Ian Holloway

Watch Live: Hull vs. Crystal Palace (Lineups and Discuss)

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Tony Pulis won’t be in the dugout today, but Crystal Palace will still be hoping to turn over a new leaf against Hull City at the KC Stadium (10 am ET, watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra).

The goalless draw against Everton last week represented something of a breakthrough for Palace. Sure, they still haven’t scored a goal in over 350 minutes, but at least they managed to grind out a point. The visitors will potentially be bolstered by the return of young Jonny Williams, although the midfielder will start this one on the bench. Caretaker manager Keith Millen has elected to pair Dwight Gayle with Marouane Chamakh in hopes of finally finding that elusive goal.

Hull, who could theoretically go 10th with a win today, are looking to keep their strong defensive record at home. They’ve conceded just once in five games at the KC Stadium, and have yet to lose. The Tigers’ impressive defense will be bolstered by the return of goalkeeper Allan McGregor, while perhaps their stingy scoring record will be improved now that winger Robbie Brady is back from from injury.

Lineups

Hull City Starting XI: McGregor, Figueroa, Elmohamady, Davies, McShane, Huddlestone, Livermore, Boyd, Brady, Koren, Sagbo

Subs: Harper, Rosenior, Faye, Bruce, Meyler, Graham, Gedo

Crystal Palace Starting XI: Speroni, Ward, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey, Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Bannan, Bolasie, Gayle, Chamakh

Subs: Alexander, Mariappa, Phillips, O’Keefe, Puncheon, Williams, Jerome

Watch Live: Crystal Palace vs. Everton (Lineups and discuss)

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After seven consecutive Premier League defeats, Crystal Palace are hoping to find a little luck when Everton pay a visit to Selhurst Park today (10 am ET, watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra).

It seems Ian Holloway may not have been the problem. Since the former Palace boss left on October 23, the side lost 2-0 to Arsenal and then 2-0 to West Brom last week. Acting manager Keith Millen can do little to stop his side’s freefall. As it stands Palace are dead last, with just three points on the season, and only six goals scored. Marouane Chamakh, despite having just one goal on the season, retains his starting spot, but midfielder Adlene Guedioura is out after breaking two ribs and puncturing a lung last weekend.

As if Palace’s scoring wasn’t woeful enough, they’re now forced to face a backline that hasn’t conceded a goal in four hours. Palace could try to make it out with a goalless draw, except Everton come bearing Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian suffered a blow last week in a collision with Hugo Lloris, but will start today, hoping to add to his five goals on the season.

Lineups

Crystal Palace starting XI: Speroni, Ward, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey, Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Bannan, Thomas, Bolasie, Chamakh

Subs: Price, Mariappa, O’Keefe, Puncheon, Kebe, Gayle, Jerome

Everton starting XI: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Mirallas, Osman, Pienaar, Lukaku

Subs: Robles, Heitinga, Stones, Barkley, Deulofeu, Naismith, Jelavic.

Mourinho’s former assistant could take over at Crystal Palace

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Aitor Karanka, a former Real Madrid defender and assistant to José Mourinho during his time with the Spanish giants, may be in line to replace Ian Holloway at Crystal Palace. Palace have been without a permanent manager since October 23, when Holloway stepped down. Since that time, the club has been linked with Wales manager Chris Coleman, former Stoke City boss Tony Pulis, and Martin O’Neill, who accepted the Republic of Ireland gig this week.

Appointing Karanka would be a bit outside the box. The 40 year old may have been Mourinho’s number two at the Bernabéu, but he has no experience taking on the No. 1 role, nor has he worked in England. But Karanka did well in his interview this week, impressing Palace co-chairman Steve Parish. It doesn’t hurt, either, that Mourinho himself speaks highly of his former assistant, saying “”I think the club that gets him, whether in England or another country, will be a lucky club.”

After losing to West Brom last weekend, Crystal Palace have now lost seven in a row. The side, temporarily managed by Keith Millen, are bottom of the Premier League, and have the thankless task of facing Everton on Saturday. If Karanka is brought on board, he could be in place after the international break, in time for the clash against Hull City.

McLeish, Coleman, O’Neill linked with Crystal Palace job

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Ian Holloway hadn’t finished talking about his grandchild before Tony Pulis was linked with the Crystal Palace job, making it a bit surprising the former Stoke City man hasn’t been appointed at Selhurst Park. But as is so often the case, the first hints weren’t the right ones. One week after Holloway’s resignation, “interim” remains attached to the Eagles’ managerial post.

That’s just enough time for a imaginations to start working, which may explain why new candidates for the Palace job are starting to surface. According to the latest reports, those candidates include three well-known coaches looking for Premier League returns.

But have pity for Palace supporters if Alex McLeish gets the job. The 54-year-old Scot is currently out of work after running Birmingham City and Aston Villa into the ground. The Blues remain in the Championship, McLeish having apparently purchased a one-way ticket to the second tier, while Aston Villa’s Premier League lives barely survived the former Rangers boss’s wrath. Since then, McLeish tried his dark arts at Nottingham Forest before leaving the club after 41 days.

It’s a track record of failure that extends back to 2007, when McLeish moved to arrived in the West Midlands after a short stint with the Scottish national team. To his credit, McLeish did lead Birmingham City to a League Cup in 2011 (thanks, Arsenal), but he also orchestrated some of the worst soccer in the Premier League. Pragmatic to the point of being scared, McLeish’s tactics make you hate soccer.

But don’t lose too much sleep yet, Palace fans. According to McLeish, he hasn’t been contacted about the job, even if it sounds like he’s waiting by the phone:

“There hasn’t been any contact yet but I am a free agent,” McLeish said. “Crystal Palace are in a position that’s precarious for them but there’s still a lot of points to play for. I’ve had those kind of challenges before and I’ve had some success and some failures but if you’ve got a fighting spirit and good players playing to their strengths, then why can’t Palace stay up?”

Hiring McLeish would answer that question, though South Norwood should take heart in the fact another man’s name’s being thrown around. Unlike McLeish, Chris Coleman’s Premier League track record’s a mixed one. His first full season in charge of Fulham (2003-04) saw the Cottagers finish ninth, though they were pulled into a relegation battle the following season. After a slow start in 2005-06, Colemen left Craven Cottage.

He went to Real Sociedad and generally succeed but failed with Coventry City on his return to England. In a brief spell in Greece, he also saw success, but financial issues at Larissa led the 43-year-old back home: to coach the Welsh national team. He’s approaching his two-year anniversary on the job.

Unfortunately, Coleman’s tactics aren’t that much more ambitious than McLeish’s. Wondering what he would do in McLeish’s place at Brum or Villa is the type of thought experiment that leads you to wonder why we bother with sports at all. Why, out of all the managers in the world, has Crystal Palace come up with a list of some of the most soul-crushing tacticians in Britain?

Martin O’Neill is also reportedly in the picture, but like McLeish, his last coaching experience was a failed one (not uncommon for managers looking for jobs). Like Pulis’s last years at Stoke, O’Neill’s time at Sunderland featured a lot of spending for few results. And to complete the theme, his Sunderland teams played horrible, horrible football.

Crystal Palace is already in bad enough shape without bringing in a man who will bring their fans to tears. At least find somebody who will try to play good soccer. If that leads them to the Championship, that’s find. The Eagles were always likely to go down. Don’t amplify the agony in the process.

Crystal Palace’s hard work undone when Arsenal convert penalty

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Relegation-threatened Crystal Palace, who sacked manager Ian Holloway on Wednesday, did a wonderful job shutting Arsenal down in the first half of the Gunners’ visit to Selhurst Park. After Arsenal dominated possession for the first ten minutes, Palace began to work their way into the match. By the end of the first half, it was the hosts that were taking the majority of the chances. They may not have actually put Wojciech Szczesny under much pressure, but Palace were looking lively and like they’d at least manage to grab a point.

It was an almost-perfect start for caretaker manager Keith Millen. But then Adlène Guédioura had to go and undo his team’s hard work, dragging Serge Gnabry down inside the area. It was a silly foul, a real striker’s challenge, as it was unlikely the defender was set to do anything more than cross the ball.

It was Mikel Arteta who stepped up to the spot. The Spaniard sent in a wonderful ball, smashing it in to the top corner. The ball hit the top of the net to drop behind Palace keeper Julian Speroni. That’s Arteta’s first goal of the Premier League season and the relief and joy on his face after the conversion were obvious.