Alan Pardew all set for Crystal Palace jobby Jack Kitson / 30 December 2014, 09:41Tweet
Saturday's sacking of Neil Warnock has trigged off a chain reaction, with Alan Irvine losing his job at West Brom two days later, and now today it is expected to be confirmed that Alan Pardew has traded life in the Newcastle dugout for Warnock's old job at Crystal Palace.
Pardew emerged as the surprise red-hot favourite in the betting for the vacancy on Sunday, with frenzied speculation linking him the post increasing substantially after the 53-year-old failed to show up at Newcastle's post-match press conference following their 3-2 victory over Everton. The Toon and Palace have since been thrashing out a compensation package - believed to be in excess of lb2million - with Pardew due to become the south London club's fourth gaffer in just over a year.
If all goes to plan Pardew will return to the club he made 108 appearances for as a midfielder between 1987 and 1991, scoring eight goals. The Englishman certainly has his work cut out at Selhurst Park as he will inherit a struggling Eagles side who are stuck in the relegation zone (18th) after scraping together just three victories all season, while Sunday's goalless draw at QPR - under caretaker boss Keith Millen - extending their winless run to seven matches.
Pardew began his managerial career at Reading in 1999, before taking charge of the likes of West Ham, Charlton, Southampton, and then Newcastle in 2010. Pardew guided both the Royals and Hammers to promotion to the Premier League, while he tasted Football League Trophy success with the Saints. On a personal level he won both the Premier League and LMA Manager of the Year awards in 2011/12 after leading the Magpies to an impressive 5th-place finish, and subsequent qualification to the Europa League.
However, during the last year Pardew has come under considerable pressure from sections of the Newcastle faithful. "Pardew Out" banners have been a frequent presence at games following the club's poor start to the current campaign, while Pardew has more often than not topped the Premier League Sack Race.
The pressure eased somewhat, but not entirely, after Pardew managed to turn things around on the pitch following a stunning run of six consecutive wins in all competitions, although his side have since suffered five defeats in their last eight league & cup games.
It is no secret that Pardew has become increasingly frustrated with the club's transfer policy, while the constant pressure from certain sections of the support has gradually worn his patience down. As a result the timely opportunity to leave the Toon for former club Palace has proved too difficult to turn down for English football's fourth longest-serving manager, who had been under contract at St James' Park until 2020.
Newcastle will now begin the hunt for a manager for the first time in four years. The Next Newcastle Manager Market reveals that the likes of Steve Bruce, Tim Sherwood, Fabricio Coloccini and Ally McCoist are all in the mix at this early stage, while former Toon favourite Peter Beardsley is hovering around the 20/1 mark with Sky Bet.