the former Palace forward, interviewed on Sky Sports, called on Parish to bring Pulis back to the club.

Palace are seeking their sixth manager in less than three years – and these have been three relatively successful years, with a run into the Championship play-offs, promotion and one and a half seasons (so far) in the Premier League. Having taken over from a shellshocked Ian Holloway in November 2013, Pulis’s spell at Palace proved remarkably successful.

Under Warnock, the defeat against Southampton was Palace’s sixth game without a win.

In a statement published on the club website just after 10 to midday, Palace said, “Crystal Palace Football Club can today confirm that Neil Warnock has been relieved of his duties and is no longer first-team manager.

“The club would like to put on record its thanks to Neil for all his hard work and energy over the past four months.”

For all Warnock’s charm as an individual, reservations among the fans about his appointment – about his preferred style of football, his choice of players, and about whether he was too old-fashioned for the game in the Premier League – all quickly became to appear well-founded.

Parish said today that he has no one lined up as a replacement, but that with the January transfer window to open in four days’ time, getting someone in to take charge and re-energise a seemingly demoralised squad is a priority.

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4 Responses to Boxing Day defeat sees Warnock sacked as Palace boss

  1. This makes the departure of Pulis seem even more regrettable. I don’t know what was going on behind the scenes but I hope every reasonable effort was made to keep him at the club, considering his achievements last season. If not, he’s almost certainly the best available candidate, so it’s time for Steve Parish to try and patch things up!

  2. sed30 says:

    Reblogged this on sed30's Blog and commented:
    Bout time

  3. davidcallam says:

    Oh dear! Another fine mess ar Selhurst Park caused entirely by short-sighted management.
    Good riddance to Neil Warnock, who should never have been reappointed in the first place, given his poor performance as manager last time around.
    Now it’s time for Steve Parish to apologise to the club supporters with a handsome gesture designed to secure a continuing place for Crystal Palace in The Premiership.
    Offering the manager’s job back to Tony Pulis would be a good start; and if that means setting a realistic budget for new players, that might teach Mr Parish the invaluable lesson that if he wants to play with the big boys he has to be prepared to splash some cash.

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