Alan Pardew has pulled no punches in his assessment of Wayne Hennessey’s performances over the last week, admitting that the Welsh number one will need to impress him in training in the coming days if he wants to retain his place.
With Alex McCarthy and Julian Speroni both nipping at Wayne’s heels in training from week to week, there will be no room for another mistake from him moving forward, but after winning the club’s Player of the Month award in December, some may still feel that a move to replace him between the sticks would be a tad hasty from Pardew.
Whilst his error on Tuesday night was one which could occur to any keeper in a flash, his issues yesterday in Manchester will have provoked a far greater sense of concern amongst the Palace coaching staff, so routine was the dive required to stop Delph from putting the hosts in front.
The direct consequence of such a deflating moment, was a shift in mentality from the players, all of whom had started the game in fine fashion against Pellegrini’s title hopefuls. There will have been plenty of neutrals who would have admitted to Palace being the better side in the opening 20 minutes, only for their collective heads to drop once the first goal of the game hit the back of the net.
There will be plenty of debate over whether or not Pardew should have figuratively thrown Hennessey under the bus in the aftermath of what will have been such a horrible week for the keeper personally, but the game is a ruthless environment to inhabit at the top level and with two potential replacements desperate to step into Wayne’s boots, it’s entirely possible that Pardew’s words were said in the hope of maintaining harmony behind the scenes at one player’s expense.
Have a read of his comments and decide for yourself. Has Pardew done the right thing, or was it an error of judgement on his part?