Hull City v Sheffield United - FA Cup Semi-Final

Report: Neil Warnock to be named new Crystal Palace manager

1 Comment

Crystal Palace are apparently closing in on naming a new manager, and they’re going for experience.

65-year-old Neil Warnock is said to be the man taking over from Tony Pulis, who walked out on Palace on the eve of the new Premier League season and the Eagles have since lost both of their opening matches.

[RELATED: Pulis leaves Palace]

Warnock has already been in charge of the Eagles from 2007-10 and has also managed Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield United, Notts County and Leeds United, as well as several other teams in the lower leagues of English soccer. He only has one full season of PL experience, plus half a season with QPR before being fired, under his belt and many will see this choice as a strange one.

According to the BBC, Warnock has beaten out former West Brom boss Steve Clarke to the position and will be given plenty of money to spend in the next few days to bolster the Eagles squad.

“Crystal Palace are set to appoint Neil Warnock as their new manager.

“The 65-year-old, who was in charge of Palace between 2007 and 2010, has been preferred to former West Brom boss Steve Clarke.

“It is understood Palace chairman and co-owner Steve Parish felt Warnock was the best option for what the club need now and building for the future. Warnock has money to spend an discussions will continue over the make up of his backroom staff.”

Warnock is a very outspoken character and the no-nonsense Yorkshireman tells it how it is. He is loud, brash and assertive but is certainly respected in the soccer world. With Palace’s brand of soccer and the players they have at their disposal, Warnock would be a good fit as he plays direct soccer and keeps things simple in a 4-4-2 formation. The Eagles made Malkay Mackay their first choice for the job but a scandal quickly descended on him to make that impossible, while former Spurs boss Tim Sherwood ruled himself out of the running.

It might not be the hire many Palace fans were hoping for, but Warnock may galvanize a rudderless ship quickly and his energy and experience could come in handy to pull things together in South London. Warnock has been in charge of over 1,300 games in England as a manger. The next 36 matches in the PL could be his biggest yet, if he’s given the role.

“Overweight” Costa comes to Mourinho’s defense

Diego Costa, Chelsea FC
Leave a comment

Diego Costa says he and his Chelsea teammates are to blame for Chelsea’s horrid start to the 2015-16 Premier League season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Speaking Thursday, during a bit of downtime over the current international break (Costa was left out of Vicente del Bosque’s squad for Spain’s final two EURO 2016 qualifiers this week), Costa placed the majority of blame at the feet of the entire team, but went on to most harshly critique himself for coming into the season unfocused and “overweight.”

Costa, on his lack of fitness and form to begin the season — quotes from the Guardian:

“We know we’re not in the form we were supposed to be at the beginning of the season. We need to blame the players because we came back from holiday very confident, thinking we could go back into how it was last season, and then realized the team was already in a bad situation.

“I’m going to be very honest: maybe a few weeks ago, five or six weeks ago, I was not on top of my game. At least physically. We talk within the players and we know that, maybe at the beginning, we were not 100 percent as we were supposed to be when we got here. I got injured at the end of last season and then I went on holiday. Maybe I got out of my diet and, when I came back, I was not the way I was supposed to be. I was a little bit overweight. That affected my game. You can be selfish and blame it on the manager but I’m not going to do that. I’m responsible 100%, and so are the other guys.

Given that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said on Thursday he doesn’t quite know what’s wrong with the defending Premier League champions, hearing someone — anyone — speak up and explain the club’s worst start to a season in 37 years will surely be a welcome sound to any Blues supporter’s ears.

[ MORE: Liverpool appoint Klopp as manager | Allardyce to Sunderland? ]

Costa, who is eligible to return from suspension next weekend when Aston Villa visit Stamford Bridge, has scored just one goal in league play this season (six appearances) after scoring 20 in 26 games last season.

Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
1 Comment

Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.