Pardew falls victim to FA Cup curse

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Alan Pardew became the latest victim of a growing curse when he departed Crystal Palace on Thursday.

With an average points tally of just 0.72 per game in 2016, the lowest of any Premier League or Football League side this calendar year, it is perhaps no surprise that the Eagles have opted for a change of leadership.

But it appears there could be a stronger force at play.

Rewind seven months to May and Pardew's Palace were readying themselves for an FA Cup final against Manchester United. 

Despite a valiant effort from his players, it was the Red Devils who triumphed 2-1 after extra time at Wembley.

Pardew's dismissal means four of the last five losing managers in an FA Cup final have now failed to remain in their job beyond Christmas of the same year.

Kenny Dalglish and Roberto Mancini, losers with Liverpool and Manchester City respectively in 2012 and 2013, were dismissed shortly after their cup disappointments, while Tim Sherwood - runner-up with Aston Villa in 2015 - left in October.

The only surviving loser in that spell was Steve Bruce at Hull City, who was in charge when the Tigers were relegated in 2014-15 before leading the club back to the top flight last season, although he resigned the post before the start of the current campaign.

So, to all the managers out there, let Pardew et al be a warning... do not lose the FA Cup final!