Alan Pardew admits regret over iconic FA Cup final dance

Former Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has admitted he regrets throwing the wildest shapes of 2016 in the Eagles’ 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

Substitute Jason Puncheon put Palace 1-0 up in the 78th minute of the game, and while fans were going wild, Pardew turned to the camera and gave us a few seconds of the finest dad dancing you have ever seen.

The moment was iconic enough, but it hit a whole new level in meme history after Juan Mata equalised for United just two minutes later, after which a Jesse Lingard strike won the cup in extra-time.

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It was an utterly perfect series of events, but speaking to FourFourTwo (via the Daily Mail), Pardew confessed that he’d like to turn the clocks back and keep his silky moves to himself.

“That run to the cup final was fantastic. But then I had to make the awful decision to put Jason Puncheon on the bench,” he recalled. “He was so disappointed, but I don’t think he realised I was too. I love him as a person, but we wanted to counteract something in Manchester United’s team.

Alan PardewAlan Pardew
Pardew got caught up in the moment | Paul Gilham/Getty Images

“I said, like all managers would, ‘You’ll come on – go and show me when you get on.’ When he put us 1-0 up, that was the moment.

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“I regret the dance. My daughter had said, ‘There’s this new dance’, and that must have been in my head! I should never have done it – people remember it, unfortunately – but it was a brilliant moment for Punch, and I’d felt for him.”

On behalf of the entire football world, I think Pardew absolutely should have done the dance.

Michael Carrick, Yannick BolasieMichael Carrick, Yannick Bolasie
Palace game up short | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Just sixth months after his little boogie, Pardew was dancing his way out the exit door at Selhurst Park, and after a short-lived spell in charge of West Brom, Pardew took his talents to Europe.

An underwhelming few months as manager of Eredivisie side ADO Den Haag followed, and in 2020, he made the surprise move to Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia, who offered him the position of technical director.

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