Crystal Palace suffered a 4-1 home defeat last night to Fulham in the Premier League and the loss has led to question marks over the future of Eagles boss Ian Holloway.
The former-Blackpool boss held a meeting with Palace chairman Steve Parish after the clash, but Holloway has since clarified that the pair have a meeting like that after every game.
The Eagles have now suffered five consecutive defeats in the top-flight and are finding life in the Premier League very tough.
Unfortunately for the Eagles the games do not get any easier as they face a home clash with league leaders Arsenal next weekend.
The way that the team are playing at the moment Palace fans must fear the worst for that game and the rest of the season.
Not good enough
Crystal Palace were always the favourites to go straight back down into the Championship. The Palace squad are just not good enough. Ian Holloway tried to improve the squad with a host of summer signings, but his hands were tied when it came to finances.
The kind of player that Palace could afford to attract was not of the standard needed to win games in the Premier League. Most of the players that signed for the Eagles came from lower division clubs.
Some of them like Marouane Chamakh, Barry Bannan and Cameron Jerome had failed to prove their quality in the top-flight. With the players available to Ian Holloway, this season was always going to be a struggle for Palace and the manager probably knew it.
The scrap for survival was not helped by Palace’s best players from last season being unavailable to Holloway.
Star winger Wilfried Zaha moved on to Manchester United in a big money move, while top scorer Glenn Murray picked up a long-term injury in the play-offs that will probably see him sidelined for the majority of the campaign.
I believe that Ian Holloway had an impossible task on his hands even keeping Palace competitive in the Premier League. I do not think there are many managers that could have done a much better job than Holloway at Palace.
It was incredible that Holloway managed the club to promotion in his first season in charge. In fact it was not even a full season, he joined in the November and in May the Eagles defeated Watford in the play-off final.
The club had been in the doldrums for so long, with financial troubles and poor performances on the field dogging the club. Holloway managed to change the performance on the field and the television money from being in the Premier League has no doubt helped with the clubs finances.
Crystal Palace had a choice at the start of the season, whether to take a gamble and pay out big money in an effort to survive in the top-flight, or try to stay up with the Championship players they had and bring in some players on cheap deals.
Palace has chosen the latter and they have reaped what they have sewn. However, I do believe there are merits in the route the club have decided to take. Crystal Palace may have got promoted too soon for their own good.
The team and squad were nowhere near good enough to compete in the Premier League, but somehow Holloway managed to squash every last bit of talent out of those lower league players. It would have taken an awful lot of money to bring the team up to top-flight standards, never mind the squad.
Crystal Palace are just recovering from a massive financial meltdown, so they did not need a situation similar to the one QPR found themselves in last season. Rangers spent big on wages more than fees, brought big players in and ended up relegated.
In the summer the Hoops were left with a load of highly paid underachievers on their wage bill. Hoops boss Harry Redknapp has managed to cut that wage bill down and start the seeds of recovery at Loftus Road in the Championship.
Palace really could not afford to make similar mistakes to that of their London neighbours and maybe it was a sensible decision to bring in players on the cheap this summer, with youngster Dwight Gayle being the exception of course.
The Palace hierarchy obviously have not given Ian Holloway the financial backing he needs to help Palace stay in the top-flight, so all they can do now is support the boss and hope that results improve in the next few months.
Sacking Holloway would be a pointless act, as any manager coming in would struggle to keep Palace in the top-flight with the current squad. Palace may as well still stick with Holloway, as even if they are relegated at least (they are now 1/10 for the drop) he has a decent record of getting clubs promoted and maybe next time the Eagles will be better prepared, both financially and playing wise.
Should Crystal Palace keep faith with Ian Holloway?
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