Connect in the back of the net

Crystal Palace have not won a Premier League game since a 2-1 victory at Stoke City in mid-December. Since then, the Eagles have been in free fall. Can the experience head of Alan Pardew turn Palace’s season back around?

The south Londoners are enduring an extremely tough patch at present. After a superb start to the season, which saw Pardew’s side flirting with the European places at one point, the Eagles have crashed back down to earth, and are now looking over their shoulders at the teams in the lower regions of the Barclays Premier League table.

In their last 10 league games, Palace have lost seven, drawn three and won precisely none. The south London outfit have not tasted a league triumph since Connor Wickham and Lee Chung-Yong inspired them to a 2-1 win at the Britannia Stadium back in December.

 

Close to relegation

As a consequence of their dramatic loss in form, Palace have gone from the top half of the table to 14th in next to no time. Pardew’s troops are now just nine points clear of the relegation zone.

Last time out, they would have been extremely disappointed not to have take maximum points from their visit to Sunderland. Wickham’s two goals looked to have given Palace a much-needed and priceless 2-1 win at the Stadium of Light, only for Fabio Borini’s last gasp effort to break their hearts. Still, the performance was better, and the fact they would have felt aggrieved not to have taken all three points, certainly shows signs of improvement.

So are Crystal Palace in crisis? Well, until they get that league win they so desperately need, yes. You can just sense the frustration and worry surrounding Selhurst Park that the longer this run without a victory goes, the harder it’s going to be to turn things around.

Of course, Palace gave themselves an almighty cushion by the way they started the season. After winning at Stoke just before Christmas, which was their fifth away league win of the season, the Eagles were level on points with Tottenham Hotspur and just nine shy of Leicester City. Now, they are 24 points behind the Foxes and 21 behind Spurs – that just proves how bad a run Alan Pardew’s side are on at present.

Nevertheless, the former West Ham and Newcastle United boss has vast experience of managing teams who are massively underperforming. Look at his tenure at St James’ Park for an example – he seemed to have spent his entire managerial career under immense pressure in Tyneside, but ultimately, he managed to turn things around.

 

Mad to sack Pardew

Despite the club’s desperate form, the Crystal Palace hierarchy would be mad to even think about sacking their former midfielder. It’s imperative that they stick with him through thick and thin, as he will surely steer the Palace ship to safety in the end.

Besides, his team are still going extremely well in the FA Cup, after beating Southampton, Stoke and Tottenham this term. They have a quarter-final with Championship club Reading to look forward to next week.

Next up for the Eagles is Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. On paper, it looks a daunting task for the south Londoners – however, a win over the Reds on Sunday will do everyone involved at Selhurst Park the world of good, and it could kick-start their quest for safety.

 

Written by Gareth Hinton

Follow Gareth on Twitter @Galccfc

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