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Crystal Palace

Progress report on Crystal Palace’s performances for Oct-Nov

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Crystal Palace entered this season in a fragile state. A falling out between last season’s heroic manager Tony Pulis fell out with the upper management of the club and Neil Warnock was dragged in as a last minute replacement for his second stint at Selhurst Park. The start of the season, accounting for this, wasn’t as bad as expected. Wins were hard to come by, but draws against Burnley and Newcastle United complemented an impressive away win at Goodison Park, meaning Palace was at least surviving. In recent weeks, the points have dried up and so has any sense of enthusiasm that may have started to appear.

A solitary draw is the only result Palace have managed in their last five Premier League outings. Though slim losses against Chelsea and Manchester United may be cause for encouragement in certain circumstances, surrounded by other poor results they only confirm the fears setting around the club. Just one goal above the relegation zone, it’s clear that changes are needed. Warnock has tried to adopt a different, more open style than his predecessor, which has perhaps sapped them of their greatest strength. With their organization and defensive solidarity somewhat diminished, Palace are finding it hard to then create the opportunities on the counter that they had previously been able to. These problems need to be addressed and with the Liverpool fixture rapidly approaching and away trips to Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur in the coming weeks, it is one that needs urgent attention.

However, the Londoners will be encouraged by the return of their captain and star player Mile Jedinak. The Australian has featured whenever possible but was missing due to suspension prior to the international break and his return to the starting lineup will help solidify and anchor Palace’s midfield. The physical threat he poses is often talked about but his secure and savvy on ball abilities shouldn’t be overlooked and the Australian really helps to galvanise the team when he is on the pitch.

However, Palace fans when reflecting on the past few weeks must see the wider context. The end of the summer and Pulis’ departure is still having its effects on the team, Warnock has been brought in with little time and next to no assistance in the transfer market to manage another man’s squad. His job is undeniably difficult, as is the club’s task of survival, but Palace were in a much worse position at this point last season. Encouraging, if not complete performances from Marouane Chamakh and Yannick Bolasie could see Palace up their scoring potential soon once the team has gelled properly underneath their new manager. Though the last few weeks have been horrid, there could well be brighter days at Selhurst Park to come this season.

Best XI:

Speroni

Kelly Hangeland Dann Ward

Puncheon, Jedinak, Ledley, Bolasie

Chamakh

Campbell

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