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Zaha signs new five-year deal with Crystal Palace

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Crystal Palace has locked up Wilfried Zaha on a new five-year deal, a monumental day for the club’s future.

Zaha, 25, has been subject of transfer rumors on an annual basis. The Eagles’ Player of the Year in each of the last three seasons, Zaha has 23 goals and 23 assists in 130 Premier League matches for Palace.

[ MORE: Premier League Club Power Rankings, Week 1 ]

At best, the deal locks Zaha into the Selhurst Park set through the 2022-23 season. At worst, the deal considerably raises his transfer price.

Zaha scored in Palace’s season-opening 2-0 win over Fulham, building on a 2018-19 season in which he had nine goals and five assists in 29 matches. Palace went 0-9 in the nine matches he missed with injury.

Here’s Palace chairman Steve Parish:

“Wilf grew up a stone’s throw from Selhurst Park from the age of four, and has been with the club since he was 12. This agreement is yet another example of his lifelong commitment to the club, and our commitment to him. This is an amazing day for everyone here at Palace, our supporters and of course Wilf – and is richly deserved.”

Palace is a sneaky pick to make a run at the Top Seven, and will be tested this weekend with a visit from Liverpool. The Reds and Eagles have staged a few beauties over the past few seasons.

Palace unveils stadium renderings, virtual tour

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Crystal Palace is set to get a stadium front fitting of its name (again).

The Premier League club announced its Selhurst Park redevelopment plans on Monday, and it looks nice.

[ CPFC: Palace gets another point ]

Artist renderings should sometimes be treated like a controlled substance, and this one certainly has a capacity to excite.

The stadium will get 8,000 more seats and cost between $100-135 million, while also expanding the size of the pitch to allow the venue status as an international match host.

Here’s Palace chairman Steve Parish:

“We need a stadium that reflects who we are, how far we have come and where we want to go – a stadium that South London can be proud of, a home worthy of our incredible support and unique atmosphere and this great Premier League we represent.

Better yet? Take the 360-degree virtual tour of the new digs here.

Palace job still open; Who can end the merry-go-round?

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Steve Parish is tired of hiring new managers, and this time wants to nab a lifer for the Crystal Palace managerial post.

“We do not really want someone who sees it as a stepping stone,” said the Palace chairman.

[ MORE: Everton to snag bargain Sandro? ]

Saying he’d like to find a man who appreciates Palace’s style of play and wants to grow the club, Parish expounded the virtues of his potential boss on Sirius XM’s FC show.

“We have got a personnel and a way of playing. It has served us well. Do we try and change that again? That will inform probably where we go on the list of managers. After that you are just looking for somebody who has got a long-term view for the club.”

In 112 years of play, the club has hired exactly one manager from outside Wales, Scotland, England, and Ireland, and the bettors’ favorite for the job is Burnley man Sean Dyche. Also on that list with decent odds are Garry Monk and Roy Hodgson.

At 69, that last name doesn’t fit the bill of a long-term solution (though it’s energy, not age, that would dictate that).

Some other ideas who could fit Palace’s bill, especially if they are open to heading away from the island in terms of nationality (and one Brit, too).

  • Jaap Stam — The Reading boss has had an outstanding debut as First Team manager, and is well-connected in terms of the transfer market.
  • Thomas Tuchel — Would the ex-BVB man be willing to dip down from the Champions League to challenge his predecessor Jurgen Klopp and old nemesis Pep Guardiola in the Premier League?
  • Nigel Clough — Currently with Burton Albion, a club he also played for, would he relish a chance at the PL?
  • Walter Mazzarri or Quique Flores — Both kept Watford in the Premier League, and both were victims of the notoriously short-sighted Hornets.

Palace and West Brom: Knowing when to cut ties

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This one’s for two chairmen, Steve Parish of Crystal Palace and John Williams of West Bromwich Albion, if anyone’s passing along advice from a writer with exactly zero Premier League experience.

There’s a temptation to leave well enough alone with managers, an allure made only more seductive by the fact that coaching stability is almost contrarian in the high-turnover world of the Premier League.

And if you’re goal is to just survive every year, then by all means, read no further. You have your men in Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce.

Before we go any further, let’s admit to some prejudices. Pulis’ management preference to often bunker down and strip attacking talents of freedom, at least on the surface, is far from alluring and doesn’t quite fit the expectations of West Brom. And Allardyce is Allardyce, a blustery, credit-claiming boss who’s prime claim  is “I keep ’em up.”

But even beyond that, there’s a question whether either can change aims with so many years of the same anthems.

Pulis’ stingy teams have done relatively well, no doubt, and in no way is he a bad hire for a team with a vacant manager’s chair. But what happened for a second-straight season at the Hawthorns should be unacceptable, especially considering that this season saw a ship chartered toward high success.

When the Baggies clinched safety in 2015-16 only to fall flatter than Saido Berahino‘s West Brom career, it was forgivable. The Baggies hit the 39-point mark with a memorable win over Manchester United, then managed just four points over their last nine matches. That included home losses to Norwich City and Watford.

But critics — myself included — were eating their words when Pulis had West Brom dancing in the Top Ten deep into the 2016-17 season. These weren’t 1-0 counterattacking snoozefests, either, as Pulis was producing goals. Yet what happened when the Baggies hit their vaunted 40-point mark, this time on Feb. 25? One more win the rest of the way, to go with nine losses and two draws.

Here’s what Pulis said after a couple losses, “Complacency is the most annoying word in the dictionary. It is human nature to switch off a bit sometime.”

Sure, but how can it surprise when your mantra from August on is seemingly, “Get 40 points.” Staying switched on when you’ve targeted 40 like it’s the Champions League group stage is tough.

Still, that’s nothing compared to Allardyce, and Parish would be wise to leap at Big Sam’s latest big threats of quitting Palace. Forget that he was hired anywhere after his embarrassing ouster from the England job for a second, and focus on this:

Allardyce took over from Alan Pardew, and Palace slipped into the drop zone. Palace had done a woeful job of recruitment in the summer and Pardew overly complicated his problems by refusing to consistently plug service machines Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha into the mix with Christian Benteke.

Allardyce did fix that, but if he deserves anything it’s for striking it rich on three terrific transfer buys in Luka Milivojevic, Mamadou Sakho, and Patrick Van Aanholt. Spending in January is as important as it’s ever been, and Allardyce had more tools in his shed than Pardew or even Pulis beforehand.

Which is to say that if Palace likes Allardyce, fine, but to credit him for this turnaround is only partially worthwhile. To expect him to suddenly become or surprass the man who thrived at Bolton between 1999-2007 is foolish. Almost all of his career nods that don’t involve “avoided relegation” come at levels outside the Premier League, and Palace wants to keep growing.

Back to Pulis, he’s again highlighting the need for West Brom to spend, and perhaps that would allow him to adjust his mentality in the run-up to next season (You’d like to think he’d at least target a Cup run).

What’s worth saying is not that Palace and West Brom should fire their bosses. In Pulis’ case, let’s see if spending can change his stripes a bit (although it should be noted they’ve purchased Nacer Chadli, Matty Phillips, and Salomon Rondon). In Allardyce’s case, it’s a matter of employing a man who’s only out for his reputation and is either going to succeed and claim it was all his genius, or fail and put it on the players or board.

Aren’t there better options?

Court: Former Palace boss Pulis has to pay back big bonus

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West Brom manager Tony Pulis‘ bank account is going to be a lot lighter real soon.

A court ruled Monday that the veteran manager had deceived Crystal Palace into getting a $2.5 million bonus before quitting the job, and ordered Pulis to pay his former employers an approximate total of $4.5 million.

[ MORE: PL Playback – Chelsea the favorite ]

The story goes that Pulis would be due a bonus if he kept Palace from relegation and remained in the club’s employ by Aug. 31, 2014. He then asked for the bonus on Aug. 12, and quit the club two days later.

From Sky Sports:

Arbitrators had concluded that Pulis made “false representations”. They decided he had not been “committed to the club”, had not intended to stay until 31 August and “there was no such land transaction”.

They also concluded that he had not told the truth and “deliberately misled” Palace chairman Steve Parish “concerning his intentions”.

Pulis has led West Brom up the table this season, as the Baggies sit ninth with 17 points. His winning percentage at Palace was the second best of his eight stops so far, behind his time at Gillingham.

Follow @NicholasMendola