Former Premier League footballer Danny Higginbotham has slammed Crystal Palace's decision to sack Patrick Vieira - and sensationally claimed that the only manager who could help the side improve in front of goal is Mauricio Pochettino.

What's going on at Crystal Palace?

The club parted ways with Vieira after a nightmare run which saw them fail to win a league game under him in 2023, and they scored just four goals in that time.

Palace were in 12th place when the Frenchman was dismissed, but found themselves hurtling towards the relegation battle.

Their lack of goals proved to be the main issue, as they even went three games in a row without a shot on target.

Speaking on NBC Sports, Higginbotham slammed the decision to dismiss Vieira, claiming that Palace's defensive record was still good enough for survival, while the only available manager who could come in and improve their attack was ex-Spurs man Pochettino.

He said: "If Patrick Vieira was still manager of Crystal Palace, they would not be getting relegated, because more often than not, the teams that stay up are the teams are defensively strongest. And Crystal Palace, they're in a position now where they could have their best defensive record ever in their Premier League history.

"And the reason we're not going to hear many names mentioned is because there's not many people that can go into that club and actually change the fortunes of the club, unless you're a top, top manager.

"Now, I look at it - and it's never going to happen - but if you're going to want to bring a manager into Crystal Palace, the only one where you think, 'okay, yeah, maybe I could see sense', is a Pochettino, someone like that.

"But he's not going to come to Crystal Palace; he doesn't need to come to Crystal Palace; they don't need a firefighter.

"It's just a really poor decision. Over the last two years, they've struggled to score goals. They struggled to score goals under Roy Hodgson. Defensively, he [Vieira] would have kept them up this season, and then they could have looked for things in the summer."

What does a new manager need to do at Palace?

The lack of goals in the side is a major problem, and any new manager coming in will not be able to bring in attacking reinforcements.

Whoever comes in will have to get the best out of Palace's current options up front. Wilfried Zaha is the club's top scorer with six strikes, followed by Odsonne Edouard on five.

Edouard seems the most capable option through the middle, as Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew have just one goal each this campaign, and whoever replaces Vieira will have to be able to coach strong attacking play into the squad.

Pochettino looks a perfectly capable option given his past success in the English top flight, but we think it seems highly unlikely that he would take the role given the stature of his most recent clubs.

It remains to be seen who Palace will go for, but given their proximity to the relegation zone, it could be one of the club's most important decisions in years.

2023-03-19T08:37:58Z dg43tfdfdgfd