Football

Wenger: Allardyce will save Palace from the drop

Arsene Wenger is not surprised by Sam Allardyce's swift return to club management as he believes the new Crystal Palace boss has the experience desired by Premier League sides fighting the drop.

Allardyce, 62, was appointed as Alan Pardew's successor at Selhurst Park last week with the Eagles languishing in 17th place, just two points clear of the relegation zone.

It is Allardyce's first job since his ill-fated 67-day reign as England manager, a job he left by mutual consent after just one game in charge following a newspaper sting in which he talked about how to get around the Football Association's rules on third-party ownership.

However, the former Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United and Sunderland boss had previously carved out a name for himself for keeping teams afloat in the top flight, most recently maintaining the Black Cats' Premier League status last term.

Palace are his latest survival project, a team who have endured a poor 2016 in the league despite heavy investment in the squad.

Wenger, whose Arsenal side host Palace tomorrow, believes his previous experience meant Allardyce would always find a way back into football despite the manner of his England exit.

Asked if he was surprised by the Englishman's swift return, Wenger replied: "No, not really. Because today, the clubs who are in trouble look for experienced managers.

"The position of the Premier League has made it vital for everybody to stay in the league.

"It has become an extremely big problem for everybody and when teams look for managers, he was one out there who had the experience and the quality.

"After that, all the rest is moral judgment.

"I don't know how guilty he was of having done something or not, I don't know.

"But he was in a strong position as a national team manager, that means that people acknowledged that he had the quality to be there."

- PA SPORT

SAM ALLARDYCEarsene wengercrystal palace