Can Alan Pardew become only the third English manager in the Premier league era to hoist the FA Cup?by Andy Dillon / 20 May 2016, 11:54Tweet
Ahead of the FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Crystal Palace The Sun's Andy Dillon (@andydillon70) looks at whether Eagles boss Alan Pardew can restore some much needed pride for English managers in the game today.
ALAN PARDEW will struggle to sleep tonight with the giddy excitement of taking Crystal Palace to Wembley for the FA Cup Final tomorrow (Saturday).
It's certainly a remarkable turnaround for a manager who was among the favourites to lose his job just a few weeks ago.
Pardew says he is desperate to overcome overwhelming odds and beat Manchester United to become one of only three English coaches to lift the trophy in the Premier League era.
It's a startling and then a deeply deflating statistic to any patriotic football fan when it sinks in just how far out of favour our home grown bosses have become.
Yet Pardew's bold mission statement to do his bit for the country looks even more alarming when you look at the bigger picture of the Premier League as a whole.
Should Palace upset the odds and win The Cup Pardew will become the most successful English manager this season - with a team that finished 15th and just five points above the relegation zone.
Even that depends on where your priorities lie.
If the league is everything and cups just a bonus then there is a decent argument to be had whether Garry Monk should be waving the flag of St.George - and he was sacked by Swansea before Christmas!
City finished a volatile campaign in 12th place - three above Pardew and Palace.
That's the highest position for any top flight team which had a serving English manager at any point last season.
Draw your finger upwards in the table and you can quickly lose count of the number of nationalities who are squeezing our blokes out of work.
Italians, Frenchmen, Argentinians, Dutch, Croats, Germans - even the Welsh are getting in on it with Mark Hughes at Stoke.
England is getting beaten at its own game. We have become used to it on the pitch but in the dugout there is still a desperate rearguard battle to be fought.
South London boy Pardew's biggest weapons in his armoury is that we Englanders still love an underdog.
It also helps that even Manchester United fans can't stand Louis van Gaal which means Pardew has the unanimous backing of the entire country and every football fan!
He didn't have that when he led West Ham out against Liverpool at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff back in 2006.
Pardew has been tipped for what Londoners call the ‘tin tack' (sack) this year when only a year ago he was highly fancied to be the next England manager.
The current incumbent Roy Hodgson hasn't won a bean as a club manager in England with Blackburn, Fulham, West Brom and Liverpool.
Just getting to two FA Cup finals is an achievement for an English manager these days. If one were to actually win it then it really would be time to get the flags out.