THE news filtered through on Tuesday that perhaps Tony Pulis would be the man to replace Ian Holloway at Crystal Palace, bringing a mixed reaction from supporters, myself included. We have all seen how Pulis' side works, as it did at Stoke City. Strong defensively, direct in style and aggressive in attack, his Stoke team became synonymous with ugly football. There is a great fear among Palace fans that this kind of approach would be implemented at Selhurst Park. The reasoned response to that fear is that he most probably will play a direct style, and that the team will be built on a strong defensive basis. It could lead to a number of the ball-playing signings the club have made seeing less action in the coming months, and could see the team fighting for 1-0 wins and 0-0 draws. What it could also lead to, however, is security in the Premier League. While we are languishing at the bottom of the table with a six-point deficit, it's a deficit which isn't insurmountable and one which a manager with the right philosophy could overcome. Pulis' style is one which, while not aesthetically pleasing, will still get supporters excited. I have been critical of his approach in the past but, given Stoke's success under the Welshman, it could be an appointment which stabilises the squad at a time when it's needed most. Besides, since Holloway's departure, Keith Millen's side have played a more defensive style, with some success – Pulis would enhance that style and give the players a very specific playing philosophy. The club have spent the last four weeks interviewing for the position; it's now time to make a decision and to appoint a new manager. While plenty have been linked with the role, Pulis is one manager whose name hasn't been ruled out and whose first interview seemingly garnered enough interest to warrant a second, more serious discussion about the position. Pulis could well give this squad the best chance of Premier League survival, which would lead to an entirely different level of investment in the club's infrastructure. Survival could lead to a new stadium being built and would give the club an even greater opportunity to continue operating without investment from rich benefactors. If the former Stoke boss can do that, he's the right man for the job – no matter how we play.
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