Crystal Palace: How will the Eagles fare without Big Sam?

Imaging having more money than you have ever seen and being unable to spend it.

This is the unfortunate predicament facing Crystal Palace at present, as the club remains in a state of flux that it is unfortunately too familiar with.

Currently managerless and unable to target crucial additions to the squad, club officials can only look on as rivals spend their share of the new, £5.136 billion television deal bounty that has revolutionised the league.

Not only this, but Palace have also been presented with an immensely challenging fixture list for the start of next season, while Southampton have entered the market for a new manager after sacking the Frenchman Claude Puel.

With this in mind, what does the future hold for Palace and how can they give their pre-season a kick-start?


Why Securing a Manager is Key

If you think back to last season, the Eagles were in serious danger of relegation under the stewardship of former boss Alan Pardew.

Despite reaching the FA Cup final in May 2016, they won just six and lost 22 of their 36 league matches during the calendar year, while returning an average of just 0.72 points per game. This was obviously relegation form, and it ultimately led to Pardew’s dismissal in December.

The experienced Allardyce played a pivotal role in turning Palace’s fortunes around upon his appointment, despite failing to win any of his first four matches.

The arrival of Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool was also crucial, while winger Andros Townsend added some much needed thrust in attack.

The extent of Palace’s revival highlighted the importance of a strong and competent manager, however, which is why securing a new leader is key of the Eagles are to survive next season.

Make no mistake; there is little to choose between the clubs outside of the traditional top six in the EPL, so Palace’s next move will be crucial in determining their fate and how successfully money is eventually spent.

This perhaps highlights the true conundrum facing the Eagles, who need to act quickly but must ensure that they make the correct appointment if they are to successfully move forward.


The Last Word: Who is in the Running for the Job?

There is some optimism to be found among Palace fans, however, not least because of the names being linked with the position.

Incredibly, the current favourite is former Real Madrid and Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who managed to secure a league and EFL Cup double during his penultimate season with Manchester City.

He will bring a great deal of experience and know-how to the role, while his pedigree would surely help the Eagles to attract some high quality players to Selhurst Park.

Frank de Boer has also been linked, while Burnley’s Sean Dyche has been mooted as an option should Palace follow a more traditional and familiar path.

Interestingly, former Southampton boss Puel has also been linked with the job, and this would provide an interesting dynamic given his recent association with a direct and similarly-sized EPL rival.


The Bottom Line

While of this is speculation for now, Palace should approach their pursuit of a new manager in positive terms.

More specifically, they should make a progressive selection based on their playing style and future objectives, as this will enable them to create stability and capitalise on the relatively level playing field outside of the top six.

It may also help them to build for the future, and end a record that has seen them employ five managers in just six years.


Written by Lewis Humphries

Follow Lewis on Twitter @LewisRHumphries

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