23 Dec Big Sam the favourite for Palace
Sam Allardyce could be handed a route back into football after being made the early favourite to replace sacked Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew.
Pardew was asked to “step down as manager of the club” after guiding the Eagles to just one win in their last 11 Premier League matches.
Allardyce is looking for a return to the game after his brief stint as England manager ended in disgrace in October and his credentials could fit the bill at Selhurst Park.
Palace chairman Steve Parish pledged to “wind the dial back the other way” from Pardew’s attacking style – a move that would perfectly fit Allardyce’s regimented approach.
“With games now coming thick and fast over the holiday period the club are hoping to put someone in place as quickly as possible but have nothing to say about a replacement at this time,” said Parish.
Palace sit just one point and one place off the Premier League drop zone, with Parish admitting the club felt compelled to act to avoid a bitter relegation battle.
“Relegation is so costly and I feel with no blame attached we got ourselves in a rut and need a change,” Parish told BBC Sport.
“We all bought into the decision to play a more expansive style of football.
“We all believed in it. That hasn’t worked. It’s no-one’s fault.
“But now we’re going to wind the dial back the other way.
“We’re talking to a number of people to make sure we get this right, but nothing has been agreed.”
Allardyce has rocketed to the front of the queue of potential replacements, even more so given Palace’s determination to tighten up their play.
The ex-Sunderland boss has been out of work since his exit from the England job in September.
Allardyce lasted just 67 days with the Football Association, losing his dream job after a newspaper sting where he made ill-advised comments in conversation with undercover reporters.
Former Palace owner Simon Jordan believes Allardyce would be the ideal man to keep the Eagles in the Premier League.
“I have always liked Sam,” Jordan told Sky Sports of Allardyce.
“I think that he should never have lost the England job and maybe if they can reach some kind of agreement it might be the perfect move for him.
“They just have to stay out of the bottom three this season. And Sam Allardyce is absolutely the person who can achieve that for them.”