With seven games gone in the Premier League, Crystal Palace has recorded seven defeats and have scored zero goals. They have a goal difference of -17, they have not won at Selhurst Park since April. The statistics and facts don’t lie for Palace, they are on a slippery slope leading to the Championship unless they can somehow turn it around.
Frank de Boer was an exciting appointment in summer. The Dutchman won trophy after trophy with Ajax but had a miserable spell the season before in charge of Inter Milan. Nevertheless, despite his poor stint in Italy, he still came to Palace with a positive reputation. Palace had experienced “boring” football, adopting the “Route One” style of play up to Christian Benteke the season before under Sam Allardyce. It was not good for the fans but it worked, Palace stayed up. But they wanted something different, something exciting, in stepped de Boer.
It is rumoured that Crystal Palace wanted Marco Silva as their manager, but Watford got in their first. Silva had been relegated with Hull City but had impressed many with his attacking style of football. However, Palace missed out and it was Frank de Boer that arrived at Selhurst Park. One thing that was odd about de Boer’s spell was the lack of signings. Surely a new manager wants to bring in his own players that suit their philosophy? But he only signed Manchester United’s Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek on loan and only Ajax and Liverpool defenders Jaïro Riedewald and Mamadou Sacko. Now, these are not bad signings to be fair, but that was the only business Palace did during the summer. There were no big money signings like when they signed Benteke the previous summer or Yohann Cabaye, there was no statement of intent.
Crystal Palace started the season poorly. The 3-0 defeat to Huddersfield Town on the opening day was a disaster. This would have destroyed the players confidence going into the next few games. Then the defeat to Burnley was unlucky. Palace were the better side but a mistake led to Burnley’s goal and the Eagles could not find a goal. Then de Boer was sacked, which actually some said may not have happened if Palace had not lost, but it is obvious that they had Roy Hodgson lined up to take over. They did not give de Boer a chance.
Another reason for the downfall is players not stepping up. This seems harsh but senior players like Cabaye, James McArthur and Scott Dann need to take the lead and help galvanise the squad. Staying up in the Premier League requires a together squad. Then also injuries have hit them hard. Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke are out injured and this is not helpful. These two are arguably Palace’s best players. In addition, the Eagles have had an impossible run of fixtures, against the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and even Burnley away. Any team in the lower half of the Premier League is going to struggle when up against these sides.
🗣Roy Hodgson on Crystal Palace:
— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) October 1, 2017
These are the reasons why Crystal Palace are rock-bottom of the top flight. They just need one result to go their way and they can get their season back.
There is no doubt that Roy Hodgson knows what he is doing in the Premier League but you fear his side will be playing catch-up for the remainder of the season and they may have too much to do.