While it came as no great shock to most, the sacking of Crystal Palace boss, Neil Warnock this week has served to raise more questions than answers for followers of the London club with many left scratching their heads after yet another quick managerial change.
Cast your mind back to pre-season and just two days before the start of the 2014/15 campaign, Palace were left in total turmoil when fans favourite, Tony Pulis, pulled the plug on his Palace project after a drawn out budget battle with club chairman, Steve Parish.
Things looked as if they were about to settle and resort to normality in South London with Malky Mackay the red-hot favourite to walk straight into the job only for allegations of racism to emerge from his former employers, leaving the deal dead in the water.
Suddenly, Palace were scrambling, talk of a Pulis return even emerged (as it will do again in the coming days) but with the season now well underway, it was up to assistant, Keith Millen to steady the ship and despite an opening day defeat to Arsenal, many will now ask why Millen wasn’t given the job on at the very least an interim basis with it now clear Warnock was nothing more than a panic ‘plug the gap’ appointment.
Warnock was still held in very high regard by the Selhurst Park faithful, following his previous reign in charge and as a result an early wave of optimism and mini form revival was to be expected. However, Warnock inherited the exact same problems that saw Pulis walk away, the lack of investment in forward areas and bar a famous 3-1 home win over Liverpool, this was evident throughout Warnock’s short-lived reign.
January is now upon us and whoever is chosen to step into what is fast turning into a poison chalice will have to be provided the funds they seek to sign a proven goal scorer or face relegation back to the Championship fast.
Reports have began to emerge within the past forty-eight hours that Newcastle chief, Alan Pardew will be the man to step up to the South London challenge and if this does prove to be the case it would be seen as a signal of intent, although questions of compensation and how that may affect any transfer kitty are sure to be raised.
Other candidates for the role include, former Tottenham boss, Tim Sherwood, who is believed to have been interviewed for the same job last time round only for him to turn it down as he wasn’t first choice among the board, that would make it unlikely he will become Palace boss this time round too.
Chris Hughton has been out of work since his spell with Norwich City and while he would prove to be a cost-effective option as he is out of work, supporters would point to the fact he was sacked by his last employers over fears of relegation.
Looking over those three main options for Crystal Palace it is fair to say that should Pardew be the man to take the hot-seat at Selhurst and he is given money to spend in the coming weeks, there is no reason Palace can’t avoid relegation as the former West Ham boss has proven he can work under extreme pressure.
However, if Palace are looking for a cost-effective appointment then surely it is time that Keith Millen, a man who has stood loyal to the club and someone who knows the players and the club inside out, a chance to see out the season.
Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton commented on the Palace team’s togetherness and resolve following their 0-0 draw against Rangers at the weekend and that is exactly what Millen would bring to the table.