With Saturday’s astonishing 5-4 defeat at Swansea just the latest shambolic performance from Crystal Palace, their manager Alan Pardew’s job is in jeopardy
The signs were there in plain sight at the Liberty Stadium. The ones which suggest this is the end game. They reared with Gylfi Sigurdsson’s every intervention, a player whose influence as scorer and provider had been highlighted on posters pinned up on the walls back at Crystal Palace’s training ground. The pie-charted stats had screamed out a warning that the Icelander had contributed to 53% of Swansea’s goals. And yet, against rivals primed to stifle, here he was scoring the hosts’ first, assisting their fourth, and delivering the three set-plays which provoked such bedlam in the visitors’ pathetic mess of a defence as to ensure dismal defeat was plucked from the jaws of victory. Those percentages will need tweaking.
The clues could be spied just as clearly in Christian Benteke losing his man not once, not twice, but three times at those set-piece deliveries in a team that had apparently spent the bulk of the previous week working feverishly on tightening up at dead-ball situations. One of those errors might be written off as another careless lapse in concentration. Three suggested rather more troubling issues in play, and that the drilling has not worked. A lineup that had prioritised a first clean sheet since April ended up shipping five to a team who had started the weekend bottom and the 18th most prolific side in the division. The message is not sinking in. The same mistakes are being made every week. Discipline is shot to pieces.
Related: Swansea City stun Crystal Palace as Fernando Llorente settles 5-4 thriller