Alan Pardew is back home.
On Saturday Crystal Palace confirmed that former player Pardew has agreed to be their new manager on a three-and-a-half year deal after leaving Newcastle United.
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Pardew, 53, has spent the last four year at St James’ Park as his tumultuous tenure included leading the Magpies to a fifth-pace finish and the Europa League, plus a relegation battle and plenty of fan unrest against him and the club’s owner Mike Ashley.
With Palace firing Neil Warnock following the Eagles 3-1 Boxing Day defeat to Southampton, Pardew will take charge of the Eagles for the first time on Sunday when they face non-league Dover Athletic in the FA Cup third round.
Speaking about his plans for Palace, the club he made 128 appearances for between 1987 and 1991, Pardew will not steer too far away from the teams defensive core. Initially.
“To suddenly change to expansive football is not going to suit us,” Pardew said. “We are going to find that teams are technically more dominant than us in the Premier League. So we have to find a different way. We need a few tweaks here and there, an evolution of our system, and that’s about as much as I would put on it.”
The English manager also confirmed that he plans to take Palace to the next level, which would likely be their first-ever top 10 finish in the Premier League initially.
“What I would like to achieve in my time here is to build a football club that has progressed,” Pardew said. “I managed to do that at Southampton and Newcastle. I took those club’s forward from what I went in to. My experiences at West Ham United, where I was able to do that, and not so good memories Charlton, unfortunately, those lessons learned have held me in good stead for me to be able to do that here.”
Before Pardew can make forward progress with Palace, his must focus on the here and the now as the Eagles sit in the relegation zone and just three points off the bottom after just one win in their last 10 matches.
Leaving Newcastle for Palace is a return to Pardew’s south London roots, but it is a big call from the silver fox. Will his return to the Eagles be a happy one?