Crystal Palace: The Pardew Problem threatens to crush the positivity

The summer of 2015 is a wonderful time to be a Crystal Palace fan. Having survived a Premier League campaign for the first time in five attempts in 2013/14, they went even further in 2014/15 and broke into the top half.

Since then, they have tied down their top centre back Scott Dann to a five-year contract, transfer rumours involving devastating winger Yannick Bolasie have gone pleasingly silent and they have persuaded Yohan Cabaye to turn his back on Champions League football to join them for £10 million.

If Eagles supporters weren’t already pinching themselves, the accompanying speculation that Loic Remy will abandon Chelsea supersub status to lead the line at Selhurst Park should do the trick.

The hero of Palace’s ascent from 18th in January to tenth in May was former midfielder Alan Pardew, who traded in vilification at Newcastle for adoration in south London. The 53-year-old can also claim an assist for Cabaye’s arrival having left a good impression on the Frenchman at St James’ Park.

However, history indicates the instigator of the rise is just as likely to trigger the decline because Pardew has an established record of failing to sustain success, and following a triumphant season with a ruinous one, particularly in the Premier League.

His breakthrough campaign came at West Ham in 2005/06, when he guided them to a ninth-place finish and an FA Cup final that they really should have won in their first year back in the top flight, yet the season after did as much to sabotage his reputation as the one before did to build it.

The Irons fell at the first League Cup (to Chesterfield) and UEFA Cup hurdles and collected 14 points from 17 league games, the result being that he was sacked in December, within months of one of their most ever seasons concluding.

His rebound stint at Charlton a fortnight later followed a similar trajectory whereby an uplifting year transitioned into an irreparable slump. Though he couldn’t prevent their relegation, a mere seven defeats in 19 saw them go down swinging, and they were second in the Championship in November.

As soon as the momentum dwindled, Pardew was unable to rekindle it. They dropped to 11th that term and were in the second-tier’s bottom three the next November, rendering his exit inevitable.

He wasn’t at Southampton long enough for what Sting and Craig David call the rise and fall, but it was impossible to miss at Newcastle.

An unthinkable fifth place in 2011/12 – they finished above Champions League winners Chelsea – saw him named LMA Manager of the Year and rechristened Pardiola, yet they abseiled to 16th in 2012/13.

For once, he got through the plummet un-sacked, allowing him the opportunity to do it all again, fading from fifth in November 2013 to tenth in May 2014 and 18th in October 2014, using the brief shimmy up to mid-table afterwards as his cue to plot an escape to Crystal Palace.

The combination of this unfortunate habit with Palace’s tendency to start Premier League seasons badly – three points from ten matches in 2013/14 were followed by nine in 11 in 2014/15 – suggest it is wiser to back-to-lay them for relegation at [7.2] than trust in more top-ten magic at [3.0].