Crystal Palace are in a fix and there doesn’t seem to be any solution in sight for the Eagles who at long last sacked Alan Pardew and appointed Sam Allardyce in place of the former Newcastle United manager. Big Sam has failed to notch up a win in his first 5 assignments and a chastening 3-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham United the latest of the lot, things are looking bleak indeed.
With Sam Allardyce getting philosophical after the latest defeat and already laying bare his ‘fear’ of not getting Crystal Palace to safety this year, it is time for Palace to take drastic decisions to come out of this grave they have dug for themselves, with Pardew’s helping hand.
Separated by a single point from bottom placed Swansea City, they would know that they have a squad far better than Swansea, Sunderland or Hull City.
Let us take a brief look at 3 things which Crystal Palace could look to do in order to save themselves the ignominy of getting involved in a relegation dogfight.
BUY A CENTRAL DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER
Palace couldn’t really replace Jedinak and although they have McArthur, they can do with a defensive minded player with a bit more quality. To achieve the heights which they seem to have planned, a player in the mould of Schneiderlin can elevate the team’s overall quality. They have lacked the steel in midfield and either way they need a better central defensive midfielder. And after missing out on the Manchester United midfielder who moved to Everton, they need to work harder behind the scenes to make a move.
CHANGE IN SHAPE (4-1-4-1)
Crystal Palace have strived to be a free-flowing team with special stress on attack, at least that is what Alan Pardew aimed to implement. While they do play some inspired attacking football at times, they have been far too feeble at the back and weak in midfield to have got any positive result out of it. In a 4-1-4-1 formation, he can play McArthur in front of the back four with Cabaye and Puncheon in slightly more advanced midfield roles.
On the flanks, they have the perfect players with Zaha and Townsend offering width and pace in abundance. With Benteke up top, the team does look a lot more balanced and capable of holding their shape while going on the attack.
SIGN A STRIKER
Christian Benteke hasn’t yet convinced under Allardyce and with repeated rumours of a move away, especially to China, signing another striker will not be a bad option. He hasn’t been on the same wavelength as the other creative players and there might be calls for a more fluid and flexible approach up top. Allardyce can also play a 2-man strike-force with Benteke and someone like Berahino complementing each other.