Friday, December 2, 2022

Crystal Palace’s Premier League Decline Has Been A Sad Story And Here’s Why

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Sarthak Mondal
Armchair analyst. Engineering dropout by choice. Sports Management student.

Rather than going for glory or qualifying for Europe, finishing in the mid-table or sustaining their spot in the Premier League, due to the huge amount of money gained from television rights is the priority of many English top-flight clubs. But one club, who are now in a spot of bother, thanks to their run of bad results this season is London-based outfit Crystal Palace.

The Eagles are currently sitting in the relegation zone, 2 points behind 17th placed Leicester City, and it seems that only a run of wins and draws in the next few games, combined with other results going their way can guarantee their place in the Premier League next season.

Crystal Palace returned to the English top-flight after an 8-year hiatus, by defeating Watford 1-0 in the Championship play-off finals. After returning to the Premier League, they were never in real danger of returning to the lower rung, as they finished 11th, 10th and 15th in the next 3 seasons and had a good squad as well.

However, after a poor run of results at the start of the season, the owners of the club sacked Alan Pardew and replaced him with Sam Allardyce. After losing the opening games of the season, the Eagles strung together a run of good performances, catapulting them to the 8th spot, with the hopes of another mid-table finish. However, consistently dropping points (26 points) in home matches and failing to get substantial points in their away matches meant that Palace found themselves deep inside the relegation zone by the start of 23rd gameweek.

With players like Mathieu Flamini, Yohan Cabaye, Wilfred Zaha and Loic Remy (on loan from Chelsea) among others, it must be very frustrating for Palace supporters, who expect to at least finish in mid-table. Sam Allardyce is putting in every possible effort to save Palace’s season, which includes signing offensive wingback, Patrick van Aanholt from Sunderland in the winter transfer window.

Football never fails to amaze its fans and the players of Crystal Palace must take a leaf out from yesteryear stories, regarding successful relegation saving battles and one of them is their counterpart, Leicester City’s late burst of form in the 2014-15 season.

Time is running out for fast for Sam Allardyce and his players and if Crystal Palace wants to see the sunshine in Premier League next season, the big names, the players, as well as the reserves, must work as a team and save the season. Only time will tell us if we will listen to the chants of the Eagles’ fans in the Premier League next season.

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