The season hadn’t even begun when the managerial merry-go-round sprung into motion at Selhurst Park. Tony Pulis left Crystal Palace over reported clashes with the club chairman Steve Parish, and now the Eagles are working hard to install a new manager into the dug-out as quickly as possible.
A club that is trying to establish itself in the Premier League, Palace could represent an enticing challenge for many a manager. However, the following 4 men might be particularly suited to the job in hand:
The former Tottenham Hotspur boss has been a favourite to succeed Tony Pulis ever since the latter made his departure out of Palace. For many, Sherwood was dealt a very harsh hand at Spurs, and the young boss still has plenty of potential in the Premier League.
Crystal Palace could be a perfect place to realise that potential, without the massive levels of expectation that exist at White Hart Lane. The Eagles are ambitious, but their goals are a little more modest than the Lilywhites, and therefore realistically possible to exceed.
Along with Sherwood, Mackay is perhaps the other significant favourite to take-over at Selhurst Park. Again, a young manager who has been controversially removed from his post in the past, the former Cardiff man has a little Premier League experience, but he’ll be desperate for more.
At Palace, he could be the benefactor of a very receptive crowd and understanding support. Although Steve Parish has fallen under criticism before now, it is highly unlikely that Mackay will experience the same conflict of interests as he had had with Vincent Tan at Cardiff. Perhaps given a fairer environment, the aspiring manager could come good.
A less likely candidate but a potentially shrewd appointment, David Moyes is looking to bounce back from last season’s trials and tribulations, and Palace could prove the perfect place to do it. Ignoring the considerable black Man United-shaped mark on his CV, the Scot has proven very efficient when it comes to turning a modest team into an ambitious one.
Moyes managed Everton through some very tricky, relegation threatened periods. However, he left the Toffees with European aspirations, and eyes on success in the domestic cup competitions. The current Crystal Palace side is not too dissimilar to the Everton sides of Premier League past – Moyes could rebuild his own reputation, and establish Palace’s at the same time.
The former Celtic manager, Lennon has been tipped to work in England for some time now. The notoriously fiery boss has proven himself as a winner north of the border, but the task in the Premier League is much more difficult.
That is not to say that Lennon would not be up to it, only that there is an element of risk in appointing him at Palace. What he would definitely bring to the London side is a Pulis-like grit and determination. The team have proven their character after a miraculous turn-around last year, and Lennon could be brought in to develop that further still.
Of course, Keith Millen currently sits in the dug-out, and he might feel as though he should be given the nod as well. Given that he oversaw a very narrow away defeat at Arsenal on the opening day of the season as well, there might be an argument to give him the opportunity.
However, Millen’s appointment would perhaps smell of a negative step at Palace. Should Parish settle for his former assistant-manager, then it would appear as though Pulis has been successful in leaving the club in the lurch. In order to bounce back most effectively, a new face is needed. For this writer, Tim Sherwood should be given the opportunity. If not him, then David Moyes.