Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace: Chelsea legend admits to snubbing Selhurst Park gig

Crystal Palace: Chelsea legend admits to snubbing Selhurst Park gig

Former Chelsea and Romania defender Dan Petrescu has revealed that he once snubbed the Crystal Palace job.

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The defender, who won the FA Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup at Chelsea in his spell between 1995-2000, recently spoke to Telekom Sport and revealed that he was offered the job at Selhurst Park in 2013 to potentially succeed Ian Holloway.

According to Telekom Sport (via Sport Witness), the current CFR Cluj manager admitted to being offered the Palace job while coaching Dinamo Moscow in Russia.

When responding to a question asking whether or not he would ever fancy managing in England, he said: “I had an offer from Crystal Palace in the Premier League when the team had 4 points in 11 matches.

“The boss came, and I asked them ‘how is it that you have 4 points from 11 matches?’. He told me that he would extend my contract if I saved the team; otherwise, he’d replace me.

“At Dinamo Moscow, I had a good team, and I was high in the standings. It was difficult to go there to save the team.

“Instead, the coach who went there managed to keep them in the Premier League. You have to be lucky to get a better team.

“You are compromised if you go and get relegated from the Premier League. I didn’t go. Tony Pulis came in the same situation and saved the team!”

Crystal Palace can count themselves pretty lucky that Dan Petrescu did turn down the hot seat, as who knows where the club would be now if it wasn’t for that incredible job by Tony Pulis.

Pulis made five huge signings for Palace on deadline day that January, three of which have been hugely influential players in the latest half of a decade at Selhurst Park. Tom Ince was brought in on loan, Wayne Hennessey joined for £3m, while Joe Ledley, Scott Dann and Jason Puncheon were all brought in on undisclosed fees.

At the time, no bottom side in the Premier League at the end of November had finished higher than 17th. By the end of the season, Pulis’ Palace were safe with three games to go, finishing in a remarkable 11th place.

If Palace went down that season, it would be far-fetched to assume that they would still be a mid-table Premier League club.

Pulis had a win percentage of 41.38, winning 12, drawing six and losing 11 of his 29 games – a mightily impressive record for a team which signed 16 players after getting promoted.

That’s not to say Petrescu couldn’t have saved Palace – it’s just extremely unlikely. Petrescu was sacked by Dinamo in 2014 – before Palace’s season had even finished – and his career has gone downhill since, managing at Cluj twice and having spells in China, Qatar and the UAE, as well as a spell back in Russia at Kuban Krasnodar (Transfermarkt).

As previously mentioned, you can’t say for certain that Palace would have gone down, but the job done by Pulis would have to be considered one of his greatest achievements.

Palace were hugely unlikely to stay up that year, conceding 17 goals in the first eight games, and conceding just 31 in their next 30 games.

Crystal Palace fans, thoughts? Comment below!

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