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CRYSTAL PALACE: Profiles of the three men in the frame for the Selhurst Park hot seat

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REPORTS this morning suggest the race to become the next Crystal Palace manager has entered the home straight - with three men in the running to take over from Ian Holloway. Romanian Dan Petrescu, former Eagles boss Iain Dowie, and ex-Stoke manager Tony Pulis are the trio who would be king. If you believe the bookies (and this comes with a cautionary note, bearing in mind how many odds-on favorites there have been for this job) Petrescu is the most likely to be appointed. A look through the various fans forums and social media posts also suggests the former Chelsea player and current manager of Dinamo Moscow would be a more popular and, in some views, more progressive choice. Yet the Advertiser understands Dowie - who guided the Eagles to promotion in 2004 - would jump at the chance of a return to SE25, and has been sounded out by the board. Pulis has the best CV when it comes to keeping a club in the top-flight, but many fans are put off by his style of football, while there are still also suggestions his salary will prove too expensive for Steve Parish and his board to stomach. Here's a profile of the three men up for the Palace job.
Dan Petrescu Best remembered by English football fans as a rampaging full-back cum wing-back in the late 1990s; first for Sheffield Wednesday and then, most famously, at Chelsea. He also had briefer spells at Southampton and Bradford City and, among his 95 caps for Romania, famously scored a late goal to defeat England in a 1998 World Cup game. His managerial career thus far has taken him to three countries - his native Romania, Russia, and Poland - and six clubs, with the highlight a Russian league title win at Kuban Krasnodar. In 2009, he was linked with the Scotland job eventually handed to Craig Levein, and has spoken in the past of a desire to return to British football. Known for his passionate touchline displays, Petrescu would be an intruiging choice - and popular with the fans.
Iain Dowie To say that Dowie has gone from god to the devil in Palace fans' eyes is perhaps overstating it a little. But the sour taste left by his first departure from SE25 means any return from the club wouldn't exacty meet with universal support. Dowie's first spell in the Selhurst dugout began in December 2003, with Eagles just above the Championship relegation spots. Six months later, he had guided Palace to the Premier League - with the remarkable turnaround completed with a 1-0 play-off final win in Cardiff against West Ham. After that, it all went sour. Palace were relegated the season after and Dowie soon left for arch-rivals Charlton, sparking a bitter dispute with chairman Simon Jordan, which ended up reaching the courts. His Charlton stint lasted just 15 league games though, and subsequent managerial spells at Charlton, QPR, Coventry, and Hull have met with mixed results. Dowie hasn't been in management for three years, instead working as a pundit on Sky's Soccer Saturday.
Tony Pulis The man who made Stoke City an established Premier League club was installed as the early favourite for the Palace job and, on paper, would appear to possess all the right credentials. He dragged Stoke from the middle of the Championship to the top ten of the Premier League, an FA Cup Final, and European football in his five-year spell at the Britannia Stadium. So, surely, the perfect man to lead Palace out of the relegation mire? Two nagging concerns make this, arguably, the least likely of the three potential appointments. Firstly, the Pulis brand of football isn't exactly 'the beautiful game'. He favours a direct, percentages-led method which won't please the purists. Secondly, having commanded over a million a year as Stoke boss, the Welshman won't come cheap. Petrescu, Dowie, or Pulis? Who would you like to see at Palace? Have your say below.

CRYSTAL PALACE: Profiles of the three men in the frame for the Selhurst Park hot seat


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