Crystal Palace have kicked off their search for a new manager after Patrick Vieira was sacked as first team manager on Friday morning.
Palace sit precariously above the Premier League relegation zone after a 12-match winless run under the Frenchman, and club chairman Steve Parish said in a statement: “A change is necessary to give us the best chance of retaining Premier League status.”
Without a win in all competitions in 2023, the Eagles are now just three points above the Premier League trap door following a run of three successive defeats. Vieira’s side also went three matches without producing a shot on target before Wednesday’s trip to rivals Brighton.
But circumstances meant Vieira was unable to match that success in his second year, with Palace short in midfield for much of the first half of the season and clearly missing the presence of Conor Gallagher at the heart of their press.
During a particularly difficult run of fixtures since the turn of the year, Vieira reverted to a very defensive style to try and eke out the points needed to edge Palace towards safety. Although this proved effective in some cases, with notable draws against Manchester United, Newcastle and Liverpool, the club was clearly on a downward trajectory and the threat of being sucked in to a relegation scrap became more real as the weeks passed.
Palace are now searching for a manager to fire up a talented squad for the final 11 matches of the Premier League campaign and must now decide whether to make a short-term appointment with a view to reassessing their management situation in the summer, or go all in for the person they want to lead their next chapter.
Former Palace boss Roy Hodgson is the early favourite to take the reins at Selhurst Park, while Rafael Benitez and Jesse Marsch are among the front-runners.
Lucien Favre, who Palace had looked set to appoint before turning to Vieira in 2021, and Ralph Hasenhuttl are also in the frame.
Next Crystal Palace manager (Sky Bet)
|Nuno Espirito Santo||16/1|
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