Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Versatile Crystal Palace Star Ruled Out For Rest Of The Season: Big Blow For Hodgson’s Plans?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

Crystal Palace’s already tumultuous season faced another blow after their rotational winger, Bakary Sako went down with an ankle injury in the side’s 1-1 draw against West Ham United on the transfer deadline day. Reports claim that it is, in fact, a fracture in the ankle along with ligament damage which will most definitely rule him out for the rest of the 2017/18 campaign.

Not to place salt over an open wound, but Martin Kelly also will be out for a short spell on the sidelines after he picked up a knock in the side’s 1-1 draw against Newcastle United last night. After the match, the former England boss was quoted, “We are short on numbers, there’s no question of that. So we have to hope the young lads we’ve got in [during the January transfer window] can step up to the plate a little bit quicker than expected, or one or two of our talented Under-23 boys can step forward and fill a gap. The transfer window has gone, there’s no chance to bring anyone else in and we will battle on with the players that we have.”

This obviously is a huge blow for a club who are trying to escape the relegation to the EFL Championship. What started out to be a horrific season had been turned around after the firing the incompetence of Alan Pardew and appointing Hodgson in his place.

On Hodgson’s appointment, the club has found its structure and are currently enjoying a run away from the bottom three. Even though they have been impressive in the holiday period, they are not out of the woods just yet.

Palace were the victims of a 4-1 thrashing to a reinvigorated Arsenal side earlier in January and it looked like their defensive ranks were completely depleted. The backline were no match for the seamless offensive abilities of the Gunners and allowed the hosts to drill in two open headers from inside the box.

Roy Hodgson’s frustration was evident judging by his reaction from the sidelines and the players might have received the full blast after the 90 minutes. They are enjoying a mid-table run but zero losses in their last 3 fixtures, a gruelling relegation battle is beckoning and they need all the firepower they have to ensure another season in top-flight English football.

The Eagles have been successful in swatting away transfer offers for Wilfried Zaha and have bolstered the club ranks through the addition of Jaroslaw Jach, Erdal Rakip and Alexander Sorloth. Even though the addition of the trio will come com handy, Sako was one of the best rotational options who made huge impacts after coming on in the late stages of the games. With both Jason Puncheon and Sako unavailable, Hodgson will have to integrate the new guns into the game as soon as possible.

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