Thursday, April 19, 2018

Crystal Palace’s woeful form would be concerning any other season

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew has seen his team's form dip worryingly in recent months

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew has seen his team’s form dip worryingly in recent months

Crystal Palace’s terrible form in the Premier League continued on Sunday, as the Eagles suffered a 2-1 home defeat against Liverpool at Selhurst Park.

Liverpool scored the winner deep into stoppage-time from a controversial Christian Benteke penalty kick.

The decision may have irked Eagles boss Alan Pardew, but in truth the Eagles recent performances have not been good enough in the last few months.

Tumbled down the Premier League table

Crystal Palace started the campaign in stellar fashion and Eagles boss Alan Pardew was on the receiving end of acclaim. Palace even looked like they could trouble the top-six or even the top-four places this season. Oh how things have changed.

Their down turn in form in recent months must be worrying for the Eagles fans. This year has been a tough one for the Eagles so far, as Palace are now without a win in 12 Premier League games.

The Eagles have lost eight of those games and now find themselves in 15th position in the top-flight table, nine points off the relegation zone. They may not be in the relegation zone, but their form is relegation form.

Palace have been as dire in the last few months, as they were good in the first few months of the season. There is usually an unlikely team that gets dragged into the relegation zone late in the season and Palace may have been that team this season. However, the lack of league games remaining may well be their saving grace.

In previous years Palace would have been a likely candidate for relegation, but the tenures of Tony Pulis and Alan Pardew have the Eagles established as a stable Premier League outfit.

Injuries have cost Palace in recent months

Crystal Palace’s form and league position has not been helped by injuries to key players. The likes of influential central midfielder James McArthur and winger Jason Puncheon are both currently sidelined through injury.

However, their biggest loss through injury this season was star winger Yannick Bolasie, who has only recently returned to action. Bolasie missed nine Premier League games through injury and those were the games that started the rot for the Eagles.

For all his unpredictability Bolasie has the ability to be a match-winner. He can provide something out of nothing and Palace missed his skills, as they have struggled to score goals. Striker Connor Wickham had struggled for goals until recently when he scored braces in consecutive games, having previously found the net just once in the top-flight prior to those doubles.

Getting Bolasie back fit and firing could be the key to Palace finishing their season in good style. The Eagles are in the last eight of the FA Cup, but face a tricky trip to Championship Reading this weekend. It is a golden opportunity for Palace to give the fans something to cheer about for the rest of the campaign.

Palace are not blessed with many match-winners in their team, so Bolasie’s form could be crucial to the Eagles ending their current slump and getting into the last four of the FA Cup.

Bottom teams struggling for points

The above seems obvious, as the bottom teams would not be down the bottom of the league if they were winning games. However, the bottom four Aston Villa, Newcastle, Norwich and Sunderland seem to be struggling to pick-up any points at the moment.

Sunderland looked dead and buried a couple of weeks ago, but have picked-up consecutive draws, and due to other team’s poor form the Black Cats have somehow climbed  out of the relegation zone.

Due to the bottom fours poor form, Palace are odds of 25/1 to be relegated this season. Any other season the Eagles’ current form would be a big concern. However, another victory would probably ensure Alan Pardew’s side are playing Premier League football next season.

Palace are now an established top-flight team and earlier in the season proved that they have the ability within their squad to give anybody in the top-flight a game. However, injuries and a crisis of confidence have seen them fall closer to the bottom three than the top three this season.

If the team’s current poor run of form continues much longer than fans may well be asking questions of fans favourite Alan Pardew’s position at the helm of the club.

Can Crystal Palace turn their season around?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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