Alan Pardew has opened up about the “lively” team meeting that took place between he and his players ahead of our recent 2-2 draw away at West Ham United, within which he encouraged his players to pick fault in him.
The point we gained at Upton Park ushered in an upturn in form which sees us making the trip to face Manchester United at Old Trafford this evening on an unbeaten run of four games, but the methods employed by Pardew when speaking to his players a few weeks ago were unorthodox to say the least.
Often characterised as a stubborn and arrogant personality, the Palace boss, given direction by sports psychologist and trusted confidant Jeremy Snape, encouraged the squad to pick holes in his managerial style and decision-making, without any fear of recrimination.
Clearly, it was a gamble that paid off for Pardew, with the team now bounding towards this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final with a spring in their step, but having often been painted as a man who cannot accept criticism without bristling at the accuser, the boss’ willingness to engage in such an experiment in the hope of provoking a change in our collective fortunes certainly makes for an intriguing shift.
Having given surprisingly detailed quotes to The Guardian’s Dominic Fifield in the article attached above, Pardew offers a full insight into the workings of the meeting that took place between he and his players, before going on to give specific examples of moments over the last few months when he as a manager failed, both tactically and mentally.
As is often the case when dealing with a crisis, the desire to discuss and unpick the reasons for a group’s failure arrives only once the troubles are visible in the rear-view mirror, but even so, the direct manner in which Pardew confronted our issues, coupled with his happiness to discuss it, should be roundly commended by our fan-base.
It certainly makes for an interesting read.