Close call? It was one of the worst decisions you'll ever see, it makes overhead kicks illegal, you may aswell outlaw headers aswell incase players nut eachother.
It's a myth that Pardew was turned on straight away, he started with a 3-1 win against Liverpool and we went on a little run, he got alot of leeway, and even through all the record breaking poor form plenty of people chose to ignore his mistakes and blame everything on Ashley. A lot of people would jump to his defence when you criticised him, though towards then end they had mostly given up. You also have to remember that Pardew didn't get sacked here, Ashley just wouldn't do it, he was willing to see us get relegated under him. Personally I think he's the luckiest fucker in the world, Newcastle resurrected his career, gave him an 8 year contract, and the issue between the fans and the owner was used to cover up his shortcomings. And despite everyone here thinking he was terrible, his reputation in the rest of the country ended up better than ever.
I think how well Palace do this season will depend on the individual skill of their attacking players and how he gets along with them, Cabaye can bail them out, and they do have some pace to counterattack. But you never know, he falls out with players easily and makes personal decisions to the detriment of the team, he also might end up playing Connor Wickham as a winger or something.