Malky Mackay will reportedly confirm his Premier League return after agreeing to fill the vacant manager's position at Crystal Palace. The former Cardiff City boss, wrongly dismissed from his post with the Bluebirds in the eyes of many, is set to replace Tony Pulis at Selhurst Park.
Ed Malyon of the Mirror reported the news on Twitter:
Mackay's appointment is set to take place just days after Pulis left Palace by mutual consent, according to Sky Sports. It is said the former Stoke and Gillingham boss opted to leave after reportedly being "at odds with the club's board over their dealings in the transfer market this summer."
Pulis' exit came as a major surprise after he was named LMA Manager of the Year for the 2013-14 season, which saw him lead Palace to an excellent 11th place after taking over from Ian Holloway. The experienced boss installed confidence, discipline and ambition to the side's play and looked set to build on an excellent returning year in the top division with a summer of rebuilding.
His dismissal came quickly and to the surprise of many, unlike Mackay's recent tenure at Cardiff, where his future was known ahead of official confirmation. Owner Vincent Tan announced his intentions to Mackay via email after speculation in the press indicated the controversial businessman had grown tired of the Scottish boss.
Fans protested to overturn the decision after Tan constantly undermined Mackay's tenure. The hiring of unknown scout Alisher Apsalyamov, in place of Mackay's trusted colleague Iain Moody, indicated the start of a troubled relationship that would end in the owner wielding the axe.
Former chief executive Simon Lim told Mackay he wouldn't receive "a single penny" heading into the January 2013 transfer window, before Tan finally sacked the manager on Dec. 27. A legal battle ensued, with Mackay eventually opting to drop charges after reaching a settlement with the club.
Despite a messy end to his stint in Wales, Mackay enjoyed an impressive run of success. He reached the League Cup final with Cardiff in 2012, where his side fought to an excellent draw against Liverpool before losing 3-2 on penalties. Mackay also secured Cardiff's first Premier League season by capturing the 2012-13 Championship title.
It's fair to say Mackay is taking a risk by joining Palace if Pulis' fears are confirmed. It is reported the outgoing boss was left disappointed when trying to sign players such as Steven Caulker and Gylfi Sigurdsson, per Sky Sports, even though chairman Steve Parish denied these claims, reported by The Guardian.
Mackay will undoubtedly want money to spend quickly, especially as he is set to take over before the end of the transfer window. The manager proved ambitious and resourceful at Cardiff—highlighted by his capture of Gary Medel last year—meaning he is well placed to improve upon the fantastic work posted by Pulis.
There's no doubt Mackay deserves another shot in the Premier League after his dismissal from Cardiff. Palace highlighted their qualities during the recent 2-1 defeat to Arsenal, where the Eagles showed guts and determination to almost grab a draw. Mackay is more than capable of building upon this, and will aim to lead an assault into the domestic division's top half.
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