Alan Pardew, the Crystal Palace manager, may glance at Manuel Pellegrini in the opposition dugout on Monday night and think that he could do better than the Chilean.
It would be nothing personal against the Manchester City manager – but more a case of him believing he and his fellow British representatives in the Premier League, all very much in the second tier of the top flight, are underestimated as candidates for the big positions.
“Myself, Sam Allardyce, Tony Pulis, Mark Hughes to a degree, we are all experienced managers who have not really had a top club,” Pardew told Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek. And on the prospects of the quartet breaking through the glass ceiling, he added: “The chances are very, very slim. We are underestimated as a group, but I would say that because I am part of that group. It annoys me in so much as I look at the top teams and feel I could do that job better than I am seeing it being done.”
Pardew’s suitability for a role at the sharp end of the Premier League was in the past compromised by his propensity to flare up at perceived injustices during games.
There were the run-ins with Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, nine years ago, while Pardew was at West Ham. Then followed the push on an assistant referee and the David Meyler headbutting incident, both when he was in charge at Newcastle – the latter resulting in a five-figure fine and a seven-game ban for him.
Pardew has seen a psychologist, the former England cricketer Jeremy Snape, to help with ways to curb his touchline temper and he said he has noticed the change in his demeanour.
“It was about finding the triggers that got to me,” said Pardew. “All the times I have been in trouble have been when I have felt an injustice. I now know not to react and that is when I switch the off button.
“My natural instinct is to be aggressive in the way my teams play. I have had to learn from my own experiences and not get too involved in that. There have been times in the past when probably that was not the case. Jeremy has helped me on the sidelines in terms of focusing on what I can control and that works well for me.”
Palace have lost just three times since Pardew took charge in January and Pellegrini knows that tonight’s trip to Selhurst Park will be a different proposition to the 3-0 win City enjoyed at the Etihad in December.
He said: “Maybe they are playing different [to December’s game]. They are in a good moment and they are playing with a lot of trust. With the other manager also Crystal Palace was a difficult team, but now they are playing at home.”Reuse content