Alan Pardew will go into this game grateful that he still is in gainful employment but the horror show of last weekend’s defeat away at Swansea will still undoubtedly loom large as his Crystal Palace side play host to a former Pardew club Southampton this afternoon.
What a rollercoaster of emotions there were at the Liberty Stadium last weekend. Being 3-1 down and then turning the game on it’s head by going 4-3 ahead with just injury time to go. Then somehow conspiring to lose the game 5-4 in injury time.
If it wasn’t such a farce it would almost make you sick. That said some of Palace’s defending that afternoon would have done exactly that. In a game with so many goals it just highlighted how poor both sides back lines were. The only positive you can take is that they found the net four times but to do that and still not win then serious question have to be asked.
Are those questions asked at the player or the manager though? That defeat certainly did nothing to help Pardew’s current plight at the club as the South London side have now lost 6 on the spin and are only on the right side of the drop zone thanks to Hull’s terrible goal difference.
Today is simply a must win, a must win to try and get some daylight between them and the bottom three and a must win to keep Pardew in a job as if it becomes 7 defeats in a row then surely Steve Parrish will be sharpening the axe come full time.
They go up against a Southampton side who have had a decent week. Last weekend saw a home win against Everton which sees them back in the top half of the table and Wednesday saw them progress to the EFL Cup Semi Finals with a win over Arsenal.
Josh Sims was the man who grabbed the headlines on Sunday with an impressive debut performance. He only needed 48 seconds to grab the limelight when he assisted Charlie Austin for the game’s only goal. A win for Southampton which meant that Ronald Koeman’s return to St Mary’s wasn’t a pleasant one.
Sims started on the bench for the trip to Arsenal on Wednesday but did feature in the second half and will be surely be pushing for inclusion again this afternoon. The 19 year old looked like he has been doing this for years with his performance against Everton and it once again highlights the conveyor belt of young talent at Southampton.
Claude Puel got the better of Arsene Wenger on Wednesday and I think you could say that perhaps Wenger took Southampton for granted and was rightly punished for it. Southampton weren’t at full strength themselves but they took full advantage of Wenger’s decision to make wholesale changes to his Arsenal side
And Southampton will look to take full advantage of a Crystal Palace side who are at rock bottom at present. If Palace can’t bounce back from that farce of a result last weekend then serious questions will have to be asked of Pardew. I have a feeling Southampton will win this and Wembley’s greatest dancer will be in the dole queue on Monday. An away win for me.