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FAN VIEW: Pardew appointment not surprising but I'm not complaining

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Columnist and Palace fan Rob Sutherland has given his view on Alan Pardew's imminent appointment as the club's new manager...

My last column focused on the brilliance of Palace's tumultuous ways and the love I have of them - and as per expectations, the news which broke in the last 48 hours didn't disappoint - Alan Pardew is to leave his job at Newcastle United to become Crystal Palace's new boss. Quite the surprise.

Or was it? There had been previous occasions where Pardew's appointment had been mooted. Steve Parish is reported to be a close friend of Pardew's and, had it not been for the Newcastle manager's impressive run of results a little more than a year ago, he might have turned up at Selhurst Park sooner than expected.

Alas, the timing now suggests that Palace weren't willing to wait any longer - taking an unusual step in the club's recent history by offering to pay a reported £2m for his services.

Pardew's move comes with a lot of lines in national newspapers suggesting that he was a Palace favourite, a supporter's hero. They remember the 'Super Al' chants and suggest it's the perfect move as most fans will be happy to have him back.

From what I understand, however, Pardew's time at Palace is remembered similarly to that of someone like David Hopkin's second spell - for a remarkable, memorable moment amid much mediocrity (for Hopkin's second spell, I mean the handball which led to Dougie Freedman's late winner against Stockport County!).

Pardew's time at Palace will forever be remembered as a result of that goal in the FA Cup semi-final, but also for hard graft and little else.

That's not to say that Pardew's appointment is an unwelcome one. Here we have a manager who worked under a strict regime of selling the best talent once it finally started producing; a club whose owner is happy to see it not compete for titles or cups so long as his club keeps turning a profit.

Much maligned by the club's supporters up north, at Palace he'll have a grateful audience, ready to see and appreciate what he brings to the fold.

Newcastle had a strong scouting system which brought in a succession of talent for Pardew to choose from.

At Palace, where the infrastructure has taken time to build, the scouting network is likely to have a list of players that Pardew will want to choose from.

He may also have his own ideas - ones which, at Palace, he's more likely to be allowed to implement.

For many football fans, a move to Palace is considered a step down. For Pardew, choked out by derision from supporters and an undermining chairman on Tyneside, the move back south will be a breath of fresh air.

Meanwhile, for Palace fans, the entertainment keeps on coming. I'm not complaining.

Rob Sutherland is the editor of Five Year Plan fanzine and Palace columnist for the Croydon Advertiser.

FAN VIEW: Pardew appointment not surprising but I'm not complaining


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