Crystal Palace is a ship that is sinking quicker than the titanic.
But the funny part is that only a couple of months ago it was running as well as a luxury cruise liner. Alan Pardew raised some eyebrows when he said he side could be part of a relegation battle, as at one point in the season, they sat as high as 7th.
They’ve since sunk as low at 14th in the table, only nine points away from the relegation zone. And with 10 games left to play, the teams below the Eagles will be doing everything to try and get away from the trap door.
And one man that is facing the wrath of many a Crystal Palace fan is Pardew. He was worshipped when he took over the reigns of a club that he once played for, but now its all turned a little bit sour.
They’ve earned just four points out of a possible thirty-three and are yet to win this side of Christmas. It’s pretty shocking stuff and it if wasn’t for their strong start to the season, they’d be even lower in the table.
Yes their biggest player in Yannick Bolasie has had a spell on the sidelines with injury, but apart from that, Pardew has had a pretty much full-strength squad to choose from most of the time. Connor Wickham has been in and out of the squad with a calf complaint, but he has only yielded five goals anyway. This is what makes the Eagles’ demise slightly worrying – its hard to point the finger at what’s gone wrong.
Whilst Liverpool have endured goalkeeping blunders and Aston Villa have generally capitulated, there is no area of the pitch where Crystal Palace are particularly ‘weak’.
The signing of Emmanuel Adebayor was supposed to take things to another level but he is yet to show any meaningful signs of promise since his arrival. Talented wingers Wilfried Zaha and Bakary Sako aren’t making things happen and Yohan Cabaye looks a little ineffective in the middle of the park. These are worrying signs because these are supposed to be Palace’s strongest players without a shadow of a doubt and when your big players aren’t performing, it can be extremely worrying.
But Pardew’s management career generally appears to go up and down in extreme peaks and troughs. He guided West Ham to promotion in 2005 but could only see them finish in ninth the season after. He guided Newcastle to fifth place in 2011/2012 to then watch his side lose 15 out of 21 games to end the 2013-2014 season.
He’s struggling to find his way at Palace after everything looked so good for the Eagles earlier this year. Eight of Palace’s remaining games are against teams in the top half of the table which, if their rivals start winning, could be a massive problem.
It was a season that started as well as Leicester City’s, but one that has ended in a definite relegation dogfight.