Favre’s 11th-hour U-turn leaves Palace fans with questions

Even by Crystal Palace standards, the excitement and anticipation over the news that Lucien Favre was set to sign a three-year contract to manage the football club was extremely short-lived.

Swiss rolled: Lucian Favre had a late change of mind

Little more than 24 hours after reports that the former Borussia Dortmund coach was about to take over at Selhurst Park, and it was being reported by an impeccably connected Grauniad journalist that Favre had had a change of mind, claiming it was too soon after his sacking last December for a return to top-flight management.

Which might strike some, including Palace chairman Steve Parish, as a tad odd, since it had been reported that it was an agent working on behalf of Favre who had made the approach about filling the vacancy following Roy Hodgson’s retirement.

It all means that manager-less Palace now have just five days in order to determine the expiring contract status of more than a dozen players.

Having previously broken off talks with former Wolves boss Nuno Espírito Santo about becoming the manager at Palace, Parish will today be dusting off his dossiers and recorded Zoom interviews with previous, and previously discarded, candidates for the job.

Succession planning: Steve Parish

The renewed hiatus might also prompt reasonable questions about Parish’s succession planning, or the lackot it.

Palace have been without a manager since Hodgson departed Selhurst Park on May 24, though the end-date on the former England manager’s contract and Parish’s intention not to extend it was well-known for many months beforehand.

Likewise, the contract status of so many players has been a matter of public knowledge for at least a year, and while ideally any new manager might want to make key decisions about their playing staff, allowing so many to reach expiry at the same time strongly suggests a lack of planning. The club’s directors, meanwhile, showed what might be possible,or necessary, when they did not wait for a new manager before agreeing renewed terms with Christian Benteke.

Meanwhile, the search for the right manager begins again, with The Athletic reporting that English coaches with Premier League experience Eddie Howe, Frank Lampard and Sean Dyche are all back in consideration.

For their part, Eagles fans appear to be as pragmatic and phlegmatic as ever.

Kevin Day, the Match of the Day 2 comedy writer tweeted, “As Oscar Wilde nearly said: to lose one new manager is misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness.”

There was a similar sense of resignation to fate on the club’s message boards.

On the spot: Kevin Day’s seen it all before

“We don’t seem to ‘do’ calm, clinical and calculated,” said one.

“We’re surely now firmly in the realm of pragmatism rather than trying to sell the dream and plan to a more ‘glamorous’ manager,” was the view of another.

Favre’s 11th-hour U-turn was also questioned. “Frankly I don’t believe the reasons given by Favre. It strikes me as a concocted story to hide the real reason the deal fell through. Most likely lack of transfer funds.”

Another surmised, “He realised that keeping us in the [Premier League] next season won’t be easy given the likely player turnover… Surely he’d know he needed a longer rest before starting talks or at least before they’d got to a relatively advanced stage?”

And as for the alternative choices… “Dyche is the uber-pragmatic choice but I doubt we’ll pay to prize him away from Burnley, who seem to be spending a bit of money.

“The next safest pair of hands would be Howe, who is still young enough and dynamic in the eyes of media/players to try and build something.

Sean Dyche: Burnley boss is the uber-pragmatic choice, according to one fan

“Lampard is a huge no from me. Totally unproven and relying on his reputation as a player.

“[Steve] Cooper {manager at Swansea City] fails to excite but could easily exceed low expectations.”

But the greatest disdain was shown for former Everton and Watford boss Marco Silva, who according to one Palace fan, “is the minger left on the dancefloor at the end of the night. Go home and have a tug and try again tomorrow”. Ouch.

  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com
  • Inside Croydon is a member of the Independent Community News Network
  • Inside Croydon works together with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as well as BBC London News and ITV London
  • ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named the country’s rottenest borough in 2020 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine – the fourth successive year that Inside Croydon has been the source for such award-winning nominations
  • Inside Croydon: 3million page views in 2020. Seen by 1.4million unique visitors

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Crystal Palace FC, Football, Lucien Favre, Roy Hodgson, Sport, Steve Parish and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply