Tony Popovic is currently the head coach of Western Sydney Warriors, and due to his success there he has been linked with the Crystal Palace job. Popovic was previously the assistant manager at Selhurst Park under Dougie Freedman. He also played for the club in their last Premier League campaign and spent five years in total as a player there.
Numerous managers have been linked with the vacant job with former Stoke manager Tony Pulis seeming to be the favourite. Popovic would be a surprising choice but he has impressed in his short time as manager of Western Sydney Warriors. He was named A-League Coach of the Year last season after guiding his side to the Premier Plate.
Steve Parish has previously stated that they would prefer to have a manager in place that has some experience of managing in the Premier League and this is where Pulis comes into contention. Popovic does not have any managing experience other than at his current club.
The main reason for the departure of Ian Holloway was that he didn't feel as if there was the same team spirit within the squad that there was last year when they were promoted via the play-offs. Too much was changed and too many players were brought in.
It was surprising to see Ian Holloway cut such a desolate figure after the Fulham game, a far cry from his usual persona. A lot of change was made at the club, and it seems it would be a hard job for anyone to keep The Eagles in the top flight. Tony Popovic would help stamp some pride back into the place, and create more of a team spirit focused around the history and tradition of the club. It was clear from his playing days that he was a leader, and that is needed now more than ever for Crystal Palace.
Who would you like to see replace Ian Holloway? Is it Pulis' job if he wants it?
image: © Paul Townsend