When will desperation, and the blaming of the referee for a couple of questionable decisions on penalties, translate into panic for Palace?
Crystal Palace’s league record of no wins in 10 matches after yesterday’s 3-2 defeat at West Brom appears to be more than a mere “slump in form”, and leaves the Eagles in 14th place in the Premier League, now eight points above the relegation zone.
“It’s been a terrible run we’ve been on,” Alan Pardew, the Palace manager, said. “We should have squeezed in a win somewhere along.”
Pardew admitted that his side’s FA Cup run, including the most recent win over Tottenham, had in some way given a false sense of security around the team. But with new American owners at Selhurst Park and his own contract extension on the table, Pardew knows that it is results in the Premier League which matter above all else.
Pardew had seen his side concede three goals in the first half-hour against Tony Pulis’s team, with Conor Wickham’s brace giving the Eagles some semblance of respectability before the final whistle.
Some Palace supporters on the fans’ bulletin boards, though, are growing impatient.
“No plan B. Wickham and Adebayor do not work together. At this rate we will be going down.”
“He’s been fab for the previous 12 months before this run started and has got us within touching distance of Wembley. I’d rather sack you lot as Palace fans than him as manager.”
“I like Pardew and he has a relationship to the club that no one that can replace him will have. But how long can we let this slump go on for? Holloway, Warnock both got the sack with shorter bad runs. Now Pardew is much better than either of them but he is seriously lacking in some departments. If we get no signs of a comeback today and nothing at Sunderland then I think he needs to go.”
“Teams have now figured out how to beat us as they did with Newcastle.”
Tuesday night’s game at lowly Sunderland will be vital to stabilise Palace’s league season, and Pardew’s position.
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