Former Crystal Palace winger John Salako always knew that Alan Pardew wanted to come back to the club, but the timing of his move comes as a surprise.
Alan Pardew is heading back to Crystal Palace, with a deal in place to remove him from his managerial post at Newcastle United.
He will be returning to his roots after four years at St James’ Park which have delivered a rollercoaster of emotions.
Pardew has never really won over the Toon Army and has been fortunate at times to keep his job, with events on and off the field generating negative headlines.
He has, however, been able to walk away on his own terms and back to a club that holds a special place in his heart from his playing days.
Former Palace winger John Salako is delighted to see a proven Premier League manager arriving at Selhurst Park but he admits to being surprised at the timing of the move, with Pardew having previously expressed a desire to leave taking the Eagles reins until later in his coaching career.
Salako told Sky Sports: “There is never a dull moment at Palace. Two days before the season starts, our saviour Tony Pulis leaves, (Neil) Warnock comes in and does a steady job, I thought he was growing into the job and things were going pretty well. One win 13 maybe isn’t good enough, but we were still in there fighting.
“Then the Pardew story has just come from left field. I can’t understand it. I have spoken to Alan and he is a south London lad and I know he always wanted to come back and managing Palace was always an ambition, but later on.
“He’s fiercely ambitious. He loves managing Newcastle, he loves the fact that it’s a big club and he wants to take them places. It was only last year that we were talking about Alan as a possible England manager, and that’s where he sees himself. He sees himself up in those dizzy heights.
“The Palace situation, I know there is talk of takeovers behind the scenes and I don’t know if there will be money. Tony Pulis really left because he wasn’t given the chance to bring in players – wages and the fees to bring them in.
“Alan is going to come in at Palace having almost been pushed out at Newcastle, he wasn’t able to get involved with transfers, he was want given enough money – but he’s going to find the same situation at Palace. He’s going to need money to improve that squad.”
Pardew is also jumping ship at a club sat in the top-half of the Premier League standings to join one in the relegation zone.
Palace are in a horrible run of form and he will have to rebuild confidence in order to get them moving in the right direction again.
He will, however, be able to call upon the full support of those in the stands – something which will feel quite alien to him after so long on Tyneside – and that should help to bring a positive response from everyone connected with the club.