Off-Pitch

Palace Jesters!

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What a team! What a group! Whatever and however you feel about the boys at Selhurst Park is your prerogative. At least, the statisticians love ‘em the way they are. They make their jobs easy peasy! How much easier can your job as a football analyst get when analyzing a team with the ‘pedigree’ of Crystal Palace. No need to check the tables; needless to check their match results or goals scored. Just fill in the number ‘0’ for every available box. Well, for the goals conceded slot, it’s even worse. It’s in the negative! In the computing world of ‘0s and 1s’  — where ‘0’ denotes ‘off’, it will be safe to say that Crystal Palace are switched off at the moment. The Eagles’ wings are clipped!

The Roy Hodgson-led group have played 540+ minutes of football in the EPL this campaign, and are yet to celebrate a goal for their ‘toil’.

While the 5-0 mauling in the hands (sorry, feet) of Manchester City a few days ago can be pardoned — the contest between a sheep and a lion was always predictable. Loses to Huddersfield Town, Burnley, Swansea City were questionable. Hey, no disrespect to these teams though. The Eagles only joy this term has been in the Carabao Cup. How they wished they could play in the 3rd-tier tournament every week. The team that Sam Allardyce gave some semblance of toughness last season, are currently on a sticky wicket.

The appointment of Dutchman Frank de Boer at the beginning of this season, kind of unsettled the team, as players had to grapple with new philosophies, style and pattern of play. No astonishment at their early nosedive. The baton of failure, apparently, has been passed down to former England coach, Roy Hodgson. And the smooth ride down south appears unchecked. They are certainly on a rocky road.

And with such difficult fixtures like Manchester United and Chelsea to come in quick succession for the Eagles, it’s pretty difficult how soon ‘redemption song’ will be sung at the Selhurst Park. They are on all fours at the moment.

It’s nowhere near December, but methinks we already have a formidable relegation candidate with an amazing credential.

The gaffer needs to get a new crystal ball to halt this crystal clear nonsense. How soon the brakes to this vehicle of relegation will be fixed, and applied, will most certainly determine their premier league survival.

By Uche Atuma

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