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Why Steve McClaren is the best man on Crystal Palace’s shortlist

| 28.12.2014

Considering how successfully they switched managers halfway through last season, it perhaps isn’t surprising that Crystal Palace were willing to dispense with Neil Warnock.

Tony Pulis guided the Eagles from bottom to 11th in his stint at Selhurst Park last term, winning the Manager of the Year award as a result.

However, with Pulis almost certainly not in the running for the job again this time around, the list of likely candidates is not the most appealing selection.

Keith Millen will take the reins as caretaker once again for Palace’s next match at QPR, where they are 11/5 to win, but is unlikely to be on Steve Parish’s shortlist for the long-term job.

Current favourites include Alan Pardew and Tim Sherwood, with former Porto boss Vitor Pereira the surprise name rounding off the top three.

The Newcastle manager might be priced out of Palace’s range due to his lengthy contract with the Magpies, and Pardew’s career is hardly blemish-free in any regard.

Sherwood was considered for the Eagles’ job in the summer, but was passed over and his brief, mixed spell at Tottenham Hotspur isn’t anywhere near enough to suggest he would be an instant hit in south London.

Furthermore, both Pardew and Sherwood have a history of alienating people at the clubs they work at, which isn’t ideal for Palace’s relegation scrap or working with the feisty Parish.

More interesting options include Pereira and former players Gareth Southgate and Tony Popovic.

However, the England U21 boss’ club experience is confined to taking Middlesbrough down to the Championship, while Popovic and Pereira have no Premier League history as managers.

To find the attributes Palace should be looking for in their new manager, they should take tips from their appointment last season, and follow the Pulis template.

They need a boss with a history of success with an unfancied side in the Premier League, with a wealth of experience and a healthy network in the game to facilitate transfers.

Right now the one man near the top of the betting for the job is Derby manager Steve McClaren.

The former England boss is by no means a risk-free choice, but his success with the Rams, coupled with past glories at Middlesbrough and FC Twente in particular, and his general high standing in the game, could be just the ticket Palace need to survive.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune