Sunday, 6 May 2018

Top Half Palace

Although posts about Crystal Palace don't really belong here, on occasion I can't help myself. With Palace securing a record sixth consecutive season in the top flight of English football yesterday, today is one of those occasions. 

As Palace started the season P7 L7 F0 A17 and traded at 1.5 to be relegated, I wrote here that all was not lost calculating that Palace should "make that 35 points, which is very close to the probable 36 / 37 points required for safety". 

That estimate looks to be about right on the money. Palace picked up points where they needed to, and could yet finish in the top half of the table if Newcastle United drop points in their remaining matches at home to Tottenham Hotspur and away to Chelsea, while Palace beat not-quite-yet-relegated West Bromwich Albion on the final day. How West Brom must be ruing the appointment of Alan Pardew this season! Or perhaps staying with him for as long as they did.

An even older post from 2014 contained a couple of lines that have proven prescient. While discussing the vacant managerial position at the club, I wrote:
The position of manager at Crystal Palace is a lot more attractive than at most clubs these days, and the CVs dropping in to the mat at Selhurst Park next week should be impressive. Sir Alex may well be considering coming out of retirement as you read this, and Pep Guardiola is quite possibly reading the fine print on his contract. Malky MacKay is reportedly licking his chops. Roy Hodgson's a Croydon boy and a former Palace (youth team) player. He might be interested in a bigger challenge...
Pep's done OK for himself I guess, but poor old Malky MacKay won five (of 24) games for Wigan Athletic, before ending up as Scotland caretaker manager. How the mighty are fallen, although it couldn't happen to a nicer chap:
It subsequently emerged that some of the allegations related to text messages considered to be racist, sexist and homophobic in nature.
And sure enough, three years later and Hodgson's in place, doing a fantastic job, and in the running for Premier League Manager of the Season. I also wrote in 2014 that: 
Palace are not yet Manchester City. Heck, they're not yet Stoke City, but ironically the latter is the kind of example they might be looking to follow.
After yesterday's result, maybe Stoke City isn't an example to follow. What I meant of course, is that we want to become an established Premier League side, and we seem to be doing that, although as Palace fans know all too well, it's seldom easy. On the rare occasion when we start a PL season off well, 2015-16, we manage to win two of the final 21 matches. 

I'm hopeful that Hodgson stays and that we won't give everyone else a seven game start next season. 

If we'd 'played properly' as my Mother likes to say, from the start, we'd be on course for 52 points and in contention for European Football. A Palace fan can dream.    

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