Charlie Austin shows Alan Pardew what he's missing

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While Charlie Austin celebrated what proved to be a winning goal for Southampton against Manchester United on Saturday, Crystal Palace and their manager Alan Pardew were left stewing on a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in a game where the Eagles missed and then rued chances in which they should have scored.

As it happens, Austin has now equalled the goal tally that Palace's strikers have combined this season: a mind-blowing one.

If Austin was at Selhurst Park on Saturday that tally could well have been doubled and Pardew and his side could have been looking at a point or three, as well as a place in the top ten as high as seventh - where Liverpool currently reside.


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Instead, they sit 11th, two points and three places behind Austin's new club who overtook them after the 1-0 win at Old Trafford.

There are many who feel Austin could have done a stellar job for the south London club, but they did not include, it seems, Pardew. It actually seemed to aggravate the Palace boss when it was put to him earlier this month that the former Queens Park Rangers striker would be a more than decent acquisition for his side.

It was Neil Warnock at QPR who suggested to Austin that a move to Crystal Palace would be good for him. But when the Palace manager heard about this, he had a peculiar and tetchy response.

“Neil Warnock was manager here and he didn’t do very well,” he told reporters. “I’m not really interested in his opinion.

“Charlie Austin is of no interest to us. I’ve seen all of the names linked with us and not one of them is true. Someone is giving out false misinformation.''

What makes this even more startling three weeks later, is the interest he has since shown in signing Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner; who are not exactly the most reliable players on and off the pitch, especially when you compare that to, by all accounts, Austin's good character and professionalism.

When you consider this, the latter's goalscoring record and Palace's lack of firepower, pursuing Austin would have seemed like a no-brainer.

Despite question marks over Adebayor's and Bendtner's attitude they would - as Pardew has acknowledged himself - be worth a punt on a short term contract. So if they contribute goals, all is well, and if either doesn't work out then Palace haven't lost much at the end of it.

But if they do want goals, there must be better alternatives than Bendtner, who has not set the world alight when it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net. He has 77 goals in 304 club appearances. His only saving grace it seems is his decent record at international level where he has 29 in 72 for Denmark.

When you consider Austin's goalscoring prowess and can-do attitude then all the baggage that Adebayor and Bendtner bring with them, Pardew has certainly opened himself up to ridicule with the dismissive attitude he showed towards any thoughts of signing Austin.

Right now, however, he must be thinking that Southampton's new man is the one that got away.

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Charlie Austin
Crystal Palace
Premier League
Emmanuel Adebayor
Alan Pardew
Nicklas Bendtner

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